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Old June 10, 2021, 01:10 PM   #45
Aguila Blanca
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 17,273
Originally Posted by TomNJVA
Our founding fathers were very smart men. I am sure every Article and Amendment in our constitution was discussed, debated, and wordsmithed to death before the final version was put to ink. If they intended that our right to keep and bear arms was for militia use only, all they had to say was "...the right of the people to keep and bear arms for use in the militia shall not be infringed". They didn't, and to me it's what they didn't say that offers the clearest understanding of their intent.
The state constitutions of several of the original thirteen colonies have 2A analogs that mention keeping and bearing arms "in defense of the self and of the state," or words similar thereto. Early drafts of the Bill or Rights were longer -- the language of the 2A was edited down as part of an overall effort to shorten the overall length of the Bill of Rights.

At the time the then-proposed new constitution was being discussed, both those who favored a strong central government (the Federalists) and those who feared a strong central government (the Anti-Federalists) wrote large numbers of articles that were circulated around the country for the purpose of influencing the populace. Since history is written by the winners, The Federalist Papers are much better known than the Anti-Federalist papers, but collections of both have been compiled, organized, and published.

The Federalist Papers were all written by three men: James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton. Remember: the Federalists were the side who didn't think the new constitution even needed a bill of rights, because they were so certain that all those rights were so well understood and that the constitution provided sufficient limits on the central government that a BOR was completely unnecessary. [How wrong they were!]

In The Federalist #46, James Madison wrote the following:

Extravagant as the supposition is, let it however be made. Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops.
In other words, the intent of the very men who created our Constitution was that the entire populace be armed, and armed sufficiently that the People would always be stronger than any standing Army.
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