Wednesday, October 19, 2005

What is the "militia"?

There is always a big fuss about the real meaning of the 2nd Amendment. In case you forgot, it goes a little something like this:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
So let's just make this nice and simple and take all the debate out of it. How can we define the "militia"? If we know what that is, then we know who is entitled to the rightful ownership of firearms. Well fortunately for you, I've found the federal law that defines what the militia is. According to the United States Code, Title 10, Section 311, the militia consists of:
"...all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

The classes of the militia are -
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia."
So that settles it. The federal law states that any able-bodied adult between 17 and 44 are members of the milita, and under the 2nd Amendment are allowed the right to bear arms. Of course what's to say that thousands of pages of regulations haven't diluted this law into close to nothing, but as long as it's still in the books, it means that as citizens of the United States and members of the unorganized militia, it is our duty to keep and bear arms. And that's that...

2 comments:

Shawn said...

I believe the second amendment says two things:
1. We have the right to form militias
2. We have the right to bear arms

The two are independent. Otherwise, men over 45 and all women would not be allowed to bear arms if that Section 311 stuff were applied.

pk said...

Sorry - but you final paragraph is *not* correct based on even your own analysis! If the section of the US Code that you quote is that which defines the constituents of a militia, then only men between the ages of 17 and 44 could be members of the unorganized militia. Women could not be members of that unorganized militia at all...

Why the hell is this amendment so poorly constructed (grammatically)?