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Thread: 2A definition: "...well regulated Militia..."

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    Re: 2A definition: "...well regulated Militia..."

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    My thoughts.

    I believe that it is intended to mean all the people, collectively and/or individually. That is my interpretation.

    However, I do know people who believe it means the government's military, and I know these people personally and I also know them to be absolutely sincere in their beliefs. They claim that the words "well regulated" means government sponsored and approved, because, well, who else would 'regulate'?

    I wholly disagree with them, but I do not question the sincerity of their position.
    In the usage of the times, 'regulated' did refer to training.
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    Re: 2A definition: "...well regulated Militia..."

    Quote Originally Posted by Thoreau72 View Post
    Rationalize it any way you need to VM, and don't even address the Brown Shoe Army event.

    Your first post theorized and suggested that we have not reached the point where US troops fire on US civilians. I merely pointed out we reached that point decades ago. US troops will indeed fire on US civilians.
    Thats not much of an answer to the relative comments abut your use of Kent State as an example.

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    Re: 2A definition: "...well regulated Militia..."

    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    Militia is the term used for a defense force comprised of ordinary citizens and well regulated means trained and equipped. What is equally important, in the context of the 2A, is whether the people refers to only those people currently (or likely to be) engaged in militia activities.
    Everywhere in the Constitution "the people" refers to ordinary citizens. That has been accepted by the courts from day one. For some reason you think the term only refers to militia members in this case?

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    Re: 2A definition: "...well regulated Militia..."

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    The Second Amendment to the Constitution: "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."

    Please focus on only the three words on bold. No thing else, no other part. What do they mean? Is their meaning clear, or open to interpretation?

    Is a militia the people in general, or is it a state-sponsored organized and approved government body? Does the fact that "Militia" is capitalized lean toward an organized government body (as a formal name, essentially), or is that irrelevant? Maybe just grammatical peculiarities of the day.

    If you believe their meaning is clear, why do many people have other definitions? Are they being dishonest and/or insincere?

    Thoughts?
    I know I'm coming into this late (just joined the forum) but here are my thoughts:

    "Well regulated", when used in a martial context, means properly equipped and functioning as expected. Even today, when someone has a firearm that shoots to the correct point of aim, then it is said that the sights are "properly regulated."

    During the War of 1812 there were a number of critical battles where the brunt of the fighting was borne by militia units instead of Army units. Dispatches from the field complimented the militiamen's "fine regulation"; i.e. they were praising their courage, skill at arms, and discipline under fire, NOT how well the government had controlled them!

    I am well-equipped, trained, and practiced with my personal defensive equipment. I am, in the Constitutional sense, "well-regulated."

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    Re: 2A definition: "...well regulated Militia..."

    Quote Originally Posted by 6gunner View Post
    During the War of 1812 there were a number of critical battles where the brunt of the fighting was borne by militia units instead of Army units. Dispatches from the field complimented the militiamen's "fine regulation"; i.e. they were praising their courage, skill at arms, and discipline under fire, NOT how well the government had controlled them!
    It goes even deeper than that.

    In 1792, there were 2 different Militia Acts. The first (2 May 1792) authorized the President to call up the militias of the various states in the event of invasion, rebellion, or disaster.

    6 days later on 8 May 1792 the second Militia Act was enacted. That Act conscripted every "free able-bodied white male citizen" between the ages of 18 and 45 into a local militia company (this was later expanded to all males, regardless of race, between the ages of 18 and 54 in 1862). So once again, the Militia was composed of every adult male citizen, not just individuals who decided to join.

    And every 6 months every male member of the militia had to appear to a bi-annual muster with the following items:

    "A musket, bayonet and belt, two spare flints, a cartridge box with 24 bullets, and a knapsack. Men owning rifles were required to provide a powder horn, pound of gunpowder, 20 rifle balls, a shooting pouch, and a knapsack."

    This was the state of things until the Militia Act of 1903, which created the National Guard and Army Reserve we have today.

    But even until the Spanish-American War you had individuals form their own militias, then offer their services to the US Government. Most of the units in the Civil War started that way. And as late as 1898 you had the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry Regiment. More famously known as the "Rough Riders", this was a unit created by Theodore Roosevelt, and then offered to the Government for service. Teddy was then placed as second in command after it was accepted, and Colonel Leonard Wood was placed in command.

    Interesting side note. In 1917 after the US entered WWI, Congress authorized President Roosevelt to raise 4 divisions of volunteers to fight in the war. However, the Secretary of War opposed this action, and President Wilson opposed it as well. The recruitment of the first Regiment was already under way, and command was offered to Colonel Charles Young (the senior black Officer in the Army). Young had already been forced to resign, when higher Army officers realized that if he went to Europe in command of Black soldiers, his rank would guarantee that he would be promoted to Brigadier General, and white troops would be placed under his command.

    All of that ultimately made the idea political poison, and it was ultimately scrapped in late 1917.
    War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. - John Stuart Mill

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