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Sat Jan 12, 2013, 09:02 AM

Let's show true fidelity to the Second Amendment

http://www.commonwealthmagazine.org/Voices/Perspective/Online-Exclusives-2012/Fall/007-Muster-the-militia.aspx



BY: Eugenie Beal

January 09, 2013

A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of the State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. --Second Amendment to the US Constitution


SOMEHOW, THE OPENING WORDS of that brief dictum have been lost. Where is the well-regulated militia which our forefathers presumably saw as the rationale for permitting even encouraging -- individual citizens to own guns?

The National Rifle Association, the Gun Owners Action League, gun manufacturers, and individual owners have conducted a spectacularly successful public relations and lobbying campaign on behalf of individuals wishing to keep and bear arms. The result has been one or more guns in half the households in the US.

Guns and gun owners are not evenly distributed across the nation. Although we read of a shooting almost daily, Massachusetts can be proud of having the lowest per capita gun death rate in the nation. This comes about because we have (relatively) strong gun laws and low gun ownership. (Louisiana takes the booby prize on both measures.)

So what to do to stem the violence and save lives? Its late in the day to reduce the reported 300 million guns in American households to a much smaller number in the hands of legitimate hunters and those who enjoy target practice. The Supreme Court has invoked the Second Amendment, and cast the issue in terms of the rights of individuals without mentioning the necessity for a militia.

I am proposing that Massachusetts take the lead by creating and regulating a militia to which every gun-owner in the state would be obliged to belong. Our governor could call out the Massachusetts Militia in times of emergency such as fire and flood, loss of electric power, and similar kinds of civil disaster. Members would drill, be trained in relevant skills, and lead local parades on patriotic holidays. With mandatory enrollment, registration and tracking of gun owners might be more feasible. Regulations would spell out meaningfully stern penalties for gun owners who did not enroll in the Massachusetts Militia. Id like to see mandatory fees from members as well, but that would entail lengthy public debate and perhaps kill the idea.

The Triangle Fire in a New York garment factory led to new workplace safety laws. Thalidomide tragedies led to deeper investigation of drug side effects. Maybe the Newtown disaster could lead to a well-regulated Massachusetts Militia with a community-service purpose. It might even lead to fewer shootings.

Eugenie Beal lives in Boston.


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Reply Let's show true fidelity to the Second Amendment (Original post)
rgbecker Jan 2013 OP
cantbeserious Jan 2013 #1
TheKentuckian Jan 2013 #4
cantbeserious Jan 2013 #7
Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2013 #2
99Forever Jan 2013 #3
HereSince1628 Jan 2013 #5
99Forever Jan 2013 #6

Response to rgbecker (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 09:11 AM

1. Yes - Should One Want To Own A FireArm - One Must Serve In The Well Regulated "Weekend Warrior" Militia

eom

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Response to cantbeserious (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 09:35 AM

4. No, I call for everyone between 18-46. We simply delete the male stuff.

Of course ownership and the right to bare is an individual right so it is not conditioned on participation in the militia. You would have the right after your service period or if you were unable to reasonably serve due to a handicap or something too.

I think that there should be no standing Army (boots on the ground, armor, etc). Due to skill level requirements and modern realities we would maintain a standing Navy and Air Force. The Army would be replaced mostly with the militia. Folks would serve and train for a year in a stretch and then a few days a year to maintain proficiency unless called up for a national emergency. Special forces and a small contingent of Marines (say a division) would continue to exist, along with brass. The militia could only serve in the US.

I'd close 90% or so of all bases worldwide but would add several carrier groups to maintain our ability to project power globally.

Conscientious objectors would be fine, they would serve in support roles but be excused from combat related situations and training.

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Response to TheKentuckian (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 12:13 PM

7. Not Dissimillar From My Thoughts

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Response to rgbecker (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 09:11 AM

2. Maybe the Swiss model?

A military no one wants to fight against. Non-expansionist national defense policy. No plague of rampage shootings. And every able-bodied person is issued an assault rifle.

There's something for every side of the political spectrum.

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Response to rgbecker (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 09:12 AM

3. Thom Hartmann was speaking..

... to this subject yesterday, with an interesting twist. "A well regulated militia" may be a clue to something much more ugly about this particular Amendment and just how it came to be and it's actual purpose. I haven't read the entire thing yet, but here's a real eye opener to the subject:

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1465114

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Response to rgbecker (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 09:46 AM

5. Considering a large number of gun-owners are very socially conservative

and whose primary interest in guns isn't public safety but personal safety, I think it may be a very bad idea to invite them and their concealed carry into emergencies.



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Response to rgbecker (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 10:00 AM

6. Kick

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