...of this debate is the definition of the term "militia". A lot has been written on both sides of this issue concerning that definition. Underlying the idea that the militia be composed of and raised from the body of the people, is that same concept which Lincoln raised in the Gettysburg Address, that of "...government of the people, by the people, for the people...".
The Declaration of Independence proclaims that governmental authority is derived from the consent of the governed. Here in the US we accept that each individual is sovereign. By living here, we all participate in government. The judges, legislators and executives in their roles may be more involved with the day to day issues of government but they are not a separate class of individuals. Every individual, by his voice on issues to his neighbors, by his calls for change to officials, by the respecting of just laws and by his vote, is a an active part of the government.
A core expression of part of the concepts involved is expressed in this quote from JFK:
This government is a fair and democratic implementation of a representative republic. There is no facility within the law to recognize a right and concurrently limit that right from any group in general or certain individual without due process. The idea of accepting a right for only active militia members is so counter to the American spirit as to be an oxymoron.
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