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Definition of militia, as pertaining to the second amendment.


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#1 jgerlica

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Posted 10 June 2004 - 10:53 PM

Ok. I'm just curious about everyones opinion here. It seems that many people feel that the present day National Guard, constitutes the state militia thereunto referred. However when viewed in historical context, this could not be the case. The colonial militia were a body of armed citizens called to duty by the governor of the colony/state. While this is the same as the present day National Guard to some extent, the National Guard still falls under Federal control when activated. So herein lies the enigma, does "state" refer to the federal government, or the individual states?
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#2 PerpetualYnquisitive

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Posted 11 June 2004 - 08:54 AM

"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."
- Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

The 2nd amendment's purpose is to allow for regular citizens to possess arms for their own protection as well as that of the State, as opposed to the paid Military which I believe is under Federal jurisdiction.

The phrase "well-regulated" means to have arms in good repair and accessible, not regulated as in 10,000+ asinine rules to follow.

This is how the founders of the United States of America tried to ensure that no future tyrant would be able to oppress the people of their great country.

BTW, the gun is one of the reasons that North Americans drive on the right side of the road, as opposed to the left as in parts of Europe & Japan.
Can you figure out why?
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#3 Sayonara

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Posted 11 June 2004 - 09:49 AM

Does it involve the word "YEEEEEEEEEEEE-HAH!"?
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#4 swansont

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Posted 11 June 2004 - 01:20 PM

Ok. I'm just curious about everyones opinion here. It seems that many people feel that the present day National Guard, constitutes the state militia thereunto referred. However when viewed in historical context, this could not be the case. The colonial militia were a body of armed citizens called to duty by the governor of the colony/state. While this is the same as the present day National Guard to some extent, the National Guard still falls under Federal control when activated. So herein lies the enigma, does "state" refer to the federal government, or the individual states?


IIRC the National Guard was originally set up to be solely under the control of the state, but the laws were changed at some point that allowed federal control. So I think that circumstances dictate whether the President or the governor calls up the guard, and who has control.

It's pretty clear that "state" means individual state when reading the constitution.

The founding fathers were worried that the somebody in the federal government would take military control and try to rule, but would never be able to really do so because the state militias would vastly outnumber whatever standing army the feds could have. With single-shot, muzzle-loading rifles, the size of the army mattered a great deal. We've long since passed the point where that would be the deciding factor in an armed conflict.
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#5 PerpetualYnquisitive

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Posted 11 June 2004 - 09:28 PM

Does it involve the word "YEEEEEEEEEEEE-HAH!"?



LOL

It inded could possibly involve that word, but I will keep the forum in suspense until Saturday before revealling how the gun influenced driving on the right side of the road.
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#6 blike

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 02:04 PM

Individual states. The national guard is not the militia referred to.

"Militia" refers to ordinary citizens with a bit of training. I think swanson had the idea that a militia composed of citizens from the states is more powerful than anything the federal government could have produced, historically speaking.
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#7 swansont

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 05:27 PM

Individual states. The national guard is not the militia referred to.

"Militia" refers to ordinary citizens with a bit of training. I think swanson had the idea that a militia composed of citizens from the states is more powerful than anything the federal government could have produced, historically speaking.


Not my original idea, of course. It was mentioned by Madison in the Federalist Papers #46.

"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."
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#8 PerpetualYnquisitive

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 11:20 PM

The reason that people in the U.K., Japan etc. drive on the left side of the road is that they were feudal states in the past. When travelling on the roads(ruts) a person would not allow a stranger (possible highwayman) to pass by them without keeping their sword between him/herself and said stranger.

Since most people are right handed, they carried their swords on their right side, thus they would move to the left of the road to pass each other whilst placing their hand on the sword hilt to show that they were willing to defend theirself if necessary.

The invention of the gun negated this ritual as you could shoot a person from a distance if you intended to do them harm and not have to wait until they were abreast of you as with a sword.
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#9 Phi for All

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Posted 13 June 2004 - 07:51 PM

I think "the right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms" tells us that a government-formed National Guard is not the militia referred to in the Second Ammendment. We are definitely talking about armed private citizens being capable of defending themselves from their own government should that government get out of hand. Maintaining the security of a free Country (another country attacking us) is the duty of the military, maintaining the security of a free State is where the militia comes in.

Since we've goofed up the whole representation thing by believing we "can't fight City Hall", I'm sure the founding fathers, if they were alive today, would be wondering why we haven't revolted against the government already. None of the politicians represent MY views more than about 5% of the time.
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#10 jgerlica

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Posted 13 June 2004 - 08:10 PM

I must say I'm amazed by the responses. Thank you all.
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#11 Phi for All

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Posted 13 June 2004 - 08:17 PM

I must say I'm amazed by the responses. Thank you all.

What is your opinion, jgerlica?
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#12 jgerlica

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Posted 13 June 2004 - 08:29 PM

That when taken in historical context, state would refer to the individual states. Quite obvious as the nation had just abandoned the articles of confederation and states rights were still held as an important issue. And yes, I believe that militia refers to an armed body of citizens.
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#13 atinymonkey

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Posted 14 June 2004 - 09:50 AM

The reason that people in the U.K., Japan etc. drive on the left side of the road is that they were feudal states in the past. When travelling on the roads(ruts) a person would not allow a stranger (possible highwayman) to pass by them without keeping their sword between him/herself and said stranger.

Since most people are right handed, they carried their swords on their right side, thus they would move to the left of the road to pass each other whilst placing their hand on the sword hilt to show that they were willing to defend theirself if necessary.

The invention of the gun negated this ritual as you could shoot a person from a distance if you intended to do them harm and not have to wait until they were abreast of you as with a sword.


While the reasoning behind the picking of the left hand side of the road is partially true, it's not the only reason the left hand side is used.

More importantly, the advent of the gun has nothing to do with the reasoning behind using the right hand side of the road. I'm not sure where that story cropped up, but it sounds like revisionist history. There is a swathe of 'historians' who like to produce thesis on 'how the modern world was shaped by the gun' which have little untruths like this in them. When the decision was made flintlock rifles had not even made the sword redundant, never mind exerting influence over government policy. Oddly enough, the reason for the policy shift was due to the French and not the flintlock. In Napoleons vision of a new empire, he insisted on changing basic polices. He decided people should drive on the right, so the common people would be physically aware of the changing environments under the Napolionic empire. The shift in driving patterns also made it trickier for invading forces to move about the country, abet in a minor way. As the first colonies in America were Spanish, and the Spanish were one of the countries to be ruled by Napoleon, they Spanish brought the driving on the right policy. The French also supported the concept (obviously) and when the war of independence was over, it became American policy (it also divorced the colonies from the British methods).
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