- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 9, 2008

In a letter by Glenn D. Hayes on Dec. 1, Mr. Hayes has it all wrong. First, he questions whether the people that have the right to keep and bear arms. The Founding Fathers knew the difference between the people and the militia. Thomas Jefferson asked, “I ask, Sir, what is the Militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.” So, the militia is really the people capable of bearing arms. The Militia Act of 1791 Defines the “Regulated Militia” as all able-bodied men between the ages of 17 and 45 and the “Unregulated Militia” as all other able bodied males capable of bearing arms.

Well, how about the National Guard? The Supreme Court in Perpitch v. DoD answered this question in 1990. The Court ruled that the Guard are reserve units of the armed services. This is further evidenced by the Constitution in Article I, where it says only the Congress can call forth the militia, while the executive branch calls forth the Guard.

Let’s take a look at the mechanics of the Second Amendment. The first clause: “A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free state” does not express a complete thought. It will not stand alone as a sentence, therefore it is a dependent clause. The second clause: “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” does express a complete thought. It will stand alone as a sentence, therefore it is the independent clause.

The “militia” must have arms to bear; otherwise, it is just a mob.


Falls Church

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