The Right to Grizzly Appendages

Constitution for Idiots installment 3

By Gary McCoy
Global Exclaimer Writer

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.”

Alright everyone, before we start a flame war on this site let me start by saying I understand this is a hot button topic for almost everyone. I am going to discuss this as someone who believes this still applies today.

So here we go. First let’s think of the time this would have been debated. The people of that time were most likely very mistrustful of “standing” armies. Also the framers would have most likely had 2 intentions on this. First is to make sure that each Sovereign state in the Union would be able to protect itself and also to make sure that the government would not have been able to disarm the population. Remember that during the American Revolution one of the main “sparks” (sorry for the pun) was that the British army was trying to confiscate different Magazines (Large buildings that held the powder and balls for ammunition of the community).

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…” I understand today we do not have a militia as such, however the various state guards have evolved from this. Also according to TITLE 10 > Subtitle A > PART I > CHAPTER 13 > § 311 of the US Code:

(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

(b) The classes of the militia are—

(1) The organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and

(2) The unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

I think even if you think very loosely today this still applies.  Even if we have a NATIONAL armed force that does not mean that the States do not have the right to protect themselves. I would also like to note that the Bill of Rights was to specifically state what the Federal Government was NOT able to do. This by the rest of the constitution gives the power back to the individual States. So Texas is able to create its own gun laws, California it’s own, Florida it’s own, etc.

“…the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” I think the framers really were trying to say that the individual person, regardless of being actually in a Militia or not should have the right of self-defense. Try to put yourself in the shoes of the people who would have written this; an oppressive Monarch, a military on their soil, and the desire to never have someone who is able to create a Dictatorship. Also make sure that you read that this doesn’t require everyone to own a rifle, shot-gun, or pistol. It just says that the government cannot stop you from owning one.

One note from something I said before and would like to reiterate. The whole purpose of the Bill of Rights was to tell what the larger government could not do and what was reserved for the individual and states to decide. The people who would have written and debated this were almost certainly concerned with anyone being able to stop an individual from being free. There is no better way to take away freedom, than at the barrel of a gun. Agree or disagree with a weapons goal, however not having the ability to protect yourself, your family, or your property WILL ensure your rights can be taken away. I am not going to muddy the water of what this article actually says with my feelings on the subject. I believe if we put ourselves in the time frame and the shoes of the actual writers of this article, I think we can see, they were as clear as they could be. It wasn’t about being able to have the biggest gun or even the right to have one as much as it was an attempt to ensure that future generations would never have to be put through a tyrannical rule or over taken by a government in the future.


4 responses to “The Right to Grizzly Appendages

  1. Love the title!!

    This part of the unorganized militia is pretty interesting – I am not a gun owner and so I’ve never given the whole issue much thought. But, essentially, every man over 17 and under 45 is a member of the state militia, is that right? Cool!!


  2. It is my understanding that you CAN be a member of a militia and be recognized as such if you fall into that group. I think it is more to allow the individual states to have a “reserve” force should the need arise.


  3. Elaine Connolly

    Well said. That’s done then, as far as I’m concerned.
    An armed populace is good. We are Free, by god’s gift of life, to do as we please, first of all. Secondly, because governments can become despotic and insane, and have, historically, everywhere, throughout time, people have a right to be prepared. I agree that in US history, this was a key consideration in our declared right to bear arms. And on a related note, gun ownership is grandfathered into our lives because they were so basic to the development of the US, and its’ identity, for most of our history to date. And arms are still regarded with huge value. We aren’t asked to participate in Libya because of our rampant good looks.


  4. I agree with you Elaine. The Bill of Rights says we have the right to KEEP and Bear arms, not that we HAVE to but that we can. That being said like with everything in life if you don’t want to participate then feel FREE to do so just don’t then turn around and tell me that I cannot.


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