The Right To Keep And Bear Arms

Facts About The Second Amendment.


                              2nd Amendment Q & A
                                       
   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
   
   Click on the questions of interest below to jump to the answers.
     * Q: Isn't the militia the National Guard?
     * Q: Isn't the right to keep and bear arms a collective/state's
       right, not an individual one?
     * Q: Does the Second Amendment give me the right to own a nuclear
       bomb?
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   Q: Isn't the militia the National Guard?
   
   A: No, according to U.S. Law and the Supreme Court.
     * At the beginning of this century, the militia was defined
       according to 10 USC Sec. 311 as:
          + "(a) The militia of the United States consists of all
            able-bodied males at least 17 year of age and, except as
            provided in section 313 of title 32 [32 USC sec. 313], 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 commissioned
            officers of the National Guard."
     * More recently, the Supreme Court ruled on the matter, which of
       course takes precedence, in US vs. Miller(1939):
          + "The signification attributed to the term Militia appear from
            the debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of
            Colonies and States, and the writings of approved
            commentators [Justice Story's commentary is cited later].
            These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all
            males physically capable of acting in concert for the common
            defense..."


      * At present, Title 10 reads as follows....

    TITLE 10 - ARMED FORCES

    Subtitle A - General Military Law

    PART I - ORGANIZATION AND GENERAL MILITARY POWERS

    CHAPTER 13 - THE MILITIA

    Sec. 311. Militia: composition and classes
      (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.


         _____________________________________________________________
       
       Q: Isn't the right to keep and bear arms a collective/state's
       right, not an individual one?
       A: No, it has the same status as the rights guaranteed by the
       First and Fourth Amendments. See US vs. Verdugo-Urquidez (supreme
       Court), 110 S.Ct. 1056, 1061 (1990):
       "[T]he 'people' protected by the Fourth Amendment, and by the
       First and Second Amendments, and to whom rights and powers are
       reserved in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, refers to a class of
       persons who are part of the national community or who have
       otherwise developed sufficient connection with this country to be
       considered part of that community."
         _____________________________________________________________
       
       Q: Does the Second Amendment give me the right to own a nuclear
       bomb?
       A: No, that's a strawman argument. US vs. Miller (supreme Court)
       (1939) tells us what arms are meant in the Second Amendment:
       "These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males
       physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense...
       And further, that ordinarily when called for service these men
       were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of
       a kind in common use at the time."
       (Note: emphasis is mine)
         _____________________________________________________________
       
       by David M. Putzolu




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