Letters to the Editor

The Second Amendment is not about guns

I take issue with Ernest H. Pullin.

The late Justice Scalia held that the meaning of the original language should control the interpretation of laws.

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: “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.”

This is 18th century language.

A well regulated Militia has the meaning of a trained and disciplined Militia. In the 18th century, disciplined implied flogging or the lash. Therefore, the writers would not have used the term which would have been misunderstood.

A Militia was the armed force of the day. Many countries forbade the standing army in times of peace. Thus the militia was called upon.

The term keep and bear arms in the 18th century did not mean storing a weapon in your home or carrying it around on your person. The term meant that one could serve in the Militia, in 21st century terms, be a part of the military. Bearing arms was about fighting in the army or navy. Thus what the framers were talking about was not preventing persons serving in the military.

In 21st century language the Second Amendment would read: “A trained and disciplined armed force is necessary to the security of a free State; therefore persons who choose to be part of that armed force shall not be prevented from serving.”

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