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Supreme Court to Hear Case on Second Amendment Right to Carry Concealed Handguns for Self-Defense
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  • Ronald

    The Second Amendment to the Constitution The more that I hear about Second Amendment Rights the more I review the times when that particular 2nd Amendment was adopted. "Second Amendment, amendment to the Constitution of the United States, adopted in 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights, that provided a constitutional check on congressional power under Article I Section 8 to organize, arm, and discipline the federal militia. The Second Amendment 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.” Let us take a look at the year 1791: • The first Continental Army was composed almost entirely of militia groups, the most logical recruitment pool for two reasons. One, their paramilitary nature gave them all the qualifications to be molded relatively easily into a fighting army. Two, almost all able bodied men belonged to the militia anyway.[2] Most colonial militias required all men between sixteen and fifty to serve for different periods of time.[3] They were required “to provide their own weapons and equipment, and to be mustered and trained periodically by their duly commissioned officers.”[4] Hence, the militia member was an ideal candidate for regular army service. • There was however, some resistance to forming a regular army. Unattached rebellious militias were against enlistment for several reasons. Many colonists viewed a standing army as a threat to their rights.[5] They feared that any regular army, foreign or domestic, might at sometime in the future be in a position to remove their liberties forcibly. The idea of a standing army raised the provincial “suspicion that one province would be sacrificed in favor of the interests of another”. One of the original reasons for establishing “town” militias was to protect their own homes and loved ones. Fighting in an army that might force the soldier to travel would leave their homes vulnerable to attack from Indians or in the case of the south, slave uprisings.[6] • There were times when the militia just plain refused to observe calls to arms.[7] For example, in August 1777, the British attempted to seize control of the Hudson River after the battle for Quebec. Washington did not have enough soldiers to defend against the operation. Consequently, as he successfully did a number of times during the Revolutionary War, he called on the militia to fill out the needed numbers.[8] However, Washington and his generals could never be sure if the militia would answer the call or not. In this case the call went largely unheeded. Washington was furious. He severely condemned “the conduct of the Militia of Connecticut, who because they find no enemy at their doors, refuse to assist their neighbors.”[9] Two months later the Connecticut Militia did serve with distinction under General Gates and contributed to the surrender of General Burgoyne at Saratoga. • Spying and partisan activities, not limited to atrocities on both sides were well known occurrences. [12] Both the loyalists and rebels came from all walks of life, civil servants, customs officers, crown officials, clergy, merchants, tradesman and farmers.[13] They were so intertwined with each other that it was easy for each side to infiltrate each other’s groups. This constituted a bloody, vengeful conflict. • The men that made up the militia groups were mostly farmers, middle class landowners who banded together to protect their individual communities. As the objects of hostility changed over time so did the militia policy.[22] Each colony would react to the particular dangers indicative to their own environments. For example, Virginia might be organizing to withstand Indian attacks while in the southern colonies slave revolts might require the most attention. Consequently, colonial militias developed different policy, strategy and tactics depending on their own particular means of defense. By the time of the Revolution most militias had become specialized in their own kind of warfare. Therefore, the militiaman, turned soldier, could bring a special expertise to the army, which could then be exploited at the commander’s discretion. • It is true that in 1791 the most common firearms were handguns or long guns that had to be reloaded after every shot. But it is not true that repeating arms, which can fire multiple times without reloading, were unimagined in 1791. To the contrary, repeating arms long predate the 1606 founding of the first English colony in America. As of 1791, repeating arms were available but expensive. • This article explains why the price of repeating arms declined so steeply. Then it describes some of the repeating arms that were already in use when the Second Amendment was ratified, including the 22-shot rifle that was later carried on the Lewis and Clark expedition. • One of the men to credit for why repeating arms became much less expensive during the 19th century is James Madison, author of the Second Amendment. During Madison’s presidency (1809-17), Secretary of War James Monroe (who would succeed Madison as president), successfully promoted legislation to foster the development of firearms technology. In particular, the federal armories at Springfield, Mass., and Harpers Ferry, Va., were ordered to invent the means of producing firearms with interchangeable parts. • In May 1792, Joseph Gaston Chambers almost revolutionized world history when he approached the U.S. War Department with a musket that could, he claimed, fire 20 rounds in a minute.[1] Although Chambers failed to gain patronage from interested parties in the early 1790s, his weapons (repeating muskets, pistols, and seven-barreled swivel guns) were adopted by the U.S. Navy and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania during the War of 1812, and were much sought after by European powers. By the early 1820s, however, the complexity, and inherent danger of the firing mechanism led to their wholesale abandonment. Chambers’ repeating guns stood at the nexus of diplomacy and technological advancement in the Age of Revolutions. Yet, the promise of rapid-fire arms was not taken for granted, nor did those who encountered it ascribe a quasi-mythical “American” quality to the nascent technology — often the case in today’s political culture. • So, in 17991 when the Second Amendment was adopted there was no repeating weapon available to the Continental Army or any of the Militia’s. Whereas today the proliferation of Automatic Assault Weapons, Mini Guns, Shot Guns, Machine Guns one man Tank Killers and Sniper Rifles is at an all-time high throughout the American General Population. • It is time to rethink the idea of Militias as an Embracement of the current take of the Second Amendment interpretation in modern times as an individual’s right to carry and use arms for self-defense, the Second Amendment was envisioned by the framers of the Constitution, according to College of William and Mary law professor and future U.S. District Court judge St. George Tucker in 1803 in his great work Blackstone’s Commentaries: With Notes of Reference to the Constitution and Laws of the Federal Government of the United States and of the Commonwealth of Virginia, as the “true palladium of liberty.” In addition to checking federal power, the Second Amendment also provided state governments with what Luther Martin (1744/48–1826) described as the “last coup de grace” that would enable the states “to thwart and oppose the general government.” • The right to “keep and bear Arms” was thus included as a means to accomplish the objective of a “well-regulated Militia”—to provide for the defense of the nation, to provide a well-trained and disciplined force to check federal tyranny, and to bring constitutional balance by distributing the power of the sword equally among the people, the states, and the federal government. The only case of Federal tyranny in the history of the United States of America came from one person “President Trump”.

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