I can remember arguing the position just 10 – 12 years ago with conservative friends of mine that the 2nd amendment protected the rights of citizens to keep arms within a regulated militia. That the amendment did not create an unlimited right to own any weapon in any quantity for any reason.
Interestingly it was a liberal friend that convinced me that states and cities that had much more lenient gun laws had lower crime rates. That data, combined with a better understanding of individual liberty, has shifted my position to the right; how far is still unclear.
With that said, I have a question for the gun control advocates:
Would you trade the right of individual citizens to keep weapons in exchange for the creation of local militia outside the jurisdiction of the federal government?
That is, if the city of Raleigh decided that it needed stores of weapons, ammunition and other instrument of war, it could assemble such armament and recruit or conscript soldiers, train them and command them? Further, this militia would e subject to no law other than state law and would not be subordinate to the President?
I strongly resonate with the argument that citizens do not need weapons of war. And I don’t think that it’s healthy to stockpile weapons either. However, I’m neither convinced that a rifle, with a magazine of arbitrary size, requiring a trigger pull for each shot, is necessarily a weapon of war or less lethal than a handgun, or 4. However, I DO acknowledge that the founders clearly were concerned of a tyrannical government and the people’s right to defend themselves against that government.
I would love to be able to sit and have a beer with Jefferson, who argued that a standing army was among the greatest threats to the liberty of citizens. Would he still feel that way in light of today’s Geo-poltical conditions?
Anyway. When gun control advocates use the militia defense in their argument for more and more control, what does that mean?