Saturday, February 04, 2006

What Do The ACLU And NRA Have In Common?

There's an interesting discussion going on right now between Jack at Jersey Perspective and DBK at Blanton and Ashton's. DBK had a long piece about attending an ACLU event and joining said organization, but ended it thusly:

Next I am going to join the NRA. I'm not kidding about that. It isn't an evil organization, just a little extreme in some of its positions. Any organization that provides education on the safe use of guns is doing a good thing.
Jack thinks he understands GDK's motivation, but then gets all confused about the 2nd Amendment and the power of Congress "to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia." He seems to think that under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, Congress could decide "that BB-Guns are sufficient arms for the men of the nation, who will make up the militia in times of war."

DBK attempts to correct that misperception in the comments, but Jack still disagrees:
My point is that I don't think it would be unreasonable for congress to prohibit the ownership of handguns for non-military personnel.

It's pretty clear to me that Jack doesn't understand exactly who makes up the militia. Fortunately, Congress has executed its responsibility in this regard, through the various Militia Acts passed over the years. I posted the following in Jersey Perspective's comments, but wanted to share it here as well.
Jack, remember the historical definition of "militia" is "The entire able-bodied population of a state, which can be called to arms against an invading enemy." The Militia Act of 1792 defined the militia as "each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years."

Obviously, the law has evolved with the times, and Title 10, section 311 of US Code states "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."

The law requires every man of age (and woman who chooses to do so) to be a member of the militia, by definition. This is not, as you put it, an 18th century notion. The law was amended to its current form in 1993.

The 2nd amendment makes it clear that for the militia to be effective, its members must be adequately armed, and therefore, no restrictions may be placed on the ability of the militia members to arm themselves.

We all have a responsibility to be prepared to defend our nation in time of war. Politicians should not monkey around with the Second Amendment, which ensures that we have access to the tools necessary to execute such a defense. Jack knows that the politicians understand this.
Not even the most left leaning congressmen from the most anti-gun districts challenge the right to bear arms.

He should follow their lead.