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Reason Behind the 2nd amendment

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9/4/2012 12:10:07 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Reason Behind the right to bear Arms

In 1775 about 700 British regulars were ordered to seize the arms of the Massachusetts militia. This order led to the battle of Concord and Lexington, which were the first battles of the revolutionary war.

What was the militia?
In the American colonies, every adult male citizen was a member of the local militia. Some people were excused from service in the militia (such as minsters of the church of England, professors, university students, and miners). The purpose of the militia in British colonies, was the defense of the local community. Militia men could either volunteer for service, or be conscripted, but every man was required to be part of the militia.

When the colonies separated from British Empire, the militia stayed generally the same. People could either volunteer, or be conscripted. Every man was part of the militia whether they served or not, and therefore every man was trained for service.

right to bear arms under the continental congress

The 1776 Pennsylvanian constitution said, "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the state; and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; And that the military should be kept under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power... The freemen of this commonwealth and their sons shall be trained and armed for its defence under such regulations, restrictions, and exceptions as the general assembly shall by law direct, preserving always to the people the right of choosing their colonels and all commissioned officers under that rank, in such manner and as often as by the said laws shall be directed. "

The 1776 Virginia constitution says, "That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defence of a free State; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided, as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power. "

The 1784 New Hampshire constitution reads, "No person who is conscientiously scrupulous about the lawfulness of bearing arms, shall be compelled thereto, provided he will pay an equivalent... A well regulated militia is the proper, natural, and sure defence of a state... Standing armies are dangerous to liberty, and ought not to be raised or kept up without the consent of the legislature... "

Colonial definition of regulated

1) To control or direct by a rule, principle, method, etc.

2) To adjust to some standard or requirement as for amount, degree, etc.

3) To adjust so as to ensure accuracy of operation.

4) To put in good order.

5) Of troops: Properly disciplined. Obs. rare-1.

The use of the term "well regulated" can be demonstrated by the way it was used at the time.
Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist Papers No. 29,
"The project of disciplining all the militia of the United States is as futile as it would be injurious if it were capable of being carried into execution. A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, nor a week nor even a month, that will suffice for the attainment of it. To oblige the great body of the yeomanry and of the other classes of the citizens to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people and a serious public inconvenience and loss. "

Uniform Militia Act (1792)

the Uniform Militia Act was actually 2 acts passed in 1792.

the first act granted the President permission to call up the State militia "whenever the United States shall be invaded, or be in imminent danger of invasion from any foreign nation or Indian tribe," and in cases of riots or uprisings.

The second act required every "free able-bodied white male citizen" between the ages of 18 and 45, be trained for service twice a year in order to serve in the militia. It also required that they provide their own equipment, and gave the state legislature control over organizing the militia. If the President wanted to call up the militia, he would give the states a number and they would send him the men he needed.

Militia Act of 1862

The Militia act of 1862 allowed for blacks to serve in the militia.

Dick Act (1903)

The Dick Act turned the militia into a type of standing army, called the national guard. The militia were no longer yeoman, but rather reserve forces recruited by the states, equipped by the federal government, and answerable to both the state and federal government.
During the civil war, state governors used the local militia as a state army, and the Dick act made the national guard part of the army reserves in order to prevent governors from repeating those events.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
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9/4/2012 12:56:58 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
all of this is just about 100% accurate. Since then 1900's though with the increased federalization of the US government the 2nd amendment has evolved to primarily mean that everybody has the right to self defense.... (In my opinion)

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9/5/2012 9:30:22 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Funny. Title is Second amendment, presumably to the US constitution, yet the text is all post hoc nonsense. Reason that the Second Amendment was ratified was because the representatives wanted to ensure that the citizens would have the same weapons as the Government. (see colonial revolt)

Reliance on the Government, in any way, (including Statues) is a last resort for men of the enlightenment. (see US Army prior to WWI)