Militia and the Second Amendment

To the editor:

The National Rifle Association preys on the gun owners’ fear that the government will take their guns away. It’s a sort of castration complex.

We must remember the context in which the 2nd amendment was written. The national memory was of the British Empire imposing its military will on rebellious colonists. The new Americans wanted to assure everyone that they had an armed militia in case the government stepped in to take away their rights.

There are still Americans who fear the federal government, and use Hitler’s disarming of the populace as justification to have guns.

Certainly the founding fathers had no concept of anything beyond a single shot black powder musket. There was no such thing as military assault rifles that can fire clips of 100 bullets. In light of recent massacres, some would abolish all assault rifles. Others would abolish all guns, period.

But examine the 2nd amendment: it’s about a militia. We have no militia. The governor has his own army called the National Guard which the President can activate and send to foreign wars. A militia is a local Home Guard, and in the spirit of the 2nd amendment, that’s what I propose,

Establish local militias which conscript every adult citizen and arm each with an assault rifle, but keep the militia’s weapons in the local armory. Every American should be armed, but for the Home Guard only and the weapons kept in a secure place, not in a private residence. This would satisfy the spirit of the 2nd amendment.


Portland, Ore.