Letter: 'Militia' clause is key to amendment

The Second Amendment to the Constitution states: "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."

I think the current Supreme Court and many people have it wrong. They do not understand that during the Revolutionary period conditions were very different. The key is "the well regulated Militia.". The colonies were under the control of Britain so they would have some members of their army in America, some fighting the French before the Revolution, but not very many. The colonists, 80% farmers, had single shot guns and rifles of that time. They lived scattered in rural areas where there was no army. To protect from Native Americans, criminals and wild animals going after their animals, most joined a local or county militia and were armed.

Today we have an army, navy, air force and Coast Guard to protect from invaders. We are not at war with the Native Americans and we don't need machine guns to shoot at wolves or bears. Our "well-regulated Militia" is replaced by local police forces, county sheriff's police, state police and national guard troops. Any local "militia"made up of local volunteers would be illegal so individual persons don't need military style weapons. Sport guns for target practice and hunting, yes, but not machine guns.

Joan Longmire


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