The history of the Individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms

With all the debate going on about guns and gun control in America, here’s a little history. The Second Amendment reads: “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.”

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Those favoring gun control stress the “militia” part, saying the “right of the people” part is subordinate to it. But the late Charlie Reese, for 30 years a journalist with the Orlando Sentinel, once parsed the 18th-century language.

He wrote: “Notice that it does not state that the right of the states to have militias shall not be infringed. This amendment consists of a nominative absolute and a subject and verb.

“The nominative absolute is the phrase ‘A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State.’ The subject of the sentence is ‘right.’ The verb is ‘shall be infringed’ modified by the adverb, ‘not.’ Thus the main sentence states plainly that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringe. … A modern way of writing might state, ‘Because a well-trained militia is essential to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’”

Next, in 2000 historian Michael A. Bellesiles published “Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture.” Its narrative that American gun culture was not there from the beginning, but began only around the 1850s, earned him the prestigious Bancroft Prize in 2001. Then the prize was rescinded when his fellow historians showed he had faked his research. The fact is America from the beginning was a gun culture.

Sometimes gun-control advocates point out how much stricter gun-control laws after mass shootings have been enacted by the United Kingdom and its former colonies of Canada, Australia and New Zealand. But America is different. We gained our independence from the British Empire through a violent revolution. We also fought a Civil War that killed 850,000 people to keep the country together and free the slaves. That was about 3% of the population, the equivalent to 9 million today.

Many gun control laws in American history have been harmful to Black Americans, including the slaves before the war, and the newly emancipated freedmen and freedwomen after. In a 2011 article in the Atlantic, UCLA constitutional scholar Adam Winkler wrote, “Indisputably, for much of American history, gun control measures, like many other laws, were used to oppress African Americans …

“Civil-rights activists, even those committed to nonviolent resistance, had long appreciated the value of guns for self-protection. Martin Luther King Jr. applied for a permit to carry a concealed firearm in 1956, after his house was bombed. His application was denied, but from then on, armed supporters guarded his home.”

In District of Columbia v. Heller from 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, “The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”

By the way, who is in the militia? 10 U.S. Code § 246 (a) reads: “The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and … 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.”

Click here to read the full article in the OC Register


  1. Demoshits are using HITLERS playbook…first control the media and only what “we” have to say is said or published. second control the elections so only our people are elected, third,,,take away guns so only the people we want to have them, have them….PIG PELOSI IS USING HITLERS PLAYBOOK…..NOT GOING TO HAPPEN YOU LITTLE PIGLET, NOT GOING TO HAPPEN…..

  2. Unfortunatly, there are a lot of “lawyers” in both the House and the Senate, of which THEY DON’T KNOW CRAP!! Even more unfortunately for “We The People”, they not only can’t tell us the definition of a woman, but they haven’t even read the U.S. Constitution, of which they took an oath….I don’t know why. The ones that promote ANY “infringement” to our Constitution should be lablelled Seditionist and a treasonous traitor to the the United States……….THEN IMMEDIATLY HUNG!!!!!!! This includes SCOTUS making up their own laws that aren’t even in the Constitution (Roe v. Wade comes to mind)

  3. Really??? says

    The answer is: If the bad guys can get and make firearms without any government oversight what makes the Left think they can stop this.

    e.g. Criminal gangs and Cartels can and have been making firearms in back yard shops for over a decade. They use commercially available high grade construction stock. They have computer specs, and control cnc manufacturing that considering the pay back on investment make it very lucrative. Now throw in the new and fast maturing “commercial print” technology this issue by politicians is dictatorship in the making.

    The genie is out of the bottle. There is no putting it back. The criminals will have access to these firearms.

    Get a grip…..the 2nd Amendment was and is for law abiding citizens

  4. MARK ROSS says

    Many Constitutional scholars, who delve into the language of the Constitution, specify that government has “powers,” and the people have “rights”. Another fallacy being used to push the anti-Second Amendment agenda is the description of ordinary SEMI-automatic rifles as being intended for military use.

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