"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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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Mike, Norwalk      
 -- Anonymous      
"A well regulated Militia" is not a bunch of individuals running around with glocks and rocket launchers (e.g. note the state of Iraq). Nothing in this amendment justifies a lack of regulation on gun ownership.
 -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
    Reston, why don't you enlighten us on what the Founders meant by "well regulated Militia". The "right of the people ... SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED" seems like a pretty clear justification for a lack of regulation to me.
     -- Mike, Mount Holly, NC     
    Reston...could you also enlighten us as to why we should trust you, of all people, who has such contempt for the masses and us poor unenlightened folks...? Just what do you propose as a substitute for being able defend yourself. And incidentially, there is a lot of difference between a glock and a rocket launcher--how silly of you to try to make the same argument for both. Why not give a real discussion rather than contempt and platitudes?
     -- Michael , Houston,TX     
    I certainly don't trust people like Reston to lead.
     -- Bob, Eugene, OR     
    I have an AK-47 and a CZ 85 9mm pistol. I hope never too have to use them on a person. And I hope that no person makes it a necessity for me to use them. In God's Kingdom, they will not be needed, but here on Earth, at this time, a disarmed populace is a clear invitation to tyranny. We are armed, and still the boys in charge tend toward tyranny. What would they do if we had no arms?
     -- David L Rosenthal     
    Reston, we need more people like you then perhaps sanity may return to these batted shores and yes, PEACE - well done. The human race has been the most damaging force to own home called Earth and its exactly this mentality that will bring about the demise of the human race.
     -- Robert, Sarasota     
    Robert and Reston: Most people who own weapons do not use them illegally. Most people who own arms illegally use them inappropriately. We have a right to own arms and to use them appropriately, which is how 99.99 % of us use them. Criminals commit crimes with and without arms. The issue is not whether we have the right to own arms; the issue is that people become criminals when they hurt others, which applies to a small minority of abusers. Accidents with fierarms kill very few people. This is a fact that none of your empty, false rhetoric can refute. In our society, so many people are hurt and abused by others who do not own arms, while the actual percentage of those hurt by arms equals far less than 1% of all those who are hurt by criminals. Try using the truth to support your arguments, rather than emotional appeals that lack rationality and validity.
     -- David L Rosenthal     
    It's the "shall not be INFRINGED" part that justifies the LACK of regulations on arms. Requiring a purchase permit, registration, no large calibers, no magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, only one firearm per month, etc. are all infringements on owning arms. What part of “shall not be infringed” do YOU not understand? Even without the 2nd Amendment, the right of the people to own and carry arms is covered by the 9th and 10th Amendments. And how do you plan to get criminals to cooperate with being peaceful?
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
    Indeed we live on Earth and not Heaven. An armed populace serves as a check against the designs of powerful men. The demise of the human race will not be the tools and technology used to make them more powerful but through the misuse of that power. We should remember that government is not capable of nor empowered to direct the use of our personal power. The job of humankind is the same as it ever was -- the Golden Rule is still golden, and there is no enforcement of it other than the individuals that follow it for goodness sake, not out of compulsion from the neighbors or the State. The distribution of power is and always has the been the goal of Republican forms of government -- to disarm the people and to exchange the use of real money for debt-ridden paper are two of the most powerful ways to centralize power into the hands of the few and harness the labors of the people forever. Get with the program, folks, we are being duped by well-meaning people who do not see the big picture while those behind the scenes holding all the power know EXACTLY what they are doing.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Well regulated in the vernacular of 18th century colonial America meant well behaved, not well controlled by government.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
     -- Anonymous     
    First of all, at the time it was written, the term militia simply meant all men of an age to bear arms. The organized militia meant that all men of an age to bear arms should have arms and be prepared to be a part of an organized militia. If you simply study the background of those who wrote about the 2nd Amendment during the discussions before the state legislatures during the ratificiation of the Constitution, you would clearly see it was meant to be an individual right and to protect us from government tyrany. For example: 'To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike especially when young, how to use them." RICHARD HENRY LEE, 1788, INITIATOR OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, AND MEMBER OF THE FIRST SENATE, WHICH PASSED THE BILL OF RIGHTS Patrick Henry The great object is that every man be armed■ and ■everyone who is able may have a gun.■ Patrick Henry, in the Virginia Convention on the ratification of the Constitution.) Samuel Adams That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of The United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms ■■ GEORGE MASON I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials. What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty. ■ Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins.■ ■to disarm the people-that was the best and most effective way to enslave them.
     -- Don Williams, Mililani, HI     
    Reston, I think maybe the place for you is North Korea. Have a nice life.
     -- Chuck, NC     
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