"No free government was ever founded or ever preserved its liberty, without uniting the characters of the citizen and soldier in those destined for the defense of the state.... Such are a well regulated militia, composed of the  freeholders, citizen and husbandman, who take up arms to preserve their property, as individuals, and their rights as freemen."
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Reader comments about this quote:
'Regulation' is the weaponry held by the private sovereign to be brought to a specific miliary endevor when called upon to preserve...; A freeholder, or one who holds title to property in allodial freehold, is one who can not have his property taken away by any one or thing for any reason, etc. Ahhh, the words of liberty, gone from the American vernacular.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
    "...who take up arms to preserve their property..." May God have mercy on criminals.
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
    "...who take up arms to preserve their property..." May God have mercy on government bureaucrats.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
    "... well regulated ..." as in controlled by rules and laws... "... uniting the characters of the citizen and soldier ..." as in serving in the organized organization... nothing here says that cowboys should wander around with six shooters on their hips (or hidden in their boots) shooting without cause and expecting to get away with it... so, while I agree with the quote, I do not agree with the modern misinterpretation, and thus give it the thumbs down.
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
    AfR, I don't know if you are so ignorant of the language, history, and government that you make such preposterous and stupid statements or being part of the leftist destruction goons that you just lie to satisfy whatever depraved ethos your trying to promote this week?
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    I am the first to admit that the 2nd Amendment could have been written more clearly. But reading the debates in the Federalist Papers reveals the intent and the rights that were to be protected. State milias were self-regulated, not to be regualted by Washington -- ever. A rag tag group of state militias fought for American Independence and won -- and that is all we need.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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