Our Second Amendment has returned to the forefront of the American conscience. It’s a plain enough statement:
"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."
A regulated militia? Why is that in there? Why would any government give citizens a right to appoint and run a local, self-appointed military?
Let’s remember, firearms were common in every American household and the youngest members of the family knew where the rifle was kept. In the case of a local attack, everyone knew where the gun was, how to load it and how to use it. Rifles, especially, were a primary tool used to hunt and supply meat to the family. In many a city, if a gentleman got into an altercation, offending either a friend or a rival, he might find himself in a civil manner, on the street, ready to set the record straight with finality.
The Second Amendment gave local communities the right to organize citizen militias for their own defense. In those days, even Pittsfield was considered part of the frontier. Secondly, and this is essential, local militias were set up to defend those communities against this new federal government, should our grand, national experiment fail miserably. There were people in those times, remember, who preferred that George Washington take his office as king rather than president, an offer he declined out
Fast forward to today. We get our meats at Costco. We hunt for pleasure. And we go to war at our will, accompanied by tremendous might.
I propose, therefore, that we give the Second Amendment its full import and allow our local militias to organize, ready to resist our country’s great might as it moves upon us to take our guns.
Picture, if you will, the 7th Massachusetts Berkshire Local Militia practicing maneuvers with machine guns, mortars, grenades, antitank weapons, missile launchers, troop transports and the like, their treads scarring the ground on October Mountain as they train on a bright fall Sunday -- fully assured that their greatest fears will be allayed.