Another writer falls for the misguided and thoroughly discredited theory that “a well-regulated militia” somehow restricts the right to keep and bear arms (“‘Well regulated’ are words in the Second Amendment” — Roundup, Jan. 22).
If this is so, one might ask, why did George Mason raise this very issue? “I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.” — George Mason, 3 Elliott, Debates at 425-426.
Why did the principal author of our Constitution say, “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country ...” — James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434, 8 June 1789.
Why did Tench Coxe say, “Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American ... The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state government, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people”? — Tench Coxe, Pennsylvania Gazette, 20 February 1788.
Why did Patrick Henry say, “The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able may have a gun”? — Patrick Henry, in the Virginia Convention on the ratification of the Constitution.
I could go on for six pages. Our right to keep and bear arms does not depend on the Second Amendment, for no power is delegated to the federal government by the Consent of the Governed, which is the Constitution of the United States, to interfere with the pre-existing right in any way.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, people who claim the U.S. Constitution is a “living document” are people who, through ignorance or evil intent, want to see it dead and buried.
Donald L. Cline