Monday, April 18, 2016

A right of the militia?

I was reading my sweet wife's copy of American Rifleman this weekend, and in light of the dissents from the Heller and McDonald decisions, something struck me about their, um, "reasoning".  Specifically, if the right to keep and bear arms is the right of the government to arm the militia--citizens conscripted into the army in time of war--what significance does it have?

Seriously; would anyone at any time in history have questioned the right of a sovereign government to arm those it sends to war?  You will of course get anarchists of various stripes who question the government's right to exist at all, and assorted pacifists who will deny the propriety of war, but once you've got a war on, it's pretty much understood that it's a good idea to actually provide weapons to the men whose lives are on the line.  To draw a picture, one of the chief groups in the Dutch resistance to the Nazis were Mennonites.  They wouldn't take up arms themselves, but they'd certainly be happy to make sure the men who didn't have that objection were taken care of.

So the "collective right" theory regarding the 2nd amendment is not merely a grammatical and historical absurdity, but also a basic logical absurdity.  So with this hat trick of absurdity, I've got to suggest that the behavior of the dissenters is not merely worthy of scorn, but also impeachment and disbarment.

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