The Legality Of The Right To Bear Arms

To the Editor:

What is it which makes some people and judges believe that the Second Amendment in our Constitution gives everybody the right to bear arms? What does it really mean when it ties the right to bear arms to the need of a militia? There is no militia and there is no more need for a militia than for an armed mob, whether patriots or otherwise. Let us look if there is really a similar armed group existing today, the need for one, and whether a militia is really only an anachronism, a relic from a time long past.

Critics may say that we have a need for a militia and that it has taken the form of the National Guard. This is the proverbial comparison with apples and oranges.

The militia were formed mainly as the result of Indian battles and the War of Independence. The militia were mostly civilian patriots who had their own weapons in their homes, whatever was available. Many had no uniforms. Officers were elected not appointed. Age requirements did not exist. So is the National Guard a modern militia? Can an apple be turned into an orange?

First of all, the National Guard weapons are carefully controlled in armories and not issued until training or emergency requires it.

Elected officers? You must be kidding. There is a trained cadre, both commissioned and noncommissioned. Uniforms are standard and issued, not homespun, and so are the weapons.

The question here is whether the National Guard and the former militia are legally the same.

As we have seen, they distinguish themselves by several differences, the most important of which is that the National Guard members are only allowed to carry service weapons not at their own discretion, but only when called upon. In this sense, there is no legal right to bear arms even for our National Guard members until the governor, their officers for training schedule, or the US government decide that they should be issued their weapons. As such their right to bear their service arms is limited and not absolute as the Second Amendment grants to the militia, an important legal distinction.

I feel it is mandatory that a legal challenge be made on this basis not to the constitutionality of the Second Amendment, but that it in fact does not apply in any question as to the right of every citizen to bear arms since such right is tied to the need of a militia. There has not been any equivalent of a militia for over a hundred years and there never will be. The National Guard is not a militia. The Second Amendment as it stands is simply an anachronism and must be rewritten to be a standard for legality of weapons. It is not the only anachronistic example in our Federal Constitution. If you do not believe me, read your copy for yourself, in particular the right to a jury trial. I’ll gladly make my copy available to you if you have none.

Challenge the legal applicability of the Second Amendment to today’s world, my friends, or the next victim may be you or your loved ones.

Oscar Berendsohn

34 Appleblossom Lane, Newtown  April 21, 2013

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