The Second Amendment and the Militia



“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.” – Second Amendment to the United States Constitution


When it was written in the late 18th Century the Second Amendment was contemporaneous, clear, and concise; easy to understand by all who read it. It was very short, because it was meant to be all-encompassing in its application.

But language usage evolves with time, and in the intervening two+ centuries the language of that amendment has become archaic, making it vulnerable to misinterpretation. Unfortunately, every time gun control becomes a hot political issue, such as now in light of the recent Parkland school tragedy, we see the hoplophobes (anti-gun faction) attempt to exploit that vulnerability by trying – either through ignorance or cynical manipulation – to advance the claim that the gun rights protected by the Second Amendment only apply to uniformed militia organizations such as the National Guard.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The United States Code is the body of the permanent general federal statutes of the country. According to “10 U.S. Code § 246 – Militia: composition and classes” the militia is defined as:

“(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in Section 313 of Title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

(b) The classes of the militia are—

(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and

(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.”

In other words, all law-abiding citizens, and those who have applied for citizenship, are members of either the organized (uniformed, such as the National Guard) or unorganized militia if they’re of military age.

Further, the right isn’t limited just to those of military age. The reference to the “militia” is simply recognition of the fact that a militia might at times be necessary and it would be drawn from the at-large citizenry. That is why the amendment protects “the right of the people”, and not just “the right of militia members”. The right isn’t restricted to only those in one of the militias.

For those extremist hoplophobes who make the absurd claim that the word “militia” refers to the active-duty military: why would the Founders need the Second Amendment at all when the Constitution itself, in Section 8, gives the federal government the power to “raise and support Armies” and “maintain a Navy”. In fact, that same section also states that the government may “provide for calling forth the Militia”, clearly distinguishing the Militia as being a separate entity from the regular armed forces.

I believe that if the exact same amendment were to be written today in modern language, it would go something like this:

“Recognizing that the protection of a free State may require the activation of a civilian militia in addition to the standing military, and that the militia is composed of the citizenry at large, the right of those citizens to keep and carry arms in order to be proficient with their use shall not be infringed.”

The words “free State” are also crucial to understand. The Founders were engaged in a revolution against what was the legitimate government of which they were citizens. As described in the Declaration of Independence, their grievances justified that revolt, and they were very aware that any government has the potential to become tyrannical.

That potential included the government they were forming. They wanted to make sure that the citizenry had the ability to remove that government should it become another tyranny, no longer a “free state”, and the way to do that was to ensure that the citizenry had the means to do so: arms. Guns. The same guns as the rest of the military, which they are expected to provide at their own expense.

Many people today scoff at the idea of average Americans rising up and overthrowing the government, saying that the idea of civilians standing up against American military might is ridiculous. I guess the Taliban haven’t yet gotten that memo.

The ragtag Minutemen started such a revolution against the single most powerful military on the planet… and won.

And what was it that caused that “Shot Heard ‘Round the World”? The Redcoats were marching on Lexington and Concord to confiscate the colonists’ guns.

That’s right. The precipitating event of the American Revolution was an attempt at gun control.

So, as we can see, the real purpose of the Second Amendment is to protect the right of law-abiding civilians to possess and use the same personal weapons as the rest of the military in order to assure a defense against enemies both foreign and domestic.



©Brian Baker 2018


(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal)


Let’s Hear It For Censorship

I know I’m doing something right when I’ve got leftists setting their hair on fire.

A little over a week ago my local newspaper, The Signal, published a column written by me entitled “Some ideas to address school shootings” in which I took local pol Katie Hill to task for immediately trying to politicize the recent school shooting tragedy in a blatant bid for votes: “I’m running for Congress to put an end to these senseless tragedies.”

Anyone following the development of the story knows that since Hill’s and my columns have run more revelations have come to light, including the fact that there was a cop on scene who did precisely nothing while the shooter was gunning down helpless kids and teachers. He was soon backed up by other sheriff’s deputies who joined him in doing nothing. In fact, the shooter apparently left the school grounds and headed out to a fast-food joint before cops even entered the building.

All of which supported my premise that, at least in this case, the only hope those victims could have had would have been if one of their fellow victims had been armed and able to return fire, robbing the killer of complete control of the battle space, and seizing back the initiative.

The response to my column from local leftists was prompt and energetic, both online and in the published letters. Patrick Comey (“Stop the name calling”) and Roselva Ungar (“Consider censorship”) both took offense at my characterization of the “ethically and morally bankrupt Dem/socialist party”, which makes me wonder where their sanctimonious outrage was when local writers such as Gary Horton and Charles Vignola were characterizing the Republicans as “jihadists” and “blackmailers” when those writers didn’t like certain GOP policy proposals.

Got hypocrisy? The rules are for thee, but not for me?

Further, in her letter Ungar asks The Signal “to consider censoring, or at least limiting, any writer whose language does not adhere to a respectful use of language.” I guess that must only apply to writers with whom Ungar doesn’t agree. Otherwise, everything’s just hunky-dory.

Censorship: the go-to device for wannabe tyrants. If there’s any question as to why I characterize the left as “ethically and morally bankrupt”, here’s yet another illustration for you.


©Brian Baker 2018

(Published in the print edition [only] of The Signal on 2 March)



School Shootings? Try This

On February 17 The Signal published a column by Katie Hill, a local Dem/socialist political hopeful, entitled “A call for action”. In it she wrote the following:

“The vast majority of Americans agree that measures like universal background checks, waiting periods, and disqualifying terrorists, domestic abusers and those in mental health crisis from buying weapons are all simple solutions we can take action on — TODAY — that would save lives from being lost tomorrow.”

Yes, well, all of those things are already in place, so what is she really advocating?

Or is this just one more example of a member of the ethically and morally bankrupt Dem/socialist party cynically mining a tragedy for cheap political points?

Nikolas Cruz, the Parkland shooter, bought his guns legally, meaning he was subjected to all the background checks required by law, both by Florida ( and by the feds. He passed.

Real life isn’t the movie “Minority Report” wherein the cops can predict who’s going to commit a crime and then swoop in and arrest them ahead of time, before they commit the crime. Further, until someone actually does something that disqualifies them from gun ownership — and there’s a long list of such actions — they can’t be prevented from owning a gun just on the mere speculation that they might do something.

Ms. Hill wants to “take action”? Well how about taking action on some things that might actually help address the problem? The first step is to stop making schools “gun-free zones”. You might as well put up a sign that says “target-rich environment”. You’re actually advertising the fact that a school is what’s known as a “soft target”, meaning it’s defenseless.

Then consider hiring people capable of putting up an on-scene immediate response to a shooter, and let them be armed with concealed weapons. No matter how fast the local cops can react, it still takes them time to get there. When seconds count, they’re only minutes away. Consider hiring retired people with military experience. They work cheap — like the crossing guards at intersections — and they know how to respond to the sound of the guns.

Further, once potential bad guys know that they won’t be hitting a soft target anymore, I suspect this problem will pretty much evaporate. If nothing else, when one of these nut jobs is busy trying to defend himself from someone shooting back at him, he’s not using his time to shoot innocent kids.

Those are some suggestions for how we can “take action” and actually make an impact, rather than just trying to score political points based on emotion and hysteria. How about it, Ms. Hill?



©Brian Baker 2018


(Published 20 Feb 2018 on my blog and in my local newspaper, The Signal)

Sometimes Crazy Is Just Crazy

In the wake of the recent horrific Las Vegas massacre the leftist anti-gun coven has kicked their hair-on-fire hysteria into overdrive. In the immortal words of former Obama chief-of-staff and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, “Never let a good crisis go to waste”.

Contrary to their hysterical assertions, gun violence and deaths are in fact at historical lows. For the last 30 years violent crime rates, including murder, have been decreasing at a rate in direct correlation to the easing of restrictive gun laws, particularly for concealed carry, in those jurisdictions that have enacted such policies. In contrast, where gun laws are the most restrictive, those jurisdictions suffer disproportionate violent crime rates, including murder. Chicago, DC, and many other urban areas illustrate that fact.

The actions of this madman are no different from those who have driven their cars into crowds and committed mass murder, including recently in Las Vegas, but I don’t see anyone talking about banning cars. Why is that? Cars are at least as “dangerous” as guns, with a higher death toll.

I’ll answer my own rhetorical question: it’s because we don’t discuss abridging the rights of the vast mass of law-abiding citizens because of the actions of some lone nut job…. EXCEPT when it comes to guns.

Is there an unfortunate price to be paid for people to enjoy those rights? Yes, sadly there is. But that’s unavoidable in a free society, and the only way to avoid it is to eliminate the freedoms themselves.

That’s an unacceptable price. If we’re not willing to do it with cars, why should we do so with guns? Just because leftists don’t use or like them?

But there’s an even more important underlying issue, too. The Second Amendment isn’t about hunting. It’s there to assure that citizens have the ability to protect themselves if the government fails to do so, either by failing to respond in a crisis, or by trying to impose tyranny.

We saw this illustrated most vividly during the Los Angeles Rodney King riots in 1992, when the Korean shop owners protected their businesses, and themselves, with their own weapons – including semi-automatic “assault rifles” – when the cops and National Guard refused to enter the area for several days. The Koreans were on their own, and if you’re stuck in what is essentially a war zone, you want to be able to bring the most firepower to bear that you can if you have to.

But the Founders’ ultimate purpose in the Second Amendment was to make sure that the citizens had the ability to prevent their own government from trying to impose tyranny, and the only way to do that was to make sure that said government couldn’t outgun them. Never forget that they’d just fought a successful revolt against their own previous legitimate government, and they weren’t foolish enough to think it couldn’t happen again, right here at home.

In order to realize that potential, it’s important that the citizens have the same firepower as the average grunt they could be facing across the firing line. And that’s not some scoped bolt-action hunting rifle.

The “militia” to which the Second Amendment refers is not the active duty military, what our Founders called the “standing army”, of which they were very leery. In fact, as defined under 10 U.S. Code Section 311 (Link) the “militia” is composed of the National Guard (as anti-gunners dutifully note) as well as the “unorganized militia” which is composed of all law-abiding people of military age “who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States” (which the anti-gunners always manage to conveniently forget). That’s all of us, folks: you, me, and Joe Sixpack.

The AR-15s used by the Vegas madman, contrary to the hoplophobes’ characterizations, aren’t “weapons of mass destruction” or any of the other hyperbolic descriptions. In fact, they’re no different from any other semi-automatic firearm, in that they only fire one round per trigger pull. Further, as they’re the most commonly-owned rifle in general circulation, the Supreme Court decision in the landmark case of “D.C. v. Heller” assures their legitimacy.

Calling these guns a “full-on grade military arsenal”, as Gary Horton did earlier this week in his rant column against guns, is like calling Johnny Depp a real pirate. It makes no sense at all. In fact, if you ever found yourself on an actual battlefield and all you had was an AR-15, your life expectancy could be measured in minutes.

In Vegas, the killer used a “bump stock”, an after-market device that attaches to the rifle, to increase the rate of fire of his guns. Frankly, I’d never heard of this device before, and I’m pretty knowledgeable about guns. Whether or not this is an illegal modification of the guns is, I believe, a legitimate topic for discussion. But other than that, the jihad against AR-15s is a cynical exploitation of this tragic event to piecemeal advance the anti-gunners’ ultimate objective of trying to completely outlaw gun ownership in this country.

To that end, I want to acknowledge and thank Representative Steve Knight for his courage and conviction in standing firm for the rights of gun ownership. It’s thanks to people like him that we have any rights left at all.

The reality is that there isn’t any law at all that would have prevented that maniac from committing his insane act. None. We don’t know why he did it. We probably never will. I don’t think it matters. Sometimes crazy is just crazy.

He wanted to kill a bunch of people. He rented a hotel room and used guns. He could have rented a van and mowed them down. Timothy McVeigh rented a van and used fertilizer. The 9/11 jihadis bought airline tickets and hijacked jet aircraft.

Sometimes crazy is just crazy.




©Brian Baker 2017

(This column was published today in the print edition of my local newspaper, The Signal, as part of a pro/con debate on the issue of gun control in light of the Las Vegas massacre)

Like Clockwork


Leftists hate the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Last week it was the First Amendment; this week it’s the Second. Under attack, one after the other, like clockwork.

In the wake of the horrific events last weekend in Las Vegas, a massacre perpetrated by a madman, anti-gun leftists (are there any other kind?) wasted not a minute in raising the hue and cry to exploit the tragedy for their own political agenda.

In the Wednesday, 4 October edition of The Signal (link), Gary Horton’s column entitled “America the unexceptional” typified their hysteria.

I anticipated the now-standard emotional hyperbole from the Left every time something like this happens. It’s as predictable as the sun rising in the east. But really, Horton’s exceeds even those expectations.

Horton: “It’s time for a moment of silence and thought in America.”

An empty, hypocritical platitude. The shooting took place Sunday night. The column was published Wednesday. In order for his column to have been in that day’s edition The Signal’s editors would have had to have it in hand Monday. Which means there wasn’t any “moment of silence” from Horton. Oh, no.

Like some grisly vulture, I have no doubt that within hours at most, like the rest of his leftist ilk, he was at his keyboard scrawling his bile before the bodies had even cooled.

I noticed that his little chart of the gun death rates in various countries seemed to be real selective. Why is that, I wonder? For example, Switzerland has virtually universal gun possession, yet their rate of gun deaths is about 1/3 of that in this country. Under his inane thesis, shouldn’t their death rate be at least as high as ours? Or could it be that the underlying problem is something other than possession itself of guns?

To that point, how come I never see leftist loons bleating for car bans every time some nut commits mass murder by driving his car into a crowd?

Horton: “Freedom to amass personal military arsenals – or a simple freedom to simply gather un-assaulted in public spaces?”

As I already illustrated, it’s not an either/or issue. They’re not mutually exclusive at all. But let’s consider a practical element. Now, I know this is alien territory to Horton and those like him, what with their leftist unfamiliarity with practicality and all. But let’s give it a shot. Let’s say Horton could get some law passed banning …. something. He’s not even clear on what he actually DOES want to ban (as usual with those guys), but let’s say he could waive his magic wand and pass some kind of ban.

Then what happens?

Does he actually think every gun owner is going to waltz into the local cop shop and hand his guns over? If he does, that’s laugh-out-loud funny.

Is he going to stop murders, or even mass murders? Killers are already ignoring the law just by doing their killing. Does he think they’re going to worry about a gun control law? And what about all the people who kill – including mass killings – with other implements?

Under his loony thesis, this country should be drug-free! Yet heroin and cocaine flood the streets. Not to mention (though mention it I will) all the illegal aliens who shouldn’t be freely walking around. After all, it’s “against the law”, right?

Even more problematic is the underlying idea, as expressed by Horton in this case, that any right enjoyed by this country’s citizens is hostage to the actions of a very tiny fraction of that population that abuses the right. Well under one percent of legally-owned guns in this country are ever used in a crime, yet Horton et al would severely restrict, if not outright outlaw, private gun ownership, a fundamental right.

We’ve seen the same thing happen regarding the First Amendment right to free speech with calls for banning so-called “hate speech”. Such “hate speech” laws have actually been enacted in some “free” countries, to sometimes devastating effect.

The real threats to liberty – and yes, our security – come from the opportunistic and cynical policy proposals advanced by leftists like Horton, who swoop down on every tragic event to exploit it for political gain, and to advance their own divisive and destructive agenda.

Don’t ever let them succeed.



©Brian Baker 2017


Truth Will Out

For decades, the debate over gun control has raged through the body politic of this country. Gun rights organizations have consistently fought efforts by the gun-control/ban lobby to impose registration of gun ownership, citing a concern that lists of owners could potentially be used in the future as the basis for confiscation of privately-owned firearms.

Those fears have consistently been scoffed at by the gun-banners as being “paranoid fantasies”, despite the historical fact that such lists have been used to do just that in countries such as pre-WW2 Germany, Cuba, China, Russia, Australia, Laos, the United Kingdom, and many others.

The gun-banners response? “It can’t happen here.”

The problem is, it already has happened here, and things are positioned for it to happen again on a massive scale.

confiscationDuring the Hurricane Katrina disaster, New Orleans police went to the homes of registered gun owners and illegally (as later determined in the courts) confiscated legally owned and registered guns from their owners.

And now, we have Connecticut. A few months ago, the state enacted a Draconian semi-auto gun ban and limits on ammunition magazine capacity. Residents were given a limited time frame to register those guns and magazines they currently owned. No new guns or magazines would be allowed to be owned in the state. Per the law, anyone who owns any such unregistered device after the deadline is guilty of a felony.

The problem for the state is that the deadline has passed, and as of now, only about 50,000 people have complied with the law, with the number of people failing – or refusing – to comply being estimated at being as high as 300,000.

Apparently, most of the gun owners in Connecticut are tired of silly laws that don’t do anything to actually reduce crime (as they won’t, because crime is a function of behavior, not tools).

So now the state has sent out threatening letters to those gun owners – begging the question of why, if the state already knows who they are, the registration is even necessary – informing them that if they don’t dispose of the guns out of state they’ll be subject to criminal prosecution.

First of all, the state is going to flood its courts with hundreds of thousands of criminal cases based on this law? And let’s not forget that conviction requires a unanimous jury verdict, while exoneration requires only one “Not Guilty” vote. So, lots of luck on getting convictions.

Further, this idiotic law has achieved only one thing: turning formerly law-abiding citizens into unindicted felons. On top of all of that, they’re being deprived of their private property without “just compensation” as required by the Fifth Amendment (a sure-fire cause for appeal of any criminal convictions).

But most importantly, it clearly puts the lie to the gun-banners’ historic claim that their ultimate goal is anything Lies 2short of the elimination of private gun ownership, and illustrates their willingness to use confiscation as their means, in spite of their repeated denials.

Remember: the state already knew who these people were through records of gun purchases. This registration scheme did nothing other than to provide them an excuse to initiate confiscation actions and criminal prosecutions.

And the gun haters wonder why we gun owners don’t believe a single thing they say…

©Brian Baker 2014

Gun Control Killed; Obama’s Head Explodes

Well, the Senate effort to curtail Second Amendment rights failed today in the Senate, and in his typical th[7]fashion, the empty suit currently occupying the Oval Office placed the majority of the “blame” (“credit”, in my opinion) on the Republicans.

As most readers of my scribbling know, I’m no big fan of the GOP. But they’re not the issue here; the Blamer-in-Chief’s post-defeat presser statement is.

Hey, Obummer, YOUR OWN PARTY CONTROLS THE SENATE, you doofus, and that’s where it failed. You didn’t need a single GOP vote, as we saw with your jamdown of Obamacare, if YOUR OWN PARTY had supported this nonsense.

What a flaming cretin.

© Brian Baker 2013

Loony Aunt Diane Joins Crazy Uncle Joe

Just when you thought the socialist gun haters couldn’t get any crazier…

In my last two essays we explored Crazy Uncle Joe Biden’s loony advice on self defense: firing your double-barreled shotgun blindly in the air or through your front door.

Well, it turns out his grip on reality is pretty firm compared to Loony Aunt Diane Feinstein. In a meeting last Thursday of the Senate Judiciary Committee, she made the following profoundly amazing claim:

“We have federal regulations and state laws that prohibit hunting ducks with more than three rounds, and yet it’s legal to hunt humans with 15-round, 30-round, even 150-round magazines.”

th[6]It is??????

Is there a bag limit? Or can you just get as many as you like on any given day?

And here I was dumb enough to think it wasn’t ever legal to hunt humans, regardless of what kind of weaponry one was using. Silly me…

When it comes to guns, the loons on the Left seem to come completely unglued.

See Her Craziness in action here.

© Brian Baker 2013

Crazy Uncle Joe, Part Deux

Well, last week we discussed how Crazy Uncle Joe suggests that when you feel you may be in danger, you should take your loaded biden2double-barrel shotgun with you out to your balcony, and fire both barrels into the air, thereby rendering yourself exposed, vulnerable, out of ammo and defenseless.

Plus, of course, that load of shot blasted into the sky has to come down somewhere. An umbrella sure won’t be much help. Oh, well… who says it has to make any sense when you’re trying to disarm the public, right?

Anyway, proving that Crazy Uncle Joe can only be outdone by himself, he unveiled another startling self-defense strategy in an interview conducted by Field and Stream magazine (here).

V.P. BIDEN: “I did one of these town-hall meetings on the Internet and one guy said, ‘Well, what happens when the end days come? What happens when there’s the earthquake? I live in California, and I have to protect myself.’

“I said, ‘Well, you know, my shotgun will do better for you than your AR-15, because you want to keep someone away from your house, just fire the shotgun through the door.’”


I guess the pizza guy damned well better not hit Crazy Joe’s address by mistake…

Knock knock. BLAM! BLAM!

biden3Where does he come up with this stuff? I have to wonder if he’s been drinking window cleaner or something.

If nothing else, he’s certainly convinced me that at the least we need to tighten up the reporting requirements of mental instability for gun ownership restrictions, if someone with these kinds of nutty ideas can legally own guns.

Goooood grief….

© Brian Baker 2013

Crazy Uncle Joe

biden foot

On 19 February, our nation’s favorite Crazy Uncle Joe participated in an online Facebook “townhall” hosted by Parent’s Magazine.

Of course, he pontificated on how an AR-15 isn’t very useful for self-defense purposes, recommending one use a double-barreled shotgun instead. Have a look at the short clip below; the fun starts at the 0.55 mark.

Huh?… What?…

Instant replay, please…

“I said, ‘Jill, if there’s ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony here, walk out and put that double-barrel shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house.’”

So, let me see if I have this right. You load your double-barrel shotgun, walk outside the house in which you were safest, and fire both barrels into the air… leaving you exposed, defenseless, and out of ammo.

Sounds like a helluva plan to me.

I wonder if this is what he recommends to his Secret Service guardians. And if he does, how they manage to contain their gales of responding laughter…

© Brian Baker 2013