War on Terror

"Saved by the Militia"

My NRO Column After 9/11

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Here is what I posted on the Volokh Conspiracy on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11:

On this tenth anniversary of 9/11, I am in New York, staying at a hotel in Time Square. On the train to the City, dogs swept the train in Philly, and another K-9 team boarded in Newark to ride to Penn Station. Penn Station has a detachment of national guard with automatic weapons. Security here in Time Square is intense. All cars approaching the square are given a police look over at check points. Trucks are given especially close attention. My guess is that, if there were any bad guys heading towards these targets, they turned tail. They are fearless only when attacking unarmed and defenseless people. But the police and military who are guarding us here tonight, for which I am grateful, cannot be everywhere at all times.

With this in mind, I thought it would be appropriate to mark this day with one of my earliest op-eds on National Review Online — before I joined the Conspiracy — that I published on 9/18/2001:

Saved by the Militia: Arming an Army Against Terrorism.

By Randy E. Barnett
September 18, 2001 11:30 a.m.

A well-regulated militia being essential to the security of a free state. . . ." The next time someone tells you that the militia referred to in the Second Amendment has been "superceded" by the National Guard, ask them who it was that prevented United Airlines Flight 93 from reaching its target. The National Guard? The regular Army? The D.C. Police Department? None of these had a presence on Flight 93 because, in a free society, professional law-enforcement and military personnel cannot be everywhere. Terrorists and criminals are well aware of this — indeed, they count on it. Who is everywhere? The people the Founders referred to as the "general militia." Cell-phone calls from the plane have now revealed that it was members of the general militia, not organized law enforcement, who successfully prevented Flight 93 from reaching its intended target at the cost of their own lives.

The characterization of these heroes as members of the militia is not just the opinion of one law professor. It is clearly stated in Federal statutes. Perhaps you will not believe me unless I quote Section 311 of US Code Title 10, entitled, "Militia: composition and classes" in its entirety (with emphases added):

"(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."

This is not to score political points at a moment of great tragedy, though had the murderers on these four airplanes been armed with guns rather than knives, reminders of this fact would never end. Rather, that it was militia members who saved whatever was the terrorists' target — whether the White House or the Capitol — at the cost of their lives points in the direction of practical steps — in some cases the only practical steps — to reduce the damage cause by any future attacks.

An excellent beginning was provided by Dave Kopel and David Petteys in their NRO column "Making the Air Safe for Terror." Whether or not their specific recommendations are correct, they are too important to be ignored and they are not the only persons to reach similar conclusions about the need for effective self-defense. Refusing to discuss what measures really worked, what really failed, and what is likely to really work in future attacks — on airplanes and in other public spaces — for reasons of political correctness would be unconscionable. And we need to place this discussion in its larger constitutional context.

Asking all of us if we packed our own bags did not stop this attack. X-rays of all carry-on baggage did not stop this attack (though it may well have confined the attackers to using knives). And preventing us from using e-tickets or checking our bags at the street (for how long?) would neither have stopped this nor any future attack. All these new "security" proposals will merely inconvenience millions of citizens driving them away from air travel and seriously harming our economy and our freedom. As others have noted, it would be a victory for these murderers rather than an effective way to stop them in the future. A way around them will always be open to determined mass murderers. More importantly, none bear any relation to the attack that actually occurred on September 11th.

Ask yourself every time you hear a proposal for increased "security": Would have in any way have averted the disaster that actually happened? Will it avert a future suicide attack on the public by other new and different means? Any realistic response to what happened and is likely to happen in the future must acknowledge that, when the next moment of truth arrives in whatever form, calling 911 will not work. Training our youth to be helpless in the face of an attack, avoiding violence at all costs will not work. There will always be foreign and domestic wolves to prey on the sheep we raise. And the next attack is unlikely to take the same form as the ones we just experienced. We must adopt measures that promise some relief in circumstances we cannot now imagine.

Here is the cold hard fact of the matter that will be evaded and denied but which must never be forgotten in these discussions: Often — whether on an airplane, subway, cruise ship, or in a high school — only self defense by the "unorganized militia" will be available when domestic or foreign terrorists chose their next moment of murder. And here is the public-policy implication of this fact: It would be better if the militia were more prepared to act when it is needed.

If the general militia is now "unorganized" and neutered — if it is not well-regulated — whose fault is it? Article I of the Constitution gives Congress full power "to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia." The Second Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights in large part because many feared that Congress would neglect the militia (as it has) and, because Congress could not be forced by any constitutional provision to preserve the militia, the only practical means of ensuring its continued existed was to protect the right of individual militia members to keep and bear their own private arms. Nevertheless, it remains the responsibility of Congress to see to it that the general militia is "well-regulated."

A well-regulated militia does not require a draft or any compulsory training. Nor, as Alexander Hamilton recognized, need training be universal. "To attempt such a thing which would abridge the mass of labor and industry to so considerable extent, would be unwise," he wrote in Federalist 29, "and the experiment, if made, could not succeed, because it would not long be endured." But Congress has the constitutional power to create training programs in effective self-defense including training in small arms — marksmanship, tactics, and gun safety — for any American citizen who volunteers. Any guess how many millions would take weapons training at government expense or even for a modest fee if generally offered?

Rather than provide for training and encouraging persons to be able to defend themselves — and to exercise their training responsibly — powerful lobbying groups have and will continue to advocate passivity and disarmament. The vociferous anti-self-defense, anti-gun crusaders of the past decades will not give up now. Instead they will shift our focus to restrictions on American liberties that will be ineffective against future attacks. Friday on Fox, Democratic Minority Leader Dick Gephart was asked whether additional means we have previously eschewed should be employed to capture and combat foreign terrorists. His reply was appalling. Now was the time, he replied, to consider adopting a national identity card and that we would have to consider how much information such "smart" cards would contain.

Rather than make war on the American people and their liberties, however, Congress should be looking for ways to empower them to protect themselves when warranted. The Founders knew — and put in the form of a written guarantee — the proposition that the individual right to keep and bear arms was the principal means of preserving a militia that was "essential," in a free state, to provide personal and collective self-defense against criminals of all stripes, both domestic and foreign.

A renewed commitment to a well-regulated militia would not be a panacea for crime and terrorism, but neither will any other course of action now being recommended or adopted. We have long been told that, in a modern world, the militia is obsolete. Put aside the fact that the importance of the militia to a "the security of a free state" is hardwired into the text of the Constitution. The events of this week have shown that the militia is far from obsolete in a world where war is waged by cells as well as states. It is long past time we heeded the words of the Founders and end the systematic effort to disarm Americans. Now is also the time to consider what it would take in practical terms to well-regulate the now-unorganized militia, so no criminal will feel completely secure when confronting one or more of its members.

NEXT: 28% of Democrats, 15% of Republicans, 10% of Unaffiliateds Would Support Bans on Pro-Gun-Rights Organizations

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Asking all of us if we packed our own bags did not stop this attack. X-rays of all carry-on baggage did not stop this attack (though it may well have confined the attackers to using knives). And preventing us from using e-tickets or checking our bags at the street (for how long?) would neither have stopped this nor any future attack.

    Ask yourself every time you hear a proposal for increased “security”: Would have in any way have averted the disaster that actually happened? Will it avert a future suicide attack on the public by other new and different means?

    This is an idiotic argument. Does having bank guards prevent all robberies? Does locking your door prevent all burglaries?

    Of course not. To claim that no security measures are useful in preventing attacks is to make a claim that can in nw ay be supported. Indeed, what we do know is that we haven’t had a terrorist hijacking of an airplane since 9/11.

    Is that just luck?

    Look, I agree that some of what is done in the name of security is silly, but to claim that it’s all ineffective is nonsense.

    I guess what you want is passengers carrying guns on airplanes. Great idea. Let’s cram people into tiny airplane seats, with crying babies, with stress from late flights, possibly missed connections, and the general hassle of travel, sell them some drinks, etc.

    What could go wrong?

    1. “I guess what you want is passengers carrying guns on airplanes. Great idea. Let’s cram people into tiny airplane seats, with crying babies, with stress from late flights, possibly missed connections, and the general hassle of travel, sell them some drinks, etc.”

      17.25 million Americans have Concealed Carry Permits and often have stressful days. Yet as the number of people carrying firearms has increased, homicides have decreased. Having a shitty day doesn’t make people shoot other people over the trivial bullshit you describe. Gun owners, unlike many Americans, are mature adults who accept that shit happens.

      1. Actually, people do shoot other people over trivial bullshit.

        And gun owners are not some special breed of saints, immune from ordinary pressures and misjudgments.

        1. “Crime Prevention Research Center president John Lott, notes that it is “very rare for permit holders to violate the law” and compares the crimes committed by permit holders to police officers and the general population. The police committed 103 crimes per 100,000 officers, while the general population committed 3,813 per 100,000 people, 37 times as much as the police crime rate.

          And yet, the same metric shows an even lower crime rate for permit holders.

          “Combining the data for Florida and Texas data, we find that permit holders are convicted of misdemeanors and felonies at less than a sixth the rate for police officers,” Lott writes. “Among police, firearms violations occur at a rate of 16.5 per 100,000 officers. Among permit holders in Florida and Texas, the rate is only 2.4 per 100,000.10 That is just 1/7th of the rate for police officers. But there’s no need to focus on Texas and Florida — the data are similar in other states.”

    2. “Indeed, what we do know is that we haven’t had a terrorist hijacking of an airplane since 9/11.”

      When was the last one before 9/11?

        1. Following your link, I assume you are talking about the Fedex flight.

          That hardly works, since it was a cargo flight – no passenger “militia” on board – and the hijacker was not a terrorist.

          So maybe you should have spent a bit more than just 15 seconds on your research.

          1. So maybe you should have spent a bit more than just 15 seconds on your research.

            You do realize that you’re now arguing against your own position, right?

      1. March 15, 2001 Vnukovo Airlines Tu-154 flying from Istanbul to Moscow was hijacked by a three Chechens demanding it be diverted to Saudi Arabia.

        Or are you only concerned with US involved hijackings?

    3. Bank guards WOULD have prevented at least some robberies in banks without them. If you think you had a good analogy, you are wrong.

    4. “Of course not. To claim that no security measures are useful in preventing attacks is to make a claim that can in nw ay be supported. Indeed, what we do know is that we haven’t had a terrorist hijacking of an airplane since 9/11.”

      ” but to claim that it’s all ineffective is nonsense.”

      I would argue that 99% of the official security changes since 9/11 have been meaningless.

      The big reason there hasn’t been a hijacking since 9/11 is a change in attitude of the passengers.

      With a hijacking for ransom, the smart thing for the passengers to do is to sit back and wait for either a negotiated release or a rescue.

      That change with 9/11. If the hijackers plan to use the plane as a weapon, you are all going to die anyway. To sit back and cooperate is suicide. Fighting back with everything you have, even if that’s not much, is the only chance you have.

      1. The big reason there hasn’t been a hijacking since 9/11 is a change in attitude of the passengers.

        That’s important, but not the most important. The most important factor is that they decided to lock the cockpit doors.

  2. I’m all in favor of a well-regulated militia. Discipline, training, safety measures, storage regulations, choices of weaponry, weapon registration to enable commanders to effectively deploy force, etc. The Constitution calls for a Swiss-style system with a civil defense role for the people.

    The problem, however, is this blog’s friends in the gun rights movement. They don’t want a well-regulated militia. They want an anarcho-libertarian system, because that allows the arms industry to sell more guns, and it gains the support of a lot of irresponsible people who can’t pass background checks and harbor violent fantasies of armed combat.

    The Second Amendment definitely protects your right to keep and bear weaponry. It’s right there in the text. It’s also right there in the text that there’s going to be a citizen militia that comes to the defense of the state. We have given up on imposing the RESPONSIBILITIES of gun ownership along with recognizing the right, and that is a betrayal of the Second Amendment that has been perpetrated by its supposed defenders.

    1. I’m always amused at these twists and turns needed by anti-gun, pro-big government people use to try to justify taking away guns.

      In 1775, the Lawful government of the British Empire tried to remove the firearms from the American colonists. We know how that ended. But in response, the new US government passed an Amendment that would stop the big bad government from trying to take away people’s firearms. But somehow, this always gets twisted around in the minds of the anti-gun people.

      1. And in that response, the new US government included the statement that connected the right to keep and bear arms to the well regulated militia. Because the two are connected.

        1. You don’t know what “regulated” means, then or now. You don’t know what “militia” means, then or now.

          1. “Regulated” now means regulation.

            “Regulated” then, perhaps, meant disciplined, trained, organized, like a “regular army”. But that doesn’t get you to where gun rights types want to go. Because there’s plenty the government can do to discipline and train and organize the militia that modern anarcho-libertarian gun rights advocates would hate.

        2. You do understand that the “militia” includes every able bodied man over the age of 17, right? As according the the US code. Probably not…

          Instead, I imagine you think the militia applies only to the National Guard. That the government should be able to define what and who is a “well regulated militia”, and what and who isn’t, and should be able to take away arms from whoever it thinks isn’t a well regulated militia.

          And you see the logical flaw with this? That under this premise, the British in 1775 could just say “Whoops, the American colonies aren’t a well regulated militia. Time to seize their arms”

          1. I think the militia refers to the armed populace as a whole. The Militia Act’s definition is informative in that regard (though not conclusive, for instance, I think blacks and women are part of the 2nd Amendment militia despite their exclusion from the Militia Act).

            The government doesn’t define the well regulated militia so much as it gets to discipline and train and make rules for it, and call it up when needed for the defense of the state.

        3. 2A protects both rights – the individual right to keep and bear arms and the right of the citizens to form militia’s. The two rights are not mutually exclusive. As pointed out by both Scalia and Stevens, there is a large body of historical writings discussing both rights.
          It should be noted that with all the historical writings on the subject, there is zero historical writing supporting the concept that the individual right to keep and bears arms is for times when serving in the militia.

          1. I never said it was. I said something else– that the Second Amendment ties the two rights together. That does not mean you only have a right to keep and bear arms when you are in the militia. But it does mean that the purpose of the right to keep and bear arms is to ensure that a well regulated militia is available to defend the state, and that therefore the government can impose rules on gun owners to ensure that they are responsible members of a civil defense force who treat their weapons as tools, not toys.

        4. And in that response, the new US government included the statement that connected the right to keep and bear arms to the well regulated militia. Because the two are connected.

          I can’t believe that you’re mind-numbingly stupid enough to be that much of a broken record after having your bullshit countered so many times over the years, and must now conclude that you’re just as much (or even more) of a dishonest asshole as Sarcastr0.

        5. A statement of purpose is not a grant of government power and a requirement

      2. But somehow, this always gets twisted around in the minds of the anti-gun people.

        Like Antonin Scalia in Heller? (lol)

    2. You got this wrong the last time you posted on this topic and you’re still wrong. The right to keep and bear arms does not exist so you can come to the defense of the state – it exists so you can come to the defense of the people. The distinction is significant.

      1. The Second Amendment uses the term “state” as the thing being secured, despite using the term “people” in another portion of the text.

        You are just rewriting the text.

        1. The term “state” in 2a refers to society/ community/ citizens, the state of a free society.

          It does not refer to the states ie new york, penn, mass, etc

          If it referred to the states as you suggest, the word state would be plural “states” and would have used the phrase “the states”

          1. It is quite possible that “state” does refer to the States that make up the United States of America however US Code Title 10 distinguishes between State organized militia (presently National Guard) and unorganized milita (the people, citizens, themselves.)

            Therefore the Right to Keep and Bear Arms shall not be infringed by the federal government; i.e. the federal government cannot stop the State(s) arming organized militias nor can they stop the people arming themselves

            Posse Comitatus Act also makes clear that the feds cannot perform armed actions within a State however a Governor can used his/her armed organized militia within one’s own State or if assistance is requested by a Governor of another State.

            1. “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.”

              being necessary to the security of a free state,

              It is highly unlikely that the phrase ” being necessary to the security of a free state, ” was referring to one of the 13 states of the United States.

              1. Guntards are as crazy as progtards, spewing their brainwashed bullshit, like loyal robots.

            2. Though I do concur that 2a protects the right of citizens to form militia’s for the protection of a free society/a free state, where ever the threat may come from.

              1. It’s crackers to slip a rozzer, the dropsy in snide …. makes as much sense as your invented right. Just another version of the wacko claim that 2A creates a right to overthrow the government.

                WITH PEASHOOTERS! (lol)

            3. The Constitution contains clauses granting the government the power to organize the militia. It is only unorganized so long as the government allows it to remain unorganized.

              1. “The Constitution contains clauses granting the government the power to organize the militia. It is only unorganized so long as the government allows it to remain unorganized.”

                If so – why include such a provision in the bill of Rights
                What is the purpose of a right if you only have that right when the government allows that right.
                Same with only having the right when serving in a militia –
                A right that you have when the government gives you permission?

                1. Joe:

                  You have the right to keep and bear arms whether the Militia is organized or not. The government absolutely has the power to choose to have no firearms regulations at all, and to just have an absolute libertarian approach to gun regulation. That would be completely constsitutional.

                  But the government also has the power to organize gun owners into a militia, and train them and discipline them and enlist them as a fighting force in defense of the state. And if the government does that- you STILL have the right to keep and bear arms, in and out of that militia. But it’s going to be subject to whatever regulations are reasonably related to the organization, discipline, training, and effectiveness of the militia.

                  1. Scalia is laughing in his grave at all this mindless blabbering!

              2. The constitution has a clause granting the government the power to organize and form a militia

                2A which was added after the constitution was ratified which contains the provision allowing the people the right to form militias which such right shall not be infringed along with the right for the people to keep and bear arms which shall not be infringed.

                1. You win the trophy for the bat-shit craziest lie about 2A.

          2. “he term “state” in 2a refers to society/ community/ citizens, the state of a free society.

            It does not refer to the states ie new york, penn, mass, etc”

            At this point, you are just making stuff up. Which is what the gun rights movement does to avoid acknowledging they owe any obligations to society.

              1. Volokh knocks down a straw man there. He’s really defining what “free” means, not what “state” means.

                The “state” that is going to be free is a political entity. (As Volokh says, it comes from “free country”, which also refers to a political entity.) Which political entity? Pretty obviously the political entities the Constitution charters and recognizes- the US and the 50 states.

                How does a well regulated militia contribute to the security of the country? By being a civil defense force that can be called up under the other provisions of the Constitution.

            1. At this point, you are just making stuff up. Which is what the gun rights movement does

              LOL! Oh, the hypocrisy….

        2. In US Code, Title 10, the well regulated militia being necessary to a free State is called the organized militia whereas the right of the people to keep and bear arms is called the unorganized militia.

          Neither shall be infringed, i.e. the federal government cannot pass laws stopping States from having organized militia nor can they stop the people from owning and carrying firearms.

          1. Neither shall be infringed, i.e. the federal government cannot pass laws stopping States from having organized militia nor can they stop the people from owning and carrying firearms.

            I concur – As I stated above, 2A protects both rights.

          2. How many times will you repeat the bullshit about Title 10???
            And say “Hi” to Alex Jobes

    3. “We have given up on imposing the RESPONSIBILITIES of gun ownership along with recognizing the right,”

      The Second Amendment acknowledges the fundamental right to Keep and Bear Arms and states that the government lacks the power to infringe on that right. It’s not the purpose of the Bill of Rights to impose any RESPONSIBILITIES on gun ownership.

      The Bill of Rights doesn’t impose any RESPONSIBILITIES on another fundamental right; Freedom of Speech either. Regardless, gun owners are more responsible than the rest of society. We know that irresponsible gun use can cost us our right to own guns. We have something most of the people on Earth will never have and we don’t want to lose it.

      1. The Bill of Rights doesn’t impose the responsibilities, but it certainly authorizes legislatures to impose those repsonsibilities (as does the rest of the Constitutional text).

        And seriously, one thing that screams “I am an idiot” is to equate guns with speech. Guns are not speech. The state interests are not the same, the rights are not the same, etc. A word can’t enter another human’s body and cause a gaping, mortal wound, and a bullet doesn’t add anything to the marketplace of ideas. Learn to defend gun rights without pretending they are the same as speech. It’s not a serious argument.

        1. Nice try.
          They’re both pre-existing, fundamental rights:

          “…it has always been widely understood that the Second Amendment, like the First and Fourth Amendments, codified a pre-existing right. The very text of the Second Amendment implicitly recognizes the pre-existence of the right and declares only that it “shall not be infringed.” As we said in United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542, 553, 23 L.Ed. 588 (1876), “[t]his is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The Second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed ….”
          District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) at 592

        2. Re: equating guns and speech. Are you one of those who thinks the unenumerated right to an abortion gets more care than the enumerated right to keep and bear arms?

          1. Re: equating guns and speech.

            He equated the RIGHTS, which is 1000% correct, by definition.

            Are you one of those who thinks the unenumerated right to an abortion gets more care than the enumerated right to keep and bear arms?

            The rights are identical, by definition, and both absolute, also by definition, as are all fundamental rights, by definition.

            Are you one of those who denies that the woman’s right to Liberty is exactly equal to the fetal child’s right to Life … also by definition (of unalienable)?

            1. Rights aren’t like jealous children. It isn’t a matter of which one is more “important” or gets more respect.

              Rather, it’s the matter of the application of particular rights to particular situations and the particular historical exceptions to and limitations of the right, as well as the particular state interests involved.

              The Second Amendment is an important right. That does not mean that anywhere and in any situation one has the right to free speech, one also has the right to have any armament. The converse is also true- there is, for instance, a historically recognized exception to the First Amendment for obscenity. However, it would violate the Second Amendment to ban a gun because it appealed to the prurient interest and was thought to have no redeeming social value. And saying that doesn’t make the Second Amendment “more important” than the First. They are just different, because guns are different than speech.

              1. Read it again. I responded directly to his comment … which I even quoted!!!

                Repeat

                Are you one of those who thinks the unenumerated right to an abortion gets more care than the enumerated right to keep and bear arms?

                The rights are identical, by definition, and both absolute, also by definition, as are all fundamental rights, by definition.

                And you evaded the actual issue. Again.

        3. And seriously, one thing that screams “I am an idiot”…

          …is to get a law degree and then repeatedly demonstrate that you don’t understand why fundamental rights have in great deal in common when it comes to constitutional protection, no matter how diverse their natures or the government’s interest in protecting them are.

      2. The responsibilities need not be mentioned; they are innate..

    4. The Constitution does no such thing. It simply affirms the individual right to keep and bear arms.

      1. For militia duty … to defend the security of the nation … which no longer applies, since we’ve long used a professional military for that purpose.
        .

        1. I suggest you read US Code, Title 10.
          States = organized militia.
          People = unorganized militia.

          BTW: The militias were not to defend the security of the nation; they were to defend the people of the nation.

          1. The Constitution is superior to any laws.
            What did the founders say?

            The militias were not to defend the security of the nation;

            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.”

            State means government. As in statism. Look it up.

            they were to defend the people of the nation.

            Were? (lol)
            That’s what the professional military now does. Read US Code, Title 10 …

            Anything else?

            1. “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.”

              State means government. As in statism. Look it up.

              The term state has several meanings/definitions

              In 2A it does NOT mean a government or government entity.

              It means a society / community, etc, but does not mean a government.

              1. Make up your mind. You state two rules, which are exact opposites to each other.

                And you’re just plain wrong on what it means in 2A.

            2. According to your interpretation – 2A was inacted for the people to protect the governments rights – not to protect the rights of the people

              1. Governments don’t have rights. Only people do.

                I’ve never had to explain that just governments EXIST for the SOLE purpose of defending the rights of individuals. Elementary.

            3. The prefatory clause has no impact on the rest of the Amendment.

              “The color purple being my favorite, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Does that mean to you that the RKBA only applies to protecting my favorite color?

              As we’ve seen confirmed again by SCOTUS, the ONLY meaningful part of the Second Amendment is this: “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

              As I keep telling Dilan, read the Federalist Papers on this – they are quite clear that the RKBA is NOT to defend the government, or act as the army. It is explicitly spelled out that it is for the people to be able to protect themselves, including from the government.

              1. The prefatory clause has no impact on the rest of the Amendment.

                Because it humiliates your sorry ass? … that even Justice Scalia proves you full of shit … in Heller?

                Your purple bullshit is mindless babbling. NOT the Constitution! And mot even rational.

                As we’ve seen confirmed again by SCOTUS, the ONLY meaningful part of the Second Amendment is this:

                Liar. And so eagerly brainwashed!

                As I keep telling Dilan

                Who the hell are YOU? Here’s Scalia. … somebody who matters. (my emphasis)

                Justice Scalia’s ruling in Heller, SCOTUS website.
                “…. as we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment’s ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty….. But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right.

                THAT is the Supreme Law of the Land. NEVER bullshit anyone with an educated mind, sonny boy.

                1. Well, sonny boy, it’s a good thing you can read: HELD: … The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but
                  does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative
                  clause.

                  Oh, wait. What does that mean? It means you’re full of shit, and I’m correct in what I said. It’s the very first holding so anyone with even a portion of an education should have seen it.

                  But I guess that explains why you missed it. Whoever the hell you are.

                  1. Why would you tell so MASSIVE a lie … when his actual words are right in front of your pathetic ass …. IN BOLD FACE!!!!?

                    Guntards be as totally manipulated as progtards. Authoritarian puppets, both left and right, scurrying like cockroaches to spread their mindless screeching … even self-evident lies …. for their Holy Cause.

                    1. I quoted the ruling directly. It’s holding A in Heller. It’s in your own damned link, you incompetent bufoon!

                      It isn’t my fault that your brain damage makes you incapable of doing anything but lying.

                    2. Boldface as ridicule for the assault by a now-twice-proven psycho

                      YOU LOSE …. BIGLY. FAILED TO ADDRESS WHAT I CITED. … FAILED TO SUPPORT EVEN YOUR OWN WACKO CONCLUSION.

                      THAT’S THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT I QUOTED … IN BOLDFACE … BECAUSE IT DEALS WITH THE HANDGUN ISSUE (AN INDIVIDUAL RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS) … NOT THE LIMITS ON 2A SINCE 1939, WHICH SCALIA WAS OBLIGED TO EITHER CONFIRM OR OVERRULE …. WHICH IS HOW SCOTUS FUNCTIONS. IF A RULING IS RELATED TO A PRIOR RULING, EVEN INDIRECTLY, THE COURT MUST CLARIFY IF THE NEW RULING OVERTURNS THE EARLIER RULING(S).

                      BUT KEEP MAKING AN ASS OF YOURSELF.
                      READ AGAIN TO SEE HIM CONFIRM THAT THE ONLY WEAPONS PROTECTED ATE THE MODERN EQUIVALENTS OF PISTOLS AND SINGLE-SHOT RIFLES …. (smirk)

                      SO YOUR CONCLUSION ON THE FOUNDERS INTENT IS EXPOSED AGAIN AS BULLSHIT — now also pathetic … since you also FAILED TO SUPPORT IT! Or to even try,

                      Again: guntards be as totally manipulated as progtards. Authoritarian puppets, both left and right, scurrying like cockroaches to spread their mindless screeching … even self-evident lies …. for their Holy Cause.

                      .

                    3. I quoted the ruling directly

                      ANOTHER FUCKUP!!! OMG.

                      You quoted the SYLLABUS, which is clearly stated at the top. THAT’S WHY THE PAGE NUMBERS ARE THERE … UMM, TO THE RULING!

                      Google the definition of syllabus, while we all keep laughing at you.. Repeat: “NEVER bullshit anyone with an educated mind, sonny boy.”

                    4. It’s amazing that you can be such a liar, and think that writing in all caps or all bold makes your lies and imbecility less obvious.

                      If you had even half the intelligence of a lobotomized monkey, you’d have been able to see the referenced pages that that holding uses for in-depth discussion. Since you can’t read above a kindergarten level, I’ll copy it for you again:

                      A prefatory clause does not limit or expand the scope of the operative clause.
                      That’s on page 4.
                      1, 2, 3, 4. When you start counting from your pinky, that’d be your index finger. Assuming you are human, of course, and not a partially housebroken Chihuahua.

                      While it is amusing to watch you humiliate yourself with your blatant lies and childish loss of self control, I’m getting bored at being forced to repeat the same things over and over again.

                      Try to find a new argument, rather than one that flies directly in the face of Heller, will you? Since you aren’t capable of doing it yourself, try copying something from HuffPo or Vox – they’re still idiots, but of a higher caliber than you.

                    5. One more time … for the psycho bully.

                      The prefatory clause has no impact on the rest of the Amendment.

                      Justice Scalia’s ruling in Heller, SCOTUS.
                      https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/07pdf/07-290.pdf
                      It may be objected that if weapons most useful in military service — M-16 rifles and the like — may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely
                      detached from the prefatory clause. Bas we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment’s ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty….. But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right.”

                      1) PAGE 58, LOSER/.
                      2) CONFIRMS THAT ONLY LIMITED WEAPONS PROTECTED … from US v Miller (1939) … AS I STATED
                      3) You cited the WRONG PART … and you cited the Syllabus … NOT THE RULING, as you falsely claimed/.
                      4) You also FUCKED UP, cliamj

                      THAT is the Supreme Law of the Land.

                      NEVER bullshit anyone with an educated mind, PSYCHO PUNK.

        2. Claiming that the founders saw fit to enumerate a “right of the people” that is not actually a right, but rather a duty to the state is the height of stupidity.

          1. Claiming that the founders saw fit to enumerate a “right of the people” that is not actually a right, but rather a duty to the state is the height of stupidity.

            No, the height of stupidity is your shameful bullshit of what I said.

    5. “Well regulated” = properly functioning.

      The concept of Government Regulations of the 20th and 21st Century variety was as foreign to the founders as space travel.

      1. Well regulated either means regulated, or it means disciplined, trained, organized, regular. It’s a lot broader than “properly functioning”. At any rate, forcing libertarian types to undertake their responsibilities for the civic defense and to treat their weapons as tools, not toys, is part of a properly functioning militia.

        1. Or it means neither because “the dictionary said so” isn’t an argument, nor does it even qualify as textualism.

          1. “Disciplined, trained, organized, regular” is what it meant in 1791. I am actually taking that from PRO-gun rights scholars.

            1. You’re quoting bullshitters … because you’re a sucker.

  3. “None of these had a presence on Flight 93 because, in a free society, professional law-enforcement and military personnel cannot be everywhere.”

    This is certainly a new claim as opposed to the claims and assertions made during the ratification debates. In a “free society” there would be no “military personnel” because there would be no standing army. In Federalist No. 29 Hamilton argues why the national government ought have power over the militia. Addressing the claims of opponents, he writes “If standing armies are dangerous to liberty, an efficacious power over the militia, in the body to whose care the protection of the State is committed, ought, as far as possible, to take away the inducement and the pretext to such unfriendly institutions.” Providing the national government with power over the militia is, according to Hamilton, “the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist.”

    In his Commentaries on the Constitution, Justice Story writes of the 2nd Amendment, “The militia is the natural defence of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers. It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time of peace, both from the enormous expenses, with which they are attended, and the facile means, which they afford to ambitious and unprincipled rulers, to subvert the government, or trample upon the rights of the people.”

    That Barnett now mentions a free society and the existence in military personnel in the same sentence shows how much the theory has changed. As such, Scalia needed to excise the prefatory clause from the rest of the amendment. I am not claiming that the 2nd Amendment does not protect a right to self-defense (which I think could be alternatively argued as a fundamental liberty via the 14th Amendment), but rather that a better rationale would have grappled with the change in circumstances (the need in modern society for standing armies).

    1. Maybe Barnett is simply acknowledging the reality that there were no police, air marshals, or other armed government agents on board Flight 93. Maybe you are just reading too much ideology into a simple fact.

      1. However, he is not acknowledging the fact that the passengers on Flight 93 were not responsible for causing the plane to crash in Shanksville.

        1. The plane was going to crash somewhere, probably a more useful target than some random rural area. The passengers almost certainly made it not crash at its intended target. What are you quibbling about?

      2. Perhaps I am. Or, perhaps your giving the term “military personnel” a certain meaning in an attempt to save his argument. That’s the tricky thing about language, words and terms can mean different things to different people, meanings that are often intertwined with purposive political arguments.

    2. And you were doing so well ….

      As such, Scalia needed to excise the prefatory clause from the rest of the amendment.

      Read Heller. He APPLIED that clause, to confirm that the ONLY weapons protected by 2A are those in common use at ratification, brought from home for militia duty — the modern equivalent of pistols and single-shot muskets, as first ruled in 1939 (US v Miller). Scalia applied it STUPIDLY, since we now longer defend America with a citizen’s militia at all!

      I am not claiming that the 2nd Amendment does not protect a right to self-defense

      It does not … obviously … by the same prefatory clause you cited!

      which I think could be alternatively argued as a fundamental liberty via the 14th Amendment),

      You shame the Founders here. The NINTH amendment, also known as the libertarian amendment is ignored … i.e. lied about … by the authoritarian right .. to justify their KKK version of States Rights vs Federalism.

      See Ron Paul’s bat-shit crazy notion that states have powers never delegated, AND that the Founders INTENDED such insanity … so Ron also rejects separation of power, and checks and balances, among three CO-EQUAL branches.

      For any right-wing neanderthals … we have NO rights at all, if states may “deny or disparage” EVEN those fundamental rights NEVER mentioned by the Constitution.

      9A is how the Declaration’s “unalienable rights” were enshrined in the Bill of Rights … long before the 14th which has NO connection at all.

      9A: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

      We have rights which NO level of government may deny or disparage.

      What are those rights, never mentioned? That is for SCOTUS to determine, as new challenges arise to new government abuses. Judges do not create or invent rights, DUH, but EVERY fundamental right was first ACKNOWLEDGED by a court or tribunal … as a check against abuses by the other two branches.

      This is WHY God invented libertarians … to defend liberty from today’s authoritarian left AND authoritarian right

        1. Do you have anything of substance?
          Is “Hihn” the only person who’s read Scalia’s Heller?
          Can YOU name the rights guaranteed by the 9th Amendment, which no level of government may “deny or disparage?”

          1. I provide plenty of substance is other portions of this thread, and that, good sir, a dodge of the question with a redirect question back at the questioner.

            If you are Hiln, which it appears that you are as a non-answer is itself a form of an answer, then you’re admittedly getting better at hiding your sock puppets.

            1. Cowardly evasion. Still REFUSES to address the issue. LIES about his comments elsewhere on the page.

              that, good sir, a dodge of the question with a redirect question back at the questioner.

              Your question has no substance.

              LOSE on the message. Shoot the messenger. Typical authoritarian.

            2. He knows who Hihn is, so that’s gotta be a yes

              1. How retarded are you???

                1. Still less retarded than you are.

                  1. My stalker was DOCUMENTED as a psycho bully here ….
                    https://reason.com/2019/09/11/saved-by-the-militia-2/#comment-7930434

                    AND I CHALLENGE HIS BULLSHIT HERE, TOO!
                    PUT UP OR SHUT UP … WHERE AND HOW DID I GIVE ANY INDICATION …. ANY AT ALL … THAT I KNOW “HIHN?”

                    I did the exact opposite!

                    Is “Hihn” the only person who’s read Scalia’s Heller?

                    Repeat: Guntards be as totally manipulated as progtards.

                    (Will he now lob another INFANTILE assault?.)

                    1. “Stalker”.
                      “Psycho bully”.
                      “Infantile assault”.
                      Hmm.

                      Incidentally, since you are still proving yourself incapable of reading comprehension, when did I ever suggest you were or even knew ‘Hihn’? I never did. I was merely reminding you, and others, than however ‘retarded’ (as you said) Careless was acting, he was being less ‘retarded’ then you are being.

                      And you proved me correct again. Thank you.

  4. Shameful, alt-right bullshit. The 2nd Amendment militia was superseded by a …. professional military … which has LONG provided for “the security of a free State.”

    Elementary knowledge of history shows that the Founders opposed a standing army. and 2A was to maintain the primacy of a citizens militia, by guaranteeing they could not be disarmed.

    (Not to ignore the super-wackos who snarl that the Founders intended 2A to assure an armed revolt against the government of that free society. It’s not JUST the Left that suffers drooling imbeciles)

    1. 2A was done in response to Lexington and Concord, when the Brits tried to seize the colonists weapons.

      1. Why do you believe the Constitution defends our rights from the British government. not our own government?

  5. “Any guess how many millions would take weapons training at government expense or even for a modest fee if generally offered?”

    Welp, I don’t see that Prof. Barnett answered the question so let me give a try.

    How about ZERO millions.

    Sure, maybe several thousands or even tens of thousands of people might take advantage of this (well maybe).

    But millions?

    HAAAHAAHHHAAAAAAA….

    I’m not done…

    HAHAAAAHAHAHAHAHAAHAAHAAAHAAHAHAHAAHAA…

    What a joke.

    And I thought the NRA already trains over 1,000,000/yr by their network of more than 125,000 instructors, 8,000 coaches and 2,200 training counselors.

    So Prof. Barnett is suggesting a government program to, um, replace a private program?

    How Libertarian of him.

    What a joke.

    1. I take it you never have heard of the Civilian Marksmanship Program? It was run by the government for decades, and now is a quasi-governmental non-profit (on purpose to protect it from budget cuts by anti-gunners). It runs all sorts of programs and sells surplus military guns to civilians.

      1. The Civilian Marksmanship Program started in 1903, and was run by the Army up until 1996. During that time, it sold millions of surplus Army weapons to civilians, and trained hundreds of millions of students in safety and shooting classes, both directly and through affiliated clubs.

        The original reason for the program was explicitly because the Army’s guns were unfamiliar with the civilian populace, and the Army wanted to have shooters that would be able to integrate faster into the Army in times of war.

  6. In the Dick Law of 1903, the National Guard was created as the “organized militia” and all those eligible but not included in the National Guard between ages 17 and 45 were relegated to the “Reserve Militia”. (Notice the lower case “m” for the “organized militia” and upper case capital “M” for the Reserve Militia? That is done in order to be consistent with the difference in the two terms relative to the U.S. Constitution with respect to the “Militia of the several States” to differentiate the National Guard as a different entity known as “the militia of the United States”, which is not the constitutional entity or term of art.) Then in 1916, the non-organized militia citizens were relegated to the “unorganized militia”, meaning they shall not organize for community self-defense or any other purpose. The legal manipulation by the powers-that-be was done intentionally to divest the American people of our constitutional and unalienable authority. As long as we are stupid and thus uninformed, they can proceed and successfully win by exploiting our ignorance. We need to wake up and learn what we don’t know, and do it quickly.

  7. The purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to ensure that the STATES have an armed & trained citizenry (the Militia) which can be used, when push comes to shove, to defend the STATES from the federal gov’t and from the federal gov’ts disastrous policies [e.g. unrestricted immigration]. See, e.g., Federalist No. 46 (James Madison).
    States no longer have a Militia. With the Dick Act of 1903, the States surrendered the Militia (over which they had control) and allowed it to be federalized – put under federal control. The States’ “national guard” are merely adjuncts of the federal military.
    The States did it for the money. Yes, they got federal funds for allowing the federal gov’t to take over their State Militia.

    It is your State governments which sold you down the river.

    1. Ranrod

      Point #1 – A statute does not and can not override the constitution – Overriding a constitutional provision requires an amendment to the constitution.
      Point #2 – 2A gives the people the right to form militia’s for the protection of a free state – The term state means the society – it does not mean one of the 13 states. Had 2A meant the term state to be the government entity known as a state it would have used the plural term state[s]
      Point #3 – 2A gives the people the right to keep and bear arms
      Point #4 – the right to form militia’s and the right to keep and bear arms are two separate and distinct rides which are not mutually exclusive. While the two rights go hand in hand, they remain two separate and distinct rights.

      1. Point #2 – 2A gives the people the right to form militia’s for the protection of a free state

        The psychos are getting crazier.

Please to post comments