Conditions changed since amendment

Gary Young, in his March 27 letter (“Second Amendment meant to protect”), was mostly correct. He left out some things.

Until recent times, “well-regulated,” as regards any military group, meant “well-organized” and/or “well-trained.” In fact, paid members of the army were known as “regulars.” Therefore, the militia did refer to anyone who could be called for defense of the frontier, but they were expected to get together now and then to elect someone to be in charge and even to train. When there is a vast frontier, with threats known and unknown, such militia was very necessary.

Also, because any government, in such a society, was very distant, many never really knew what was going on. The threat of some sort of tyranny was easy to imagine.

Young seems to assume all these conditions still exist. They do not. We have no vast frontier. We do have a standing army, the National Guard, state and local police and other such security forces. And for any tyrant to take over, he would have to have complete, unmitigated control over all of them and be able to enforce things almost instantly.

The writers of the amendment assumed that arms for hunting and personal self-defense was a given, so that the amendment does not actually refer to that. So the notion that someone is trying “to confiscate” all guns is a fantasy.

Rick Johnson


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