Letter: How do I go about joining well-regulated militia ... and buy a musket?


The news in the past month has been about the 2nd Amendment rights.

I don’t know how many people read the Constitution of the United States and the amendments, so I will quote the 2nd Amendment” “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.”

I don’t know where this militia is located or how I can join, so I can bear arms to protect a free state. I believe when this amendment was written, the arms of choice were muskets.

Jim Whitewolf



Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comment submissions may not exceed a 200 word limit, and in order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit excessive comment entries.

lostone1413 11 months, 1 week ago

If you knew the Constitution and the BOR you'd know that the Militia is all the people Maybe you need to read more and maybe learn about the subject you write about


Pfalbo 11 months, 1 week ago

Since right-wingnuts profess undying loyalty to what they-- and they alone-- absolutely know the Founding Fathers intended when writing the Constitution, perhaps a 1776 definition of "militia," is germane?

It might help you learn about the subject, some. Nah.

"Militia: a part of the organized armed forces of a country liable to call only in emergency. b : a body of citizens organized for military service. 2 : the whole body of able-bodied male citizens declared by law as being subject to call to military service."

What is it in the 2nd Amendment wording that you misinterpret to mean the supposed 'genius' Founding Fathers intended an absolute right exists for general ownership of weapons for mass murder of American civilians?

Muskets were the high tech weapon of the day, by the way.

And, I imagine, most of those demanding absolute right to carry AR-15s, etc. have actively avoided Military Service when they had the chance.


lostone1413 11 months ago

guess you don't have a clue about the difference between a Right and a Privilege I'l let the meaning of Shall not be infringed slide until you learn the difference


Pfalbo 11 months ago

They write books about things you don't have a clue.

Your willful ignorance and bias coupled with that of the others groveling in subservience to the NRA actively help ruin this country.

You and yours support mass murder-- the ultimate hatred of personal freedom.

Several Amendments to the Constitution have been "infringed" upon based on changing societal values and changing times.

As with the 2nd Amendment, each have their own particular words supposedly restricting modifying legislation.

Where is your indignation at these?

1st. "Congress shall make no Law... abridging freedom of speech... the press... of the right of the people to peacefully assemble.."

Got your protest permit from the city? Tried to yell "fire" in the theater?

4th: "The right... against unreasonable searches... shall not be violated..."

Ever heard of the NSA? Had a traffic stop result in a car search?

5th: "No person... shall be... deprived of life... without due process..."

Ask the unarmed, innocent people murdered by cops how the 5th amendment worked for them.

6th: Why not just talk to those held at Guantanamo the past 15 years about "the right to a speedy and public trial..." Or, for that matter, the many prisoners here in the US being held without charges.

8th: "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."

Perhaps even you can see how this has been ignored.

Why the 2nd Amendment is now more sacred than Life itself is mystery.

You need to do better than your childish attempt at insult.


IzzatSo 11 months, 1 week ago

I disagree with Iostone; the militia referred to in the 2nd amendment is not now, and never was 'all the people'. Even in the late 1700's, not 'all the people' had the right to bear arms - slaves were forbidden to possess guns. The closest organization today that fits the intended description would be the National Guard. While our government is doing its best to ensure 'all the people' in the US are 'well-regulated', the vast majority of regulations we bear today have very little to do with the security of the free state. For example, how do speed limits (a regulation on drivers) have anything to do with security? Maybe Iostone should take his own advice.


lostone1413 11 months ago

I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.
— George Mason 
The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age…
— Title 10, Section 311 of the U.S. Code                                                    Today, we need a nation of Minutemen, citizens who are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom.
— John F. Kennedy                                                                                 Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive.
— Noah Webster                                         This pretty well proves you wrong

dcmaccabees 11 months, 1 week ago

If I were so dramatically and epically uninformed on a subject as Mr. Whitewolf evidently is about both American history and the United States Constitution, I would choose not to advertise that fact in print. May I suggest a quick read of "U.S. Constitution for Dummies"? (https://www.amazon.com/U-S-Constituti...">https://www.amazon.com/U-S-Constituti...)


IzzatSo 11 months, 1 week ago

May I recomment an excellent resource as well?

Sheldon Richman - America's Counter-Revolution, The Constitution Revisited. $8.00 at Amazon. Well worth the price.

Learn about the Articles of Confederation, which were America's first constitution, and America's first President, John Hanson of Maryland. Read of the heated debates around writing of the second constitution (the one we have today) in particular the section about the Bill of Rights. The history of the United States under the Articles of Confederation (1781-89) is seldom taught and little known but it it quite instructive to see how today's constitution evolved from the Articles.


Pfalbo 11 months, 1 week ago

Mr. maccabees, it is fascinating where some information-challenged individuals turn to for reference material, isn't it?

I have always heard the "___ for Dummies" series are the ultimate bibliographical source(s) for the serious students.

Would you be so kind to describe what Mr. Whitewolf wrote that was so "dramatically and epically" uninformed?

(Although many would say it is obvious once one read your thorough, erudite prose recounting both American History and the etiology of the writing and ratification of the Constitution and later, the 2nd Amendment).

Also, do you suggest muskets were not the weapon of choice back in the 1780s?


IzzatSo 11 months ago

To Iostone: I acknowledge your reference to the U.S. Code which does define the militia as you stated. You are using an old version; Section 311 was renumbered Section 246 on December 23, 2016. Given that is written in the U.S. Code I accept your statement today, while recognizing this section of the U.S. Code is a product of the 20th century. This definition did not define the militia in the 18th century when the Bill of Rights was written, again because slaves were not permitted to own guns. As to your quotes of George Mason and Noah Webster, they are opinions, sir, and not legal definitions of a militia, and thus not germane to this discussion.


MrMaccabees 11 months ago

Pfalbo, If I had suspected that Mr. Whitewolf had the capacity for a more scholarly work I would have suggested one.

The militia has been traditionally interpreted as being every able-bodied citizen (see US v Heller). This view is also codified in Federal law in the Militia Act of 1903, which defines the reserve militia as every able-bodied person of at least 17 and under 45 years of age, who is not a member of the National Guard or Naval Militia.

Muskets were, absolutely, a common military weapon during the Revolution. Longbows were equally as common during the time of the Magna Carta. Are you suggesting that the Colonists should have restricted themselves to bows since the legal protections they were referencing came from an age where they were considered the norm? Or could it be that the ideals of restraining tyrannical rule transcend the mechanics?

A tiny bit of analytical thought leads one to ask what, exactly is the point of the 2nd Amendment. Curtailing sustenance hunting or target shooting wasn't even an afterthought at the time, so it doesn't have a thing to do with "sportsmen". So, that leaves us with...protection doesn't it?


Pfalbo 11 months ago

Regarding an understanding of the term 'militia,' the dates that matter are the late 1770's or early 1780's.

One could say the understanding of the term "arms" has drastically changed since the good ole musket days.

Even so, if modern militia there be, why do we so easily dispose of and ignore the " A well regulated Militia..." part while sanctifying the "... shall not be infringed," wording?

Additionally, reading the 5th Amendment, it is obvious the Founding Fathers defined "Militia" differently since they included the distinguishing words, "...or in the militia..." after specifically mentioning "... land and naval forces," as part of the wording?

What? The See-All, Know All, Founding Fathers couldn't predict the Air Force?

Or, AR-15s.


dcmaccabees 10 months, 4 weeks ago

If you'd bother to read US v Heller, you'd realize that it refers to the definition of a militia as of the late 18th century...

Don't move the goal posts yet, sir. We can address the regulation clause once we've finished addressing the infringement question fully.

Arms have consistently meant weapons and it has been routinely interpreted to be an individual right by US courts (see Presser v. Illinois, US v Miller, and Caetano v. Massachusetts for example). Clearly, individuals have the right (and attached responsibility) to maintain appropriate weapons.

These decisions (as well as aspects of McDonald v. City of Chicago and US v Cruikshank) explicitly affirm the individual focus of the 2nd.

The 5th provides a clear separation of the armed services and the militia. This doesn't help your assertation that they are somehow linked.


Pfalbo 10 months, 3 weeks ago

The original goal post was my question to you: "Would you be so kind to describe what Mr. Whitewolf wrote that was so 'dramatically and epically' uninformed?"

BTW, you see "... clear separation of the armed services and the militia," in the 5th Amendment's wording: "... except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger..."

Actually, the word "or," defined as "used to link alternatives," or, "introducing a synonym or explanation of a preceding word or phrase," connects them.

Again, it is interesting to me that the 2nd Amendment's "infringed" word is immutable dogma while the equally modifying "well regulated" words are treated by "Strict Constitutionalists" (NRA and Opus Dei believers) as if not written.

Regardless, while we kind-of spar about semantics, an obvious question arises about the US's virtually unlimited access to guns: when do you think the next mass shooting will be?

I can hear one dying victim's last words, through smiling lips and a patriotic smile, "At least, the shooter's 2nd Amendment rights were not infringed. Arrgghhh..."

Thoughts and prayers a few days in advance.



IzzatSo 10 months, 3 weeks ago

MrMaccabees: If, as you suggest, the second amendment was added to allow Americans "protection" ability, I wonder (in an 18th century environment) whom the Congress was expecting Americans to need protection from? Seems to me that protection is an attitude or a posture of defense. What prevents the well-armed citizens from shifting from defensive to offensive attitude? Do you suppose the Congress ever considered the possibility that the citizens might rise up, with their permitted and authorized weapons, against the Congress? Not if they were well regulated, right? Whatever. Perhaps it is more important to ponder whether today's mass murderers purchase their weapons with defense on their minds, or is their intent to use their weapons offensively right from the time they lay their money down?