The Constitution Protects a Well Regulated Militia. Efforts to Clarify Began Shortly After

The Constitution Protects a Well Regulated Militia. Efforts to Clarify Began Shortly After

As part of 101.9 WDET’s Book Club, we’re inviting the Detroit region to examine and discuss the text that impacts every resident of the United States: The Constitution. Whether you’re revisiting the documents or reading them for the first time, join us in reading along and engaging in civil conversations with your community. The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution reads: “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.” While that amendment protects gun ownership, the first part of that line, “a well regulated militia,” has been used more recently by some domestic fringe groups. They put the wording to use when justifying their perceived right to take matters into their own hands. The Origin of the Term “Militia” “We’ve seen this attempt to create a new mythology of what the Second Amendment protects.” —Mary McCord, Georgetown Law Mary McCord is executive director for the Institute of Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown Law. She says the origin of the term “militia” in the founding document dates back to before the creation of the United States. “When we just had the colonies,” says McCord, “the colonies did not want to have standing armies for their defense. So instead they used the militia.” She says in those days, nobody questioned the meaning of the phrase. “It meant the State would be able to call you up,” McCord explains, “if they needed […]

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