"A Well-Regulated Militia".
What is that, exactly?
Militias used to serve as the de facto United States Army. From the Colonial period, through the Revolution, and even as far as the Civil War, local communities and states would raise a militia for specific purposes and use them to defend their neighborhoods, or even send them to war. We even now know some of their names. "The Acton Minutemen". "The Green Mountain Boys". "The Massachusetts 54th Regiment", and many more around the country.
It was the Militia Act of 1903 that essentially nationalized the remaining state militias as the "National Guard", and placed them in the command structure of the United States Army, dooming the concept forevermore. Today, only a handful of militias still exist, some of them with ties to the earliest days of the United States. The "Ancient and Honorable
" of Massachusetts is the best example, but they do not fight anymore and are strictly a ceremonial unit. Some of the other names have been preserved in actual National Guard units today
So it is interesting to ponder that concept of a "Well-Regulated Militia" in the context of the Second Amendment. We've argued this endlessly here and elsewhere. The original intent was to allow citizen-soldiers of the era to bear the necessary arms to muster in their local militias, under strict military order and drill, and mutually defend "Our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor".
None of this is actually necessary with the professional soldiers serving in the Army today. They are truly the most well-regulated militia of them all, and should have all the rights and privileges necessary to do their duty.
But where does that leave the common citizen? Perhaps it is your local police department today that acts as that "well-regulated militia" in this day and age. Many of the same elements of those old militias are present at your local police department, but that opens up a whole host of new problems the Founders never envisioned.
It is a problem that simply refuses to go away. We continue to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result; true insanity continues to rule this issue.