The overwhelming consensus was that the Second Amendment gave state militias a right to obtain and bear arms, but it did it not give individuals any rights. … The words of the Second Amendment are ungrammatical and difficult to understand in the best of circumstances. But if you look at the history and context of the amendment, including other references to state militias in the Constitution, it suggests that the amendment only applied to state militias.
Now what makes this subject so difficult in the modern world is that state militias don’t exist anymore, so we have no familiarity with what a state militia is. But it was simply taken as a given in constitutional law that the Second Amendment did not give individuals a right to bear arms.
Of course, what is really needed isn't a legal scholar (or someone who is just a legal scholar), but someone who is also a military historian of the first rate since what the Second Amendment addresses is national defence and how what would that look like in the nascent republic. Also, one has to understand that the founding fathers had this idea that they were the new Romans (which could be an accurate assessment since the Romans were basically warlike not very intellectual, but were fond of the Greeks who were).
Anyway, there is loads of evidence that the militia was already irrelevant by the time of the War for Independence (see Adam Smith infra):
But, I'm not going to stop the likes of Greg from believing whatever he wants even though he can't provide a good basis for his belief other than he wants it to be so.
Second Amendment Bibliography
- Tom W. Bell, The Third Amendment: Forgotten but Not Gone, 2 William & Mary Bill of Rights J. 117 (1993).
- Robert E. Shalhope, The Ideological Origins of the Second Amendment,
- William S. Fields and David T. Hardy, The Third Amendment and the Issue of the Maintenance of Standing Armies: A Legal History, 35 Am. J. Legal Hist. 393 (1991).
- Western, J.R.: English Militia in the Eighteenth Century: The Story of a Political Issue, 1660-1802 (ISBN: 978-0751201406)
- Paul Finkelman, It Really Was About a Well Regulated Militia, Syracuse Law Review, Vol. 59, p. 267, 2008
- Cress, Lawrence Delbert Cress. Citizens in Arms: The Army and the Militia in American Society to the War of 1812
- Cunliffe, Marcus, Soldiers and Civilians: The Martial Spirit in America, 1775-1865
- Denning, Brannon P., Palladium of Liberty? Causes and Consequences of the Federalization of State Militias in the Twentieth Century, 21 Okla. City U. L. Rev. 191-245 (1996)
- Mahon, John K, The History of the Militia and the National Guard
- Millett, Allan R. & Maslowski, Peter, For The Common Defense: A Military History of the United States of America: Revised Edition
- Riker, William H, Soldiers of the States
- One of the few Law Review articles discussing the historical militia is “The Militia Clause of the Constitution” by Frederick Wiener 54 Harvard Law Review 181(1940).
- See also Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, Book V, Chapter I (Of the Expences of the Sovereign or Commonwealth), PART I: 16-27 (Of the Expence of Defence) for a critique of the miltia system from 1775.
- Also, David Chandler & Ian Beckett, The Oxford Illustrated History of the British Army (ISBN: 978-0198691785) has a section on the Amateur Military Tradition (I.E., the Militia).
- Weatherup, Roy, Standing Armies And Armed Citizens: An Historical Analysis of The Second Amendment, 2 Hastings Const. L.Q. 961-1001 (1975)
- Schwoerer, Lois G. “No Standing Armies!” The Antiarmy Ideology in Seventeenth-Century England
- Whisker, James Biser The Citizen-Soldier under Federal and State Law, 94 W. Va. L. Rev. 947 (1991-1992)
- Cooper, Jerry The Rise of the National Guard: The Evolution of the American Militia, 1865-1920, ISBN: 978-0803264281
- Bogus, Carl T. THE HISTORY AND POLITICS OF SECOND AMENDMENT SCHOLARSHIP: A PRIMER, Chicago-Kent Law Review, Symposium on the Second Amendment, vol. 76, 2000: 3S
- Spitzer, Robert J. LOST AND FOUND: RESEARCHING THE SECOND AMENDMENT, Chicago-Kent Law Review,Symposium on the Second Amendment vol. 76, 2000: 349
- Don Higginbotham, The Federalized Militia Debate: A Neglected Aspect of Sec. ond Amendment Scholarship, 55 Wm. & Mary 0. 39.58 (1998)
- Don Higginbotham, “The Second Amendment in Historical Context”, Constitutional Commentary, October, 1999.
- Cornell, Saul, A Well Regulated Militia The Founding Fathers and the Origins of Gun Control in America, ISBN: 978-0195147865
- Saul Cornell, Commonplace or Anachronism: The Standard Model, the Second Amendment, and the Problem of History in Contemporary Constitutional Theory, 16 Const. Comm. 221 (1999).
- John C. Davenport, The Second Amendment, Original Intent, and Firearms Acquisition in Colonial America, Unpublished Paper Given at the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture’s Annual Colonial Conference, Boulder, Co. (June, 1996).
- William G. Merkel: Mandatory Gun Ownership, The Militia Census of 1806, and Background Assumptions Concerning the Early American Right to Arms: A Cautious Response to Robert Churchill