The escape to the Militia Clause is really becoming tiresome.

The right protected by the Second Amendment is the right of the people to possess and carry arms. "Arms" referring to such weapons as may be readily carried, including firearms, melee weapons, and other ranged weapons such as bows, crossbows, and spears.

The Militia Clause was added to provide a reason for the the inclusion of the peoples' right to be armed as an amendment to a document the is, after, all entirely about the federal government that was being created.

The federal government had (and has) no interest in the peoples' use of arms for hunting, personal defense or communal defense and maintenance of order at the local level. However, the new federal government did have a significant interest in the availability of armed citizens from which to draw a national defense force to protect from outside threats and insurrection within. This is why Congress is vested with the power to call forth the militia (Article 1, §8, Clauses 15 and 16, U.S. Constitution) and to provide for the training, equipping, and provisioning such portion of the militia that was called up.

It's also why a militia is the only type of military force allowed to enforce civilian law inside the borders of the United States. The National Guard, the Coast Guard, sheriff's posses, etc., are all militias with certain police powers.

Two more things to remember about militias: First, militia service is not a right; it's an obligation, a legally enforceable duty. Second, the National Guard is not the militia: it is a subset of the militia, which actually consists of all able-bodied men at least 17 years of age and less than 45. The truth is that the National Guard as well know it today has only been in existence since 1903; there's no way it could have been what the creators of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights had in mind, especially since there is no right to keep and bear arms while on active duty in the National Guard. A member of the National Guard is authorized to have a weapon only when and where he or she is ordered to have it.

If you read all the lyrics to Don't Take Your Guns to Town, you will find a context that makes sense. Billy's mother isn't concerned about the guns; she is concerned about his mindset and intent. Billy was going into town to demonstrate his manhood and to go to a bar. Without sufficient provocation or an articulable threat, Billy reacted to an insult by reaching for his gun; the other person was faster and justified, shooting in self-defense.

Most people who carry agree that consumption of alcoholic beverages while carrying a weapon of any sort is a really bad idea. Some states even have limits on permissible blood alcohol content while carrying and it's far below the allowable BAC for driving. Michigan's BAC, for example, allows about one mixed drink or two beers in an hour for an average 190-pound man; about one beer or standard-sized glass of wine for women.

As far as taking ones' guns to town, there's no reason to leave them back on the farm. Given the movement to defund police and the penchant of prosecutors to release violent offenders back on the streets, it might be even more prudent to be armed in town. Just stay out of the bars.

Incidentally, the average murder rate for the 50 larges cities in the U.S. is 2.24 times the national rate.

Assault weapon is a meaningless term. Hands and feet are assault weapons used in murder more frequently that all types of rifle combined. Assault rifles are selective-fire rifles: as such, they are classed as machine guns and are heavily regulated under federal law.

Semiautomatic rifles like the AR-15 cannot be banned for the simple reason that they meet the standard for Second Amendment protection: They are in common use for lawful purposes, the standard set in District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008 and they are useful in militia service, the standard set in United States v. Miller in 1939.

With the ruling in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen in June, the review process used by some federal judicial circuits to uphold some state bans are no longer permissible. We have already seen this process at work in two cases in Colorado, where an ordinance in Superior and a ban in Boulder County were both ruled unconstitutional. California's 1989 ban may well be history by Thanksgiving since a U.S. district court judge has denied the state's request for a hearing to be postponed until March 2023.

Given that millions of hunters, ranchers, and farmers use AR-style and similar rifles for hunting and pest control, it's high time for the lies about the rifle's unsuitability for hunting to be dropped. Semiautomatic rifles capable of accepting magazines holding more than ten cartridges have been sold to American hunters for more than a century and even the Remington Autoloading Rifle introduced in 1905 could fire five shots in a second.

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Professional writer. Passionately interested in facts. Founder of onewordtexas.org

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