- Madison (a Virginian) hewed closley to his mentor George Mason's Virginia Declaration of Rights )as did Jefferson). Mason was one of those insisting on a Bill of Rights beffore he agreed to sign off on the Constitution.
His version, in the Virginia Declaration of Rights, reads http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/virginia.htm:
XIII That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that, in all cases, the military should be under strict subordination to, and be governed by, the civil power.
His language may shed some light on the Founders' intent. (Posted on April 26, 2007, 6:42 am Gerry Wenham)
- What an idiotic load of drivel.
Willy-nilly commas were the order of the day in Madison's time and there are different commas in different drafts of the Second Amendment.
The author suggests looking into history for an answer to a conundrum (which was not a conundrum for the first 100 to 150 years after the Bill of Rights was written), but then falls back on, "it seems to me..."
The fact is the Second Amendment means exactly what it says - what any reasonable thinking person would see it says: That it is important for the people to be able to form an army to maintain their freedom, and the citizens should never be disarmed.
The historical debates about the amendment and the various versions which were tried - including a version which clearly said that citizens right to arms was only for defense of the state and was soundly rejected - all make it clear that meaning and intent of the Second Amendment was two-fold with the clauses supporting each other, not one limiting or excluding the other.
By the way, Maryland has pretty strict gun control while Virginia is pretty lax. The metropolitan areas of Virginia bordering DC have much lower crime rates than the metropolitan areas of Maryland bordering DC.
If the majority of voters in DC wanted to pass a law forbidding the practice of religion would it be undue interference for the court to intervene?
FirearmsCoalition.org (Posted on March 30, 2007, 5:46 pm Jeff Knox)