With the continued violence of mass shootings in the U.S., gun control is yet again a topic of conversation. Inherent in these conversations is the presence of the second amendment, and while the validity of the second amendment itself is rarely questioned, it’s our interpretation of the amendment that would allow, or not, for changes to the level of gun control in the U.S.
One thing we could spend more time interpreting is the idea of a well regulated militia and how it relates to gun rights. The amendment 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.” A “well regulated militia” leads the amendment, it seems it was a primary concern, treating it as tertiary to not infringing on the right to bear arms seems negligent.
Could Militias Ultimately Quell Concerns in Both Parties?
One question we could ask ourselves is, “What does a well regulated militia look like in the modern world, and is there a middle ground in gun control that would allow the people to still feel like they can protect themselves from the government and others while providing a safer environment for all of us?”
A Well Regulated Militia is Not What It Is Now
For those who want to see themselves as warriors in waiting and have glorious visions of the day that they get to prove their worth, if they are extremist enough to join a formal group, it’s not a well regulated militia at this point. They don’t represent the interest of their country or even their area, they represent their own selfish interests, the ones we see most are white supremacists.
A Compromise For the People, As Intended
Whether we actually have formal militias or we’re just allowing for the possibility in case of emergency, there’s no way anyone can say that what we have now provides the framework for either of those things being well regulated. In addition to being well regulated, the amendment addresses not infringing the rights of the people to keep and bear arms — not the individual person.
That being said, we could provide a framework that allows the people to have the ability to store munitions and protect themselves in the event of a civil-war or authoritarian takeover while still keeping guns from the people and places that they pose the most threat.
All over the U.S., people have stores of weapons in case of events like these. Consolidating them in formalized, recognized, and legal facilities, owned by legally formed and operated militias could be part of the solution to letting people keep their military-grade weapons for the reason they claim, while also keeping them out of our streets and schools. They could even have recognized shooting and training facilities.
While some would still shout about the right to have an AR-15 within reaching distance of their depressed 15 year old son, facilities and organizations like the one mentioned above represent real middle ground between those who want to keep high-grade weapons and those who don’t believe those weapons are ever a realistic need for self-defense.
If we were to implement something like this, not only would it give us confines for where these weapons could be, but it would give the people a real chance at organizing should they ever need to. As it stands now, there might be small bands of citizens that would find each other in an event like the ones we’d need militias for, but nothing close to standing up to our military or even segments of our military.
Militias Just One Idea in Solving Mass Shootings
This obviously only touches the surface of what creating militias would mean or look like in our day and age, but it’s something we haven’t really discussed that could help solve concerns on both sides if done the right way. It’s an extreme solution, but also a compromise, and it seems like those are the types of solutions we’ll need in such an extreme, polarized phenomena.