oralloy wrote: edgarblythe wrote:
Today, state militias already have the weapons. They only need bodies.
Not quite. Today there are no state militias
(and the states violate our rights by not having them).
If James Madison had intended those militia
to be state government
( such as referred to in Article I Section 8 )
he 'd NOT have chosen the words of art " well regulated militia "
which were the DIAMETRICAL OPPOSITE of such militia
In the parlance of the times,
and of earlier centuries, he 'd have called them " selected militia. "
His choice of language indicated his intention
( adopted by Congress ) that the private citizens who were armed,
can continue to organize themselves freely into units of militia
( in vu of the fact that there were NO POLICE
and there was strength in numbers which was needed, occasionally ).
Witness the fact that nowhere
is there any reference to
a " well regulated Navy," nor a " well regulated Treasury Dept. "
nor a " well regulated Senate " nor to ANY other entity of government
" Well regulated militia
" meant private militia
, but properly self disciplined,
not boisterous, and drilled well enuf to be effective in battle.
A select militia is one that only encompasses a portion of the citizenry, instead of all of the citizenry. The idea is that a small group can be trained to a much higher degree of skill than the general citizenry -- if the entire populace devoted too much time to military training, society wouldn't be able to produce anything.
Every time I've heard the Framers use the terms "well-regulated militia" they were referring to a militia that had the training and skill necessary to fight as an effective unit (as opposed to fighting as a bunch of uncoordinated individuals).
Both terms can be seen in this excerpt from Federalist 29, where Alexander Hamilton argues that only a select militia can manage the training necessary to become a well-regulated militia:
[list][quote]"The project of disciplining all the militia of the United States is as futile as it would be injurious, if it were capable of being carried into execution. A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, or even a week, that will suffice for the attainment of it. To oblige the great body of the yeomanry, and of the other classes of the citizens, to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well-regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people, and a serious public inconvenience and loss. It would form an annual deduction from the productive labor of the country, to an amount which, calculating upon the present numbers of the people, would not fall far short of the whole expense of the civil establishments of all the States. To attempt a thing which would abridge the mass of labor and industry to so considerable an extent, would be unwise: and the experiment, if made, could not succeed, because it would not long be endured. Little more can reasonably be aimed at, with respect to the people at large, than to have them properly armed and equipped; and in order to see that this be not neglected, it will be necessary to assemble them once or twice in the course of a year."
"But though the scheme of disciplining the whole nation must be abandoned as mischievous or impracticable; yet it is a matter of the utmost importance that a well-digested plan should, as soon as possible, be adopted for the proper establishment of the militia. The attention of the government ought particularly to be directed to the formation of a select corps of moderate extent, upon such principles as will really fit them for service in case of need. By thus circumscribing the plan, it will be possible to have an excellent body of well-trained militia, ready to take the field whenever the defense of the State shall require it. This will not only lessen the call for military establishments, but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist."
I don't see any evidence that they meant well-regulated to exclude government control, or meant government control to extend only to select militias.
In the end, the Framers didn't take Hamilton up on his proposal for a select militia, and instead made all white males of military age members of the militia. But despite this, they also made the militia a government-controlled body.
Note the law they passed to organize the first militia: