The conclusions reached by Del Wasso in his column (“Second Amendment: Defense against tyranny,” TRRT, March 20-26, 2013) are flawed in a few ways. First, he says that those who advance armed revolution think that the Second Amendment “guarantees a republican form of government or … a constitutional government.”
Wherein does he get that idea? The purpose of revolution is to unshackle the bonds of oppression. There were no guarantees of what would come after the original American Revolution or in any future conflict. Who makes that claim? Wasso also asserts that the Second Amendment has been upheld by the Supreme Court as a “collective group right purpose”: ‘A well regulated militia.’” I would agree that membership in a militia is a collective group purpose, but it is far from a “collective group right.” As you said yourself — “the right to own a firearm has been ruled as an individual right.”
To conclude that the “militia was to serve the federal government” is not supported by history. The founders were wary of large standing armies, fearing they could lead to oppression; to think that they would substitute militias in the various States to serve the same purpose is nonsensical.
Besides that, you are overlooking a key phrase. Here is the text of the Second Amendment with original punctuation:
“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.”
The purpose is clearly intended to preserve a “free State”; Not the federal government, Not the United States, but a nation free of oppression.
Perhaps, as you suggest, Congress is derelict in its duties to regulate the people’s militia. However, all this is really an academic exercise, since we agree that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right. It is the responsibility of the Federal Government to preserve that right.
William J. Lee
From the April 10-16, 2013, issue