The militia, as defined by the Founding Fathers, was the whole of the people, armed and disciplined and ready to arms at need. “Well-regulated”, in the vernacular of the time meant “properly functioning” as in a “well-regulated” clock was one that kept good time. And, indeed, the original “militia acts” specifying arms, ammo, and other supplies that each household was to retain on hand for use when called up certainly operated from those definitions
So, in order that the militia (the whole of the people, armed and disciplined) be well-regulated (properly functioning as a militia) I propose the following (I’ve got some caveats at the end, so read the whole thing before criticizing):
- Every American from the age 17 through 45, as well as those older individuals who wish to be included, who is not a conscientious objector nor a prohibited person shall be included in the militia. Note, this is somewhat broader than what law already is–the “Unorganized Militia” is all males 17-45 who is not a conscientious objector. I merely take out the sex discrimination and add in older individuals who wish to be included in the militia. After all, with the advances of medicine folk tend to remain healthy and vigorous a lot longer than they used to.
I would add that I’d be fairly broad on the allowance for “conscientious objector.”
- Shooting ranges shall be established in each city and town such that at least one lane is available for every 300 militia members.
- Every militia member shall possess at least one firearm in one of the following calibers: 9X19 mm, .45 ACP, 10 mm, 5.56 NATO, 7.62 NATO, 7.62X39, .338 Lapua, .50 BMG, 12 Ga shotgun. If financial hardship prevents the militia member from owning such a weapon, loaners shall be available at the prescribed ranges for militia training. They shall also possess on hand no less than 250 rounds of ammunition in the caliber of their chosen weapon.
Note: while rifles are preferred, as suggested by the caliber list handguns and shotguns are acceptable.
- Each militia member shall present themselves to a designated official no less than annually, demonstrating that they do, in fact, possess the required arms and ammunition.
- Each Militia Member shall, once each month, receive one hour plus reasonable travel time off with pay to attend a nearby shooting range (see point 2) to practice with their militia weapon. Employers that wish to provide an on-site shooting range for their own employees use may take a tax credit for the construction of such a range and an annual deduction for the operation of said range. Scheduling these monthly range trips shall be by mutual arrangement between employer and employee provided that they average at least one per month and no more than 45 days shall pass between consecutive range trips except in case of particular hardship.
- One hundred rounds of ammunition shall be provided to the militia member for use at each of those monthly range trips. Additional ammunition used shall be at the militia member’s expense.
- No limitations shall be placed on additional firearms that may be owned by militia members nor on their training with them save only that training must be conducted in a reasonably safe manner (i.e. clear lines of fire, adequate backstops, reasonable security against other people wandering into the line of fire).
- These rules shall in no way be considered to limit the use of firearms for sport, recreation, or personal protection.
There you go. A “well-regulated militia.” Now, I’ll be honest, if this were actually put forward seriously, I’d have several…concerns let us say…myself. The cost would be high (but perhaps not as high as some things of lesser value that the government already does) and I have a real problem with government mandates in general. I’m also accepting here (for sake of argument, not that I agree with it) the anti’s argument that the Federal government is claiming responsibility for “well-regulated” (which includes training–a State responsibility according to Article One). It’s in the order of “I don’t agree with it, but let’s take it and see where it leads.”
I do believe the above is Constitutional under the following provision from Article One of the United States Constitution:
The Congress shall have Power To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.
One thing this would do is clearly and unequivocally establish a “well-regulated militia” in the sense the Founding Fathers meant the term. And I flat guarantee that the people repeating over and over again that the 2nd “says ‘well-regulated'” would go into vapors over such a proposal. For that reason alone, I’d love to see such a proposal seriously put forward, warts and all. Since it would show once and for all that their “it says ‘well-regulated'” is disingenuous claptrap meant merely to justify their desire to prohibit privately owned firearms (at least from anyone they don’t personally approve of).
So, can we get a real “well-regulated militia”?