Over at Catskil Bob’s Blogosphere, we’ve been having a lively discussion regarding the meaning of the 2nd Amendment – part 1 and part 2. Among other things.
One of the normal anti-rights cultists argument is the “Collective” argument; that the right to keep and bear arms is only something that can be exercised as part of a greater group. Another is the “Militia Only”; that the right to keep and bear arms is only related to the militia and not to an individual’s self defense.
I’ve been trying to come up with a way of framing the issue that makes sense to me and might make sense to those advancing those arguments. So I’m going to purpose a series of hypothetical situations and ask you, my 7 loyal readers, to tell me when the rights of that apply to the “collective/militia” do not apply to the individual.
Scenario #1 —
A Militia unit has been called up, put into uniform and thrown into battle. The enemy has overran its position and killed all but 1 person.
In the midst of a battle, an uniformed member of the militia is separated from his unit and is surrounded by the enemy.
As part of an offensive, an uniformed member of the militia is sent out alone to scout enemy positions on the battle field.
As a part of an upcoming offensive, a member of the militia is sent out in civilian clothes to scout enemy positions in a city or town.
On the way to the front, an uniformed member of the militia is traveling alone. The person is attacked by elements of the enemy forces.
On the way to the rally point, a member of the militia is attacked by the enemy.
A member of the militia is at home, just completing a conversation that included a call up to action. The enemy breaks down the door and attacks the member.
The enemy has obtained a list of militia members and ambushes one of them prior that that person finding out the militia has been called up.
The enemy has started an active campaign and a person decides to fight with the militia. On the way to the recruiting point, that person is attacked by the enemy.
The enemy has started an active campaign by assaulting and killing people. A person is in their home unaware of the events.
A person notices troubling trends and decides in order to stop the enemy that a militia has to be formed. After announcing the intention, the person becomes a target of the enemy in order to stop the formation of the militia.
So does a person have to make a formal declaration, don a uniform, etc in order to be considered part of the militia? That seems to be the argument many anti-rights cultists make, isn’t it?
Of course they are forgetting the legal definition according to federal law.
10 U.S. Code § 311 – Militia: composition and classes
(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard. (b) The classes of the militia are—
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia
Emphasis mine, because it really makes the point that every adult male 17 to 45….and given the federal laws against gender bias, age bias, etc — how long before that definition gets changed again, eh.
The point I’m trying to make is in order to be an active participant in the militia, a person has to survive long enough to get there. That is one of the reasons why the 2nd Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. Because otherwise the opposition could pick off individuals with immunity and stop the militia from forming.
Or they could claim that an individual not found in a group is not part of the militia and therefore has no protection as afforded by the 2nd Amendment.
So –is a person protected in all scenarios or just down to a particular one. Please join the discussion.