The topic came up, and It has been so long since I have met anyone willing to take any form of a rational approach to the discussion, I did worse than worse in the exchange. So this is my way of rekvetching the points. For those not aware, yes, you want to read up on The 1934 National Firearms Act which is the point under discussion.
The only real time that the point has ever been addressed, it was, in my humble opinion addressed badly. That is United States v. Miller. It should be noted that the US Government plead the critical point:
The Second Amendment protects only the ownership of military-type weapons appropriate for use in an organized militia.But never deals with two critical questions:
- What are military weapons?
- What constitutes a well regulated militia?
It did address the need to understand the founding father's intent, and with that the concepts of why, in essence the 'well regulated militia' clause is IN the ammendment in the first place.
Where this gets problematic is the very set of questions, what IS a well regulated militia, and what are the weapons that are required. A very simple review of history takes us to Saraejvo, and the defense of that city, and it's civilian population by militia forces raised from within the area against 'federal troops' who had gone over to the Serbian State.
It is important to note here that I am speaking of actual military grade weaponry, and specifically those which would be of use for a well regulated militia. While I am willing to accept that in the Special Warfare community, there is a preference for what are 'unique' technial tools for problem solving. We should cleave to the cautious here and focus on the obligatory and relevant weapon systems that are critical to any militia defense of a perimeter. I should note here, that my hope and expectation is that while yes, I would prefer tank support, nothing adds a bit of luster like tank support, I am concerned first and foremost with securing the access ways and delaying any attacking forces. So I am also not interested in protecting merely sporting and phallic compensation systems, no matter how many inches of blued steel your pistol may be - we are concerned first with Mortars, ATGM's, Anti-Aircraft Artillery.
Those who are aware of these as technical systems understand that they are clear 'team centric' systems, and therefore require a well 'regulated crew' to be used, and more importantly used effectively. As such, these would clearly not be the sort of 'personal issue compensation' systems, and become reasonably viable only within the context of a well regulated militia.
It would be nice if the Current Seated Government had left the National Guard System in place as a viable argument for 'a well regulated militia' - but given that various states, including the state of california, have been obliged to create 'office of volunteers' - given the inability to expect that they can field the national guard in times of emergency - it seems reasonably clear that no such argument for a 'well regulated militia' is viable based upon a former national guard system.
That being the case americans may need to revisit the questions of what IS a well regulated militia, why did the founding father's use the phrase. Then we can also address the questions with regards to what the Federal Court System has estabablished as actual legal precedence. While at the same time address the questions of the political meandering of those who are NOT interested in an Actual Well Regulated Militia, and merely the protection of their personal sport.
My personal hope remains that we can keep this as merely an intellectual exchange and debate. The tragedy is that we may not always have the luxury of such a debate.