Posted Online: Feb. 08, 2013, 2:40 pm
Letter: Well-armed citizenry doesn’t serve same purpose as militia
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As a professional soldier and historian I have a few insights on firearms and the Second Amendment in response to the Feb. 4 letter, "Keep in mind the real history of the 2nd Amendment."
The writer states the weapons of the military and colonists were the same, implying that is the basis of the well-regulated militia. No they were not.
Many colonial families owned antiquated hunting weapons from the early 1700s and 1600s.
Armories were stocked with the standard British military musket of the period.
Weapons uniformity is necessary in units so the commanders train troops to the same standard, and know the range and volume of fire his unit can produce.
A unit will not be trained to standard if everyone brings a different weapon.
Several armories in many colonies had standard British weapons stored by the colonial government.
The one in Williamsburg, Va., is an example of this and is still in existence. Typically, when the militia was called for training, members did not bring their own personal weapons.
Lexington and Concord were also armories.
The 3,000 farmers who came from all the towns around to chase the British back to Boston did not have time to draw a weapon.
Most were not in the militia, and they brought a wide variety of personal weapons for that fight.
Shay's Rebellion was the same -- the farmer insurgents or Regulators brought their own non-standard weapons.
The clauses about well-regulated militia and the right to bear arms serve two distinct different purposes.