Mike Holmes wrote:
In any case, the workaround to the "unorganized militia" thing is what happens in Michigan where you have people creating their own militias in order to insure their ability to own weapons. I think that ruling that people can carry certain weapons is better than forcing them to organize like this, which seems to have it's own dangers to me.
As Justice Scalia and other legal scholars have clearly said, belonging to a group is not a qualification under the 2nd amendment. The whole militia clause was never meant as a qualification, it was an explanatory reason. Such were common in constitutional writing of the era, many state constitutions did such. If, for instance, you were to use the logic of having a qualification, then the only people with free speech rights under the constitution are people who own printing presses, the only people with freedom of religion are priests and ministers, and the only people with freedom against search and seizure are landowners. Thats obviously NOT what the founders intended, and anybody claiming such logic under the 2nd amendment is clearly trying to trojan horse some fascism in under the guise of a long disposed of argument.
If you're arguing for the status quo, I'm with you - I think it's constitutional, and sane.
As to your earlier argument about military weapons: The musket WAS the infantry weapon, the M-16, of that day and age, and secondly, there were more cannon in private ownership than in government ownership in that era, particularly among merchant ship owners, who typically armed each ship with between 4-12 cannon. 90% of the revolutionary war US navy were privately owned vessels as well operating under letters of marque.
A merchant ship with a dozen cannon was a weapon of mass destruction in that day and age (as proven by Blackbeard in bombardments of coastal american cities in the early 18th century).
The founders intentions were that the US should NOT have a standing army.
Now, do I think every able bodied person should participate in community militia, as was done then every sunday after church (showing up to church without your musket was a finable offense then), yes, excepting of those who are morally scrupulous against bearing arms (who should be registered and pay a tax to go unarmed), yes thats a good thing, but forced association is also an unconstitutional violation of the freedom of association.
As for current status quo: which state are you talking about? There is a vast range of laws in the 50 states. Mine, New Hampshire, along with vermont and alaska, have among the least gun laws in the world and also the lowest crime rates in all categories (less than switzerland). DC, NY, IL, and CA have insanely restrictive gun laws and insanely high crime rates.