The Second Amendment protects ‘lawful weapons’ in ‘common use’

Published: 03/10/2021 7:25:12 AM

James Fieseher, in his article, My Turn (Monitor, March 1), claims that the same “insurgents” who brought pipe bombs and Molotov cocktails to the Capitol on January 6th were too afraid of DC gun laws to get their firearms bring with you. Dr. Fieseher concludes from this that “gun regulations save lives”.

He also sees the demand in the second amendment to the constitution for a “well-regulated militia” as an invitation to us to enact new regulations for gun control.

There are problems with both of these claims. First of all, Dr. Fieseher’s argument that the same people who dropped bombs on the Capitol to overthrow the government were somehow too law-abiding to bring a firearm is absurd. There was only one reported firearm discharge during the riot, at which point a Capitol police officer shot and killed an unarmed woman. It is more than likely that most of the rioters acted spontaneously and were unarmed.

Second, when the founders debated the second amendment, the term “well-regulated militia” had more to do with equipment and training than the misinterpreted definition of piling up more gun regulations. In other words, a more accurate reading is, “A well (equipped and trained) militia.” In his August 3, 2016, My Turn, “Welcome to the Militia,” former NH Supreme Court Justice Chuck Douglas states: “The US Supreme Court also said that the conception of the militia at the time of the ratification of the Second Amendment was the body of all military citizens who would bring the kind of legal weapons they owned at home to militia service. “In addition, the US Supreme Court has defined“ legal weapons ”as those that are“ in general use, ”including the AR15, the country’s most popular rifle platform.

Years ago there was a famous review article called “The Embarrassing Second Amendment.” The non-gun writers concluded that the second amendment basically means what it says: “The right of the people to keep and carry guns must not be violated.”

(Mike Briggs of Hopkinton is the former director of competitive shooting at SIG SAUER Academy and past president of the Pioneer Sportsmen Club in Dunbarton. He currently owns and operates New England Tactical, which specializes in firearms safety and training.)

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