What is the meaning of the term “militia” in the Second Amendment?

The Revolutionary War ended when the peace treaty was signed.
The people who signed the peace treaty with the British might just know more than today’s lefty pundits.  After all, they authorized the United States to exist.

The Second Amendment:

A well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.

Notice that it is the right of the people  — NOT the right of the militia.

The purpose of the Bill of Rights was to add further restrictions on the government.  The Bill of Rights itself says so. Many people think that rights come from government. They have been fooled. Rights do NOT come from government. Government can only take away rights. The Bill of Rights DOES NOT grant any rights. The Bill of Rights adds further restrictions on government. The bill itself (Link) stipulates its purpose:

in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added”.

Some people like to argue about the word “militia” in the Second Amendment. They argue that the right to bear arms is only for the organized militia, or that militias are government agencies with government weapons, or that the militia is only State National Guards. BUT JOHN ADAMS AND THOMAS JEFFERSON WERE THERE AND THEY NEVER HAD SUCH THOUGHTS.


Don’t be fooled by the word “regulated” in the phrase “A well regulated militia”. It does not mean “disciplined” nor even subject to a chain of command. The word regulated means governed by rules, or “subject to governing principles”. From Latin Regula “a general rule”.

We are already regulated by “a general rule” that created government. The first sentence of Declaration of Independence states that the Law of Nature entitles government to exist. According to Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Law (a law encyclopedia published in 1765 and used in the Colonies) This rule of conduct applies with equal obligation to individuals and to nations. And indeed the jura summi imperii is the force that government must obey. For all political power is vested in the people.

Your State’s Constitution will tell you who is in the militia.  Read it.  And notice that it does not require training as some people suggest.

In the 1939 Supreme Court case U.S. v. Miller, 307 US 174, we learn what the Second Amendment was about. In order to suppress a military coup that overthrows the government, we must be able to show up on the battlefields with weapons equal to the military, in order to take back our government. If you are prohibited from buying weapons equal to the military, then perhaps you do not live in a free country — perhaps “We The People” have lost control of what we created.

JOHN ADAMS signed the peace treaty with the British

President John Adams in his October 11, 1798 letter to the officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of Massachusetts:

An address from the officers commanding two thousand eight hundred men, consisting of such substantial citizens as are able and willing at their own expense completely to arm and clothe themselves in handsome uniforms, does honor to that division of the militia which has done so much honor to its country.”

That’s right. Almost 7 years after the Bill of Rights, and 18 years after Massachusetts was a state (by the way, John Adams wrote the Massachusetts Constitution) the militia consisted of citizens willing to completely to arm themselves at their own expense. Don’t be fooled into believing that this has changed. The Constitution does not change. Those who swore to defend it must perpetuate it. Congress has no authority to commit mutiny.

John Adams might just know why we created a government. He signed the Declaration of Independence. He signed the Peace Treaty with Great Britain authorizing the U.S. to exist. He was U.S. Vice President, U.S. President, Ambassador to several countries, primary author of the Massachusetts Constitution, and former Governor of Massachusetts.

Thomas Jefferson also signed the peace treaty with the British

Thomas Jefferson in his “Legal Commonplace Book” quoting a passage is from Cesare Beccaria’s Essay on Crimes and Punishments, originally published in Italian in 1764:

Laws that forbid the carrying of arms … disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one.”

Jefferson owned a copy of Beccaria’s treatise in the original Italian. He later purchased an English translation, published in London in 1809, which was sold to the Library of Congress (Sowerby, Entry 2349, 3:21).


Federalist Paper 46 makes it clear that the militia must be able to overthrow a military coup.

“Extravagant as the supposition is, let it however be made. Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it. Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain, that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will and direct the national force, and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments, and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it.”


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