Right to Bear Arms Depends on Military Service
Right to Bear Arms Depends on Military Service

The rigfht to bear arms guaranteed in the Second Amendment is for people in military service who are protecting the country.

In his excellent book The Quartet describing the history of the drafting of the Constitution, Joseph Ellis makes clear what the drafters meant in the Second Amendment.  He says the original draft was by James Madison, who wrote:

“The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed, and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country; but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms, shall be compelled to render military service in person.”

Ellis says:

“Madison was responding to recommended amendments from five states calling for the prohibition of a permanent standing army on the grounds that it had historically proven to be an enduring threat to republican values.  It is clear that Madison’s intention in drafting his proposed amendment was to assure those skeptical souls that the defense of the United States would depend on on state militias rather than a professional, federal army.  In Madison’s formulation, the right to bear arms was not inherent but derivative, depending on service in the militia.  The recent Supreme Court decision (Heller v. District of Columbia, 2008) that found the right to bear arms an inherent and nearly unlimited right is clearly at odds with Madison’s original intentions.”   

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