Questions About the Second Amendment

pocket ConstitutionMaine Senators Collins and King took a leadership role in proposing legislation to restrict firearms purchases by those on the Department of Homeland Security’s so-called “no fly list.”  One member of Congress responded to the media that he would be glad to vote against such legislation to show his willingness to protect “Second Amendment rights.”

I thought it time to pull out my pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution and read Amendment II once again.  (If you don’t have one of these, the National Center for Constitutional Studies version is very handy.)  Amendment II says, in full:

“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.”

I wondered:

What did the framers of the Constitution intend by the inclusion of the clause, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…”?

When that member of Congress says he will vote against the restrictions in Senators Collins’ and King’s legislation, is that clause part of his thinking?

What do the Maine Senators think about this clause?

Does it mean anything to you today when you read this clause?

Mark W. Anderson

About Mark W. Anderson

I am proud to be a Mainer, born in Caribou and schooled at Brewer High School, Bowdoin College, and the University of Maine. I am grateful for a 35 year career at UMaine, the last decade in the School of Economics.