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A well regulated militia. Gun extremists pretend that the first four words of the Second Amendment don’t exist. They beat people over the head with the Second Amendment using the last 13 words but never mention the part that frames the topic. I’ve even had one gun extremist tell me that the comma after the first four words invalidates them. 

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.

The Second Amendment

What “Well Regulated” Means in Second Amendment

Ironically, the first four words invalidates the gun extremists position against gun control laws. “Well regulated” is not an accidental phrase. It means that what is being discussed is not only to be regulated, but it is to be closely regulated.

Because it is stated first, it means that everything said after is to be considered within the framework of regulation. The Second Amendment is not about unlimited, unrestricted gun ownership. It is not a mandate to allow anyone to own any weapon they want. It clearly outlines that gun ownership is intended to be under the rule of the government.

Regarding assault rifles, our country had a legal restriction on assault-type rifles from 1994 to 2004. It wasn’t struck down because it was unconstitutional. It ended because a Republican Congress let the law die due to a Sunset provision in the ban.

Gun Extremists

Not what “well regulated” means

Supreme Court Ruling Confirms Guns To Be Well Regulated

Even the Supreme Court ruling that gun extremists like to use to claim unrestricted gun ownership confirms the right of the government to control the ownership of guns. In District of Columbia versus Heller, the Justice Anthony Scalia wrote in the majority opinion:

Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.

Majority Opinion “District of Columbia v. Heller”

Justice Scalia builds a creative argument why guns have to be allowed in the home, but he clarifies that home ownership does not mean unregistered gun ownership:

[a]ssuming that Heller is not disqualified from the exercise of Second Amendment rights, the District must permit him to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home.

Majority Opinion “District of Columbia v. Heller”

The concept that guns cannot be regulated, nor registered is contrary to the ruling by the Supreme Court. “Well regulated” is the important aspect of the Second Amendment regardless of what gun extremists want to pretend.