Many will say that “no one” needs an “AR” (AR-15 rifle). That the cartridge is only really “suitable” for smaller game, that no hunter needs a 30 round magazine. That it is a military weapon designed for the battlefield and should remain there! On the other hand it could be an excellent weapon for defense against a mob. It has light recoil and is light in weight, making it suitable for women and even older children to use if necessary. It is true that it is a “military weapon”, but the men who fought in our Revolution did use “military” weapons in the form of flintlock muzzle loading smooth bore muskets, which in the late 18th Century were the standard “military weapon” used by soldiers of the era. Militias later on used whatever shoulder weapon was in current use by the military of the time. The muzzle loading percussion rifled musket of the Civil War era for example. The 50-70 trap door later on. So the “militia” arm of today would be the current military rifle.
“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.” Second Amendment, Bill of Rights, the Constitution of the United States of America. It should be noted when this amendment was ratified, all able bodied men with a few exceptions, were considered to be part of the “militia”. We did have state militias at the time of the Civil War. And the concept of the “sheriff’s posse” (as shown in old Westerns) was also part of the militia concept. The modern National Guard also grew out of the concept of the militia. So the idea of “the people in arms” has a long historical basis going back to the founding of the country. The “AR-15” rifle is a military weapon, and one that would be used by a modern militia. The National Guard as a matter of fact is armed with the military selective fire version, currently the M4. All of these rifles, starting with the AR-15 as produced by Colt share the same basic concept and design. Over the decades of course it has been “improved” and has had the early flaws in the designed worked out so that it is quite reliable today as long as it receives at least a minimum amount of care. Plus since it is the standard military rifle of the US military, ammunition and parts are readily available.
The Founding Fathers attempted to create a government that was so designed that any one of the three parts (legislative, executive, judiciary) could stop the other two if necessary. They had sufficient experience with the British system to want a design better designed to safeguard personal and economic freedom from an oppressive government. As an ultimate safeguard the militia was supposed to be an independent force controlled by the states themselves. The only mistake they made here was to reject the idea of “demarchy” (representatives selected by lottery which would have given us the world’s most representative government. One truly representative of all of the American people. Perhaps the reason they didn’t do this was that they were afraid of the “common people” to the point that they limited the right to vote to a relatively small minority of the people, establishing a system where only the owners of income producing property were allowed to vote. Even then, Senators were selected by state governments, not the people. And the selection of the President went through the electoral college, with just a relationship with the popular vote. This fear of the “mob” (the non-property owning majority) that has “colored” our political system from the start, and made our government far less “representative” than it could have been. Which could be one of the reasons we’re currently in the trouble that we’re in today… Especially as our government is now becoming less and less actually “representative” of the American people as a whole. Thanks to mistaken decisions such as “Citizens United”, we have in fact allowed our government to become less and less representative of the American people than it ever has. Abuse of the Commerce Clause that has allowed the Obamacare’s “mandate”. The first time Americans will be forced to purchase a product produced by private business.
So does the “militia”, the people of America, have a right to possess the AR-15 rifle? If we look at the writings of the Founding Fathers, it would appear that they do so have this right as members of the “unorganized militia”. The Founding Fathers felt that if everything else failed, that the militia would step up and set things “right”. Hopefully it will never come to this, but the American people in arms is the last safeguard we have.
What about the “misuse” to which this rifle has been put? Guns do not kill by themselves. They require a human finger on the trigger to do so. And those who do these shootings all appear to be the victims of mood changing drugs which have been overly prescribed when there were other alternatives that would have been better. We should also realize that a “gun free school zone” is like painting a target on our children. There should be “NO” gun free zones anywhere. No invitation to drug crazed lunatics!