What defines the word “militia” in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution?

David H. Mills (letter, “Gun ownership limited to members of militia,” Aug. 4) would have us believe that the framers of our Constitution and Bill of Rights needed to look to the work of Samuel Johnson of London for meaning.

In 1755, Johnson published a dictionary containing definitions contemporary to Europe, long controlled by centuries old monarchies, that had standing armies for the purposes of defense and conquest.

The Founding Fathers knew too well the meaning of the word “militia.” They fought the Revolution, as did their children, their kinfolk and their neighbors. They knew the “militia” was the “people.”

This understanding was written into the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, which is a prioritized list.

The First Amendment guarantees freedoms of religion, speech, press and peaceable assembly.

The Second Amendment was created to guarantee a “free people” remain forever free against all enemies.

One of Webster’s definitions (unabridged version) of “militia” says in the United States, those not part of active duty military service, or members of the National Guard or military reserves, are the “unorganized militia.”

Clearly, Webster defines the “citizens” as the “militia.”

Perhaps Webster considered the Second Amendment in his definition.

The citizenry is the true guardian of freedom in the United States of America.

If Mills chooses to not defend his family and property from evil doers, fine. Do not tell me I have no right to such defense. Do not blame the NRA for the evil people do.

Do not forget about the home invasion and machete attack on sleeping occupants in Pittston on Nov. 17, 2007.

Michael A. Cameron


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