Now HERE’s an Interesting Idea
Randy Barnett, Boston School of Law professor, filled in for Glenn Reynolds for his MSNBC column, GlennReynolds.com. His two posts were about the right to arms, and I recommend you read both as they adress the anti-gun argument that the Second Amendment is meaningless because we don’t have a “well-regulated militia” anymore. The first piece is here, and the second is here.
So what would Congress be able to do, if it wished, to organize the militia? Here is my suggestion:
Suppose Congress required the local National Guard (the “organized militia”) to organize monthly shooting instruction in small arms — including sidearms and automatic rifles — using weapons supplied by the Guard in government-built local shooting ranges. To be eligible, you would need to be a citizen and to pay at least the cost of the ammunition you would expend. A gun-safety lecture before each session would be mandatory. Do you suppose such shooting sessions would be popular and well-attended? I sure do. I think it would be wildly popular. The government could even make money selling official “U.S. Militia” paraphernalia. And it would all be perfectly constitutional.
As a result, citizen volunteers would be made to feel a part of the militia responsible for collective and personal self-defense. Being entirely voluntary, no one would need to conscientiously object. But tens of thousands of American citizens would also receive instruction in gun safety that could be highly beneficial and save lives. Although I am not a gun owner, I have taken a gun-safety course and it was very illuminating and even chastening. A carrot here would be far more effective than a stick in getting millions of current gun owners to learn more about gun safety.
That is an excellent idea.