What is a “militia?”

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The 10 Key Campaigns of the American Revolution by editor Edward Lengel and a collection of contributing authors is a delightful description of key fights in the battle for American liberty and freedom.

A side discussion in the text is pertinent to the ongoing debate over the Second Amendment.

The book explains every free male in the colonies from the age of 16 up to 60 was required to report annually for training as a part of the militia.

A select number of militia received frequent training and were paid and armed at public expense. These were called the Minutemen. They were to stand ready at a moment’s notice to defend their communities. Every male was expected to rally if called upon to join the effort.

Again, note that every free male from 16 through 60 was automatically a member of the militia. A portion of those men were the Minutemen.

Keep that in mind the next time you read the Second Amendment to the Constitution and trip across the word “militia”, wondering what that means.

The second amendment to the U.S. Constitution does NOT say:

  • “Well regulated Minutemen, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Any of those arguments you hear claiming the militia wording only applies to the modern National Guard or a standing army are false. Untrue.

Such claims are willfully deceptive.

When the Constitution was written the militia consisted of every free adult male.

Oh yeah, the militia had the same state-of-the-art weaponry held by the British.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *