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Published: Thursday, June 19, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
Firearms


‘Well-regulated' so often forgotten

The letter, “It's citizens who make up a militia” suggests that the Second Amendment authors intended to create a militia based on the Minuteman model that could independently rise up against a tyrannical government. The writer quotes the Second Amendment reference to a “well-regulated militia” but only provides a definition for the word “militia.” He does not address the age-old wording problem in the 2nd amendment - the adjective “well-regulated.”
As I see the current controversy, most people agree on the militia part, they disagree on the source of regulation for it.
I went to the American Heritage Dictionary and searched for “well-regulated.” There was no entry, so I tried “regulated” and got “regulate.” The first definition was “To control and direct according to rule, principle, or law.”
Merriam-Webster defines “regulate” as “a: to govern or direct according to rule b (1): to bring under the control of law or constituted authority (2) : to make regulations for or concerning <regulate the industries of a country>.
Clearly the dictionary meaning of “regulate” includes government authority.
The American Heritage Dictionary has some 17 entries for “well,” so I can't even go there.
So, why does the Second Amendment include the compound word “well-regulated?” Why not just say “militia” or “private militia” or “Minuteman militia” or some other wording? I don't know.
Using all these dictionary entries, however, it appears that one can make an argument that a well-regulated militia is exactly the opposite of the independent Minuteman model, and, that a well-regulated militia could act only under the direction of the government.
No wonder this issue won't go away.
Francis J. Lynch
Edmonds
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Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor: jbauer@heraldnet.com

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer: cmacpherson@heraldnet.com

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