I’ve seen the “civic duty” meme floating around gun control circles lately, with the conclusion that you should have to join the National Guard if you want a firearm. That’s what the founders intended, according to them. It ignores the reality that the National Guard was created by the Dick Act of 1903Â and was nothing at all like a militia system the founders would have understood. From Miguel’s quoting at Daily Kos:
If you truly believe in the founders intent, then the answer is yes, the intent of the Second Amendment was to codify a civic duty. Those duties arenâ€™t found in local gun clubs or so-called militia organizations, in their 20th century flavor. One place that civic duty can be found is in the National Guard.
Actually, the militia system our founders understood was closer to the local gun club than to the National Guard. To make matters worse for the historically challenged Kos contributor, the modern private militia groups they so derideÂ were something the founder had intimate familiarity with.Â Actually, the closest modern civic body that offers the best analogy the founder’s militia, at least in structure and operation, is your local volunteer fire company.
I appreciate why the gun control folks want to reframe the discussion, but I think a bare requirement to accomplish that is for them to familiarize themselves with the literature on this topic. I am no expert, by any means, but it wouldn’t take but a few days of reading to develop a good enough understanding to have a reasonable discussion. Should we revive the militia system of the founding generation? It’s an interesting question, and something fine to debate, but first you have to know what you’re talking about when you say that.