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Argument: The idea of a militia protecting against domestic tyranny is a myth

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Supporting Evidence

  • Mark Tushnet, J.D. , “Interpreting the Right to Bear Arms — Gun Regulation and Constitutional Law”, The New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 358:1424-1426 April 3, 2008 "This reading does make sense of the preamble's reference to the militia — but at some cost. If the point of the Second Amendment is to allow the body of the people to resist an oppressive government, isn't the Amendment entirely obsolete? Modern governments have tanks and bombs that they could use against the people, and surely, as gun-control advocates say, we can't fairly interpret the Second Amendment as guaranteeing the people a right to own antitank weapons and bazookas. Interpreting the Amendment as protecting weapon ownership only in connection with membership in a state-organized militia avoids this difficulty. Historian Garry Wills has made an attempt at claiming the above. An online article, from the gun control group Join Together, reports Wills as writing "any claims that the Constitution ensures an armed citizenry as a bulwark against the potential tyranny of government is a myth [emphasis added]. 'You can't read the amendment apart from the body of the Constitution,' he wrote, 'and the body of the Constitution defines taking up arms against the United States as treason.' " [Wills ,"A Necessary Evil: A History of American Distrust of Government" (1999)]

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