Commentary: NRA Members, The Country Needs You!
By Ray Jerry Friant
The 2nd Amendment has two inseparable parts. NRA supporters have kept one part alive. Our elected leaders have abdicated use of the equally powerful second part.
But today s crisis of crazed gunmen killing our children cries out for both parts to be put to use now!
As a reminder, the 2nd Amendment text is the following:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Ray Jerry Friant, MorristownGreen.com columnist
The two parts are a right, and a responsibility. The right is to keep and bear Arms. The responsibility is to be part of a well regulated Militia.
The two are inseparable!
Today, we need a well regulated Militia in order to help keep unstable individuals from getting guns and from killing our children.
Accordingly, the Congress or the President should immediately implement the following:
1. All Arms owners are hereby mustered onto the rolls of each State s Militia.
2. All Arms owners must register their Arms so that Militia commanders will know the capabilities of their forces.
Each state shall require the following of its Militia members:
A. Before bearing Arms (and every five years thereafter) each Militia member shall pass a physical examination administered by a licensed physician that certifies that he/she is of sound mind, physically fit, and not on mind-altering drugs.
B. Each member shall be trained (and demonstrate proficiency in) the use of his/her Arms(s) prior to bearing said Arm(s).
Each member shall attend a scheduled monthly drill designed to assure that his/her Militia becomes and remains a well regulated Militia.
D. Each member shall be assigned to special patrols stationed at schools and/or other public venues when and where requested by local police or National Guard Units.
4. The Federal Government shall administer a permanent staff to oversee the training and assignment of Militia members, which staff shall be housed in National Guard facilities.
The National Guard shall maintain a list of Arms that are acceptable for Militia members to keep and bear in their Militia duties. All other Arms will be designated for use by Armed Services (and police) only and not available for civilian use. Guns to be used for hunting and sports shall come from the acceptable Militia Arms list.
A legislative wordsmith needs to properly draft the above thoughts.
However, if we are ever going to square into the cancer of gun-crazed lunatics, we need an uprising of responsible citizens to be involved all citizens gun-owners and non-gun-owners alike.
They need to set aside their polarized views and work together to find a sensible, effective middle-ground that can collectively implement a concept written by our Founding Fathers into the 2nd Amendment.
It is fantastical to expect Militias to be operational instantaneously. It will take time and it should probably be implemented piecemeal. However it is past time to bring to life a concept that the Founding Fathers believed to be important.
As a nation we need to re-think our strategy for keeping our children and citizenry safe.
For sure today s programs aren t working well enough. And this thought is held by the vast majority of gun owners (who are just as law-abiding and civic minded as non-gun owners).
We need tactics for keeping guns away from crazies. Just maybe empowering and enforcing Militia membership, requiring medical exams prior to bearing arms, and requiring proficiency demonstrations for all new gun owners are useful steps.
Perhaps, too, getting Militia members to self-police their ranks will come to be seen as a positive good provided by NRA members.
My hope is that a new dialog will begin that achieves constructive results.
Ray (Jerry) Friant lives in Morris Township, belongs to the Morristown United Methodist Church and is active with Morris Habitat for Humanity.