I am not a lawyer nor an expert on the U.S. Constitution. However, even a casual examination of that document would appear to contradict Mr. John Massoud's assertion in his March 3 commentary that the Second Amendment is a "defense against the Government."

The same Militia mentioned in that Amendment, is mentioned originally in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. It gives Congress the authority to call forth that militia expressly "to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress insurrections and repel Invasions."

In 1794, well after the ratification of the Constitution, including the Second Amendment, President Washington used that authority to call up a 13,000-man militia from Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey to end what came to be known as the "Whiskey Rebellion." President Lincoln used that same Constitutional authority as the legal basis for conducting the Civil War.

In my opinion, it is dangerously misleading for Mr. Massoud to make his assertion. Neither the Constitution nor bloody precedent provides any such defense for armed insurrection, either against the Federal government, or any State. The Library of Congress website has an excellent article on the historical background of the Second Amendment, but a major factor was the fear of, and cost of, a standing Federal Army and the desire of the individual States to preserve their militias, drawn from "the People."

Gregory Lowe, Luray

(5) comments

Brad Skipper

Exactly on point! I keep wondering how the 2A "Unconditionals" keep forgetting the word "regulated" or convince others that it had a different meaning in the 1700's.

Steve F

Well said. Points that should be self-explanatory are still being contested in the current environment.


Insurrection against the government is treason.


Than surely the colonies committed treason against England. If your comment is correct.


, , , and to put down slave rebellions.

Welcome to the discussion.

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