The Second Amendment
I have recently become aware of a subset of Americans who fervently believe in the notion that the Second Amendment exists for the purpose of affording people who disagree with the government’s position on an issue to openly rebel against the government. This seems to be the one true purpose in owning military-style weapons and large magazine clips. How else to fight the well-armed and trained local police or the FBI?
First, Article III Section 3 talks about treason against the United States. The Second Amendment would need to rescind Article III to make it OK to wage war on the U.S.
Second, Some sort of consensus on this revolt would need to be taken or the insurrectionists would be considered either lunatic fringe or common bank robbers.
Third, several times in our history we have put down such armed insurrectionists with armed force: Washington called out the militia under authority of the Militia Act of 1792 to put down the Whiskey Rebellion; the militia was called again to end Shay’s Rebellion, an attempt by Massachusetts farmers to force the state government to forgive debts; and again in the Civil War.
Since the Second Amendment does not permit armed revolt, what does it say? It consists of a single sentence: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of the State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” This sentence must be taken as a whole. In other words, it refers to an organized group of citizens.
Since we are referring to a time when volunteers mustered on the village green to repel Indians and kept their weapons at home, the term refers to an organized group of defenders, not to individuals.