Well-regulated militia

Recent events remind me to post my proposed solution to America’s gun problem.

The second amendment looks pretty clear to me; well-regulated militias are allowed to own weapons. Coming fresh out of an armed uprising of citizens, it seems reasonable to me that the founding fathers would want to allow citizens to stay armed, both as a matter of national defense and as a check on tyrrany.

So, fine. We hew to the wording of the constitution. All guns must be kept at gun clubs unless you’re a member of a militia. Any group of 25 citizens can form a militia. The militia is collectively responsible for the armed actions of its members, and any weapons purchased through the militia. Financially, certainly, so the militia must insure or self-insure against accidents, crimes, and acts of mass slaughter. And probably legally, so that militia leaders can face criminal negligence if their weapons aren’t well-regulated. What “well-regulated” legally means seems like something we can leave up to the states.

I think organizations like the NRA could live with this. Indeed, the NRA state or local chapters could organize militias. Most gun owners are very responsible with their weapons, so I expect NRA members would come up with a good set of checks to ensure that member weapons are indeed well regulated. And if the NRA chapters are self-insuring against gun misuse, they’d have a strong financial incentive to get things right.

I also think all gun and ammo purchases should be published in real time, at least attributed to militias, and possibly to the individual. That would make it easier for citizens to self-regulate. If you saw that a co-worker or a neighbor who was under a lot of stress just bought a bunch of automatic weapons, you might say something. As might his militia members, especially if their militia will share the trouble for things done with militia weapons.

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