This is a long-form piece I've been working on for some time that has abruptly become current. It is largely historical, though at the end it does modestly address current policy issues. I am going to run it in several, probably five, parts following this introduction. I hope to gather it up and bring it out as an inexpensive ebook.
The genesis of the piece was some decades ago research into the Second Amendment and the militia. One of the works I read was the commonly-cited-by-firearms–advocates 1698 “A Discourse of Government with Relation to Militias” by Andrew Fletcher. The “Discourse” contains what may be the first use of the phrase “well-regulated militia;” certainly one of the earliest uses. But how did this phrase make it into the Constitution? What was Fletcher doing writing about militia anyway? And what does it all mean for us, now?
This essay is an attempt to answer those questions.
Note: for the moment I have turned on comment moderation; this is a controversial topic and I don't want to drown in a firearms debate.
Here is a list of all the parts, with links:
Part 1 - From Renaissance Florence to The Constitution of the United States
Part 2 - The Classical Republican Militia: Machiavelli in Florence
Part 3 - Scottish Republicans
Part 4 - Madison, Jefferson, and Hamilton: the Second Amendment and the Militia Acts
Part 5 - Summation: Whither the Second Amendment?