A well-regulated militia

James McAllen
6 min readNov 22, 2021

“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.”

That’s the 2nd amendment of the US Constitution. It basically gives any US citizen the right to own a firearm for a variety of purposes, with some restrictions.

I don’t oppose the 2nd Amendment.
I don’t oppose gun ownership.
I DO, however, oppose the civilian ownership of the AR-15 and its’ various offshoots.

When I got married, I applied for, and obtained, a NYS Rifle/Shotgun permit. The purpose was to obtain a firearm for home security. There’s nothing wrong with that. A gun is simply a tool. It’s no different from a table, or a paint brush, or a power-saw. All tools are meant to make life easier for humans. The only difference is, a gun is designed to fire a projectile, at a high rate of speed, into living flesh, with the intent of killing the target. That is its’ purpose. I’m ok with that, but let’s just not pretend that it has any other use. You can use a pistol to bang a nail into a wall, but that’s not what it’s designed for.

When we bought the house, I took the family to a reputable firing-range in NJ called “Gun for hire”. It’s a terrific facility. We went there and told them what we were interested in learning, and they helped us through every step of the process. I hadn’t fired a gun in years, and the boys had never fired a weapon, so we felt this was the best way to get acclimated to owning a firearm. I recommend them highly.

We rented a shotgun, two 9MM handguns, and being that I don’t believe in “contempt prior to investigation”, an offshoot of the aforementioned AR-15. (I think it was the Bushmaster XM-15, but my memory isn’t what it used to be.)

We fired the shotgun first, and I was happy that I was able to hit the target.
We moved to the handguns, and within a few minutes, we were all able to hit center mass with regularity.

After a few minutes with the AR, I was able to take out eyeballs from 60 feet. They didn’t allow us to put the one-pull, one fire ratio to a test, but I wasn’t all that disappointed. It was quickly evident that my previous assessment of the weapon was correct. This tool does not belong in the hands of a civilian, let alone someone with mental illnesses.

My wife and I could never agree on which tool we wanted, so I never pursued the handgun permit for reasons that are not really germane to this conversation.
(I was afraid that the temptation to shoot stupid people might be too much to resist.)
So we decided that home protection was best left to the tried and true method practiced by Italian-Americans for over 100 years — A baseball bat in the corner of every room.
That’s not a joke.

But that brings us to Kyle Rittenhouse.
Yesterday, young Kyle was acquitted of all charges stemming from a shooting last August.
In full-disclosure, I did not watch a minute of the trial, and I only read a few articles. I always felt that the outcome was never in doubt.
He didn’t go there to commit murder. He acted in self-defense, in a state where the gun is the state bird.

But the fact remains…
A 17-year-old
went to a different state from the one he lives in,
obtained a semi-automatic rifle that he was legally prohibited from owning, (but not possessing),
stood on a corner in the middle of a civil disturbance,
shot three people, including two fatally…

And not one law was broken.

How in god’s name is that possible?

And more importantly, what “well-regulated militia” was Kyle a part of?

The answer is, of course, none…
We don’t have a well-regulated militia in this country,
we have an un-regulated militia, governed by a hodge-podge of various state and local laws which often contradict each other.

I work with a guy who is a big 2nd Amendment proponent. He owns a variety of legal weapons, and he also possesses a concealed-carry permit from the state of Utah. Which is fine.
Except, there’s one problem.
He’s never set foot in Utah.
Not once.
He applied online; sent in his application along with a set of fingerprints and a check and VOILA! — Pistol permit.

I’m not kidding. You can look it up here.

Now it gets more complicated.
There is a movement in the country called reciprocity. Basically, it means that if you have a carry permit in Wyoming, then other states should honor that permit, even if they restrict their own citizens. It’s a way to get around the sovereignty of states to define their own guns laws.

This is NOT a well-regulated militia.

Which brings me to Jan 6th.
As we all know, there was a “disturbance” at the US Capitol on the morning of Jan 6th. Some people may have acted in a violent manner.
Some of those people may have attacked the members of the US Capitol Police. We’ve all seen the video of what happened on the steps and in the halls of one of our nations’ most hallowed buildings. Five people died that day.
One, a former military vet, was shot while she was trying to breech the inner sanctum of the House chamber.

The burning question for me is…
How is it possible that more people weren’t killed by police that day?
How is that number not 50?
How did those Capitol Police, under what must have been terrifying conditions, some of whom have given accounts of how scared they were for their lives, not just start firing widely into the crowd to disperse what could easily be called a life-threatening event.
The answer is simple.

“Well-regulated Militia”

These brave men and women were highly trained individuals who under unimaginable duress, somehow maintained the discipline to not just lose it and start dispatching their attackers. I, for one, would not have been able to do it. But the kicker is, this group of people weren’t heralded as the heroes they are, they were vilified. Vilified by the same people who claim to “back the blue” and the biased media outlets that they love to watch.
These guys should be showered with praise; we should hold parades in their honor, instead…
75 members have resigned.
4 have committed suicide.

There is something wrong with America when we support misguided teenaged vigilantes while at the same time, disparage the men and women who have sworn to protect us.

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Guns have a purpose.
They can be used for hunting, or self-defense by law-abiding citizens.
And I’m not going to lie, firing a box of rounds from a 9MM glock gives you a pulsing purple steel-tipped erection.
Ask my wife.
But all too often, guns are used to commit crimes in this nation. They often result in deaths; more in fact, than another other civilized nation other than Brazil. That’s right. The US comes in 2nd to last in gun murders.
In NY state, we have some of the best gun laws in the country, and one of the lowest gun murder rates, despite how the media tries to portray us.
It’s very difficult to obtain a firearm in this state without jumping through a few hoops. When you see a murder on the news, more than likely, the gun that was used came from out of state.
More than likely, it came from one of the southern states with the more lax gun laws, via what is known as the “Iron Pipeline” They also happen to be the states that have the highest rate of gun death in the nation. This is not a coincidence. This is evidence of an “un-regulated militia”.
If one failed shoe bomber can get prompt Washington into compelling every air traveller to remove their shoes before boarding a plane, doesn’t the 18K gun deaths a year warrant instituting a “well-regulated militia”?