The reason for the 2nd amendment

I don’t understand how you get there. The Constitution, before it was even amended, states plainly that one of Congress’ primary duties is to “raise and support Armies.”

Exactly, but neither does it state to maintain armies, unlike it states for the Navy. It also states that the Militia is to be used to “execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions”. It does not state Army.

So, while it does not state that a “standing army” is prohibited, it does not state that one is to be created. As the Constitution only tells the government what it is authorized to do, it does not state what government is not authorized to do.


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How is Congress meant to fulfill it’s duty to “raise and support” an Army if it neither creates nor maintains it?

Congress is not “required” to raise an Army, the Constitution gives them the authority so that they could do it if/when/as they saw fit. It is unfortunate for the Native Nations west of the Appalachians that the Constitution gave Congress this power.

Where did I state they could not raise an army? I only quoted the text of the Constitution. It does not state anywhere about maintaining an Army.

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

Sorry for repeating myself, but…

I am only - again - quoting the Constitution. There is a clear difference in the wording regarding an Army and the Navy. What that means is not my job.

Not so different. I don’t understand the problem.

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You missed the import part after “but”. Kind of like an anti-RKBA person quoting the militia part of the 2A, but not the part about the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

I do not see where questioning me is of any benefit here. I have only posted excerpts of the Constitution. I am not here to provide an answer, neither do I have any opinion on the topic. I was only providing the pertinent part of the Constitution. How you interpret it is on you.

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That’s fair. I interpret it quite differently than you. I find no verbiage in the United States Constitution that prohibits a standing army.

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Again, I have not interpreted it - I only posted the pertinent excerpt. Interpret however you like - not my issue. The only reason I posted the excerpt was due to the question of whether or not a “standing army” is mentioned in the Constitution - it is not.

My only comment was that the Constitution only states what the government has power and authority to act on, it does not state what government does not have the power or authority not to do. That is not my opinion, it is the intent and how the document was written.

I think we got down this rabbit hole when Mark719 stated that the US Constitution says we are not to have a standing army. I haven’t seen that.

I don’t understand why it is so difficult to understand. Congress was only to raise and support an Army IF there was a declared war and only then for two year increments. It was not supposed to be an army that would be running around the world playing some sort of police agency telling folks in other countries what to do or not to do. Show me one good reason for a standing army except mischief.

AGAIN: Referred to in modern times as an individual’s right to carry and use arms for self-defense, the Second Amendment was envisioned by the framers of the Constitution, according to College of William and Mary law professor and future U.S. District Court judge St. George Tucker in 1803 in his great work Blackstone’s Commentaries: With Notes of Reference to the Constitution and Laws of the Federal Government of the United States and of the Commonwealth of Virginia, as the “true palladium of liberty.” In addition to checking federal power, the Second Amendment also provided state governments with what Luther Martin (1744/48–1826) described as the “last coup de grace” that would enable the states “to thwart and oppose the general government.” Last, it enshrined the ancient Florentine and Roman constitutional principle of civil and military virtue by making every citizen a soldier and every soldier a citizen.

The US Constitution does not give us any rights, and that includes the 2nd Amendment. Rather, it affirms rights that already existed, espoused in the “Bill of Rights”, in order to safeguard them. Note that the “right of the people to keep and bear arms” isn’t given by the language above. Instead, our right to keep and bear arms, which existed outside of any Constitution, is protected from infringement. The word NECESSARY is used in one place in the Bill of Rights and only in one place. Those first 13 words which were eviscerated in 1902-1903 with the “Dick Act” and following legislation that pretty much converted the voluntary state militias into a part of the federal army known as the National Guard. Those 13 words may be the most important 13 words in the whole Constitution. We should be working to get them back into effect.

What, sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty. …Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins. —Elbridge Gerry, Fifth Vice President of the United States

“The army…is a dangerous instrument to play with.”
George Washington to Alexander Hamilton, April 4th, 1783

“A standing army is one of the greatest mischiefs that can possibly happen.”
James Madison, Debates, Virginia Convention, 1787

“Always remember that an armed and trained militia is the firmest bulwark of republics—that without standing armies their liberty can never be in danger, nor with large ones safe.”
James Madison, Inaugural Address, March 4, 1809

“Standing armies are dangerous to liberty.”
Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers, 1787

I believe the US Constitution makes clear the prohibition against a standing army. If you look at Article 1 Section 8 you will find this:

To declare War ,(this is NOT the Presidents jurisdiction! President states he can act defensive only and then Congress steps in) grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal (which could help keep us OUT of wars!), and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years ; YOU CAN’T MAINTAIN A “STANDING ARMY” WITH ONLY TWO YEARS OF FUNDS!

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;


In the case of a DECLARED war. There was a two year cap on finances for the army that was raised to fight the war to be renewed in case the war was not won or we had not surrendered. There are many folks who have written about the militia. Red Beckman wrote “Why The Militia?” in 1997. Over the years the 10 planks of the Communist manifesto have been slowly incorporated into our way of living to the point most folks don’t even realize it. That is mainly due to the public school system, which is the 10th plank. Want to get an “education” on the subject. Read this: Communism- AMERICAN Style! - by Courageous Lion

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The Constitution does not say “Congress shall raise and support Armies, but only if they first declare war.”
The Constitution does not say “There shall be no standing Armies.”

There are many restrictions expressly written into the Constitution. There is no prohibition against professional Armies. The founders knew a “standing Army” was dangerous, but they also knew it was necessary. The militias performed well, but they did not defeat the British nor the Native Nations to the West. It took people dedicated to the profession of arms to finish those jobs.

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I agree that there is no prohibition against standing armies. Though I think the 2 year funding statement shows a certain amount of reluctance to their existence.

I think it would be very difficult in the modern era with modern technology to have a competitive military that did not consist of experienced, full time (standing) professionals. Though I feel a standing army does create significant additional threats that must be guarded against.

A more interesting note is that the constitution does clearly give congress the ability to organize, arm and regulate the militia. Congress has chosen to do that over the years by passing various laws culminating in the creation of the National Guard. I’m not saying that is a good or bad idea. Just saying that there is a potential constitutional argument that the militia is now the National Guard. I’ll let the lawyers and Supreme Court hash that one out.

Fortunately all of the standing army vs militia arguments are legally irrelevant to our uninfringable right to keep and bear arms for any reason we choose. Including the defense of ourselves, families and neighbors from criminals and tyrants in all their forms.


You nailed it. :100:

I think this is true in theory, and is reality in many nations.
But in the history of our nation since its founding, we have been fortunate that this has not been the case. Our military institutions have demonstrated a high degree of integrity. This is not to say they’re perfect, but despite being the most powerful military in the history of the world, they continue to subject themselves to the will of the 3 branches of government. I hope it stays that way, despite the shortcomings of our elected representatives. :laughing:

Hopefully we can all agree on this, at least.


I agree. My concerns relate almost entirely to how our elected officials sometimes misuse our military to achieve questionable goals that go against the true interests of the people in order to benefit a select few.


On that I also agree. In our hyper-political climate, everyone wants to kick the military and use it for their own ends. The military can’t defend itself against this, because they are apolitical. That makes them an easy target for screeching politicians and media personalities.

What happens, I wonder, when some high-ranking officer decides he doesn’t like being used as a kick ball, anymore? I wonder if there’s a limit to how much they’ll take from political opportunists at both ends?