For 'A Well-Regulated Militia,' What Firearms, Gear, and Skills Should You Own?

The brutal murders of 20 schoolchildren and six adults in Newtown, CT, stunned the world last week. A mentally ill young man apparently discovered that his long-suffering mother was going to attempt to have him committed to a psychiatric facility; he took out his rage upon her and then his former elementary school's faculty, staff, and students.

It was senseless. It was barbaric. As parents, it is difficult for us to cope with the thought of having our youngest beloved ripped from us by any method, much less something as abhorrent as intentional, callous murder. No decent person could feel anything but anguish for their loss.

As Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel warned us, however, there is a mentality among the opportunistic political class that demands they "never let a serious crisis go to waste."

While America recoiled, media vultures first pounced upon the survivors while they were still in shock. Since then, they have attacked America's lawful gun owners, of which there are roughly 100 million.

We've heard calls for "gun control" in recent days, including specific demands for a ban on so-called "assault weapons." Detractors question the need for weapons "designed for war" whose "only purpose is to kill"; they insist that you "don't need an assault rifle" for hunting deer.

This is ignorance, and further, completely misses the point. To cite something I wrote earlier in the week:

The Second Amendment was not written to protect firearms designed for the taking of game, nor firearms designed for sport or individual personal defense, except that such a purpose proves to be militarily useful.

The explicit purpose that the Second Amendment was written was so that civilians that comprised the militia and alarm list would be armed with military-capable arms to depose would-be tyrants.

I'd amend that slightly to more accurately reflect that the intention was to arm citizens with contemporary arms of military utility. To assert that the right applied merely to flintlock muskets suggests that human rights are superseded by advances in technology, which is on its face a preposterous statement. Could anyone rationally argue that freedom of speech does not apply to modern forms of communication?

The Second Amendment was written to ensure citizens had contemporary rifles of military utility, and no single rifle more accurately fits that description today than AR-15 rifles patterned after the M-16 rifle and M-4 carbine that have been the U.S. military standard for half a century.