What is the Militia?
The Militia is derived from the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution.
Militia: a military force that is raised from the civil population to supplement a regular army in an emergency.
"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."
For over 200 years, despite extensive debate and much legislative action with respect to regulation of the purchase, possession, and transportation of firearms, as well as proposals to substantially curtail ownership of firearms, there is no doubt as to what right the
Second Amendment protects.
The Second Amendment is naturally divided into two parts: its prefatory clause
( “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State” ) and its operative clause
( “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed” ).
To perhaps oversimplify the opposing arguments, the “states’ rights” thesis emphasized the importance of the prefatory clause, arguing that the purpose of the clause is to protect the states in their authority to maintain formal, organized militia units. The “individual rights” thesis emphasized the operative clause, so that individuals would be protected in the ownership, possession, and transportation of firearms.
The significance of the militia, was that it was composed of “civilians primarily, soldiers on occasion.”
It was upon this force that the states could rely for defense and securing of the laws, on a force that “comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense,” who, “when called for service . . . were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time.”