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On guns, maybe problem is that militias aren’t sufficiently ‘well-regulated’

An old industrial mill on Great Road in Littleton is home to the largest cluster of federally licensed firearm dealers and manufacturers in the country.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

While assault weapons are banned in Massachusetts, gun sellers sidestep the law by selling parts to be assembled later (“Despite ban, a gun emporium is thriving: Former mill has largest cluster of firearms sellers,” Page A1, Sept. 11). This ploy apparently is also illegal but beyond the reach of enforcement.

Rather than splitting hairs over the distinction between selling a completely assembled assault rifle vs. selling parts of one, why not adhere to the entirety of the Second Amendment to the Constitution: “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”?


A militia, by definition, is a military force that is raised from the civil population to supplement a regular army in an emergency. Therefore, every application for a permit to own a military-style gun should contain these three questions:

What is the name of the militia that you are a member of?

What is the name of the state that your militia is sanctioned by?

What is your rank in that militia?

Not a member of a well-regulated militia? Sorry, no assault rifle.

One wonders what part of “well-regulated militia” is it that our “originalists” don’t understand?

Harry Bartnick