Letter: Weber County should enforce all of the Second Amendment, not just the second half

FILE - A man carries his weapon during a Second Amendment gun rally at Utah State Capitol on Feb. 8, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

I am intrigued by the recent declaration of ‘Second Amendment sanctuary’ in Weber County. I wonder if the members of the Weber County Commission have ever read the Second Amendment. For their sakes, here it is in total: “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 it -- that’s the entire text.

The meaning of “militia” makes a difference to the rights established by the Second Amendment. This is how militia is defined by Miriam-Webster’s online dictionary:

A: a part of the organized armed forces of a country liable to call only in emergency.

B : a body of citizens organized for military service

C : a private group of armed individuals that operates as a paramilitary force and is typically motivated by a political or religious ideology

I would hope that the intent of the framers of the Bill of Rights was A or B. Of course they might have meant C, but that seems less likely to constitutional scholars. Note the wording: “A (singular) well regulated Militia (capital M)”. That does not seem to suggest multiple street gangs, cop cos-players, or lone wolves.

Does Weber County maintain a Militia, i.e., a body of citizens organized for military service? I for one have never seen their Militia, but hey, I live in a different county. If they don’t have an organized armed force, must we conclude therefore that the Weber County Commissioners want to encourage militias as paramilitary forces motivated by ideology? Even if they encourage ideology-driven paramilitaries in Weber County those militias ought to be “well regulated,” per the literal text of the Second Amendment.

This brings me to my main question for the county commissioners: Are you regulating your militias, as required by the Constitution? And are they well regulated? The sanctuary which you declared last week to guarantee that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed” seems to require well regulation. Please enforce all of the Second Amendment, not just the second half. Thank you.

Stephen L. Black, South Jordan

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