Last Updated on August 20, 2022 by Constitutional Militia
“Settle” the Militia
The distinction between “settling” and “regulating” the Militia is no mere linguistic quibble—you say “potato” and I say “potahto”—but has significant legal consequences. In the common usage of pre-constitutional times, as well as today, “settling” or to become “settled” meant establishing or being established in the first instance: “[t]o place in a fixed or permanent condition”—“to establish; to fix”—or “[t]o become fixed or permanent”, “to assume a lasting form, condition, [or] direction * * * in place of a temporary or changing state”.
When Constitution incorporated “the Militia of the several States” into its federal system, and the Second Amendment declared that “[a] well regulated Militia” is “necessary to the security of a free State”, they “settled” the Militia once and for all by “fix[ing them] unalienably by legal sanctions” consistent with the statutory pattern in the American colonies in existence for over 150 years.