Letter writer Beth Duvall ("Confine guns to militias," Jan. 15) and others who believe that the right to keep arms is tied to being part of a militia place the cart before the horse because they ignore the context in which the Second Amendment was written.
Before the war for independence, many colonists gathered, with their own weapons, into groups to fight the British Army. They were trained by other colonists who had military experience into a ragtag army that ultimately defeated the British. Those who survived then went home, taking their weapons with them.
Had they already been organized into a militia, they would have been organized by and been under the command of the government — the British. Had personal weapons been banned by that government, a war for independence would have been impossible. We would have remained British subjects rather than free Virginians or free Pennsylvanians, etc.
If today those who want to ban the personal ownership of guns prevail, and we find ourselves under an oppressive government that refuses to be removed (Adolf Hitler was, after all, freely elected by an educated populace), we will be subject to the whims of our "ruler" once more.
King Barack anyone?