1. The Second Amendment to our Constitution is not only a RIGHT, but has TWO Silent R's in it: The REQUIREMENT that the States establish and maintain a well-regulated MILITIA. The MILITIA was the FIRST LINE of protection for our new country. As the founding fathers considered use of a "standing army" not a good idea. The reason the founders did not want a central STANDING ARMY was because the British army had been standing on our rights when we were colonies, so the MILITIA was made ready to be mobilized and "ready for action." The second silent “R” is the RESPONSIBILITY of our citizens to "VOLUNTEER" and come to the aid of their country if called to support our already deployed MILITIA. The last true volunteer unit was probably Teddy Roosevelt's "ROUGH RIDERS" during the Spanish-American War. GO COWBOYS!!!
2. The "Responsibility" of ALL able-bodied citizens was to develop and maintain expertise with the skills of being a soldier for their country. Back then muskets were the basic infantry weapon and most households had at least one for family protection and hunting for food. All in the family, both males and females, used these muskets. I originally did not favor the use of the AR-15 for CIVILIAN shooting, but in light of the previously stated REQUIREMENT, ALL able-bodied citizens should be familiar with its use, because it most closely functions like our M-16 family of basic infantry weapons. Use of a semiautomatic pistol also falls into this "Responsibility" of citizenship. I read an article last week that said the U.S. Army is having trouble training the new recruits because they possess no skill with weapons, and they have to conduct longer training than they used before to bring them up to their father's standards when they were their age.
3. I strongly suggest that the following public service actions be taken:
Require ALL citizens to develop and maintain the skill sets necessary to be an expert with rifles and pistols that are SEMI-AUTOMATIC in function and have the same feel and handling as the U.S. military FULL-AUTOMATIC versions. This will allow immediate transfer of their civilian shooter skills to the military and speed up the mobilization process. Regional, state and national competitive shooting MATCHES should be conducted by the U.S. military by both RESERVE and ACTIVE components, and invite some civilian participation too. Support the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) and other school/private shooting team activities.