“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.” The second amendment to the constitution of the United States of America.
Short and to the point when you look at it, correct? It is short but the point is not direct. Why? Because what did the founding Fathers mean by “free state”? Hmm, did they mean that the citizenry should possess arms to protect themselves and the country from outside threats or inside threats? Both is the correct answer, but it is not the same thing as many gun owners would lead you to believe. Every citizen has the right to be safe in person and as such have the right to defend themselves from someone wanting to do them or their family harm. And the country did not have a large standing army back in the beginning so the militia was used to provide for the initial protection from invasion. Now, we have people saying the second amendment gives them the right to take up arms against the government if they feel that government is doing something wrong. Well, they are wrong. The right to vote, to elect our officials is how we get rid of a government doing us wrong. The first amendment is how we tell a government they are doing something wrong. The second amendment is for self defense and protecting the country and its elected government, not for overthrowing it.
The constitution discusses part of the second amendment, the militia. Yes, it does. Let's look at that.
Part of Article One Section 8 of the Constitution of The United States which deals with the powers of Congress. Regarding militias
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
So even before the Second Amendment we have discussion of the Militia and what its intended purpose is in the Constitution itself. To “Execute the Laws of the Union” so for someone to disagree with a law passed by congress and signed into law by president, to take up arms is clearly not “Executing the Laws of the Union.
What about suppression of insurrection? Protesting government policy is not insurrection; taking up arms because you don't like a policy is insurrection. So for those saying they have the right to form a militia and overthrow elected officials because you don't like them is against the constitution, pure and simple.
So we are left with to repel invasions. If America is being invaded by a foreign entity, feel free to pick up gun and defend the Country.
No with regard to militias themselves. It seems the authority to regulate militias is clearly delineated in the Constitution to Congress. In other words you can not form a group of your own and called it a militia unless you abide by the law which says that Congress is the one to organize, arm, and discipline the militia. From what I see to just make up your own group, call it a militia, and do things your own way is not in keeping with the constitution.
Now let us look at Article II Section two of the Constitution.
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
Here it specifically says the President is the Commander and Chief of the Armed and Militias when they are called up to federal service. Now if you form a militia to remove a president you are going against this article because all the President would need to say is that all militias are under federal authority. Now if you are fighting to remove the President you are disobeying your commander. Not good. Also not that this Section mentions impeachment, While it does not go the process I am pointing it out so you note the process for removing a bad government is located in our constitution and not a gun.
Since the ratification of the constitution many things have changed, including what America considers the milia. By law the National Guard of each state is considered the militia. And it is so because it was designated that by Congress which fulfills Article I Section 8 regarding militias.
So no, the Second Amendment does not grant people the right to take up arms against the government if you don't like it. This is not to say the Second Amendment is negated and there is no need for it. No, every American has the right to defend themselves and their family. And, if things go bad and America ends up being invaded by a foreign power, you can defend your country and fellow Americans from invaders.