Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Historical meaning of the word "regulate"

Time to look at a little etymology, which is the study of the history of words. Today we will look at the words "regulate", "regulated", and "regulations" in order to get a good sense of the modern perversions on the American people.

When you think of a modern regulation, you think of something that is like a restriction, or set of restrictions. This is how it is being used in the modern sense everywhere. Cigarette regulations are taxes, and limitations on transit and sale.

What if I told you that up until the mid 1800s the word regulate meant "to keep regular"? Colonists didn't conceive of it to tax or not tax goods across a state line, they wanted to make sure no states were able to set up trade blockades.

how about "regulated" as we see in the 2nd Amendment, A well regulated Militia. That simply means a properly operating Militia, or one that is kept regular. Since every able person makes up the Militia, this is why the right to bear arms is delegated to "the people", it's so they can keep the Militia regular, or operating.

Sadly the Militia movement today is tainted with news stories of dangerous lunatics and fringers who interestingly enough... haven't hurt anyone yet?


  1. Regulators in American history were formed to counter corruption in government.

    Since the frauds have muddled the term Militia, we should reach back and take the Regulator moniker for citizen groups opposed to tyranny.

  2. Regulator sounds like an excellent term for those opposed to tyranny. It might be useful to figure out how the word "militia" has gotten such a negative spin too, or the term "Regulator" could suffer the same fate. Sounds like I have a research project to do! Thanks for the comment!