There was a burst of objections to the article in many forums, 538 at the Time website. As I usually do, I added comments. Here they are:
While the many objections to this article might seem encouraging, we need to recognize that there were very few, and most not of high quality.
One of the better ones was by Rob Natelson, who wrote a response addressing some of the many illogical or inaccurate claims therein. It led to a discussion by David Kopel on the Volokh Conspiracy, in which I commented:
Sasha is correct about the flexibility of Latin word order. But it is worth while to segue into the general subject of the ways Latin (and Greek) influenced the language of the Constitution, and therefore the meanings that language had for the Founders.
An important example is the term “militia”. In Latin, it does not mean “armed group”. That would be volgus militum. The best translation would be “defense activity”, because soldiers were used not just for war but also for law enforcement and disaster response. The word, like many in English, is a kind of polyseme called an actronym, a word having the primary meaning of an activity that comes to also be used to refer to those engaged in the activity, or the occasion or place of the activity.
So to understand the meaning of “militia” in the Constitution, substitute the phrase “defense activity” wherever it appears.______
However, that discussion became somewhat pedantic. What was missing from these discussions were plans of action to correct the problem. There is much "viewing with alarm", but almost no one seems to be doing much about it, other than a handful of people like me, and I am not getting much support in my efforts. I do get a lot of favorable comment that I seem to have the only good ideas for action, but when I ask people to commit to taking action, they make excuses or just glaze over.
The old saying is "Power goes to those who show up." Yet a survey of constitutionalist groups across the country finds few and their meetings are not well attended. I have asked some potential participants why, and their vague answers indicate they don't want to get into a situation in which they will be asked to do anything, especially donate money. It is like people who don't go to church because they dread being presented with the collection plate, or being asked to volunteer for some charitable service.
I hope Stengel is wrong, but so far the evidence supports his position. What are you going to do to prove him wrong? If you don't set the example of action, don't expect others to do so.