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Regulating the Militia - The Second Amendment is about protecting ourselves from the state.
NRO ^ | Kevin D. Williamson

Posted on 12/28/2012 11:17:53 AM PST by servo1969

My friend Brett Joshpe has published an uncharacteristically soft-headed piece in the San Francisco Chronicle arguing that in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook, conservatives and Republicans should support what he calls “sensible” gun-control laws. It begins with a subtext of self-congratulation (“As a conservative and a Republican, I can no longer remain silent . . . Some will consider it heresy,” etc.), casts aspersions of intellectual dishonesty (arguments for preserving our traditional rights are “disingenuous”), advances into ex homine (noting he has family in Sandy Hook, as though that confers special status on his preferences), fundamentally misunderstands the argument for the right to keep and bear arms, deputizes the electorate, and cites the presence of teddy bears as evidence for his case.

Brett, like practically every other person seeking to diminish our constitutional rights, either does not understand the purpose of the Second Amendment or refuses to address it, writing, “Gun advocates will be hard-pressed to explain why the average American citizen needs an assault weapon with a high-capacity magazine other than for recreational purposes.” The answer to this question is straightforward: The purpose of having citizens armed with paramilitary weapons is to allow them to engage in paramilitary actions. The Second Amendment is not about Bambi and burglars — whatever a well-regulated militia is, it is not a hunting party or a sport-clays club. It is remarkable to me that any educated person — let alone a Harvard Law graduate — believes that the second item on the Bill of Rights is a constitutional guarantee of enjoying a recreational activity.

There is no legitimate exception to the Second Amendment for military-style weapons, because military-style weapons are precisely what the Second Amendment guarantees our right to keep and bear. The purpose of the Second Amendment is to secure our ability to oppose enemies foreign and domestic, a guarantee against disorder and tyranny. Consider the words of Supreme Court justice Joseph Story — who was, it bears noting, appointed to the Court by the guy who wrote the Constitution:

The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted by any persons, who have duly reflected upon the subject. The militia is the natural defence of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers. It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time of peace, both from the enormous expenses, with which they are attended, and the facile means, which they afford to ambitious and unprincipled rulers, to subvert the government, or trample upon the rights of the people. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.

“Usurpation and arbitrary power of the rulers” — not Bambi, not burglars. While your granddad’s .30-06 is a good deal more powerful than the .223 rifles that give blue-state types the howling fantods, that is not what we have a constitutional provision to protect. Liberals are forever asking: “Why would anybody need a gun like that?” And the answer is: because we are not serfs. We are a free people living under a republic of our own construction. We may consent to be governed, but we will not be ruled.

The right to keep and bear arms is a civil right. If you doubt that, consider the history of arms control in England, where members of the Catholic minority (and non-Protestants generally) were prohibited from bearing arms as part of the campaign of general political oppression against them. The Act of Disenfranchisement was still in effect when our Constitution was being written, a fact that surely was on the mind of such Founding Fathers as Daniel Carroll, to say nothing of his brother, Archbishop John Carroll.

The Second Amendment speaks to the nature of the relationship between citizen and state. Brett may think that such a notion is an antiquated relic of the 18th century, but then he should be arguing for wholesale repeal of the Second Amendment rather than presenting — what’s the word? — disingenuous arguments about what it means and the purpose behind it.

If we want to reduce the level of criminal violence in our society, we should start by demanding that the police and criminal-justice bureaucracies do their job. Massacres such as Sandy Hook catch our attention because they are so unusual. But a great deal of the commonplace violence in our society is preventable. Brett here might look to his hometown: There were 1,662 murders in New York City from 2003 to 2005, and a New York Times analysis of the data found that in 90 percent of the cases, the killer had a prior criminal record. (About half the victims did, too.) Events such as Sandy Hook may come out of nowhere, but the great majority of murders do not. The police function in essence as a janitorial service, cleaning up the mess created in part by our dysfunctional criminal-justice system.

We probably would get more out of our criminal-justice system if it were not so heavily populated by criminals. As I note in my upcoming book, The End Is Near and It’s Going to Be Awesome, it can be hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys:

For more than twenty years, NYPD detectives worked as enforcers and assassins for the Gambino crime family; in 2006 two detectives were convicted not only of murder and conspiracy to commit murder but also on charges related to such traditional mob activity as labor racketeering, running illegal gambling rings, extortion, narcotics trafficking, obstruction of justice, and the like. This was hardly an isolated incident; only a few years prior to the NYPD convictions more than 70 LAPD officers associated with the city’s anti-gang unit were found to have been deeply involved in gang-affiliated criminal enterprises connected to the Bloods street gang. Their crimes ranged from the familiar police transgressions of falsifying evidence, obstructing justice, and selling drugs seized in arrests to such traditional outlaw fare as bank robbery — they were cops and robbers. More than 100 criminal convictions were overturned because of evidence planted or falsified by officers of the LAPD. One scholarly account of the scandal concluded that such activity is not atypical but rather systemic — and largely immune to attempts at reform: “The current institution of law enforcement in America does appear to reproduce itself according [to] counter-legal norms . . . attempts to counteract this reproduction via the training one receives in police academies, the imposition of citizen review boards, departments of Internal Affairs, etc. do not appear to mitigate against this structural continuity between law enforcement and crime.”

The Department of Homeland Security has existed for only a few years but it already has been partly transformed into an organized-crime syndicate. According to a federal report, in 2011 alone more than 300 DHS employees and contractors were charged with crimes ranging from smuggling drugs and child pornography to selling sensitive intelligence to drug cartels. That’s not a few bad apples — that’s an arrest every weekday and many weekends. Given the usual low ratio of arrests to crimes committed, it is probable that DHS employees are responsible for not hundreds but thousands of crimes. And these are not minor infractions: Agents in the department’s immigration division were caught selling forged immigrant documents, and DHS vehicles have been used to transport hundreds (and possibly thousands) of pounds of illegal drugs. A “standover” crew — that is, a criminal enterprise that specializes in robbing other criminals — was found being run by a DHS agent in Arizona, who was apprehended while hijacking a truckload of cocaine.

Power corrupts. Madison knew that, and the other Founders did, too, which is why we have a Second Amendment.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ban; banglist; gun; guncontrol; sandy; secondamendment

1 posted on 12/28/2012 11:18:05 AM PST by servo1969
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To: servo1969

“The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good”

— George Washington

“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government”

— Thomas Jefferson, 1 Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334


2 posted on 12/28/2012 11:24:17 AM PST by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: servo1969

One should be very suspicious when an armed government demands that its citizens disarm.

I get a chuckle when libtards say no hunter needs a so-called assault weapon. Last I checked, the Second Amendment wasn’t about hunters’ rights!

In America citizens are entitled to protect themselves.

As any rancher, farmer or homesteader in the southwest along the border can attest the U.S. government is failing in the job to protect its citizens, and as long as drug cartels are crossing a semi-automatic rifle is a citizen’s best protection against a dangerous menace.

The fact is that cops can do little to protect citizens in the first instance but only show up after the fact — whether along the border or in any city — when it’s often too late.


3 posted on 12/28/2012 11:26:54 AM PST by AtlasStalled
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To: servo1969

“Sensible” is libspeak for “the camel’s nose”.


4 posted on 12/28/2012 11:27:06 AM PST by FlingWingFlyer (U.S. elections have become nothing but another cheap ripoff of American Idol.)
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To: servo1969

Of course, the mind manipulators want the gullible to think it’s all about hunting.


5 posted on 12/28/2012 11:29:13 AM PST by crosshairs (They are only assault weapons in the hands of tyrannical governments and criminals. Ban both.)
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To: servo1969
The answer to this question is straightforward: The purpose of having citizens armed with paramilitary weapons is to allow them to engage in paramilitary actions. The Second Amendment is not about Bambi and burglars — whatever a well-regulated militia is, it is not a hunting party or a sport-clays club. It is remarkable to me that any educated person — let alone a Harvard Law graduate — believes that the second item on the Bill of Rights is a constitutional guarantee of enjoying a recreational activity.

Elite liberals walk around telling each other how smart they are --- until some of them start believing it...

6 posted on 12/28/2012 11:30:44 AM PST by GOPJ (It's not possible to be a Progressive and not be a hypocrite. Freeper TigersEye.)
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To: servo1969; marktwain
The answer to this question is straightforward:

The purpose of having citizens armed with paramilitary weapons is to allow them to engage in paramilitary actions. The Second Amendment is not about Bambi and burglars — whatever a well-regulated militia is, it is not a hunting party or a sport-clays club. It is remarkable to me that any educated person — let alone a Harvard Law graduate — believes that the second item on the Bill of Rights is a constitutional guarantee of enjoying a recreational activity.

Elite liberals walk around telling each other how smart they are --- until some of them start believing ...

7 posted on 12/28/2012 11:32:07 AM PST by GOPJ (It's not possible to be a Progressive and not be a hypocrite. Freeper TigersEye.)
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To: servo1969; sickoflibs; Scoutmaster; SandRat
The Department of Homeland Security has existed for only a few years but it already has been partly transformed into an organized-crime syndicate. According to a federal report, in 2011 alone more than 300 DHS employees and contractors were charged with crimes ranging from smuggling drugs and child pornography to selling sensitive intelligence to drug cartels. That’s not a few bad apples — that’s an arrest every weekday and many weekends. Given the usual low ratio of arrests to crimes committed, it is probable that DHS employees are responsible for not hundreds but thousands of crimes.

FYI

8 posted on 12/28/2012 11:37:33 AM PST by GOPJ (It's not possible to be a Progressive and not be a hypocrite. Freeper TigersEye.)
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To: FARS; neverdem; nuconvert
The Department of Homeland Security has existed for only a few years but it already has been partly transformed into an organized-crime syndicate. According to a federal report, in 2011 alone more than 300 DHS employees and contractors were charged with crimes ranging from smuggling drugs and child pornography to selling sensitive intelligence to drug cartels. That’s not a few bad apples — that’s an arrest every weekday and many weekends. Given the usual low ratio of arrests to crimes committed, it is probable that DHS employees are responsible for not hundreds but thousands of crimes.

FYI

9 posted on 12/28/2012 11:38:33 AM PST by GOPJ (It's not possible to be a Progressive and not be a hypocrite. Freeper TigersEye.)
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To: GOPJ

Do you think that we can ever do away with DHS?


10 posted on 12/28/2012 11:40:54 AM PST by txnativegop (Fed up with zealots)
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To: servo1969

Yup.

I may join the NRA now, but sometimes they sound too much like mere hunters...

It is about defending USA and each one of us, from enemies foreign, domestic and in our neighbors.


11 posted on 12/28/2012 11:43:19 AM PST by veracious
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To: servo1969
'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.'

Translation Incorrect:

'A well regulated Army , being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.'

Translation Incorrect:

'A well regulated National Guard , being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.'

Translation Incorrect:

'A well regulated Police Force , being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.'

Translation Correct:

'A well regulated People , being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.'
12 posted on 12/28/2012 11:48:00 AM PST by Morris70
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To: servo1969
His assertion of "We may consent to be governed, but we will not be ruled." Is laughable, 'we' continue to give and allow more power to the state. Searches, seizures, government abuse. etc. Yet, ourselves do nothing and continue to vote for the R's and D's.

If Mr. Williamson thinks that we must defend our self against the state. What is an example? It what situation would it be 'legal'? Does he infer we need revolution? I curious what he is actually suggesting instead of merely the typical armed citizen defending himself with a gun against a criminal. He could bring up Indiana passing laws for the homeowner to defend themselves[against illegal LEO], even so that is limited in scope, and depended on a 'law'.

13 posted on 12/28/2012 11:49:16 AM PST by Theoria
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To: servo1969
I think Penn Jilette explains it very nicely.

Nothing else need be said.

The 2nd Amendment from Penn & Teller

14 posted on 12/28/2012 11:52:49 AM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts (Liberals are a wrecking crew dismantling civilization by replacing what works with what feels good.)
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To: Morris70

Don’t forget the translation of “well regulated” -

it means “practiced”.


15 posted on 12/28/2012 11:53:32 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: MrB
it means “practiced”.

Didn't it also mean "equipped" too?

16 posted on 12/28/2012 11:55:49 AM PST by Las Vegas Ron (Medicine is the keystone in the arch of socialism)
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To: txnativegop

Not so long as the RATS control the White House and the Senate.


17 posted on 12/28/2012 11:59:21 AM PST by SandRat (Duty - Honor - Country! What else needs said?)
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To: Las Vegas Ron

I was just thinking along those lines.
In order to be well-practiced, the individual must be free to practice at his convenience, and as much as he feels comfortable with.


18 posted on 12/28/2012 11:59:32 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: servo1969

The “state” is not as much a threat as the criminals that it coddles and enables. The campaign against the 2A is mostly to disarm victims so they don’t inconvenience the criminals as much. Without the 2A we would not have “home invasions” making the news as they do now, because they would be common. Without the 2A many women or elderly would be revictimized regularly. There would be the same media blackout of violent crime for the suburbs that we now get for the big cities. Most importantly there would be immediate prosecution of any possession of firearms or any components to send a lesson to the law abiding that would far exceed sentences given to violent criminals.


19 posted on 12/28/2012 12:00:54 PM PST by palmer (Obama = Carter + affirmative action)
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To: MrB
Well said.

This is also a perfect illustration of the dangers in changing semantics.

Marriage comes to mind....

20 posted on 12/28/2012 12:03:38 PM PST by Las Vegas Ron (Medicine is the keystone in the arch of socialism)
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To: servo1969

“There is no legitimate exception to the Second Amendment for military-style weapons, because military-style weapons are precisely what the Second Amendment guarantees our right to keep and bear.”

And the definition of arms is, see tag line.


21 posted on 12/28/2012 12:05:28 PM PST by Slambat (The right to keep and bear arms. Anything one man can carry, drive or pull.)
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To: servo1969

It is beyond the time for reason, much less compromise with these zealots. We barrage our elected officials with electoral threat, and we mercilessly punish those that don’t toe the line - PERIOD!

Save that, we ignore their new laws and do not comply willingly. The time for discussion is over; we’ve seen the ‘discussion’ that Feinstein wants.


22 posted on 12/28/2012 12:12:40 PM PST by Gaffer
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To: MrB; Las Vegas Ron

Well regulated means “in good working order” like a well-maintained machine. A militia that is well regulated has to be well trained and well equipped. Modern threats include random violence so carrying is necessary. It include riots so semi-auto with high capacity is required.


23 posted on 12/28/2012 12:13:42 PM PST by palmer (Obama = Carter + affirmative action)
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To: Las Vegas Ron

Satan and his followers (on the left) have been twisting words since the beginning of creation.


24 posted on 12/28/2012 12:15:21 PM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: palmer
Great explanation, now if we could get the dim wits on the left to understand it...
25 posted on 12/28/2012 12:18:55 PM PST by Las Vegas Ron (Medicine is the keystone in the arch of socialism)
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To: Las Vegas Ron

Since when does a leftist WANT to have a clear cut understanding of the meaning of words?

It never serves their purpose to have a fixed set of rules that everyone follows.


26 posted on 12/28/2012 12:20:42 PM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: MrB

They don’t. As you posted, they’ve been doing it for years to suit their various agendas.

You can’t have a Country that is built on contracts when you can change the meanings of words, well, one that will survive anyway.

But hey, that’s part of their agenda too.


27 posted on 12/28/2012 12:27:32 PM PST by Las Vegas Ron (Medicine is the keystone in the arch of socialism)
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To: servo1969
...The purpose of having citizens armed with paramilitary weapons is to allow them to engage in paramilitary actions. The Second Amendment is not about Bambi and burglars — whatever a well-regulated militia is, it is not a hunting party or a sport-clays club... There is no legitimate exception to the Second Amendment for military-style weapons, because military-style weapons are precisely what the Second Amendment guarantees our right to keep and bear. The purpose of the Second Amendment is to secure our ability to oppose enemies foreign and domestic, a guarantee against disorder and tyranny.

In The Federalist #8, Alexander Hamilton states the fear of having a standing army.

quote:
The institutions chiefly alluded to are STANDING ARMIES and the correspondent appendages of military establishments. Standing armies, it is said, are not provided against in the new Constitution; and it is therefore inferred that they may exist under it. Their existence, however, from the very terms of the proposition, is, at most, problematical and uncertain. But standing armies, it may be replied, must inevitably result from a dissolution of the Confederacy. Frequent war and constant apprehension, which require a state of as constant preparation, will infallibly produce them. The weaker States or confederacies would first have recourse to them, to put themselves upon an equality with their more potent neighbors. They would endeavor to supply the inferiority of population and resources by a more regular and effective system of defense, by disciplined troops, and by fortifications. They would, at the same time, be necessitated to strengthen the executive arm of government, in doing which their constitutions would acquire a progressive direction toward monarchy. It is of the nature of war to increase the executive at the expense of the legislative authority.


The expedients which have been mentioned would soon give the States or confederacies that made use of them a superiority over their neighbors. Small states, or states of less natural strength, under vigorous governments, and with the assistance of disciplined armies, have often triumphed over large states, or states of greater natural strength, which have been destitute of these advantages. Neither the pride nor the safety of the more important States or confederacies would permit them long to submit to this mortifying and adventitious superiority. They would quickly resort to means similar to those by which it had been effected, to reinstate themselves in their lost pre-eminence. Thus, we should, in a little time, see established in every part of this country the same engines of despotism which have been the scourge of the Old World. This, at least, would be the natural course of things; and our reasonings will be the more likely to be just, in proportion as they are accommodated to this standard.



A militia of the people, or Posse Comitatus would be a counter-balance to a standing army. In The Federalist #29, Hamilton states the need for a militia to be regulated by the States, not the Federal government:
quote:
THE power of regulating the militia, and of commanding its services in times of insurrection and invasion are natural incidents to the duties of superintending the common defense, and of watching over the internal peace of the Confederacy.

It requires no skill in the science of war to discern that uniformity in the organization and discipline of the militia would be attended with the most beneficial effects, whenever they were called into service for the public defense. It would enable them to discharge the duties of the camp and of the field with mutual intelligence and concert; an advantage of peculiar moment in the operations of an army; and it would fit them much sooner to acquire the degree of proficiency in military functions which would be essential to their usefulness. This desirable uniformity can only be accomplished by confiding the regulation of the militia to the direction of the national authority. It is, therefore, with the most evident propriety, that the plan of the convention proposes to empower the Union "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."


Hamilton then argues that the formation of the militia by itself should be enough to prevent a standing army from forming.

quote:
Of the different grounds which have been taken in opposition to the plan of the convention, there is none that was so little to have been expected, or is so untenable in itself, as the one from which this particular provision has been attacked. If a well-regulated militia be the most natural defense of a free country, it ought certainly to be under the regulation and at the disposal of that body which is constituted the guardian of the national security. If standing armies are dangerous to liberty, an efficacious power over the militia, in the body to whose care the protection of the State is committed, ought, as far as possible, to take away the inducement and the pretext to such unfriendly institutions. If the federal government can command the aid of the militia in those emergencies which call for the military arm in support of the civil magistrate, it can the better dispense with the employment of a different kind of force. If it cannot avail itself of the former, it will be obliged to recur to the latter. To render an army unnecessary, will be a more certain method of preventing its existence than a thousand prohibitions upon paper.

Hamilton now argues that it is impractical to expect a militia to act as a standing army.
quote:
``The project of disciplining all the militia of the United States is as futile as it would be injurious, if it were capable of being carried into execution. A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, or even a week, that will suffice for the attainment of it. To oblige the great body of the yeomanry, and of the other classes of the citizens, to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well-regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people, and a serious public inconvenience and loss. It would form an annual deduction from the productive labor of the country, to an amount which, calculating upon the present numbers of the people, would not fall far short of the whole expense of the civil establishments of all the States. To attempt a thing which would abridge the mass of labor and industry to so considerable an extent, would be unwise: and the experiment, if made, could not succeed, because it would not long be endured. Little more can reasonably be aimed at, with respect to the people at large, than to have them properly armed and equipped; and in order to see that this be not neglected, it will be necessary to assemble them once or twice in the course of a year.

Hamilton then reasons that if there should be a need for a standing army, there should at least also be a disciplined militia to offset the power of the army.
quote:
"But though the scheme of disciplining the whole nation must be abandoned as mischievous or impracticable; yet it is a matter of the utmost importance that a well-digested plan should, as soon as possible, be adopted for the proper establishment of the militia. The attention of the government ought particularly to be directed to the formation of a select corps of moderate extent, upon such principles as will really fit them for service in case of need. By thus circumscribing the plan, it will be possible to have an excellent body of well-trained militia, ready to take the field whenever the defense of the State shall require it. This will not only lessen the call for military establishments, but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist."

Finally, Hamilton supposes that a militia under the control of the States would resist the temptation of a Federal authority using it for it's own purposes.
quote:
There is something so far-fetched and so extravagant in the idea of danger to liberty from the militia, that one is at a loss whether to treat it with gravity or with raillery; whether to consider it as a mere trial of skill, like the paradoxes of rhetoricians; as a disingenuous artifice to instil prejudices at any price; or as the serious offspring of political fanaticism. Where in the name of common-sense, are our fears to end if we may not trust our sons, our brothers, our neighbors, our fellow-citizens? What shadow of danger can there be from men who are daily mingling with the rest of their countrymen and who participate with them in the same feelings, sentiments, habits and interests? What reasonable cause of apprehension can be inferred from a power in the Union to prescribe regulations for the militia, and to command its services when necessary, while the particular States are to have the SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE APPOINTMENT OF THE OFFICERS? If it were possible seriously to indulge a jealousy of the militia upon any conceivable establishment under the federal government, the circumstance of the officers being in the appointment of the States ought at once to extinguish it. There can be no doubt that this circumstance will always secure to them a preponderating influence over the militia.

A sample of this is to be observed in the exaggerated and improbable suggestions which have taken place respecting the power of calling for the services of the militia. That of New Hampshire is to be marched to Georgia, of Georgia to New Hampshire, of New York to Kentucky, and of Kentucky to Lake Champlain. Nay, the debts due to the French and Dutch are to be paid in militiamen instead of louis d'ors and ducats. At one moment there is to be a large army to lay prostrate the liberties of the people; at another moment the militia of Virginia are to be dragged from their homes five or six hundred miles, to tame the republican contumacy of Massachusetts; and that of Massachusetts is to be transported an equal distance to subdue the refractory haughtiness of the aristocratic Virginians. Do the persons who rave at this rate imagine that their art or their eloquence can impose any conceits or absurdities upon the people of America for infallible truths?


If there should be an army to be made use of as the engine of despotism, what need of the militia? If there should be no army, whither would the militia, irritated by being called upon to undertake a distant and hopeless expedition, for the purpose of riveting the chains of slavery upon a part of their countrymen, direct their course, but to the seat of the tyrants, who had meditated so foolish as well as so wicked a project, to crush them in their imagined intrenchments of power, and to make them an example of the just vengeance of an abused and incensed people? Is this the way in which usurpers stride to dominion over a numerous and enlightened nation? Do they begin by exciting the detestation of the very instruments of their intended usurpations? Do they usually commence their career by wanton and disgustful acts of power, calculated to answer no end, but to draw upon themselves universal hatred and execration? Are suppositions of this sort the sober admonitions of discerning patriots to a discerning people? Or are they the inflammatory ravings of incendiaries or distempered enthusiasts? If we were even to suppose the national rulers actuated by the most ungovernable ambition, it is impossible to believe that they would employ such preposterous means to accomplish their designs.


-PJ

28 posted on 12/28/2012 12:27:50 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (If you are the Posterity of We the People, then you are a Natural Born Citizen.)
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To: palmer
See my post 28 on Madison's words on well-regulated militias.

What would happen today if communities decided to follow Madison's words and try to organize "militia" practice weekends every 6 to 12 months, just to see how well-regulated they could become?

I've seen communities organize citizen emergency response teams to aid the fire department in locating fires and injuries after earthquakes or storms. Why not revive the regulation of citizen militias, too?

This effort could get its legitimacy through state national guards. If some red states tried to have a militia boot camp at a reserve base, people could bring their own arms (just like in Madison's times), where they would demonstrate their skill in using those arms and would then learn basic group organization and tactics to make use of those arms.

I suggest legitimacy through state national guards because the obvious challenge from the Left would be that these groups are right-wing extremists or KKK wannabes. If groups were to self-organize at local gun clubs or leased farmland, they could easily be labeled by the Left a paramilitary hate groups.

Thoughts?

-PJ

29 posted on 12/28/2012 12:40:29 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (If you are the Posterity of We the People, then you are a Natural Born Citizen.)
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To: Political Junkie Too
The militia is the people regardless of what those same people think. In modern suburbs it is easy to pretend that police are sufficient to keep order. But the people have a responsibility to become armed and trained to the best of their ability because any other definition of militia would be ineffective at maintaining the security of the free state.

I find Hamilton to be a little dated as one would expect. The tradeoff between a militia and a standing army may be a red herring even for his time. The threats today that require a militia are the ones that can be reasonably deterred by the militia, That includes the government to a small extent but mostly criminals, would-be rioters, and mass murdering lunatics. It would also include foreign invaders with the modern caveat that foreign invaders can lob missiles that can't be countered by the militia.

30 posted on 12/28/2012 1:12:49 PM PST by palmer (Obama = Carter + affirmative action)
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To: palmer
I don't know to what extent the militia was meant to be a policing body vs. a protection against invasion or tyranny.

I suppose Article IV Section 4 could give cover to states to use the militia as a local police:


The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

-PJ

31 posted on 12/28/2012 1:33:27 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (If you are the Posterity of We the People, then you are a Natural Born Citizen.)
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To: palmer
In modern suburbs it is easy to pretend that police are sufficient to keep order. But the people have a responsibility to become armed and trained to the best of their ability...

To continue the point, I don't think the term "militia" is meant to be singular. It is a regulated body of people. In other words, I don't think that George Zimmerman protecting his neighborhood against Trayvon Martin would be considered a militia action.

A militia cannot be seen as a vigilante group. Multiple independent armed people are not a militia because they are not "well-regulated." As Madison states, they must gather periodically and practice. Practice means three things: 1) demonstrating that the arms are in proper working order, 2) demonstrating that the people are skilled in the proper operations of the arms, and 3) demonstrating that the people can act as an organized body during a call to action.

Individual policing would be hard to bring under the umbrella of a militia unless those people also participate in a regular militia order from time to time.

-PJ

32 posted on 12/28/2012 1:42:12 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (If you are the Posterity of We the People, then you are a Natural Born Citizen.)
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To: Political Junkie Too

That section would probably apply to an insurrection that is too big for the state to handle. A decent militia ought to be able to handle an insurrection.


33 posted on 12/28/2012 1:42:38 PM PST by palmer (Obama = Carter + affirmative action)
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To: Political Junkie Too

It’s true that group organization is important for some threats. But modern times have changed the way militias are organized. Zimmerman on his neighborhood watch was very definitely militia activity because that is the way protection from neighborhood threats is organized. The people stepping up to the responsibility are few and far between, luckily we have enough Zimmermans to carry the load along with all of the liability as he found out.


34 posted on 12/28/2012 1:48:35 PM PST by palmer (Obama = Carter + affirmative action)
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To: servo1969

What is almost always overlooked by these articles and debates is the simple fact that the Second Amendment does not CREATE the right to bear arms. The wording is not “... shall have the right...” It is “...THE [emphasis mine] right to bear arms shall not be infringed.” The wording assumes the fundamental pre-existence of the right, and the mention of militia is merely one justification for it remaining in place.


35 posted on 12/28/2012 1:55:03 PM PST by william clark (Ecclesiastes 10:2)
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To: servo1969

Bookmarked.


36 posted on 12/28/2012 3:33:46 PM PST by Inyo-Mono (My greatest fear is that when I'm gone my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them)
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To: Slambat
Slambat said in tagline: "The right to keep and bear arms. Anything one man can carry, drive or pull"

I doubt very much that our Founders intended limits on the type of arms being kept or borne. The militia groups were sent to Fort Ticonderoga to take cannons from the fort by force and bring them to Boston in order to end the occupation of that city after the "shot heard round the world".

Why would the Founders purposely outlaw the very items that they were forced to take by force from their tyrannical government in the first days of the American Revolution?

The word "arms" has a very broad meaning and most recently was used in the term "Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty", dealing with nuclear weapons. I know of no limit envisioned by our Founders in what constituted "arms".

37 posted on 12/28/2012 6:24:02 PM PST by William Tell
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To: Political Junkie Too
Political Junkie Too said: To continue the point, I don't think the term "militia" is meant to be singular. It is a regulated body of people. "

The question of "who or what is the well-regulated Militia" is made less relevant by the fact that the Second Amendment does not say, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the MILITIA to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

38 posted on 12/28/2012 6:39:16 PM PST by William Tell
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To: servo1969

Considering the advances and abundances in sources, means and tools of surveillance, precision and/or standoff attack munitions of all size, weapons of mass destruction and a full spectrum of non-lethal means of restraint, control and coercion, I think it’s high time that we examine the rapidly diminishing effectiveness of our 2nd amendment rights to keep and bear arms as a protection of our liberties. I think we may need a new constitutional amendment to check and balance the rapidly increasing powers of the state. To start with we need to carefully define the conditions in which habeas corpus can be suspended or martial law imposed.


39 posted on 12/28/2012 6:49:33 PM PST by Theophilus (Not merely prolife, but prolific)
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To: servo1969

Forming the militia through the National Guard is an interesting idea, but it would take a red-state governor with big brass ones to pull it off.

Once upon a time, there was the Regular Army (Air Force, in my case), and the Reserves. The National Guard was a separate animal, with retired or surplus equipment and considered the “poor sister” of the regulars.

Nowadays, the Guard is just another form of Reserves. Service members (I do believe) can now switch from Regular to Reserve to Guard with little effort and their equipment is much improved. The National Guard is now an integral part of the military, as seen by how often the various Guard units are “called up” and sent overseas. (Without even a declaration of war or national emergency ... how odd.)

So, to organize a militia through the Guard, I believe some daring governor would need the blessing of the Pentagon, since the brass pretty much “owns” the Guard these days. And if the Guard answers to the Pentagon, can we really call them a “militia” anymore?

I’m sure I’m wrong on a couple of these points, but I’m sure FReepers will be oh-so-quick to correct me. lol


40 posted on 12/28/2012 8:25:16 PM PST by DNME (Without the Constitution, there is no legitimate U.S. government. No exceptions.)
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To: William Tell
The question of "who or what is the well-regulated Militia" is made less relevant by the fact that the Second Amendment does not say, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the MILITIA to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Yes, but Hamilton wrote what he expected to see of those who call themselves a militia.


Little more can reasonably be aimed at, with respect to the people at large, than to have them properly armed and equipped; and in order to see that this be not neglected, it will be necessary to assemble them once or twice in the course of a year.

It is a bit quaint to see Hamilton's next expectation, given that the towns were much smaller then.


Where in the name of common-sense, are our fears to end if we may not trust our sons, our brothers, our neighbors, our fellow-citizens? What shadow of danger can there be from men who are daily mingling with the rest of their countrymen and who participate with them in the same feelings, sentiments, habits and interests? What reasonable cause of apprehension can be inferred from a power in the Union to prescribe regulations for the militia, and to command its services when necessary, while the particular States are to have the SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE APPOINTMENT OF THE OFFICERS?

So back to my first post in this thread, regardless of who the militia is or what arms they may bear, Hamilton still expected that they gather once or twice a year for inspection by officers of the state, or they cannot consider themselves to be "well-regulated."

If a state were serious about doing this, it would be more practical to have a unit of a state's national guard travel from region to region and hold weekend "boot-camps" at a reserve army base for volunteers to attend. Make it a program that someone has to register and pay for. Make it fun for gun owners who want to provide a volunteer civic duty, just like hams and CERT. Make it like a convention, but with target practice, proficiency tests, seminars, and some physical education. Have a social event on Saturday night for participants to mingle and get to know one another.

I'm sure there are many bitter-clingers who would love to sign up for a weekend getaway to practice being a militia once or twice a year.

-PJ

41 posted on 12/28/2012 11:28:46 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (If you are the Posterity of We the People, then you are a Natural Born Citizen.)
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Comment #42 Removed by Moderator

To: servo1969

BTTT!


43 posted on 12/29/2012 5:30:35 PM PST by neverdem ( Xin loi min oi)
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To: servo1969

Except for folks who can’t be trained, we’re all part of the potential militia. That’s where the Agency gets such a large number for our possible military strength (able bodied men, re. CIA World Factbook).

Little admission here. The Army didn’t teach me to do well with weapons, although I fired much on Army ranges. Hillbillies previously taught me (more than a decade earlier) to excel over nearly all other soldiers on ranges and in fire-and-maneuver (more than a decade later). That’s no general negative toward the Army, because the Army did have much of good value to teach. Hillbillies and many other rural folks like them are our real strength, IMO, given some extra training, and also have much to teach.


44 posted on 12/30/2012 5:32:46 PM PST by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of rotten politics smelled around the planet.)
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To: Slambat

Yes. By “arms” in the Second Amendment, our founding fathers obviously intended for Americans in peacetime to keep and bear what most infantryman would have: basic rifles, ammunition, suitable clothing, etc.

Heavier weapons were secured by those few who were responsible for securing them in suitable places. I suspect those who want to inject nuclear weapons and/or other artillery into the topic. Such commenters are apparently trying to contrive visions of insane/moronic/evil neighbors aiming contemporary artillery at other neighbors. Early Americans had enough common sense to keep weapons from such incompetents (insane/moronic/evil). For example, sodomites of the effete were executed by hanging.


45 posted on 12/30/2012 5:59:22 PM PST by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of rotten politics smelled around the planet.)
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To: servo1969

Why do we conservatives continue to try and use logical arguments as a weapon in a fight against the animals demanding white men be unarmed and exterminated? When will we realize that writing a well worded SA does nothing to further their goal of rape and genocide, therefore they simply won’t read it?


46 posted on 12/30/2012 7:16:26 PM PST by The Toll
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To: palmer

>> “The “state” is not as much a threat as the criminals that it coddles and enables. <<

.
Bullcrap!

The rogue state is the only threat we face.

Without them in the way, we could easily dispose of the rest.


47 posted on 12/30/2012 7:50:35 PM PST by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they'd be)
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To: Political Junkie Too

This sounds to me like a job for the State Defense Forces. If one can find Governors and State Adjudant Generals who have the vision and the will to initiate and carry it out. My state’s Military Department backed away from firearms training for the State Guard even when the local Military Reservation was willing to lend us the Firing Range. They also refused an offer from our own State Police to give us training, and to assign surplus firearms to be issued to us in case of our being called up for civil disturbances. It was as if they were afraid that the State Guard might become an effective militia.


48 posted on 12/30/2012 10:16:01 PM PST by VietVet (I am old enough to know who I am and what I believe, and I 'm not inclined to apologize for any of)
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