Ignoring Core Purpose Makes 2nd Amendment More Vulnerable to Infringements: The Militia Aspect, Part 2
February 11, 2020
“Col. Ethan Allen, later of the Continental Army and Vermont Militia, may have originated guerrilla warfare in the 13 colonies,” a Military.com profile recalls. “When New York's British governor Tryon attempted to appropriate the land known as the New Hampshire Grants for the crown, Allen organized his Green Mountain Boys to protect the settlers' rights in the area.”
The great man, whose statue now stands in front of the Vermont Statehouse (at least until useful idiot social just warriors pull it down), and many of the local militias of the time, were outlaws. So, according to the Crown, were the Continental Army and the Congress that “authorized” it. So were “the people” behind it all, who supported the War of the Rebellion and took up arms against a tyrannical government.
There’s no denying it. Today’s citizen disarmament lobby would deem them “gun criminals.” Hell, Josh Horowitz of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV - formerly National Coalition to Ban Handguns) calls such behavior “treason and vigilantism,” that is, capital crimes.
The Real Criminals
“Political power,” Chairman Mao declared, “grows out of the barrel of a gun.” That’s something totalitarians know instinctively. That’s why they demand being the only ones wielding it.
“The concept of a ‘monopoly on force' might sound foreign or even frightening to Americans that take great pride in our revolutionary beginnings,” CSGV’s Horwitz proselytized in a Huffington Post citizen disarmament advocacy piece, “but it is the fundamental organizing principle of any political entity, including the United States.”
To back up this assertion,” he cites, ‘German political economist and sociologist Max Weber. What he doesn't cite is Weber's support for approving Article 48 into the Weimar constitution, establishing “emergency powers” to bypass Reichstag consent, and allowing Adolf Hitler's rise to unchallenged power. Not to mention the attainment of a “monopoly of force,” although Weber preferred the term “violence.”
“The Militia of the several states” mandated in the Constitution, provided the “fundamental organizing principle” that made the United States different and put to the lie Horwitz’s offensive assertion. The American Revolution was one of ideology. The Founders made it clear in the Declaration:
“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
Opposing the right to keep and bear arms, the most egalitarian power-sharing arrangement ever devised, is how you know a collectivist is lying and interested only in wielding unchecked force against subjects that are ultimately slaves.
Tyrants are the worst of criminals.
From Treason to ‘Supreme Law of the Land’
Having won political power through the barrel of a gun, the “traitors” to the Crown were now in charge, and they set out to preserve “the security of a free State.” The Second Amendment defines the one thing they deemed “necessary” to achieve it – “a well regulated Militia.”
The Militia Acts of 1792 elaborated on the right and the duty for citizen of “the respective States” to be organized and equipped:
“That every citizen, so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch, with a box therein, to contain not less than twenty four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball; or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch, and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder; and shall appear so armed, accoutred and provided, when called out to exercise or into service, except, that when called out on company days to exercise only, he may appear without a knapsack.”
Compare these expectations to those of modern-day handwringers decrying “ordinary people” having “weapons of war.” That’s just what the Founders expected the people to have, not just as a right, but as a duty.
Militia ‘R’ Us
In Part 1 Firearms News explored the Constitutional authorization for the Militia of the several States, noted that contrary to what some would have us believe it has not been “replaced” by the National Guard, reviewed current United States Code definitions, explored a bit of Founding sentiment and noted how the legal and political deterioration through neglect and intent serves the interests of those who would rule without restraints.
While the Constitution provides for the federal government to “govern… such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States,” that qualifier proved problematic for those who viewed the Militia as enforcers for whatever they wanted to do, as became apparent in the War of 1812, when “The governors of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island refused to order out Militia except for the defense of their respective States.”
Nullification was not a power that applied only to juries. It goes to the heart of refusal to obey orders deemed unlawful. James Madison, in Federalist No. 46, anticipated not just nullification on the part of the Militia, but outright resistance if warranted:
“Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger.”
I wonder what Josh Horowitz would say about that. Or any of the Democrat presidential candidates, who ought to have Madison’s sobering words thrown in their teeth. They are understood completely by those who would relegate the Militia of the several States to an irrelevant footnote and dismiss the revitalization of same as a “Red Dawn” fantasy to ridicule.
That’s why it’s on us to recognize the fraud that’s been perpetrated to swindle Americans out of their birthright, as embodied in the (aptly named, it would seem)“Dick Act,” which presented itself as “AN ACT to promote the efficiency of the militia, and for other purposes.”
As with the National Guard, state guards, promoted by the State Guard Association of the United States, are select militias, something the Founders considered with the same distrust as a standing army. And while it looked like former Col. Senator Gary Hart (yes, the one whose career was effectively destroyed in a sex scandal) showed a historical understanding in his The Minuteman: Restoring an Army of the People, the “citizen soldiers” he envisioned “would expand National Guard reserves.”
That’s still a far cry from the so-called “unorganized militia” of United States Code, which, according to lawyer and Constitutional scholar Dr. Edwin Vieira, is in itself an example of Congressional “malfeasance… beyond the pale.”
“Under no circumstances may Congress leave the Militia unorganized, unarmed, or undisciplined--let alone knowingly and intentionally impose such conditions,” Vieira instructs. The very term is “an oxymoron,” he shows.
Vieira’s website archives (http://edwinvieira.com/) include his eight-part The Militia of the Several States; Guarantee the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, as well as numerous other important topics of principle and law. Additionally, his indispensable “Thirteen Words” demonstrates how gun advocates ignoring the Second Amendment’s prefatory clause effectively guarantee infringements. We cannot effectively defend, promote or advance the Second Amendment – legislatively or through the courts – by ignoring Founding intent. And so far, the “famous names” and the rice bowl groups in the RKBA movement have relegated largely unrecognized authorities like Vieira, and "lawyer, philosopher & logician" Joanna Martin, J.D., writing as "Publius Huldah," to the role of Cassandra’s, whose warnings, if heard at all, fall mostly on obliviously – or intentionally – deaf ears.
Sic Semper Tyrannis
Gun owner eyes are on Virginia, where a Democrat sweep of a once “Republican state” is drawing opposing sides closer to a forceful conflict than we’ve seen in this country in our lifetimes. Ever hungry for power and to compel those they deplore to obey, the Democrats, emboldened by a recent population majority that reflects manipulated demographics, can scarcely contain itself ramming increasingly odious citizen disarmament measures down the throats of outnumbered heritage Virginians. They, in turn, still occupy most of the land mass and won’t give up their guns.
Recalling the militia formed in Fairfax County by Founding Father George Mason in 1774 (note the similarity to Ethan Allen’s), we now see not only over 100 counties and towns to date passing “Second Amendment Sanctuary” resolutions, but have seen one local government (so far) go a step further and enact “A Resolution Promoting the Order of Militia within Tazewell County.”
Incapable of masking their inner totalitarians for long, Virginia Democrats declare such resolutions to be without force of law. Those who really can’t control themselves are threatening to call up the National Guard to enforce citizen disarmament. Talk about a prospective flashpoint with potential to spread, especially with gun owners in other states and counties templating off what’s happening in Virginia.
Can We All Get Along?
The answer to “motorist” Rodney King’s plea seems unlikely in an increasingly polarized country, where terms like “Boogaloo” are getting new meaning, and as talk becomes increasingly more hostile. Who doubts a state of cold civil war already exists between factions with irreconcilable differences? The fact is, we know what will be necessary to effect “the security of a free State,” but we also know the powers that be have no interest in putting on Constitutional chains when their whole shtick involves putting chains on others.
Depending on what happens next November, we’re likely to see more ripping asunder of the national fabric. If the Democrats gain power, expect to see more punitive, in-your-face infringements and more gun owners forming defiance alliances. If the Republicans win big, expect Trump Derangement Syndrome writ large, along with continued deliberate indifference among “moderates,” willing to pay lip service to RKBA if it serves their interests, but not actually willing to substantively advance the Second Amendment, and certainly not to champion its first thirteen words.
That’s what it’s going to take if we’re going to end the tyrannical foolishness once and for all.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. In addition to being a regular featured contributor for Firearms Newsand AmmoLand Shooting Sports News, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts onTwitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.