Standing against big government and for the people!
NOTICE TO ALL MILITIA OPERATING INSIDE TENNESSEE: Unless your militia is operating under the organizational laws described in Chapter 159 (see), Sec. 35, 1887 Public Acts of the 45th General Assembly for Tennessee State (and previous Public Acts listed below), you are committing a misdemeanor crime. See the white box below which is an actual image of the actual law, published in 1887.
The following is an image of Chapter 159 (see), Sec. 35, 1887 Public Acts of the 45th General Assembly for Tennessee State:
The elected representatives of The People of Tennessee State established Militia Laws long ago which must be adhered to. The recent 2008 U.S. Supreme Court Decision, District of Columbia v. Heller, clarified the right of citizens to form lawful militias. Since the late 1990s, the FBI has encouraged State and Local LEOs to associate with and to attend citizen militia meetings, which are public.
Available at http://tennesseemilitia.com/militia-laws/ are links to images of all of Tennessee State's unrepealed militia laws, including Chapter 87, 1885 Public Acts of the 44th General Assembly for Tennessee State: "An Act to establish volunteer militia companies" which is similar in nature to Volunteer Fire Brigades.
The Tennessee State Militia (Citizen Organized) has twin components:
1. The Tennessee State Militia, which musters at least once a year at laces and time set by the Tennessee General Assembly, and:
2. Volunteer Militia Companies, a corporate entity, which must muster monthly.
How the National Guard, State of Tennessee ceased being a militia and became a standing army
The National Guard, State of Tennessee, was originally established as a military organization by Public Act in 1887 under circumstances which would classify it as a "citizen militia," with elected officers up to the brigade level.
In 1895, by Public Act, the National Guard, State of Tennessee was clearly beginning to be differentiated from The Tennessee State Militia.
In 1897, the National Guard, State of Tennessee was reorganized for "efficiency," this time disallowing elections of officers above the regimental level, which moved the National Guard closer and closer to be a totally '"select militia."
In April 2, 1917, the General Assembly for Tennessee State, by Public Act (without amending the State Constitution and in contradiction to it) created two "classes" of State Militia:
This is clearly an arguably unconstitutional "Statist" attempt to say: "If we as the General Assembly don't organize the militia, it isn't organized." This of course would be considered by the men who founded the American republic as patently absurd, because the right of the People to organize Citizen Militias was upheld by the Founders and was upheld in the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008.
On April 2, 1917, the General Assembly for Tennessee State, by Public Act (without amending the State Constitution and in contradiction to it) once again reorganized The National Guard, State of Tennessee in such a way, that The National Guard clearly ceased to be what has since ancient times to be considered a citizen militia (with elected officers) and the The National Guard become a select militia.
Tennessee's "Military Law" was amended. Males Citizens of the United States age 17-45 (14th amendment citizenship) are now classed as the Militia: "Militia of this State shall consist of all able-bodied male citizens of the United States and all other able-bodied males who have or shall have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States, who are residents of this State."
Elections of officers were dropped from National Guard organization without explanation, and troops were now led by officers imposed from the State. "...militia shall be divided into two classes The National Guard and the Unorganized Militia."
"The National Guard of this State shall consist of the regularly enlisted militia..." this provision totally separated the National Guard, State of Tennessee from any vestige of a claim to be a "Citizen Militia" who by definition its officers are elected:
From the Tennessee Constitution: Sec. 1. Militia officers to be elected. — All militia officers shall be elected by persons subject to military duty, within the bounds of their several companies, battalions, regiments, brigades and divisions, under such rules and regulations as the Legislature may from time to time direct and establish.
Militia members are enrolled, and the National Guard at this point in time, was now to "enlist" members. Enlistment is voluntary servitude, which is akin to voluntary slavery. The Dick Act of Congress in 1917 transformed the nature of the National Guard, State of Tennessee, from a select militia into a part of a "Standing Army" which was never envisioned by The American Founders.
From the Tennessee Constitution: Sec. 24. Militia — Civil authority. — That the sure and certain defense of a free people, is a well regulated militia; and, as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to freedom, they ought to be avoided as far as the circumstances and safety of the community will admit; and that in all cases the military shall be kept in strict subordination to the civil authority.
The Dick Act made The National Guard a component of the United States Army (a new standing U.S. federal army) when under federal command, and alternately a part of "The Army of Tennessee" (a new standing State army) when under State Command. The "Army of Tennessee," previous to this, was comprised of all of Tennessee County Sheriffs and their Posses, but now includes the Tennessee State Guard, which is a select militia.
The Tennessee State Militia (Citizen Organized) as its organizational laws, must and will observe and adhere to The Constitution of Tennessee State, and the existing and unrepealed Tennessee General Assembly's Militia Laws: Public Acts of 1831, 1833, 1840, 1842-44, 1846, 1849-50, 1852, 1856-58, 1860-81, 1885, 1887, 1889, 1893 & 1917 -- and also respecting the much later T.C.A. Public Acts 1933, ch. 128, TGA Public Acts 1970, ch. 596, et. al.
The Tennessee State Militia (Citizen Organized) recognizes the civil authority placed over it by The General Assembly for Tennessee State, but differs from the Tennessee State Guard (a select militia) in that we will be citizen organized and citizen staffed, with the Governor's assigned staff in command over our ELECTED officers from the Division level on down to the Company level and below -- as Tennessee's Militia unrepealed laws and Constitution require.
Each of the 97+ Tennessee State County Militias is by legal definition a Tennessee "Civil Defense Company" and a "Citizen Corps Councils" and a Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) and a "Neighborhood Watch."
The Tennessee State Militia, when called into actual service by the Governor to repel invasion, assist in disaster, or quell riot, ceases to be a "Citizen Militia," and becomes Tennessee's "Organized Militia" until it is disbanded by the Governor, when it reverts to a "Citizens Militia." Exception being Tennessee State Chartered Independent Volunteer Militia Companies, which are a special class of Military Organization of Tennessee State, which retain elected officers and the flavor of a citizen militia. These are stock corporations, similar in nature to volunteer fire brigades, with tax-exempt real estate holdings; e.g. armories, drill rooms, training grounds, ranges, etc. These volunteer state-chartered independent militias are necessarily (according to Chap. 87 Public Act of 1885) to be more strictly supervised by The Military Department.
The Tennessee State Militia is a "Certifying Organization" with Presidential Volunteer Service Awards. The Tennessee State Militia will make recommendation for the Congressional Award: Congress' Award for youth for our younger Militia enrollees, ages 16-23. Tennessee's Chartered Independent Militia Companies, established by Chapter 87, 1885 Public Acts of the 44th General Assembly for Tennessee State, allows youths as young as 16 years to be enrolled.
Private Militias in Tennessee -- I appeal to you to throw yourselves up under the Tennessee State Constitution, the Public Acts of our General Assembly, and Tennessee's codes, and accept the lawful command of our State's Governor... either that or eventually be considered outlaws. Already many in the media have taken notice and have branded some of you as "extremist."
Let's be a "Well Organized" militia. This isn't rocket science, it is paint-by-numbers. The laws exist -- all we need do is follow them to the letter. They are all posted on this website in the Militia Laws section of the Operations center. I seriously suggest you disband under your current names, and either organize as county level militias, or establish Chartered Independent Volunteer Militia Companies -- their are no other lawful options in Tennessee State. Legally speaking, militias are "creatures" of the several States and the laws that govern them are written at State level -- not at the federal level.
To assure trustworthyness, our enrollees who will interface with the citizenry will be vetted using the Tennessee Health Department's Medical Reserve Corps registration process, which only requires divulgence a minimal amount of information.
This will be a lawful, legal State Militia, adherent to Tennessee's Constitution, and it Public Acts and its Codes.
Our ancestors did not take care of this civic obligation, and we have nearly lost the Right to Keep and Bear Arms due to that abandonment on their part. Come out of the shadows, and stand up and be counted. You will be doing nothing unlawful if we adhere to our existing laws. Some will still misunderstand... it has always been so. General Andrew Jackson had the same problem 200 years ago, when he penned:
Private Militias in Tennessee -- I appeal to you to throw yourselves up under the Tennessee State Constitution, the Public Acts of our General Assembly, and Tennessee's codes, and accept the lawful command of our State's Governor... either that or eventually be considered outlaws. Already many in the media have taken notice and have branded some of you.
Be a "Well Organized" militia. This isn't rocket science, it is paint-by-numbers. The laws exist -- all we need do is follow them to the letter. They are all posted on this website in the Militia Laws section of the Operations center. I seriously suggest you disband under your current names, and either organize as county level militias, or as State chartered volunteer Independent Militia Companies-- there are no other lawful options in Tennessee. Legally speaking, militias are "creatures" of the several States and the laws that govern them are written at State level -- not at the federal level.
Our ancestors did not take care of this business, and we have nearly lost the Right to Keep and Bear Arms due to that abandonment on their part. Come out of the shadows, and stand up and be counted. You will be doing nothing unlawful if we adhere to our existing laws. Some will persist in misunderstanding... it has always been so. General Andrew Jackson faced the very same dilemma 200 years ago, when he penned:
So, knowing all this, don't expect this Citizen's Militia to be universally popular -- it will in fact probably be mistrusted. Because changes to the militia system have been made incremantally over many decades, Tennesseans, like all Americans, haven't noticed the slow changes made in the militia system, ending in its total abadonment, and its replacement with a standing army.
Don't expect respect or trust from Governor or from the Tennessee Military Department. This is a "break glass only in time of war" effort. Train, train and train some more. Wait for the call, and hope to G-d that it never comes. Most importantly, be politically proactive. Keep the faith. Pray without ceasing as George Washington did -- for our nation is under attack as never before... from within.
As touching the militia, have the successive Tennessee's Constitutions of 1796, of 1834, of 1870 and of 1953 changed?
Tennessee Constitution of 1796 as touching the militia and peaceable assembly:
SEC. 23. No judge of any court of law or equity, secretary of state, attorney-general, register, clerk of any court of record, or person holding any office under the authority of the United States shall have a seat in the general assembly; nor shall any person in this State hold more than one lucrative office at one and the same time: Provided, That no appointment in the militia, or to the office of a justice of the peace, shall be considered a lucrative office.
Article II (Governor)
SEC. 5. He shall be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of this State, and of the militia, except when they shall be called into the service of the United States.
SEC 22. That the citizens have a right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble together for their common good, to instruct their representatives, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government for redress of grievances, or other proper purposes, by address or remonstrance.
SEC 24. That the sure and certain defence of a free people is a well-regulated militia; and as standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to freedom, they ought to be avoided, as far as the circumstances and safety of the community will admit, and that in all cases the military shall be in strict subordination to the civil authority.
SEC 25. That no citizen in this State, except such as are employed in the Army of the United States or militia in actual service, shall be subject to corporal punishment under martial law.
SEC 26. That the freemen of this State have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defence.
SEC 27. That no soldier shall in time of peace be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war but in a manner prescribed by law.
SEC 28. That no citizen of this State shall be compelled to bear arms, provided he will pay an equivalent, to be ascertained by law.
SECTION 1. Captains, subalterns, and non-commissioned officers shall be elected by those citizens, in their respective districts, who are subject to military duty.
SEC. 2. All field-officers of the militia shall be elected by those citizens in their respective counties who are subject to military duty.
SEC. 3. Brigadiers-general shall be elected by the field-officers of their respective brigades.
SEC. 4. Majors-general shall be elected by the brigadiers and field-officers of the respective divisions.
SEC 5. The governor shall appoint the adjutant-general; the majors-general shall appoint their aides; the brigadiers-general shall appoint their brigade majors, and the commanding officers of regiments their adjutants and quartermasters.
SEC. 6. The captains and the subalterns of the cavalry shall be appointed by the troops enrolled ion their respective companies, and the field-officers of the district shall be appointed by the said captains and subalterns: Provided, That, whenever any new county is laid off, that the field officers of the said cavalry shall appoint the captain and other officers therein pro tempore, until the company is filled up and completed, at such time the election of the captains and subalterns shall take place as aforesaid.
SEC. 7. The legislature shall pass laws exempting citizens, belonging to any sect or denomination of religion the tenets of which are known to be opposed to the bearing of arms from attending private and general musters.
Tennessee Constitution of 1834 as touching the militia and peaceable assembly:
Sec. 23. That the citizens have a right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble together, for their common good, to instruct their representatives, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government, for redress of grievances, or other proper purposes, by address or remonstrance.
Sec. 24. That the sure and certain defence [i.e.defense] of a free people, is a well regulated Militia: And, as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to freedom, they ought to be avoided, as far as the circumstances and safety of the community will admit; and that in all cases the military shall be Kept in strict subordination to the civil authority.
Sec. 25. That no citizen of this State, except such as are employed in the Army of the United States, or Militia in actual service, shall be subjected to corporeal punishment under the martial law.
Sec. 26. That the free white men of this State have a right to Keep and to bear arms for their common defence [i.e. defense].
Sec. 27. That no soldier shall in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner; nor in time of war, but in a manner prescribed by law.
Sec. 28. That no citizen of this State shall be compelled to bear arms, provided he will pay an equivalent, to be ascertained by law.
Sec 26. No Judge of any court of law or equity, Secretary of State, Attorney general, Register, Clerk of any court of record, or person holding any office under the authority of the United States, shall have a seat in the general Assembly; nor shall any person, in this State, hold more than one lucrative office at the same time: Provided, that no appointment in the militia, or to the office of Justice of the Peace, shall be considered a lucrative office, or operate as a disqualification to a seat in either House of the general Assembly.
Article 3 (Governor)
Sec 5. He shall be commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy of this State and of the Militia, except when they shall be called into the service of the United States.
Sec 1. All Militia officers shall be elected by persons subject to Military duty, within the bounds of their several companies, battalions, regiments, brigades and divisions, under such rules and regulations as the Legislature may, from time to time, direct and establish.
Sec 2. The governor shall appoint the Adjutant General, and his other staff officers; the Majors general, Brigadiers general, and commanding officers of Regiments, shall respectively appoint their staff officers.
Sec 3. The Legislature shall pass laws, exempting citizens belonging to any sect or denomination of religion, the tenets of which are known to be opposed to the bearing of arms, from attending private and general Musters.
Tennessee Constitution of 1870 as touching the militia and peaceable assembly:
Section 23. That the citizens have a right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble together for their common good, to instruct their representatives, and to apply to those invested with the powers of go eminent for redress of grievances, or other proper purposes, by address or remonstrance.
Section 24. That the sure and certain defense of a free people, is a well regulated militia; and, as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to freedom, they ought to be avoided as far as the circumstances and safety of the community will admit; and that in all cases the military shall be kept in strict subordination to the civil authority.
Section 25. That no citizen of this State, except such as are employed in the army of the United States, or militia in actual service, shall be subjected to punishment under the martial or military law. That martial law, in the sense of the unrestricted power of military officers, or others, to dispose of the persons, liberties or property of the citizen, is inconsistent with the principles of free government, and is not confined to any department of the government of this State.
Section 26. That the citizens of this State have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defense; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms with a view to prevent crime.
Section 27. That no soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner; nor in time of war, but in a manner prescribed by law.
Section 28. That no citizen of this State shall be compelled to bear arms, provided he will pay an equivalent, to be ascertained by law.
Section 26. No Judge of any Court of law or equity, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Register, Clerk of any court of Record, or person holding any office under the authority of the United States, shall have a seat in the General Assembly; nor shall any person in this State hold more than one lucrative office at the same time; provided, that no appointment in the Militia, or to the office of Justice of the Peace, shall be considered a lucrative office, or operative as a disqualification to a seat in either House of the General Assembly.
Section 5. He shall be commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy of this state, and of the militia, except when they shall be called into the service of the United States: But the militia shall not be called into service except in case of rebellion or invasion, and then only when the General Assembly shall declare, by law, that the public safety requires it.
Section 1. All militia officers shall be elected by persons subject to military duty, within the bounds of their several companies, battalions, regiments, brigades and divisions, under such rules and regulations as the Legislature may from time to time direct and establish.
Section 2. The Governor shall appoint the Adjutant-General and his other staff officers; the Major-Generals, Brigadier-Generals, and commanding officers of regiments, shall respectively appoint their staff officers.
Section 3. The Legislature shall pass laws exempting citizens belonging to any sect or denomination of religion, the tenets of which are known to be opposed to the bearing of arms, from attending private and general musters.
Comparing Tennessee's successive constitutions of 1996, 1834 and 1870, we see that other than the qualifications of who may bear arms, "freemen" in 1796; "free white men" in 1834; "citizens" in 1870 -- absolutely nothing has changed in regards to the militia. The Tennessee General Assembly has passed laws over the year regulating the militia, and at time reorganizing it.
One law passed by The Tennessee General Assembly, changing the nature of the National Guard, Srtate of Tennesse from a select militia to a standing army, is clearly repugnant to the Constitution of Tennessee State. It was passed in the run-up to World War One, at a time when the United States Constitution had been suspended.
Here is an overview of what happened:
The General Assembly for Tennessee State without first defining it, segregated the"active militia" and created the National Guard; later it separated the National Guard, State of Tennessee from the "unorganized militia."
Other than the question of exactly who may bear arms, the Tennessee State Militia stands today exactly where it stood in 1796... with elected officers, but it Companies, Regiments and Divisions are unmanned; and the posts of its officers, and its rank and file are "uninhabited."
The citizens of Tennessee State, hereby reclaim the right under law, to man our posts and to elect our officers and to organize our militia for the "common defense;" disaster relief in time of peace; the common defense in time of invasion or rebellion.
We submit ourselves to civil authority. We observe the Constitution of Tennessee State, Public Acts of the General Assembly viz muster times and elections, and Tennessee's codes which regulate the carrying of arms with a view to controlling crime.
Let's not ask our grandchildren to curse us for allowing despotism to flourish when they visit our graves long after we pass away. Our ancestors will hail us as heroes when we rejoin them.
|Is the National Guard the "militia?"|
by David Hardy
A bit of research into the legal background of the National Guard can be revealing.
There is of course the modern 10 US Code §311, which defines the unorganized militia of the U.S. as essentially all males 18-45 and certain women, and the organized militia as essentially the National Guard. There are also various State statutes (Arizona's defines the state militia to include women as well as men).
10 U.S.C. §311 dates from the Dick Act of 1903, which repealed the Militia Law of 1792, and first wrote the term "National Guard" into law. The Guard as we now know it (dual enlistment: members of State National Guard units required to enlist in the U.S. Reserves) dates from the Army Act of 1940. (Why dual enlistment? In 1912 the Attorney General ruled that NG units could not be sent outside the US, because they were part of (note "part of") the militia, and the Constitution allows the militia to be called up only for domestic purposes -- to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, and execute the laws of the Union. As a result in WWI Guard units were broken up and members drafted into regular Army units as individuals, an inefficient operation and one displeasing to the Guard).
So let's take a look at the legislative history of those statutes....
Debates over the 1903 Dick Act: Original proposal was to have National Guard and also two classes of volunteer reserves, consisting of NG units that had volunteered as federal reserves and whose officers would be approved in advance by the Army, and who would be available for service overseas (that is, the Guard itself would be more like the modern State National Guards, and the volunteer reserves would be more like the modern National Guard).
House debates (35 Cong. Rec., (1902)
Rep. Wiley (p.7111) "In my remarks on this occasion it is not my purpose to discuss the militia in its widest sense, as including the whole military force of the nation. I shall confine myself to the great body of the citizens in the different states and territories of the Union who, actuated by patriotic impulses, have enrolled for instruction and discipline as a reserve force ..."
Rep. Stark (Appendix p. 387): "To my mind our institutions are best served by having a small regular army as nucleus, garrison duty, and the first line of defense; then for the support to be first called out, the organized militias commonly known as the "National Guard;" then for the third line, the national volunteer reserve ... Then comes the reserve militia, which includes all able-bodied men between the ages of 18 and 45."
Sen. Proctor (36 Cong. Rec. 125 (Dec. 9 1902): "The old law makes every able-bodied man in the country a member of the militia, and provides no further organization. This bill separates and makes a class which can be called into active service."
Proctor, at p. 305: "The National Guard is in full organization; it is already created and would naturally be first called upon if wanted for a limited time, and then the militia would be called upon."
At p. 299-300, Sen. Pettus objects that creating the volunteer reserves might exceed Congressional powers over the militia, since their officers are approved by federal authorities and the States have no control over use of these units. [The Constitution provides that the States shall appoint officers of the militia] Sen. Proctor responds "The troops provided for in section 24 are not militia. They are volunteers. They are called the national volunteer reserve, as the Senator will see. They are not called militia."
At p. 303, Sen. Foraker backs Proctor: "[W]hile this reserve is part of the militia, in the sense that all men are a part of the militia who are between the ages of 18 and 45, it is not a part of the militia in any other sense.."
P. 354, Sen. Bacon, in opposition, says that if this volunteer force were the militia, it would clearly violate the letter of the Constitution. He continues, "There is no possible question about the fact that it is not part of the militia, so far as the letter goes. But I think it is violative of the spirit and intent of the Constitution in that it makes a part of the regular establishment that which the Constitution intended should be the militia."
Debates on the 1940 Army Act (86 Cong. Record, Aug. 1940)
Sen. Gillette: (p. 9914) "The militia of the United States are citizens between certain ages capable of performing military service. That is the militia of the United States. It consists of all citizens of that type, and is divided into the unorganized militia, the organized militia, and certain naval units. The National Guard of the States and Territories are organizations composed of these militiamen, members of the unorganized militia, who voluntarily have enlisted in specific organizations for a specific purpose with a specific limitation. That is the National Guard of the Nation. There is a third category, the National Guard of the United States. That organization is set up under a specific act of the Congress ..."
Sen. Sheppard (p. 9985) cites a 1916 statute parallelling 10 USC 311, and also defining the army of the US as the regular army, the National Guard, etc. He explains, "Every National Guard man who takes the oath takes it with the understanding that he is part of the Regular Army ...."
There is only one Militia and it is the one enumerated as a fundamental right in Amendment II of the U.S. Constitution which came from Article I, Section 13, of the Virginia Declaration of Rights. Virginia had the most developed militia system as the oldest colony and it was this system which so heavily dominated the thinking of those who wrote the U.S. Constitution.
A Militia according to the various Virginia Militia Acts and Acts Against Invasions and Insurrections set forth the following basic guidelines: 1) Militia Service is not voluntary but compulsory. 2) All able bodied people are to keep in their place of abode arms and ammunition of the militia. 3) All people exempted from Militia duty because of their exempted status or religious convictions must still keep arms and ammunition of the militia at their place of abode for others to use if needed. 4) All members of the Militia not exempted are to muster at least once a year. People who are exempt from muster duty because of their exempt status must fall in with the Militia during times of invasions and insurrections and be subject to the discipline of the militia. 5) “ That every officer of the militia, to whom notice shall be given of any invasion or insurrection, shall raise the militia under his command, and send intelligence to the county lieutenant, or in his absence to the chief commanding officer in the county, and shall moreover immediately proceed to oppose the enemy according to the orders he shall receive from his chief commanding officer until further orders arrive from the governor or commander in chief of this dominion for the time being…”
The current National Guard is not what was etched into the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment. There is no such thing as an organized and unorganized militia or an unarmed militia. Militia service is compulsory and integrated with the civil authority. The Virginia militia was so well regulated and maintained that this helped enable Virginia to fight the civil war so effectively. This is also why the Militia system guaranteed under the United States Constitution was changed so drastically so that states like Virginia could not wage war again. The concept of the National Guard is an unconstitutional usurpation of the fundamental right to a well regulated militia system.
Rudolph DiGiacinto,Founder &c.
The National Guard cannot be the militia if one of the presumed functions of the militia is to serve as the people’s final balance of power against the Federal government. The National Guard is an arm of the US government, and an arm of the government cannot serve as a protection against itself.
It should not be forgotten that the organization of the Guard is very different from that of the old state’s militias that existed up through the US Civil War. Prior to 1865, each state militia functioned as its states mini army, with its own complete organization including infantry, logistics, medical, and artillery support. Constructing a larger army from the militias was a relatively simple task of banding state militias together, as the Confederate States proved effectively in 1861.
The current organization of the Guard makes this impossible. No state (nor any regional collection of states) has all the elements to build a complete fighting force from the guard units. Some have infantry, some have transport, some have armor, many have highly specialized communication or logistical units that would be expensive to maintain in peacetime. Nobody has all the pieces. Surely this cannot be by chance.
But the final argument against the idea of the Guard being the militia comes from our nation’s history. The Guard traces its roots back to the Minutemen of the American Revolution, the citizen soldiers who fought and died in order to forge a new nation starting at Lexington and Concord.
However if one imagines that morning in April 1775, with the Minutemen facing off against the British regulars, it’s only fair to let our imagination drift a bit away from the bridge where they fought, and over to the Concord town green. At that spot perhaps there was a pole, with a flag fluttering in the breeze. That flag, of course, would have been the Union Jack as Massachusetts was a British colony and had been during the entire time the Minutemen had organized, armed, and trained. Unlike today’s National Guard, the Minutemen were totally independent of the government of their day.
In order to protect freedom, a militia must always be independent of the government. Any military force that must answer to the government is a force that may not be able to answer “no.”
Simply put, a militia is the people of a state or nation, trained and under arms. This broad concept is not, and indeed cannot be, supplanted by the creation of any particular subunit. It does not state or imply that any particular person or body forms, trains or commands such a unit. "The" militia is, in fact, coextensive with the body of the people inasfar as that body chooses to arm and train itself. Until every last person in that state or nation (men, women, children) is trained and under arms, or has proactively recused himself, the term "militia" has no practical parameters.
|1789 Senate action on right to arms|
Posted by David Hardy · 2 April 2005 11:28 AM
From the Journal of the First Senate, Sept. 9 1789:
"On motion to amend article the fifth, by inserting these words, 'for the common defence,' next to the words 'bear arms:'
It passed in the negative.
On motion to strike out of this article, line the second, these words, 'the best,' and insert in lieu thereof 'necessary to the:'
It passed in the affirmative.
On motion, on article the fifth, to strike out the word 'fifth,' after 'article the,' and insert 'fourth,' and to amend the article to read as follows: 'A well regulated militia being the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.'
It passed in the affirmative."
At this point in the drafting, the Second Amendment was in fifth position. Since "passed in the negative" was then parlance for "was voted down," the first passage documents that the Senate rejected a proposal to word the amendment as "right of the people to keep and bear arms for the common defense."
I was the discoverer of this passage, back in the mid-1980s, when I found a copy of the Journal of the First Senate sitting in Interior Department's library. If I were to guess -- the movant or at least proponent was John Adams, sitting as president of the Senate. Adams had drafted the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights, which had the "for the common defense" proviso. As Steve Halbrook has documented, that provision created a bit of a stir in the state, with several communities protesting that it might allow the state government to confine all arms to its armories -- they would still be available for the common defense. The critical point here is that the Senate, which was otherwise rather liberal in amending the House's proposals, rejected this language.
In debates a few years ago, at the American Enterprise Institute, the proponent of "collective rights" claimed that there was no record at all of the Senate deliberations. He was wrong. There are no verbatim transcripts, but there is the Journal which lists motions and votes. (Interestingly, the compilation of the House debates is actually fragmentary and noncontemporaneous. While it looks like a running log of debates, it was really compiled fifty years later by editing contemporary newspaper articles that described what went on.
BTW, the secretary of the Senate was a notorious lush, which may account for the typo in the last paragraph (he left "necessary to" out: "A well regulated militia being the security of a free state...")
· Framing of Constitution
Good article, Mr. Hardy. I would like to expound upon a point I made earlier regarding City of Salina v. Blaksley. To wit: militia service was considered a right as well as a duty. We have this comment from Elbridge Gerry regarding a proposed modification to the 2nd Amendment adding "but no person, religiously scrupulous, shall be compelled to bear arms":
"Mr. Gerry — This declaration of rights, I take it, is intended to secure the people against the mal-administration of the government; if we could suppose that in all cases the rights of the people would be attended to, the occasion for guards of this kind would be removed. Now, I am apprehensive, sir, that this clause would give an opportunity to the people in power to destroy the constitution itself. THEY CAN DECLARE WHO ARE THOSE RELIGIOUSLY SCRUPULOUS, AND PREVENT THEM FROM BEARING ARMS. What, sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty. Now it must be evident, that under this provision, together with their other powers, congress could take such measures ith respect to a militia, as make a standing army necessary. Whenever government mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins. This was actually done by Great Britain at the commencement of the late revolution. They used every means in their power to prevent the establishement of an effective militia to the eastward. The assembly of Massachusetts, seeing the rapid progress that administration were making, to divest them of their inherent privileges, endeavored to counteract them by the organization of the militia, but they were always defeated by the influence of the crown." The Congressional Register, 17 August 1789. (Emphasis supplied).
It seems clear to me that Elbridge Gerry (a Jeffersonian, to use your categories, and the origin to the terminology "gerrymandering" when he was Governor of New York) was concerned that the federal government would, or could, try to prevent certain people from serving in the militia by some ruse associated with declaring that those of certain faiths are pacifists and thus ineligible to serve. Therefore, it seems clear to me that the "right-duty" aspect of militia service during the time our constitution and bill of rights is established...
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