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Old December 27, 2009, 09:09 AM   #26
publius42
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Quote:
Those organizations you speak of are not militias but rather unauthorized paramilitary organizations.
So if a militia has to be authorized, does that mean the Minutemen in the Revolutionary War were authorized by the British government?
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Old December 27, 2009, 11:29 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by publius42
So if a militia has to be authorized, does that mean the Minutemen in the Revolutionary War were authorized by the British government?
The Minutemen were a select group of the larger colonial militias authorized by their colonial charters. Some of these charters (like Connecticut's in 1662 included the right of self government) but these militias answered to the colonial governments to answer your question. So yes all legal and legitimate militias MUST be authorized by and answer to a government. Otherwise, they are a mob with guns.

FWIW, General Charles Lee thought little of them (the Minutemen) and General Geroge Washington's disdain of the militia in general is well documented.
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Old December 27, 2009, 12:35 PM   #28
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While there is the quaint idea that the militia provided their own arms and equipment, the facts of the matter are otherwise. Many owned their own gear, some left over from the previous war but the rest had to be provided with arms by the government, mostly state or colonial governments. Ever hear of the Committee of Safety? I imagine that most of the backwoodsmen had their own and rifles, too.

There had been state forces during the colonial period, too, which took part in active operations in the French & Indian War, though I have no information about their equipage, pay or how they were raised. There had also been state forces spread out along the frontier both before and after the revolution, mostly to deal with the Indians. They ceased to be a problem in the east after Wayne defeated the Indians in Ohio ("and then land speculators flooded the countryside"). I believe these were called rangers. They were rather thinly spread along the frontier and always had their hands full with the hostiles.

You should remember that the real flashpoints of the revolution were the moves by the British to confiscate the colonial's arms, which did not mean going door to door but going to the place where they were mostly centrally stored.

One of the initial reasons for the militia was a fear of standing armies and the continental army was largely disbanded after the revolution. And part of that reason was the fact that, at the time, here and in Great Britain, armies were quartered on the local population, a thing that is inconceivable now, anywhere, but it was standard practice then in some places. Barracks came along rather late but even standing armies were a relatively new thing, too.
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Old December 27, 2009, 12:42 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tennessee Gentleman
While very brave people they [flight #93] were not militia.
They were not "militia" if the only thing you think of, when you say, hear or read that word is; the Organized Militia.

Then you would be correct.

However...

When you understand that the "militia" is both the organized and unorganized militia (10 USC 311(b)92)), then you are clearly wrong. It was the unorganized militia that brought a stop to the terrorists of flight #93. It was an unorganized militia man who stopped the recent attack on flight #253.

You can deny it until the cows come home, but the fact remains that it will be the the self defense by the unorganized militia that will be always available when the terrorists chose and act upon their next target.
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Old December 27, 2009, 12:46 PM   #30
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Good post BlueTrain and historically accurate. I am reminded of the old saying "The older one gets the faster he ran as a boy". Folks today think of some militia ideal that they can recreate because they are frustrated with the state of America politically. So, they manufacture an older ideal and hope that by that dream they might feel better. A sign of the times I suspect.
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Old December 27, 2009, 01:00 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antipitas
When you understand that the "militia" is both the organized and unorganized militia (10 USC 311(b)92)), then you are clearly wrong.
The unorganized militia is a statutory construct, a legal fiction if you will. They have no duties, rights or responsibilities and are merely a pool of people that MAY be called upon to fill the Organized Militia. In fact, and I have shown this before factually, the unorganized militia was originally created to get people OUT of serving in the militia. That same idea was written into the Militia Act of 1903.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Antipitas
It was the unorganized militia that brought a stop to the terrorists of flight #93.
No it was a group of brave citizens who thrwarted a crime. Happens everytime someone sees a crime and calls the cops or otherwsie intervenes. Miltias never filled such a role historically.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Antipitas
You can deny it until the cows come home, but the fact remains that it will be the the self defense by the unorganized militia that will be always available when the terrorists chose and act upon their next target.
No I will continue to point out historical, legal and legislative facts about the now defunct militia every time this is brought up.

I think it is a great thing that we can be armed for our personal self defense and I see a benefit of such for the populace at large.

However, I see a huge danger to liberty when we begin to attach a pseudo-lawful authority to such civic virtue by calling ourselves "militiamen" and then acting accordingly without government accountability or authority. Such is the stuff of lynch mobs.
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Old December 27, 2009, 03:03 PM   #32
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What smarter people than us say on the subjet:

This is all taken from the Members of Congress Amici Brief in the Chicago Case

It remains the law of the land that the
reserve or unorganized militia constitutes all able bodied
males between 17 and 45. 10 U.S.C. § 311;
see also Silveira, 328 F.3d at 581 (Kleinfeld, J.,
dissenting from denial of rehearing en banc)
(“Those of us who are male and able-bodied have
almost all been militiamen for most of our lives
whether we know it or not . . . .”). Congress does
not provide arms, ammunition, or uniforms for the
reserve militia.8 Implicit in the statute is an
understanding that a substantial portion of the
reserve militia will keep their own arms. The same
understanding likely inheres in the Militia Clauses.
State laws restricting firearm possession, by
preventing the reserve militia from keeping
firearms and thus being prepared, could seriously
threaten the effectiveness of any attempt by
Congress to call forth the militia.
Lest the suggestion that Congress might call
forth the militia sound antiquated, it bears
8 From 1792 until 1903, every member of the reserve militia
was required to possess his own firearm and ammunition. 1
Stat. 264 (1792).
35
emphasis that the reserve militia has served nobly
within living memory. During World War II, with
the regular armed forces engaged in two far-flung
theaters, citizen-soldiers performed important
duties on the homefront. See Robert Dowlut, The
Right to Arms: Does the Constitution or the
Predilection of Judges Reign?, 36 Okla. L. Rev. 65,
76-77 n.52, 91-92 (1983) (describing militia duties
in Maryland, Virginia, and other States). These
citizen-soldiers provided their own arms and
ammunition, performing civil defense duties
without pay and while keeping their regular jobs.
Id. The Maryland Minute Men, for example, were
tasked by the Governor with securing their local
towns and coastlines from saboteurs. 3 State
Papers and Addresses of Governor Herbert R.
O’Conor 616-20 (March 10, 1942). Similarly faded
from the popular memory is the invasion and
occupation of several Aleutian Islands in World
War II. In the campaign to contain and evict
Japanese forces, the Army drafted local citizens
into a special, irregular unit.

The Constitution apportions authority over the militia between the
States and Congress, and it gives Congress certain enumerated powers set forth in the Militia Clauses of Article I:
“To provide for calling forth the militia to
execute the laws of the union, suppress
insurrections and repel invasions;
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[.]”

The Militia Clauses presume the existence of the militia and use “militia” as a term of art, essentially meaning all able-bodied males capable of military defense. See Heller, 128 S. Ct. at 2799- 800. A disarmed populace, however, would be powerless to answer Congress’ call and would frustrate Congress’ ability to employ its power under the Militia Clauses. Hence, the Militia Clauses presume the continued existence of an armed citizenry. Under this
constitutional arrangement—irrespective of the Second and Fourteenth Amendments—the States could not and cannot restrict the right to keep and
bear arms in a manner that undermines Congress’ ability to exercise its enumerated militia powers.

Presser V. Illinois:
“It is undoubtedly true that all citizens
capable of bearing arms constitute the
reserved military force or reserve militia of
the United States as well as of the States,
and, in view of this prerogative of the
general government, as well as of its
general powers, the States cannot, even
laying the [Second Amendment] out of
view, prohibit the people from keeping and
bearing arms, so as to deprive the United
States of their rightful resource for
maintaining the public security, and
disable the people from performing their
duty to the general government.”
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Old December 27, 2009, 04:05 PM   #33
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A few other things I wanted to say about the possibility of the US being invaded. I remember reading an article about the scariest thing a soldier encountered during his time of service in the WWII. His story went like this:
His unit had taken a german officer prisoner and this soldier was conversing with him. The german officer asked where he was from and he told him a certain very small town in New England. The soldier began to describe where it was and the officer cut him off and then went on to describe in minute detail the layout of this small town. I remember reading that he was really struck by the officer's knowledge of his hometown and especially at his mentioning a certain creek, that was actually more like a ditch, and wasn't even on maps. Asking the officer how he knew so much the officer replied matter of factly: "I spent many months studying this area of the United States because after our invasion I was to be the Military Governor of area 5786 which your hometown is in."

After 3 1/2 years in combat, and seeing all that goes with it, this encounter terrified him more than anything else.

Secondly, I don't see why some are so sure that we are so safe and invasion so impossible. I am not, nor ever have been a general, admiral, member of the joint chiefs of staff, or a military planner at all, but even my uneducated, untrained mind can come up with several scenarios of invasion that would be possibly successful. To spare myself having to type up the detail as to how I would do it, just go to Netflix and rent "Red Dawn."

Lastly, I agree that the people of flight 93, those that stopped Richard Reid, and the most recent attempted incident WERE acting as members of the militia. The acts they performed were against aggressors perpetrating acts of war. Keep in mind that these types of attacks are, and will continue to be the norm in this asymmetrical war in which we are currently engaged.

So get your guns, get all the ammo you can get your hands on, and carry your weapons. The military and police cannot be everywhere at every time, but us members of the "Unorgaized Militia" can be, and are.
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Old December 27, 2009, 05:00 PM   #34
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There exists something variously called the state defense forces or names to that effect. Virginia has one. The stated purpose is basically to fill the void left by the National Guard units who have been activated. I have no idea if this was ever done but as you know, lots of National Guard units have deployed in recent years. They also have local guard functions, like guarding bridges and things like that. I'm not sure how they are armed but it is a real state force not subject to national service.

All countries have different, sometimes radically different, ways of doing things militarily. But most have some form of gradated level of organization by which I mean there are regular forces, reserves and often something even beyond that, usually of the nature of "Dad's Army" or Volksturm. Some have had organizations of the nature of a militia that were by law not liable for overseas service. In Britain those went by the name of fencible units, all of which were infantry, probably. But not all countries had what we call a militia.

The term militia has fallen on hard times lately because it has come to be associated incorrectly with private armies, a concept that some of the founding fathers were clearly against. But think of some of the more unsettled countries in Africa and, to a degree, those who call themselves a militia in this country.

It is probably correct to say that up until well after the civil war, the military strength of this country lay with the states. From the end of the revolution through the Civil War, enthusiasm for state troops had its ups and downs and in some places there seem to never have been any at all. This seems to have varied with simple popularity as much as simple need. Overall, this would generally be referred to as a volunteer movement rather than a militia movement. There was a like movement in Great Britain and in both places the central authorities had mixed feelings about it, I think. In this country it was perhaps at its height of popularity in the 1850s and it is a fact that the Civil War was fought largely with state troops, making it in fact, a War Between the States.

Canada still has an active militia, as their part time soldiers are called. The northern part of Canada is apparently only vaguely defined in places and a certain presence has been required to avoid international problems. A unique militia unit does all of this, which I believe is called the Canadian Rangers (could be another name, there are other units with ranger in the name). They are very local in nature and are armed (with Lee Enfield No 4 rifles, no less). I've suggested that something similiar be organized to help with both illegal immigration and smuggling (the former name of drug trafficing). But I doubt there's much enthusiasm for something that is real work and a little bit on the dangerous side, either at the local level (where the people come from) or at the national level in Congress. But it's an idea.
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Old December 27, 2009, 05:51 PM   #35
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I doubt I will get the call. I will be boot scootin' on my own if the free soil of the USA is ever invaded.

I will serve far better solo than if I gathered into a large "platoon". All I need to know is where the nearest enemy are located.
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Old December 27, 2009, 06:07 PM   #36
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Gadsdenflag,

A few issues with your post. BTW smarter does not mean correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadsdenflag
Congress does not provide arms, ammunition, or uniforms for the reserve militia.
Per 10 USC 311 there is no such thing as a "reserve" militia. BTW if you are not male and between the ages of 17 and 45 you aren't in ANY militia according to that statute. For a better understanding read U.S. v. Warin, 530 F. 2d. 103 (6th Circuit,1976) and U.S. v. Oakes, 564 F. 2d 384 (10th Circuit,1977).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadsdenflag
the States could not and cannot restrict the right to keep and bear arms in a manner that undermines Congress’ ability to exercise its enumerated militia powers.
You realize that Presser vs. Illinois was decided in 1886? Also Presser was arrested for having a "private army" and lost the case. The paragraph you cite is often misinterpreted. The context is that Illinois must comply with federal law, in this case the 1792 Uniform Militia Act which is no longer law. The state cannot restrict the militia beyond the limits set by federal law. As the federal law changes, within its constitutional boundaries, the state law must also change. The issue is that the state (surprise, surprise) cannot interfere with the federal right to 'provide for the organizing, arming and disciplining' of the militia.

As to the other examples of states calling forth militias I have never said they do not have the power to do so but that they had not chosen to and instead rely on LEO and National Guard for military and civil protection. What is true is that the militias may not "call themselves out" bypassing state authority.

Nowhere in the Constitution does it state or imply that militias must be armed by private weapons. In fact during that period (1789) many in the militia owned no private weapons and were supplied such by the states they resided in. See BlueTrain's post #28 above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadsdenflag
Secondly, I don't see why some are so sure that we are so safe and invasion so impossible.
Three words: Strategic Nuclear Weapons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadsdenflag
just go to Netflix and rent "Red Dawn."
That is a telling comment. How about Dawn of the Dead or maybe Mars Attacks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadsdenflag
So get your guns, get all the ammo you can get your hands on, and carry your weapons. The military and police cannot be everywhere at every time, but us members of the "Unorgaized Militia" can be, and are.
Let's hope that while you are running around with your "guns and ammo" as a self designated "militiaman" the cops and the military don't shoot you or you them while you are performing your "duty".

Finally, here is a link for you to use that other smart people prepared that deal with the militia and it's legal existence: http://www.adl.org/mwd/faq1.asp
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Last edited by Tennessee Gentleman; December 27, 2009 at 06:23 PM. Reason: more info
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Old December 27, 2009, 08:45 PM   #37
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I've read a great deal of the scholarly work on Japanese and German plans for the war and I take with a great grain of salt that the Germans had plans down to that level for an invasion of the USA. They had not the naval or shipping ability. There were pipe dreams about bombing the USA. Never close.

Invading the USA would take an incredible logistic effort. It would take the complete destruction of the most powerful navy the world has every seen. The logistic train to supply an invasion force would be incredible.

One might postulate a raid but an organized invasion - not going to happen. It becomes a TEOTWAWKI conversion with very far fetched schemes. That would probably shut the thread down.

If we talk about militia - we need to stay in the realm of possibility.
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Old December 27, 2009, 10:13 PM   #38
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Glenn,
They couldn't even invade the UK! Much less the US. Invasion by a foreign nation is beyond the pale as you posted.
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Old December 28, 2009, 01:59 AM   #39
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The army and navy of the national government was authorized by the constitution in article 1, section 8.

The militias of the states were already addressed in that same place.

There is no possible need or reason to revisit any government controlled militia a second time in the constitution, that was already a done deal.

The words "well regulated" do not appear in the mention of the militias under the control of government authorized in article 1, section 8.

The Founding Fathers of our nation and the Framers of our constitution were Englishmen before they became the first Americans.

Those men were well educated, literate men and had an understanding of their language and words and phrases common to their language as appropriate to men of that place and time.

The framers chose the term "well regulated militia" because, to them, that term applied specifically to armed men, not under the control of government.

If you care to read what today seems like an ancient document written in the style of the day, you will find what I have just said to be true. The excerpt I post below appears after the author spends some time making reference to the professional standing army loyal to the King as well as troops under the control of lesser royals or other authorized officials. At no time does the term "well regulated militia" appear in any of those discussions.

Only after addressing those others does the author (Parliamentarian Andrew Fletcher) use the term "well regulated militia" when he writes:
http://www.constitution.org/fletchr/fletchr.htm

Let us now consider whether we may not be able to defend ourselves by well- regulated militias against any foreign force, though never so formidable: that these nations may be free from the fears of invasion from abroad, as well as from the danger of slavery at home.
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Old December 28, 2009, 10:07 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TN Gent
Nowhere in the Constitution does it state or imply that militias must be armed by private weapons. In fact during that period (1789) many in the militia owned no private weapons and were supplied such by the states they resided in. See BlueTrain's post #28 above.
That's not how the Miller decision seems to read...

Quote:
The signification attributed to the term Militia appears from the debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of Colonies and States, and the writings of approved commentators. These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. "A body of citizens enrolled for military discipline." And further, that ordinarily, when called for service these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time.

Blackstone's Commentaries, Vol. 2, Ch. 13, p. 409 points out "that king Alfred first settled a national militia in this kingdom," and traces the subsequent development and use of such forces.

Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, Book V, Ch. 1, contains an extended account of the Militia. It is there said: "Men of republican principles have been jealous of a standing army as dangerous to liberty."

In a militia, the character of the labourer, artificer, or tradesman, predominates over that of the soldier: in a standing army, that of the soldier predominates over every other character, and in this distinction seems to consist the essential difference between those two different species of military force.

"The American Colonies In The 17th Century," Osgood, Vol. 1, ch. XIII, affirms in reference to the early system of defense in New England --

In all the colonies, as in England, the militia system was based on the principle of the assize of arms. This implied the general obligation of all adult male inhabitants to possess arms, and, with certain exceptions, to [p180] cooperate in the work of defence.

The possession of arms also implied the possession of ammunition, and the authorities paid quite as much attention to the latter as to the former.

A year later [1632] it was ordered that any single man who had not furnished himself with arms might be put out to service, and this became a permanent part of the legislation of the colony [Massachusetts].

Also,

Clauses intended to insure the possession of arms and ammunition by all who were subject to military service appear in all the important enactments concerning military affairs. Fines were the penalty for delinquency, whether of towns or individuals. According to the usage of the times, the infantry of Massachusetts consisted of pikemen and musketeers. The law, as enacted in 1649 and thereafter, provided that each of the former should be armed with a pike, corselet, head-piece, sword, and knapsack. The musketeer should carry a "good fixed musket," not under bastard musket bore, not less than three feet, nine inches, nor more than four feet three inches in length, a priming wire, scourer, and mould, a sword, rest, bandoleers, one pound of powder, twenty bullets, and two fathoms of match. The law also required that two-thirds of each company should be musketeers.

The General Court of Massachusetts, January Session 1784, provided for the organization and government of the Militia. It directed that the Train Band should "contain all able bodied men, from sixteen to forty years of age, and the Alarm List, all other men under sixty years of age, . . ." Also,

That every noncommissioned officer and private soldier of the said militia not under the controul of parents, masters or guardians, and being of sufficient ability therefor in the judgment of the Selectmen of the town in which he shall dwell, shall equip himself, and be constantly provided with a good fire arm,

etc.

By an Act passed April 4, 1786, the New York Legislature directed:

That every able-bodied Male Person, being [p181] a Citizen of this State, or of any of the United States, and residing in this State, (except such Persons as are hereinafter excepted) and who are of the Age of Sixteen, and under the Age of Forty-five Years, shall, by the Captain or commanding Officer of the Beat in which such Citizens shall reside, within four Months after the passing of this Act, be enrolled in the Company of such Beat. . . . That every Citizen so enrolled and notified shall, within three Months thereafter, provide himself, at his own Expense, with a good Musket or Firelock, a sufficient Bayonet and Belt, 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 containing a proper Quantity of Powder and Ball, two spare Flints, a Blanket and Knapsack; . . .

The General Assembly of Virginia, October, 1785, (12 Hening's Statutes) declared,

The defense and safety of the commonwealth depend upon having its citizens properly armed and taught the knowledge of military duty.

It further provided for organization and control of the Militia, and directed that "All free male persons between the ages of eighteen and fifty years," with certain exceptions, "shall be inrolled or formed into companies." "There shall be a private muster of every company once in two months."

Also that

Every officer and soldier shall appear at his respective muster-field on the day appointed, by eleven o'clock in the forenoon, armed, equipped, and accoutred, as follows: . . . every non-commissioned officer and private with a good, clean musket carrying an ounce ball, and three feet eight inches long in the barrel, with a good bayonet and iron ramrod well fitted thereto, a cartridge box properly made, to contain and secure twenty cartridges fitted to his musket, a good knapsack and canteen, and moreover, each non-commissioned officer and private shall have at every muster one pound of good [p182] powder, and four pounds of lead, including twenty blind cartridges, and each serjeant shall have a pair of moulds fit to cast balls for their respective companies, to be purchased by the commanding officer out of the monies arising on delinquencies. Provided, That the militia of the counties westward of the Blue Ridge, and the counties below adjoining thereto, shall not be obliged to be armed with muskets, but may have good rifles with proper accoutrements, in lieu thereof. And every of the said officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates, shall constantly keep the aforesaid arms, accoutrements, and ammunition ready to be produced whenever called for by his commanding officer. If any private shall make it appear to the satisfaction of the court hereafter to be appointed for trying delinquencies under this act that he is so poor that he cannot purchase the arms herein required, such court shall cause them to be purchased out of the money arising from delinquents.
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Old December 28, 2009, 10:30 AM   #41
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Does someone here really believe they would be more effective on their own rather than as part of an organized body of armed men (women welcome)? We had better hang together or surely we will hang separately.
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Old December 28, 2009, 11:06 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Randall
The framers chose the term "well regulated militia" because, to them, that term applied specifically to armed men, not under the control of government.
I disagree. That is not what well-regulated means. In common usage today it would be well-trained and equipped. As to the control part of your statement, the facts were that the militia mentioned by the 2nd Amendment were under the authority of the state goevernment and there was no intention whatsoever for them to be otherwise. Since that was already a fact the amendment did not need to restate it. The idea some have on TFL of what the militia is would horrify the Founding Fathers in 1789. The states wanted to be able to arm their miltias, that is what the prefatory clause speaks to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by publius42
That's not how the Miller decision seems to read...
You are quoting dicta where the SCOTUS is recounting the history of the militia. Again the COTUS does not say how the miltia is to be armed. The fact that some states chose to arm it with private arms does not mean they had to. In fact as BlueTrain posted earlier many states provided those arms to it's citizens. It was up to the states if and how they wished to arm their militias. That is still true today
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Old December 28, 2009, 12:00 PM   #43
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Again the COTUS does not say how the miltia is to be armed.
The COTUS also doesn't tell us which way to vote or what to say, but voting and free speech are still part of the scheme of the COTUS. That the document describes protections generally rather than specifically is not an argument against those protections.

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The unorganized militia is a statutory construct, a legal fiction if you will.
To people who oppose any law, they may choose to see it as a fiction. The rights against unreasonable search and seizure, assembly and free speech are also mere fictions unless they are observed.

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However, I see a huge danger to liberty when we begin to attach a pseudo-lawful authority to such civic virtue by calling ourselves "militiamen" and then acting accordingly without government accountability or authority.
Seeing people acting without government supervision is not a threat to liberty; it is liberty.

Tennessee, it may not be a liberty you prefer, but arguing that the law isn't real, but a fiction, or that a gap in government observation and control is a threat to liberty is orwellian.

Last edited by zukiphile; December 28, 2009 at 12:10 PM.
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Old December 28, 2009, 03:58 PM   #44
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No, I think that ignoring the law or interpreting it to suit yourself is the way to anarchy. A scofflaw.
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Old December 28, 2009, 07:02 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by BlueTrain
No, I think that ignoring the law or interpreting it to suit yourself is the way to anarchy. A scofflaw.
Even worse may be making up a "right" that never existed like saying one has a "right" to be in a self-appointed unaccountable "militia" and then acting as though they have legal authority while in posession of firearms. I'd rather face the zombies
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Old December 28, 2009, 07:25 PM   #46
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The Minutemen were a select group of the larger colonial militias authorized by their colonial charters. Some of these charters (like Connecticut's in 1662 included the right of self government) but these militias answered to the colonial governments to answer your question. So yes all legal and legitimate militias MUST be authorized by and answer to a government. Otherwise, they are a mob with guns.
So the Minutemen at Lexington and Concord were an illegal and illegitimate militia, or "a mob with guns" as you say. While the Minutemen and other colonial militias were initially organized and authorized by the British, the moment they turned their weapons against the British they were no longer duly authorized. And they were not answerable to a government until a colonial government was formed after hostilities were initiated.

Sorry that things were not a bit more orderly, but the road that led to our country did start with what you call "a mob with guns."
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Old December 28, 2009, 07:52 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by gc70
Sorry that things were not a bit more orderly, but the road that led to our country did start with what you call "a mob with guns."
GC, in a word; hardly. Our independence was gained by the Continental Army led by a fellow named Washington who answered to a Continental Congress. BTW Washington had little good to say about the militia and argued for a standing army. The minutemen WERE a part of the colonial militia but the they were NOT the gun mob that some who post on TFL seem to think exists today. They were trained and answered to a government. Also, as with the militia GEN Charles Lee didn't think much of them either.

The idea that a mob with guns can do much more than harm is a myth.

You are correct that the colonial militias were not formed to fight the Britsh Government but were used for such against the crown but that has no bearing to modern times. We now have a representative government in place that did not exist then. Had we had such then I suspect we might have remained a part ofthe British Empire a good bit longer. The Founding Fathers just wanted to have a say in the government and they had none so the only alternative was to revolt.

We could have another thread on that of course
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Old December 28, 2009, 11:15 PM   #48
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Tennessee Gentleman, you overlook or dismiss details in defense of your argument.

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the road that led to our country did start with what you call "a mob with guns."
That road started with the armed colonists at Lexington and Concord, who were not members of a legal or legitimate militia as you have defined such.

While the Continental Army eventually developed with the structure, organization, and authority that you deem so vital, it was "a mob with guns" and no legal authority other than that of collective self defense of their community that sparked the American Revoluation at Lexington and Concord.

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Also, as with the militia GEN Charles Lee didn't think much of them either.
General Charles Lee also had a low opinion of George Washington, commenting that ""Washington is not fit enough to command a Sergeant's Guard".

Last edited by gc70; December 28, 2009 at 11:23 PM.
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Old December 28, 2009, 11:42 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by gc70
That road started with the armed colonists at Lexington and Concord, who were not members of a legal or legitimate militia as you have defined such.
The road actually started well before then. In September 1774 the Continental Congress endorsed a resolution from Suffolk County, Massachusetts, calling for the colonies to reorganize the militias under leadership friendly to the "rights of the people," setting in motion a series of provincial actions of armed resistance to British policy well before Concord and Lexington.

As stated before, the militias (yes the ones at Lexington and Concord) were legally constituted by the colonies well before hostilities. Now you could argue that they were treasonous to the crown but so was the Continental Congress and the militias answered to colonial leadership, shadow governments which had been around for some years prior. So, your argument that the Revolutionary War started with a mob who had guns is historically inaccurate as it was a well thought out and executed act by the governments (however treasonous depends on your point of view) in the colonies at that time. It was organized by a colonial congress the american people recognized and not a bunch of colonial "bubbas" with guns.

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Originally Posted by gc70
General Charles Lee also had a low opinion of George Washington, commenting that ""Washington is not fit enough to command a Sergeant's Guard".
Which has nothing to do with the thread and is irrelevant to the efficacy of the Minute Men or the miltia.

Regardless of the Revolutionary War, as I have debated before, that is irrelevant to modern times and the fact that the militia is defunct. We shook off a government under which we had no vote, no representation and no legal rights of redress. That is not what we face today and will not in the any reasonable future. The Revolutionary War was a unique circumstance we will not have to repeat. The militia is no more.
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Old December 29, 2009, 12:04 AM   #50
gc70
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The militia is no more.
Since you are concerned with semantics, you can provide the term to describe the "civic virtue" of collective self defense.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gc70
General Charles Lee also had a low opinion of George Washington, commenting that ""Washington is not fit enough to command a Sergeant's Guard".
Which has nothing to do with the thread and is irrelevant to the efficacy of the Minute Men or the miltia.
Quite the contrary. General Lee's military assessment of General Washington speaks to the credibility of his assessment of the militia.
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