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Old December 29, 2009, 11:26 AM   #59
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Join Date: December 13, 2005
Posts: 3,113
OK Don, that is reasonable, but rather than create a very long post here is a link for you. I have found it very well researched and useful in these sort of debates.
Tennessee Gent, the Anti-Defamation League links of which you appear fond do not present a competent analysis of militia issues. As a preliminary matter, they are an explicitly political tract designed to counter claims of those who are legally members of the militia. From your link:

This FAQ was created to weaken the new militia movement by providing an accurate description of the history and law of the American militia. It is an antidote to the politcally motivated butchery of history and misinterpretation of law by the new militia.
Emphasis added. So the authors of your offered authority have a specific political motivation. I do not know or speculate on whether you share their motive, but I do note that you've provided these links several times before this. Your link continues:

The political motivation of this revisionism can be gleaned from a magazine article by Mack Tanner ("Extreme Prejudice," Reason Magazine, July 1995, 43-50). Tanner writes:

"To understand what the militia movement is talking about, one needs to understand a bit of federal law. While most of us never think about it--or even know about it--every American male spends 28 years as a member of the militia, whether he wants to belong or not. United States Code, Title 10, Section 311, describes the militia of the United States as consisting of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and under 45 years of age. If we are not members of the National Guard, then we are, by law, members of the unorganized militia who can be called to service at any time by the appropriate legal authority. Any two or more American men can therefore claim to be an association of members of the unorganized militia, just as they might be an association of voters, taxpayers, parents or citizens."

Let's examine what's wrong with this quotation. First, the "unorganized militia" are not like other groups, since the others are voluntary organizations without legal status or statutory responsibilities. The "unorganized militia" is a creation of statute law and a part of the state militias. State militias are a hierarchical form of military organization under civilian political control--hardly a group that bears comparison to the P.T.A. or the League of Women Voters.
Emphasis added. This is poor rhetoric. Tanner doesn't suggest that the militia is like all other groups, or that it is voluntary. He does assert that voluntary associations of the militia are, well, voluntary. So the ADL can't actually find a real problem with Tanner's analysis.

By the way, Tanner is also the author a very good article in the 1990s entitled The Fascist Epithet. I recommend it.

The ADL continues:

Second, Tanner never mentions (and is probably unaware of) the history of the term "unorganized militia," which this FAQ discusses in great detail. The concept was invented in the 1830s by state governments. Federal law first used the term itself in 1903. Since that time, through riot and war, the unorganized militia have never been called to service. It's very unlikely they ever will serve.
Members of the militia are called up in every draft. That we've never called up every last member of the entire militia population is unremarkable, except perhaps to the authors of the ADL article.

The article persistently fails to distinguish THE militia from A militia, and regularly conflates the two for the convenience of its own conclusions.

Moreover, the article denigrates the term "unorganised militia" as an "invention". However it reasonably flows from the language of federal statute that the existence of an organised milita that encompasses a population less the THE militia will necessarily leave the unorganised militia. There is no other reasonable conclusion.

Originally Posted by publius42
Which are these "many" states where the citizens were not expected to do that?
Here is a better explanation: read paragraph 3.32.
The link doesn't actually answer the question publius poses. Rather the link pertains to changes in militia practice subsequent to adoption of the BOR as an accommodation to poverty.

The ADL does some fine work. This isn't any of it.
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