19 April 1775 vs. The D.C. Gun Case


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WayneConrad
April 17, 2008, 10:56 AM
19 APRIL 1775 vs. THE D.C. GUN CASE (http://www.newswithviews.com/Vieira/edwin79.htm) By Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., Ph.D., J.D.

April 14, 2008

http://NewsWithViews.com

From what I have heard, the oral argument in the Supreme Court on the District of Columbia gun case suggested that a majority of the Justices just might discover an “individual right” “to keep and bear Arms” in the Second Amendment, and on that basis might declare the District’s draconian “gun-control” laws to some degree unconstitutional. Such a decision might lead to further victories against “gun-control” statutes and ordinances in other jurisdictions. Yet it might prove instead to be a Trojan Horse, because it could come down larded with so much judicial mumbo jumbo about “reasonable regulation” and “compelling governmental interests” as grounds for “gun control” that the Second Amendment would be left guaranteeing less of a “right” than of an occasion for endless legislation and litigation. Well, one can only hope for the best—but at the same time one ought to prepare for something less.

My concern is what happens if the Justices somehow do rule favorably on the “individual-right theory.” I suspect that such a victory—after the champagne runs out—will have the perverse result of putting all the pro-Second Amendment people and organizations to sleep. With their personal “gun rights” apparently secure (at least for the time being), they will not be worried about how correctly to construe the Amendment, and how really to enforce it, even though this country needs that construction and enforcement now more than ever before.

The inescapable fact is that whatever “individual right” “to keep and bear Arms” emerges from the D.C. gun case will not provide “the security of a free State” at which the Second Amendment aims. True, tens and tens of millions of Americans possess firearms and ammunition; and perhaps large numbers of these firearms are suitable for Militia service. But the armed individual, simply as an individual, is not enough.

All too many individual gun owners are not even aware of each other. Although some are members of firearms ranges or gun clubs, hardly any if them are organized for anything akin to Militia purposes. They are not members of specific units. They have no designated leaders. They lack systems for communications within or among units, or among individuals for that matter. (Where, for example, is the gun-owners’ equivalent of a “Neighborhood Watch” against local usurpation and tyranny?) Even within their own neighborhoods, among families and friends, they make no attempts to insure uniformity or completeness of equipment. They lack sufficient, and often necessary, education and training. They have prepared no plans to deal with various contingencies, let alone have assigned tasks to be carried out in anticipated emergencies. More crucially, they do not understand their constitutional status, purpose, and especially authority. Many, if not most, of them have no idea what they would be defending with their “individual rights” “to keep and bear Arms”—other than, perhaps, simply maintaining possession of their own firearms for purposes of possible self-defense. So, absent direct attacks on their own persons, how many gun owners today, anywhere, no matter how serious the crisis confronting the rest of society around them, would exercise their “individual rights”? Or could effectively do so? And to what end?

Oh, common Americans may be individually insulted, even outraged, by “the insolence of office” that increasingly characterizes rogue public officials at every level of government today. They may rightly resent, even intensely, the contempt with which such obnoxious officialdom treats them. They may correctly see their and their families’ present financial positions and future economic security being destroyed by the debt-currency schemes, speculative bubbles, and bailouts engineered by the Federal Reserve System and its clients among the low life of high finance. They may be subject to endless harassment by the tax Gestapo or the mentally jack-booted thugs in other governmental agencies. They may even have been the bloodied victims of para-military police brutality. But so what? Now what? They do not know what to do, or how to do it—or perhaps why.

Even if some of these isolated and ignorant individuals could somehow come together here and there in the midst of a crisis that sufficiently rocks society’s foundations to wake and shake them up, they would constitute only armed mobs, not even “militia” in the generic sense, and certainly not “Militia” in the specifically constitutional sense. Moreover, the very few who are already organized, and who do train, as “private militia” lack constitutional authority—and often, if not usually, envision themselves as outside of and antagonistic to “the government” (rather than as the ultimate embodiment of “government”). If these few individuals stood up with their “individual rights” against the trained and ruthless enforcers deployed against them by a police state, they would be branded outlaws or “terrorists”, demonized by the big media, deserted by their fellow citizens, and quickly picked off and packed off to morgues or detention centers.

Such a scenario, of course, is the exact opposite of the true Militia model, and of actual Militia experience in American history. When thousands of Militiamen appeared outside of Boston, Massachusetts, on 19 April 1775, were they acting solely in pursuance of an “individual right”? Did “the embattled farmers” fight only as individuals? Were they just a lawless mob? Was their victory at the Battle of Lexington and Concord the lucky result of martial anarchy? Of course not.

Very few “civilians” (in the purest sense of that term) were involved on that fateful day. Most of the men who mustered were members of Militia companies that had been training assiduously for some time theretofore. (And the ones who were not, because they were too old to be required to serve, but who fought anyway, had been members of the Militia when young.) Had not that been the case, the Militia would never have been able to assemble so many men, on such short notice, from beyond Concord all along the road back to Boston.

Neither did “the embattled farmers” fight merely as individuals. They may have employed the tactics of irregulars—neither maneuvering in parade-ground formations nor presenting a concentrated target to their enemies—but they always operated in set units, typically Militia companies, which averaged about 50 men apiece when at full complement. The Militiamen’s success was based upon organization—being called out in a systematic fashion by riders, bells, or the firing of shots; equipment—being adequately armed and accoutred; training—knowing what to do, under their designated officers; morale—being psychologically ready and confident; and especially authority—knowing that they had the legal right, power, and duty to take action, because British General Thomas Gage, and the Ministerial Government behind him, were the usurpers and law-breakers.

Particularly revealing is the background to Lexington and Concord. Gage’s descent on Concord was only his last misstep in a series of oppressive maneuvers. Disarming the Militia by means of the seizure of their

[g]unpowder was undoubtedly on Gage’s mind when he began sending his troops on marches in the [Massachusetts] countryside early in 1775. * * * Each march also tested the provincial warning system. Gage hoped that if five or six alerts turned out to be false alarms—the regulars were just marching along molesting neither persons nor property—the minutemen might grow weary or careless about responding.

Instead of growing weary, the Americans turned out in force every time the British appeared outside Boston. They saw these confrontations in different terms. When the British turned back, the minutemen were convinced they had done so because they had lost their nerve. [Thomas Fleming, The First Stroke: Lexington, Concord, and the beginning of the American Revolution (Washington, D.C.: National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior, 1978), at 35.]

So, neither Gage nor the Militiamen imagined that only isolated individuals were involved on the patriots’ side of things. Gage knew perfectly well that he was facing an organized body of trained men of a single mind. And by his reactions to their “turn[ing] out in force”, the Militiamen believed that they were deterring him, and gained confidence in themselves from that belief.

On the other hand, the British miscalculated on the basis of overconfidence born of hubris. About a month before Lexington and Concord, Major of Marines John Pitcairn—who later commanded the British troops at the moment when they fired on the Militiamen at Lexington—wrote to the Earl of Sandwich that

[o]rders are anxiously expected from England to chastise those very bad people. * * * I am satisfied that one active campaign, a smart action, and burning two or three of their towns, will set everything to right. Nothing now, I am afraid, but this will ever convince these foolish bad people that England is in earnest. [Letter of 4 March 1775, in The Private Papers of John, Earl of Sandwich, First Lord of the Admiralty, 1771-1782 (London, England: Navy Records Society, G.R. Barnes & J.H. Owen, Editors, 1907-1911), Volume I, at 59.]

After the battle, though,

[Lord] Percy[, one of Gage’s best officers,] recognized, with the eye of an intelligent soldier, one of the least understood realities of April 19th. The Americans who responded to the British challenge were not a mass of disorganized individuals; they were a well-supplied rudimentary army which had been organizing and training for 6 months. They were in a state of battle readiness, much better prepared to fight than the British soldiers who marched out of Boston. A heavy proportion of the American officers were veterans who knew how to lead men into battle. Their training and the knowledge that they outnumbered the British five to one (even counting all the men Gage had in Boston) added to the confidence with which they responded to the alarm when the fighting began. In short, April 19th was a victory of preparedness. It was not the product of spontaneous enthusiasm. The militiamen of Massachusetts knew their strength, and, more important, they knew they had the ability to use that strength effectively. [Fleming, The First Stroke, at 92-93.]

Apparently, history is repeating itself today, at least in part. In the manner of General Gage, present-day rogue politicians are systematically constructing a national police state and testing its mechanisms—experimenting to discover how much of the gall and wormwood of oppression ordinary people will swallow, and otherwise creating uncertainty, self-doubt, mutual distrust and recriminations, fear, apathy, and resignation among the populace. Simultaneously, they are expanding Americans’ personal economic dependency upon the corrupt political system—the apex of which abjection will arrive with the amalgamation of national health care, on the one hand, and control of the food supply by a cartel of gargantuan agribusinesses, on the other, so that from day to day every ordinary American’s very life and death will be in the unclean hands of rogue politicians and the special interests that pull their strings.


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But, in stark contrast to 1775, while all of this is going on, the Militia are exerting no deterrence whatsoever. Not because, of course, there are no “embattled farmers” (or men and women of every occupation and socio-economic class who suffer from oppression) today, but because today there are no Militia.

Deterrence is the first and most important line of defense. It is the essence of prudence, and of good strategy, too. As Sun Tzu taught, “to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting. Thus the highest form of generalship is to baulk the enemy’s plans[.]” [Sun Tzu on the Art of War (Taipei, Taiwan: Literature House, Lionel Giles translation, 1964 reprint of the 1910 edition), at 16.] Yet deterrence must be real, such that the enemy cannot believe in its ability to project power everywhere without fail, cannot imagine how to maintain its control over society (let alone regain the power it has lost), and cannot hope for final victory—so that, thus, the enemy finds itself psychologically defeated before it has begun to fight.

To provide deterrence sufficient for “the security of a free State” the size of the United States requires collective effort on a massive scale, not “individual rights” individually exercised in isolation. Also, in a constitutional republic, deterrence against aspiring usurpers and tyrants requires legal authority, which individuals generally lack except when exercising their absolute right of self-defense. The Constitution tells this country that “[a] well regulated Militia” is “necessary”. Not just desirable—but necessary. And the Constitution provides “the Militia of the several States” with all the authority they need. Under today’s conditions, only through the Militia could sufficiently large numbers of patriots be organized legally, economically, politically, and otherwise outside of the deceptive control-structures the Forces of Darkness use to maintain their illicit power. Once “well regulated Militia” are revitalized in enough States, they will far outnumber all of the thugs any unconstitutional police state could possibly deploy. And, knowing that, both rogue politicians and their myrmidons would have to think twice, thrice, and more about the harsh consequences to themselves of attempting to clamp down on the people.

Admittedly, at first such a situation might amount to no more than a Mexican standoff between the Forces of Darkness on one side and the American people on the other. But at least it would be a standoff—and that should suffice for starters. For Americans do not enjoy the luxury of even a standoff now. Rather, they are on a one-way street with the flow of traffic running against this country at an ever-accelerating speed. While deterrence provided a standoff, millions upon millions of outraged Americans could take political action, using the Militia as their focus, to reassert popular sovereignty—rationally, steadily, and above all constitutionally and peacefully.

One thing is certain: Without such deterrence, there will be trouble. As monetary and banking crises continue and worsen, the big cheeses and special-interest groups will sacrifice average Americans in order to save themselves, their wealth, their political positions, their social status, and all the other excessive perquisites and abusive privileges they have stolen, embezzled, or otherwise connived to obtain at this country’s expense. You will be taken to the cleaners, or worse, for all you are worth—through hyperinflationary depreciation of currency in order to lessen the real burden of debts, or through increased taxation, or through seizures of individuals’ property under “eminent domain” in order to transfer it to favored creditors of the National and State governments, or through some other scheme by which the powerful crime families in big business, high finance, and gangster politics contrive to loot the common man while casting the blame on someone else. And if you complain too vociferously as these “reforms” impoverish you, or if the whole rotten system suddenly implodes when the pressure of this economic madness becomes too great for it to bear, aspiring usurpers and tyrants will attempt to crack down with police-state repression. So, revitalizing “the Militia of the several States” is not optional—unless your and your family’s security, and this country’s survival as a free and prosperous republic, are merely optional.

Doomsayers and defeatists will contend that any recommendation to revitalize the Militia is merely academic or nostalgic, because the Militia are now “outmoded”. How or why, though, are the Militia “outmoded”? Simply by the mere passage of time since the late 1700s? Can time alone negate the constitutional principle that “[a] well regulated Militia” is “necessary to the security of a free State”? Does not the mess in which America finds herself today, coupled with the absence of the Militia, prove the wisdom of that principle, and the foolishness of having let so much time pass without putting it into practice? Are the Militia “outmoded” simply because Americans are not now properly organized, equipped, and trained for Militia service? With the proper will to do so, cannot the people organize, equip, and train themselves to whatever level they need? Who, after all, is paying for the huge police-state apparatus rogue politicians are now constructing? If Americans can afford to pay for their own oppression, cannot they afford to pay a little more for their own liberation? What choice do they have? Will they not be forced to pay a crushing price, unto their utter destitution, if they fail to act before it is too late?

If the Militia are “outmoded” today in fact—because Americans are unorganized, unequipped, untrained, and undisciplined—that is the fault, first, of rogue politicians in Congress and the States’ legislatures; and, second, of the voters themselves, who elected such subversives or incompetents. This sorry state of affairs cannot be attributed to the concept of “[a] well regulated Militia” as the Founding Fathers handed it down—or to anything else in the Constitution, which provides sufficient power to accomplish, and affirmatively commands, the proper result. In the last analysis, that America is treading water in History’s septic tank is We the People’s own responsibility. But, as well, that situation lies within We the People’s ability to correct right now. And everyone reading this commentary knows it to be true.

Nonetheless, if you are not yet ready to help in revitalizing “the Militia of the several States” in your own locality through peaceful, constitutional means while time still remains on your side—if you stubbornly insist on your “individual right” “to keep and bear Arms”, but refuse to understand what that “right” really demands in terms of civic duty and collective action, even as your world comes tumbling down around your own head—then at least learn something practical that may prepare you for the certainty of an uncertain future. Take an NRA firearms course (or, better yet, several such courses)—“First Steps”, “Basic Pistol”, “Basic Rifle”, “Basic Shotgun”, “Personal Protection in the Home”, and (for those who qualify) “Personal Protection Outside the Home”—from NRA-certified instructors in your own home town. Then learn to be a real rifleman by participating in an “Appleseed” program. See http://appleseedinfo.org for full information and scheduling. So that, when Destiny finally summons you to exercise the “individual right” that you imagine is more valuable (and certainly less tiring) than revitalizing the Militia, or to go under altogether in the dustbin of History, you will at least be minimally prepared to do the one rather than the other.

© 2008 Edwin Vieira, Jr. - All Rights Reserve

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WayneConrad
April 17, 2008, 11:00 AM
There's more to protecting your family, your rights and your country than having a rifle. Do you know how to shoot it without having to have a bench? More important, do you know your neighbors, and do they know you? And do you and your neighbors take political action? Stockpiling ammunition, and then not working like the devil to avoid having to use it, is fatalistic at best, and probably kind of sick.

Being prepared means having a plan, and then having a backup plan. Plan A is your politics. Plan B is your rifle. The ballot box, the ammo box. You've heard it before.

Show of hands. How many of you have a rifle, but only shoot it from the bench, and don't know your neighbors? You don't have a plan B, no matter how many rifles and how much ammo you have.

Do you vote? Do you write your legislators? Are you active in your local and national civil rights organizations? If you don't vote, and write your state and federal legislators, and do all that awful political stuff, you're not taking part in plan A. You must want to have a war. That's sick. It's not just sick, it's wrong. Plan B barely worked the first time. Do you think Americans are better prepared for plan B this time, or worse?

If you don't have the guts to get off of the couch and write a letter to a politician, you don't have what it takes to get in a shooting war with the government. You are not a patriot, you are a weapon collector patriot wannabe. It's that simple.

But the great part is, if you do get off that couch and write those letters, and take part in the politics, and get your neighbor doing the same, plan B never happens.

REOIV
April 17, 2008, 11:19 AM
Interesting article but the author has some gaping flaws in his logic.

1. The militia was never this super trained force he's thinking it was. It would be much more akin to the thousands of people that showed up to donate blood after 9/11 and being told to get your guns and meet back in the city square. Then being taught some basic drills, divided up into squads and sent out.

The Militia has pretty much always been an armed mob but an armed mob that fights to defend the country. It is widely known that British had little to no fear of the Militias and that the Militia always broke and ran in almost every major battle.

Do you do drills with your fire extinguisher?

How many of you still do fire drills at home and at work unless made to do so?

2. In this day and age of Walkie Talkies, Cell Phones, Email and Telephones having a pre-determined system of alerts of bells and signal fires makes no sense. So to say they were better organized is just silly. They made due with what they had.

The Iraqi militias use cell phones and satellite phones to coordinate attacks on our troops now, and they sure as heck didn't have the loads and loads of training this guy thinks the militias of old had.

There is no reason for the systems yet, but when that situation occurs, they will show up all over the place.

The thing the author is forgetting is that by showing everyone your plans and strategies before hand it allows others to plan and set up to counter you.

The beauty of a militia is it is a loosely organized rabble of citizens defending themselves. You can't prepare for it and you can't kill it off entirely, in fact history has show the harder you fight against militias/guerrillas, the worse it gets.

3. We are complacent as a society. I can guarantee that when something unconscionable happens you'll have people stand up and be ready to fight. Right now we are whining and moaning over loans and economic problems we did to ourselves. No one's to blame for our current economic situation but Americans. Kind of hard to feel rebellious when you're the one at fault.

Kitchen_Duty
April 17, 2008, 11:27 AM
guerrilla tactics would be the major form of defense of the common citizen vs an invading army. No militia could stand up to an invading tank force or a highly trained rifleman group. But we could fire shots into their camps from 400 yards away and run. Just enough time to maybe slow them down and let the real army take care of them.

Those tactics worked well for the Vietnamese, I'm sure it would work for us with our massive amount of square mileage.

IllHunter
April 17, 2008, 12:19 PM
indicates not that we don't care, but that we are working on A while preparing for B. Just playin politics and waitin in the weeds:mad:

Wheeler44
April 17, 2008, 12:25 PM
I respectfully disagree with your statement that the ORIGINAL PATRIOTS were not trained.....History tells of the French and Indian war lasting 9 years just 12 years prior to 1775... The young men that fought in that war would be older and wiser.... The "seasoned" veterans of that war would have had plenty of opportunity to observe the field tactics of the French Army, the British Army and of course the Native Americans that fought on both sides... They had 12 years to reflect on the different styles of warfare and consider which might work best for an Army of citizen soldiers in a vast and somewhat untamed land....

As to them not being trained I feel the need to remind you of the Minutemen...'nuf said....

As for them breaking ranks in the face of a massed column of advancing "Redcoats"..... I will only say " He who fights and runs away lives to fight another day"...sort of like adapt and overcome...

Wheeler44

WayneConrad
April 17, 2008, 12:56 PM
IllHunter, Exactly the response I want. Those who do exercise both their politics and their marksmanship are too busy to respond here.

xjchief
April 17, 2008, 01:08 PM
I think a militia, especially a State sanctioned one, would be invaluable. I'd love to claim credit but some really old guys with wigs thought of it first. ;)

Jdude
April 17, 2008, 02:39 PM
For the lurkers out there, If you want to know what to do, or how to contact your politicians-
Visit Activism (http://www.thehighroad.org/forumdisplay.php?f=46) right here on this very forum. Writing to your legislatures, calling them, and voting are the ways to go.

ctdonath
April 17, 2008, 03:16 PM
Acknowledging the "individual right" IS important. Without it, there is no "collective right", for the elements of the collective cannot contribute. What is commonly called a "collective right" is really the "soveriegn right": the right of the highest human power to dictate to its subjects, who have no right but to obey. The smallest element of our nation is the individual; the individual is 1/300,000,000th of this nation - not a subject thereof.

The lack of responses...
WHAT lack of responses? Yessh, man, it's only a few hours since the first post was made! We've got other stuff to do!

Cosmoline
April 17, 2008, 03:22 PM
The militia concept is moribund. Only a few states even have organized, non-federalized state militias. While there might be some policy arguments behind a revival, you need to remember that it's the ANTIS who have been trying to link the militias with the RKBA's. Any attempt to couple those concepts risks supporting the "collective rights" theory.

In short, I don't have a RKBA because I'm useful to some local militia.

Moreover, the collective defense is controlled and regulated by our collective governments. They have long opted to move away from the old militia system for a number of reasons, some more sound than others. But it's a policy question to be decided by the people through elected reps. There is no "right" to form militias without state approval.

Personally, I'd like to see the standing military gradually broken apart and dissolved. As part of that we could revive some form of organized militia, though the old model of the 18th century was outmoted by 1861, let alone today. Too many men with too many officers in too many uniforms with too many ideas of their own. That was the first year or two of the CW. By 1864 both sides had been forced to standardize and nationalize their military forces as much as possible, and certainly by WWI it was recognized that we could not rely on the Poughkeepsie militia to get its act together and sail to France. The last expression of the old ideal was the Rough Riders, and even then the unit was the extraordinary creation of one man with a will of iron and a lot of political clout. Today, we could probably modify the existing National Guard structure to serve in the capacity of a national militia, provided we stopped using it for overseas adventures.

Trisha
April 17, 2008, 04:03 PM
Um, getting together in a group of , say, twenty? Regularly? Communicating the purpose of establishing basic martial tactics, this group of civilians? Enacting said plans on private, and/or public lands?

I'd bet a pan of my best cinnamon rolls and a pound of my fresh roast coffee that Homeland Security et al would surveil and mine each and every one down to the fillings in their teeth, read the computers and possibly even bug the homes of said group extending to all associates - before the raids.

However - maybe paintball teams are slipping under the radar?

Just my $.02

ctdonath
April 17, 2008, 04:12 PM
I live in a housing development of about 150 homes. Loosely knit as we may be, we are a community (HOA board, amenities, one entrance, named community). Thanks to the "individual right", I'm sure that in a pinch I could rouse a self-armed group, complete with hastily-arranged reasonable organization (surely some have military leadership experience), in about an hour. Not that we've ever discussed such a thing, but thanks to RKBA we'd do pretty well on short notice ... just like our forefathers did around 1775.

ctdonath
April 17, 2008, 04:19 PM
Very few “civilians” (in the purest sense of that term) were involved on that fateful day. Most of the men who mustered were members of Militia companies that had been training assiduously for some time theretofore.
But those were plainly doing so without gov't permission.

maybe paintball teams are slipping under the radar?
Deer season.
18,000,000 snipers at work on live targets, anually.

IDPA & IPSC, et al.
'nuf said.

Gunsite.
Storm Mountain.
LFI.
Thunder Ranch.
...lots more.

Katrina's (and other natural disasters) neighborhood "U LOOT WE SHOOT" posses.

Given the "individual right" exercised, don't underestimate the organization that can be achieved on short notice ... or which has already been achieved, and drills regularly.

Trisha
April 17, 2008, 04:31 PM
I spoke in the terms of the original article.

Yep, here in Bailey, it would take little to "raise the alarm."

Maybe IDPA could start a new COF involving "Defensive Urban Shoots" where there might actually be teams of ten? The larger ranges might be able to support it. . .

Qualifying for that would be interesting - though the nightmare of RO'ing such a thing would be difficult.

JCMAG
April 17, 2008, 04:36 PM
I will now erupt into my personal beliefs that I have so strenuously refrained from for so long now... This will be a rant of the first class...

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

It doesn't take a brilliant scholar of the English language to read. This is the structure of that sentence:

Noun Phrase, Adjectival, Noun Phrase + Compound Verb, Compound Verb + Adjective.

Now, an adjectival can be eliminated from a sentence without changing the essential meaning. A silly, but equivalent, example: Bill, who is great at golf, a champion at checkers, is very funny. --> Bill, a champion at checkers, is very funny.

Therefore: ...

A well regulated Militia, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

The new structure:

Noun Phrase, Noun Phrase + Compound Verb, Compound Verb + Adjective.

I may not know a whole lot about grammar, but any schmuck with a basic education can tell you that a sentence has a subject, a verb, and a predicate. Reading this elementarily, using the essential units of the sentence:

Subject, Subject + Verb, Verb + Predicate.

The Second Amendment is a list. A, B, is C. In other words, A = B.

...

Some of you might be doubtful. Okay, let me put it this way. Let's say the supreme court decide that individuals do not have the right to bear arms, but only militias do. Therefore, it is unconstitutional to eliminate the militia. But the militia is eliminated by default because there are no individuals to compose it because none of them can bear arms. :cuss:

That's like saying "A well regulated Hospital, being necessary for the health of a healthy State, the right of doctors to practice medicine, shall not be infringed.

What good is a hospital if only it can practice medicine, but the doctor's cannot? A standing army by definition is not a militia.

Look at the basic meaning of the sentence. You cannot remove the "right or the people to keep and bear arms" from the sentence. A thing cannot be infringed, but a right can.

...

There is an essential law to grammar: Excepting few exceptions, all rules of grammar must be consistent. If they are not then they are not rules, they are instances of judgment. And is a conjunction. And is not a noun. Even though the previous sentence has "and" behaving as a noun, it is still a conjunction. It means the same thing.

This is not simply an essential law of grammar, it is the law of all human knowledge. Therefore...

I do not care what you believe, but if you will ever argue anything from any point of view, I but insist that you are consistent.

There are ten articles to the Bill of Rights and every one of them rephrases the "the right of the people to ____." If one article means the right of individual citizens of the United States of America, then they all do.

:cuss::banghead::cuss::banghead::cuss::banghead::cuss:

So what about the Bill of Rights is so confusing? Even someone who dropped out before entering high school can figure it out. It is basic grammar. It is language. Only someone who is illiterate and completely devoid of any capacity for logic and argumentation can possibly misunderstand it.

Rant over. :fire:

ctdonath
April 17, 2008, 04:53 PM
It's simply a matter of cooperation.
If they don't like what it says, deny it says that - and watch us tie ourselves in knots trying to prove what they simply won't accept.

Winchester 73
April 17, 2008, 05:01 PM
Very well done JCMAG.
You deserve a tall one to cool off now.A great, elucidating rant.

Macpherson
April 17, 2008, 07:46 PM
JCMAG,

Truly as eloquent a rant as I have seen on my travels of the internet, thank you!

It opens up the argument from a whole new perspective, leaving out all the legal precedent and penumbral nonsense, this is plain English, and really doesn't leave any room for conjecture or debate.

yokel
April 17, 2008, 09:08 PM
We must constantly emphasize that the Second Amendment was not put into the Constitution by the Founders merely to allow Americans to entertain themselves with guns, defend and promote America's hunting and sporting traditions, or intimidate common criminals and social misfits.

dalepres
April 17, 2008, 10:13 PM
This whole discussion is predicated on the assumption that SCOTUS will find the 2nd Amendment to be an individual right. But guess what? They're not going to. Moot discussion.

Winchester 73
April 17, 2008, 10:14 PM
Forget the airy-fairy, everyone must get down to the nitty-gritty

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We must constantly emphasize that the Second Amendment was not put into the Constitution by the Founders merely to allow Americans to entertain themselves with guns, defend and promote America's hunting and sporting traditions, or intimidate common criminals and social misfits.


Agreed.And we must make sure the 3 surviving political aspirants for our highest office are well aware of this fact.
Thank you for this post.

oldfart
April 18, 2008, 12:57 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1EXKLVgEx0

I posted this at a couple of other forums the other day, thinking it might make someone think a bit. The few responses I read indicated the readers were amused by the ‘redneck’ method the narrator used to deliver his message but no one – insofar as I was able to tell – gave that message any serious thought.

Today I see this thread in which a writer is attempting to show that we (that’s US; you, me and the guy down the street) are not only incapable of forming a viable militia, we don’t even want to entertain the thought such a thing might be necessary.

REOIV, you said “I can guarantee that when something unconscionable happens you’ll have people stand up and be ready to fight.”

Have you actually gone out to your neighbors and asked them about that? Not just the guys you go shoot with on weekends but the family next door or the one across the street. Considering the way neighborhoods are these days, I’d be surprised if you even know all of them so why should I believe you’ll all watch each others’ backs?

Cosmoline said “There is no “right” to form militias without state approval.”

When one purpose of a militia is to right the wrongs perpetrated by the state I think it’s a bit naïve to expect that state to give it’s blessing to your endeavor. If a militia intends to train it’ll have to do so in spite of the state. Will that require the members to take a risk? Of course, but perhaps we need to swear an oath of some sort… something like a cross between the oath most of us took upon entering the military and the oath the founders took upon signing the “Unanimous Declaration,” pledgeing to “our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor.”

Take this simple test: What did you do to help the Branch Davidians? How about the Weavers? Did you show up at Jarbridge or at Klamath Falls? If you aren’t willing to risk your life or your fortune what makes you think you have any honor?

Shamefully, I have to admit that I missed three out of that four. But when I did show up at the fourth one I took a rifle and plenty of ammo. I’m happy to say that I wasn’t the only one to do so either. We didn’t wave them around or shake them in the faces of the police but we were ready to use them if they were needed. Happily, they weren’t.

That was a militia though and the government forces recognized it as well as we did. Sun Tzu would have been proud of us, we broke “the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”

Sooner or later though, we’re going to have to fight. Who’s going to do it? You? Your neighbor… yeah, the one who plays his music too loud while you’re trying to sleep? Do you even know if he has a rifle? If he does, would he use it for you or against you? The only way you can know is to take that first step and go ask those neighbors… all of them! Sitting behind a keyboard, wrapped in the cocoon of anonymity won’t build a militia any more than it’ll save your life when they take you up on that offer to pry the gun out of your cold, dead hands.

Wake up folks, the politicians aren’t the problem… YOU are the problem! But so am I...

:cuss:

Cosmoline
April 18, 2008, 02:17 PM
Take this simple test: What did you do to help the Branch Davidians? How about the Weavers? Did you show up at Jarbridge or at Klamath Falls? If you aren’t willing to risk your life or your fortune what makes you think you have any honor?

Why would I want to help the Branch Davidians? My gripe with that situation was the idiotic and reckless behavior of the BATF and other federal agencies involved, from start to finish. A few Texas Rangers could have sorted it out and arrested the head man without troubles, just as they did with those "Republic of Texas" yahoos. But the feds came in, guns blazing, because they knew nothing of the cult and nothing of the local conditions. They treated it as a war against enemies, not an investigation of a possible crime.

The Weaver incident is another example of gross recklessness on the part of the feds. Their incompetence turned what had been a commonplace violation of federal gun law into a slaughter. But I have no sympathy for Weaver, who was a neonazi clown. If that's your example of why why need a militia, I think you need better examples.

Besides which, the MILITIA was and has always been an arm of government. I have no idea where some of you folks got the idea that the militia is something you can just create on your own authority. In the case of the Revolution, the militias were formed by rebel GOVERNMENTS, in each of the colonies and by the Continental Congress. Votes were taken, representatives chosen, and sovereign authority was reclaimed, all under the rule of law--albeit a new law not recognized by the Brits. In the case of the War of 1812, the militias were again raised by the GOVERNMENTS of the invaded states to repel the British. And in the case of the CW, the militias again were organized by the GOVERNMENTS of the states involved. Nobody just grabbed a rifle and marched off under his own orders.

The very notion of the organized and unorganized militias is a creation of statute. Nothing prevents a state from disbanding the militia (most have) or from eliminating the laws that define an unorganized militia. They control their militias. The modern equivalent would not be the Branch Davidians, but rather the revolt of a state or states against some expression of federal authority. In that case the state could call up its militia under its own rules and sovereign power. But if it's just some neighobors getting together to kill FBI agents, they're nothing but criminals.

Of course, but perhaps we need to swear an oath of some sort… something like a cross between the oath most of us took upon entering the military and the oath the founders took upon signing the “Unanimous Declaration,” pledgeing to “our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor.”

Many of us have sworn an oath, to the Constitution created by those founders.

ctdonath
April 18, 2008, 03:36 PM
we (that’s US; you, me and the guy down the street) are not only incapable of forming a viable militia, we don’t even want to entertain the thought such a thing might be necessary.

Dunno about you, but I don't think these guys prepared much, yet methinks they've thought about the possibility, and not many would want to take them on.

http://www.jukeboxcruisers.com/DrunksWithGuns.jpg

ctdonath
April 18, 2008, 03:43 PM
Happily, they weren’t.
Funny, just having them is usually enough to prevent needing them.

trinydex
April 18, 2008, 05:11 PM
If these few individuals stood up with their “individual rights” against the trained and ruthless enforcers deployed against them by a police state, they would be branded outlaws or “terrorists”, demonized by the big media, deserted by their fellow citizens, and quickly picked off and packed off to morgues or detention centers.just like they have in iraq?

Have you actually gone out to your neighbors and asked them about that? Not just the guys you go shoot with on weekends but the family next door or the one across the street. Considering the way neighborhoods are these days, I’d be surprised if you even know all of them so why should I believe you’ll all watch each others’ backs?
i don't think it was easy to "rally the troops" at any time in history. most people aren't soldiers and have no desire to be... just because we see unfriendly neighbors today doesn't mean there weren't any before, just because it's more frequent today doesn't say much either, there are more people today, frequently living in closer proximity.

Besides which, the MILITIA was and has always been an arm of government. I have no idea where some of you folks got the idea that the militia is something you can just create on your own authority. In the case of the Revolution, the militias were formed by rebel GOVERNMENTS, in each of the colonies and by the Continental Congress. Votes were taken, representatives chosen, and sovereign authority was reclaimed, all under the rule of law--albeit a new law not recognized by the Brits. In the case of the War of 1812, the militias were again raised by the GOVERNMENTS of the invaded states to repel the British. And in the case of the CW, the militias again were organized by the GOVERNMENTS of the states involved. Nobody just grabbed a rifle and marched off under his own orders.

which governemnt is the question... remember the militia were formed to fight the british, technically until we won the war there was no official or sanctioned united states. if the brits pwned us, would we not be singing a different tune? that's why it's all carefully worded, "well regulated."

oldfart
April 18, 2008, 05:57 PM
"In the case of the Revolution, the militias were formed by rebel GOVERNMENTS, in each of the colonies and by the Continental Congress."

According to the lawful government in place at the time though, they were nothing but a bunch of treasonous rebels, fodder for a hanging tree unless they could be shot first. The majority of the Continental Congress had prices on their heads.

"But if it's just some neighobors getting together to kill FBI agents, they're nothing but criminals."

See above.

'When they came for the Branch Davidians I said nothing.....'

So which Church is next? Mine? Yours? I know who would stand with me... almost no one. That isn't a commentary on me or my values so much as on the American way of life. No one wants to take a risk if they can help it and certainly not for someone else. A proper militia would have to be made up of some very special people - people who think more of an idea than of themselves. We don't have many like that any more and the numbers are dropping daily. After the hue and cry following the O.C. bombing, the few militias that were viable died with barely a whimper. Even now there are people (even on this board) who are willing to denigrate the militia as a band of "criminals."

So, just what are the people supposed to do to correct the wrongs their elected representatives have perpetrated? Petition the government for redress? Bill Gates might have pockets deep enough for that sort of thing but the rest of us can go suck a lemon. Of course we can always vote the bums out but the bums we then vote in aren't any better. Perhaps we can speak up when our "leaders" come to town. It's kinda hard to be heard from the "Free Speech Zone" when it's half a mile from the rest of the crowd.

People will continue to try all those tactics - and well they should, just as the colonists did with the British Parliment, but they shouldn't expect any more success than that enjoyed by the colonists either. Nor should they expect to change anything until they organize and pose a serious physical threat to the status quo.

We peck away at our keyboards as an electronic form of chest-beating but when all is said and done, more will be said than done. There will be a second Revolution... someday. None of us will be alive to see it and our great-grandchildren will curse us for what we left for them to do.

trinydex
April 18, 2008, 07:05 PM
We don't have many like that any more and the numbers are dropping daily. After the hue and cry following the O.C. bombing, the few militias that were viable died with barely a whimper. Even now there are people (even on this board) who are willing to denigrate the militia as a band of "criminals."

c'mon... the times hardly demand it. when the times come the people will muster.

if you've ever read the unabomber manifesto you'll see that the times will not come until some major collapse of technology. technology holds the system together becuase the system is required for technology to propogate.

the system by nature is self preserving.

people like stability. the day that stability hurts them more than it benefits them, then things will change. right now, it only hurts them some and the benefits of preoccupation and lust or covetting far outweigh.

WayneConrad
April 18, 2008, 07:46 PM
It is good for the stability of government that it takes a great fraction of the population working together to overthrow a government.

It's a check on the ability of even a powerful group of malcontents to overthrow or upset a lawfully elected republic. The right recognized by the 2nd amendment is mighty powerful. What is the check on that power? It is that it takes a great number of citizens, acting in concert, to wield that power.

The saying is something like, "If you take your long gun out on your front lawn, and your neighbors do too, then it is time. Otherwise, go back inside."

You might say that the Branch Davidians took their long gun outside, in effect, and their neighbors did not.

Be happy that it's still time for politics. If it came to war, you would look back on these times with nostalgia, and wonder how many more letters you might have written, and how many more of your friends you might have been able to convince to write, or vote, or learn to shoot, or read an interesting book.

trinydex
April 18, 2008, 07:53 PM
^ yarly

Cosmoline
April 18, 2008, 10:00 PM
which governemnt is the question... remember the militia were formed to fight the british, technically until we won the war there was no official or sanctioned united states.

There was a sanctioned and official Continental Congress, as well as sanctioned and official local and state governments. They just weren't sanctioned by the British.

According to the lawful government in place at the time though, they were nothing but a bunch of treasonous rebels, fodder for a hanging tree unless they could be shot first. The majority of the Continental Congress had prices on their heads.


I can't believe you're actually comparing the Davidians to the Continental Congress. The Revolution was a clash between organized governments over who had the right to govern the colonies. The Davidians weren't duly nominated and elected by the people of Texas to be their new rulers.

'When they came for the Branch Davidians I said nothing.....'

Give me a break. When they came for the Davidians I said they did a rotten job of it and that feds should stay out of that kind of law enforcement and leave it to the locals to sort out. I did not and do not view a bunch of religious nutcases holed up on a compound as a lawful authority with power to defy the laws of the true government.

Nor should they expect to change anything until they organize and pose a serious physical threat to the status quo.

Organizing some buds together to play soldier is at best a joke and at worst a recipe for disaster. More to the point, that's not what a militia is. What you're describing is more akin to an armed protest. Not that all armed protest is bad. But armed protest does not a militia make. The militia would have to be created and controlled by a genuine rival government, duly elected and organized. So when someone says they're a Col in the Texas Militia, I ask who gave them their commission.

Some 20th century examples of true militias could be seen during WWII up here in Alaska when local governments had to organize armed patrols in the absence of any meaningful military protection. Or in the organization of a network of armed native scouts during WWII and the early years of the Cold War. The Texas Rangers started as a species of Militia, and again were sactioned and controlled by some organized authority above them (Austin himself and the early Texican government). Those are far closer to a true militia that some guys buying their own uniforms and pretending to be part of some revolutionary movement.

The closest thing I can think of today that might be a real militia would be if a local government called people to arms against the feds over some dispute. That's a true call to arms from a duly elected authority. It's also a very, very tricky situation and nothing you'd want to go into lightly.

trinydex
April 18, 2008, 11:33 PM
There was a sanctioned and official Continental Congress, as well as sanctioned and official local and state governments. They just weren't sanctioned by the British.


you didn't grab the rest of my paragraph...

yokel
April 19, 2008, 05:20 AM
I would say that at the very least there has to be a general concurrence amongst us with respect to our bedrock values, objectives and issues, e.g., taking back the power the government has stolen from us, re-establishing our responsibility for ourselves, turning our backs on dependency, and rejecting the absurd notion of a benevolent tyranny.

ctdonath
April 19, 2008, 11:29 AM
"If you take your long gun out on your front lawn, and your neighbors do too, then it is time. Otherwise, go back inside."
Well put.

yokel
April 19, 2008, 01:15 PM
Those tactics worked well for the Vietnamese, I'm sure it would work for us with our massive amount of square mileage.

A closer look at the VC/NLF is instructive: Not just for their stamina and fighting spirit, but for discipline, control and cohesion, and the aggressive, at times ruthless, some say, pursuit of their objectives.

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