Mike Wallace’s son might have a point. Today, we have video proof that White Supremacist Militias are real.
RT – cause the US media just sucks…
This is a speculative post, really beyond the control of anyone one person. Yet, it is still interesting.
I read the other day, and saw some social media hysteria about, the emergency order out of the U.S. VI that the National Guard seize private guns and ammo. A small-scale but a serious issue. All of this a reaction to Hurricane Irma.
U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Kenneth Mapp signed an emergency order allowing the seizure of private guns, ammunition, explosives and property the National Guard may need to respond to Hurricane Irma.
Mapp signed the order Monday in preparation for Hurricane Irma. The order allows the Adjutant General of the Virgin Islands to seize private property they believe necessary to protect the islands, subject to approval by the territory’s Justice Department.
Just because they can (or could) doesn’t mean they will (or did). I’ve yet to hear or read of any actual confiscations. And confiscation is nothing new. Hitler did it. Mao did it. The New Orleans police did it. It happens. Hide some of your armory. Or, just don’t open the door. That should stop 99% of the thefts – people, cops and soldiers included, are lazy.
Anyway, I also read about Gov. Greg Abbott’s reaction to Hurricane Harvey. (No link, sorry). Abbott called up his entire NG contingent. Additionally, he also called out the Texas State Guard, this being the official state militia (of Second Amendment fame).
Both outfits are professional military units. The difference is that the NG is at the dual disposal of the state – or the federal empire. The State militia is solely at the beck and call of Austin.
Texas has a proud militia history, owing its existence to the same. When the current Guard of reconstituted in the 1950’s (?) it rapidly outnumbered the federally obligated NG by over 50%. Texans want their own protection, without D.C. strings.
I do not know the current enrollment of the TX Guard but they are very well-regulated and organized. These are the real citizen soldiers or America – actually protecting their own. Every American state has a branch, though many are not as defined as that of TX.
Just remember, in times of crisis, your state will either generally fall into one of two camps: seize your guns when they might be needed, or: call on you and your guns when needed. Which would you prefer?
CBS News did a video story which, I assume, is similar to the pitiful New York Daily News piece on the horrors of the AR-15. CBS News’ Paula Reid bought an AR-15 at a gun store in Virginia to show how easy it is to buy a AR-15 in America. The intention, again as I imagine it, was to frighten the people into accepting gun control. There’s just one problem for CBS News – gun control.
It seems Ms. Reid may have run afoul of the federal government’s laws against “straw purchases” of firearms.
The gun store where a CBS News employee purchased a gun for a segment that aired Thursday on “CBS This Morning” has filed a report with the Virginia State Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives over concerns the purchase was unlawful.
The store, SpecDive Tactical in Alexandria, Virginia, said that when CBS News’ Paula Reid purchased the rifle she told the store’s general manager the gun was for her own use. However, when CBS reported on the story they revealed the gun was purchased for the story and transferred to a third party a few hours later. “The rifle we purchased was legally transferred to a federally licensed firearms dealer and weapons instructor in Virginia, just hours after we bought it,” the report said.
The store said they contacted the ATF after viewing the report because they feared the misdirection used by the CBS reporter constituted a straw purchase, which would be a federal crime.
And, I warned about this three years ago. CBS should have heeded my warning. Then, I said:
A straw purchase is where a convicted felon or some other person prohibited by law from buying a gun (an ever-expanding group) pays a “normal” person to buy a gun and then give it to the prohibited person. The website above has all the horrible statistics about this practice. For the average person such a crime can carry severe penalties. [I then told how the ATF, which regulates the law, breaks it all the time with impunity.]
Imagine you’re one of the lucky Americans who still lives in a free state or city (I pray you are). One evening after work you are walking home enjoying the night air. You duck down a dark alley to take a shortcut. Suddenly a scruffy, greasy, shiftless-looking bum of a politician in a trenchcoat comes slithering out of the shadows towards you. He’s of the desperate variety from New York or D.C. or somewhere. Instinctively, you assume a fighting stance and drop the safety on your pistol. But, for once, you are baffled to discover this is a politician who wants to give you money rather than steal it from you. He offers forth from beneath his smelly, stained coat a paper sack stuffed full of $100 bills. With all the charm of a diseased wharf rat he tries to entice you to purchase some AR-15s on behalf of his storm-trooper corps.
Once the shock of the situation wears off you may, for a moment, be sorely tempted to take his money, shoot him, and say he was trying to mug you. Don’t do it! For one thing, leave evil to the evil. And, for God’s sake, do not lie for this slimy degenerate! Have nothing else to do with him! Rodent-like beings such as our hypothetical politician are often under investigation for corruption by some larger criminal organization. Loudly and clearly tell the creep you are not interested in breaking the law on his behalf. Say it several times in different directions so the FBI’s cameras and microphones record definitively that you are not a participant in his conspiracy. Then tell the rat where to go and continue on your way. You may have to take a long shower and burn your clothes as a result of the encounter, but at least you won’t end up in prison like the dude in the above picture.
Don’t Lie For The Political Guy!
The shop owner in Virginia didn’t rely on the surveillance state but he did file complaints with the ATF and the VA state police. Hilarius.
I think CBS need not worry about the straw purchase law for two reasons. One, who runs the ATF right now? People sympathetic to terrorizing people into more gun control. Second, given that the AR was to be transferred to an FFL – likely not a “prohibited person”, there’s no technical violation.
However, there is a law concerning the ATF form CBS had to fill out to buy the AR. If they misrepresented information on that form they could be in trouble (but probably not). That’s part of what is wrong with our laws. They allow for selective prosecution – well, maybe that’s an enforcement issue. The main problem is that they are Unconstitutional. I see nowhere in the Old Parchment where Congress has the authority to regulate arms beyond regulating the Militia (that, they have ceded to the states).
All these lovely little laws, 18 U.S.C. § 921, et seq., ad nauseam, can be found in the ATF’s concise little (242-page) Federal Firearms Regulations Reference Guide (2005). It’s incomplete, yes, and there’s disagreement even within the ATF as to how some of the laws apply, but hey, that’s the government you voted for.
If there’s a moral to this story, in general, it is to beware of laws, those spider’s webs of injustice. Specifically, here, beware of gun control laws when you’re trying to push more gun control laws.
We’re having so much civilized fun in Augusta right now I had almost forgotten about the outside world. I also forgot that only 18 months ago I had not heard of Jordan Spieth. Spieth it seems forgot all about the winds that have held all but four (4!) men under par this week. Masters magic, majestic and memorable.
Anyway, this morning as I glanced around the internets, two stories caught my eye. That’s how my mind works – I like piecing together seemingly unrelated items of information. Many organizational thanks to Matt Drudge.
Things must be a bit slow in Boston this weekend. The Globe, having run out of real news, decided to run a lampoon front page featuring the horrors of Trumpzilla:
Boston Globe, April 10, 2016.
The main fake story concerns Trump’s pet issue of illegal immigration. It’s a pet because Americans are growing sick of the related problems; they’re tired out from five decades of betrayal from Washington by everyone from Ted Kennedy to Ronald Reagan to Marco Foamio. A byline says “riots continue”. There would be riots. There will be riots. There are riots now. We grow tired of riotous behavior and other criminality.
Perhaps that thought subconsciously attracted me to another headline story: the volunteer militia is growing. An IndyStar reporter sites a “study” by the Southern Poverty Communism Center (talk about a lampoon) which shows (without mentioning numbers) volunteer militia ranks have grown by 37% in the past two years. The Star maintains neutrality; the Southern Commie Loons are mortified; I am relieved.
I also have numbers – estimates from the Census. Based on my reading of the following graph, I estimate the strength of the militia, unorganized, at around 30 – 40 million men. That makes it the largest armed force in the world.
I draw my estimate from that left side (male) segment from just below age 20 to just above age 40. That provides the elementary math strength of the combined State militias. Georgia law holds: “the unorganized militia shall consist of all able-bodied male residents of the state between the ages of 17 and 45 who are not serving in any force of the organized militia…” O.C.G.A. 38-2-3(d)(2006). All states have similar laws with slight age variances.
This estimate excludes men serving in the Imperial military and those few thousands actually serving in the organized state militias. Think of it as the reserve militia force. Perhaps you are a member. I am. Thank you for your service.
We many men are the militia contemplated in the Constitution. The same militia which stood guard over the old Republic until the 20th Century (with the terrible exception of 1861-1865). The “well regulated militia” of Second Amendment lore.
In truth, the militia is almost completely unregulated – so as to be defined as “unorganized”. That is a legal problem brought about by a century of socialism. Demographically and obesity-wise, the group is terribly unfit. That would be a product of processed foods and television. Still, we are exceedingly well armed – a failure of the Commies to institute that final plank of the Manifesto. That single failure will be lethally critical. When the riots begin in full we will be ready. Hell, some of us are looking forward to it.
In the meanwhile the sun in up on a near perfect day in Augusta. The winds should be dying down a bit. Good luck to Spieth and company. We’ve got one more terrific day of suspended reality!
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Americans love guns and with good reason. Every year over a million lives are saved in this country because we are an armed people. We have guns. No one is going to take them from us. Period. The fascist left knows this. The nitwit politicians know this. More common criminals know it. ISIS is going to learn it sooner or later.
In the wake of the ISIS attack in San Bernardino and the brewing Sharia in the Whitehouse the people are buying more guns than ever. This year black Friday was flat except for firearms sales. Broken record after broken record.
People are carrying their guns – everywhere, everyday. If you are a criminal or a terrorist in America, know that hunting season has opened. You will be safer elsewhere.
Daily, it seems to me, I hear more and more of my friends talking about securing a concealed carry permit from their state governments. In Georgia, twenty years ago, one out a hundred citizens had a permit. Now they are more common than driver’s licenses. My mom has one.
I am philosophically opposed to the concept of these permits. What other natural and Constitutional right requires a permission slip? Imagine if they offered or required permits for speech, worship, or freedom from warrantless searches. As a practical matter I have conceded this is one of the state’s games it’s okay to play. Just don’t take it so seriously.
Don’t get too attached either. State after state is beginning to follow Vermont’s lead. They are concerning to me these slips are unnecessary and illegal. It’s called Constitutional carry. Small matters really.
As part of the growing concealed carry discussion I have seen several mentions of certain private establishments that do not welcome armed patrons. Friends on Facebook vow not to support such places. I tend to agree with them.
Buffalo Wild Wings.
A question sometimes posed to me is how much legal weight these business notices carry. The answer is “it depends.” One must consult the law of one’s local jurisdiction.
In Georgia a “no guns allowed” sign is just a sign. It has no legal authority. Every outside door at my local mall has a little picture of a crossed out pistol. Maybe this means long guns only? It doesn’t matter. The worst they can do is ban you from their property. That’s their right as the owner. I can respect it. However, for most men, being banned from a shopping mall is more of a reward than a punishment. The mall I reference is the kind of place I will only enter if I am armed.
There’s a much better, more upscale mall a few hours away in Charlotte. It hosts a fine Cigar shop and fewer thugs. The sign there reminds shoppers not to leave their guns behind in their cars. It is an indirect encouragement to bring them inside.
The law in North Carolina is different too. There signs prohibiting guns on private property do carry legal consequences. A violation of such notice constitutes misdemeanor criminal trespass.
If you carry, you need to know the law. Or, at least, some of it. We have over 23,000 gun laws in the U.S. (all of these serve as no deterrent to criminals and terrorists). Compliance or even comprehension is virtually impossible. Luckily it matters very little.
If you carry concealed and your weapon is well concealed, then no one will know about it. Many public places require passage through metal detectors. Avoid the hassle. Don’t go to these places. The visit usually features payment of a tax or some other unpleasantry anyway.
As for all other locations, just keep the weapon hidden from view and don’t mention it. Everyone will be happy. Mind that if you walk in the grocery store sporting an AR-15 on a tactical sling you may rouse suspicion even if you break no laws. Use a little judgment.
This all reminds me of a conversation I had years ago at an NRA national firearms law seminar (in Charlotte or Pittsburgh I think). These courses feature expect analysis of popular legal issues. There are as exciting as any other law program. Those of us from gun friendly state sir and listen to the horror stories told by colleagues from communist jurisdictions.
That particular time a friend from Massachusetts went on and on about how restrictive are the Bay State’s gun laws. During a recession I approached him laughing. I told him I visit New England regularly and I regularly carry a gun. I informed him I had found a way around all of the restrictive laws. “How?!,” he asked. I smiled and said, “I break them.”
He sputtered and said I could be charged with something. I slapped him on the shoulder and said I knew a good attorney.
Take my car for example. I have been stopped by the police maybe five times in life and not at all in the past ten years. I have never been searched. Any search would have found me heavily armed. But, it never happened. Odds are it never will. Compliance with unjust laws out of fear is a mere phantom. It may be safely ignored as Aquinas suggested.
Note that encourage not the breaking of the valid law. Rather, I adhere strictly to and encourage strict adherence the law of the law. By keeping and bearing armed, the people, the militia, maintain the security of the free state.
These days I watch as little television as possible. With a few (very few) exceptions there just isn’t anything worth seeing. Tonight’s experience is a good example. I passed by the TV after dinner and decided to watch for a minute. A minute was all they got too.
Paul Ryan, the newly ordained 54th Speaker of the House of Representatives, was interviewed by some lady on Fox News. Young Master Paul was glibly gibbering on about the new direction he was going to head us in. Before I left, disinterested and a little angry, I caught four of his plan points, posed as questions. I’ll paraphrase them as best as I recall:
What are we going to replace Obamacare with?
What new tax system will we develop?
How do we get people off welfare?
How do we get people working?
I have an answer for each of these quandaries; I’ll get to them shortly. First, isn’t this amazing? This Speaker reminds me of the one before, and the one before him, and the one before her, and on and on. These are the same pet issues the GOP has talked about for decades. They’ve done nothing more than talk. I suppose this rote, broken record is entertaining enough for the average voter. A person of substance, looking objectively at what has been done (rather than said), would get the idea the people are being played for fools.
It is clear as a bell the GOP and their Donkey friends intend to keep things just as they are – only the form or name may change slightly. The effects will be the same. “Replace” Obamacare. With what? A “new” tax. Why?
I walked by a minute later and heard Paully say “military” – another Republican pet project we can’t afford. That’s all I heard. I assume he wants to keep it. Maybe make it bigger. And, lordy, it needs regular u$e.
My four answers:
Repeal Obamacare (and Medicaid, Medicare, etc) and replace it with … NOTHING!!! Government’s century-long meddling in healthcare has done nothing but drive prices into orbit. Leave patients and doctors alone.
How about NO TAXES!!! Taxes support governments. The money is always better off in the hands that earned it. Leave people’s money alone.
To end welfare (all of it – farm subsides, bank bailouts, etc), ABOLISH IT!!! If you pay folks not to work, many won’t. The same goes for corporations, bankers and ranchers. Leave the economy alone.
Want people to work? Leave that to them and leave them alone.
I have a military answer too: A MILITIA!!! A militia is just citizens protecting their own. A standing army wastes money and lives invading other nations. Leave the world alone.
There. I solved everything. I could have done it in three words: eliminate the government.
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In my last column in this series I ended by reviewing some of the ancient British customs regarding arms and defense. This article concerns those more readily available but still usually uncited English legal traditions dating to several hundred years before the American Revolution. Again, as with purely ancient intellectuals, those who preserved and lived this period of history regarded the rights of defense, self-preservation, and, necessarily, arms to be the stuff of natural law. They regarded these rights as to defense from criminals, defense against foreign threats, and, particularly, as to thwarting domestic tyranny.
This common law tradition was already set in writing in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries with the Assize of Arms (1181) and the Magna Carta (Great Charter, 1215). In 1285 the Statute of Winchester mandates that all citizens provide arms, according to their respective abilities, for militia usage. Through this period and until the seventeenth century, England had little in the way of a professional military or police force. Citizens were expected to do their part in order to fulfill both roles. This meant that the people were expected (required even) to keep and, at times, bears their own arms.
Two calamitous events during the seventeenth century dramatically effected the legal tradition: the Civil War of 1642 and the Glorious Revolution in 1688. While the former is often painted as a power struggle and the latter a religious conflict, both were concerned foremost with who would control the power of the Crown. In 1689, these and other events, lead to the English Bill of Rights. The Bill was fully known as “An Act Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and Settling the Succession of the Crown;” in light of the recent religious (power) struggles it was riddled with references to Protestants and Catholics, which I will disregard here as unnecessary.
Very similar in nature to the American Declaration of Independence, the Bill lists a litany of charges against the late King James, II. Among these were the following: “[R]aising and keeping a standing army within this kingdom in time of peace without consent of Parliament, and quartering soldiers contrary to law;” and “[C]ausing several good subjects … to be disarmed … contrary to law.”
Accordingly, the Lords assembled at Westminster declared certain rights and liberties as inviolable. Two of these addressed the above problems: “That the raising or keeping a standing army within the kingdom in time of peace, unless it be with consent of Parliament, is against law;” and “That the subjects … may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law.”
(English Bill of Rights. Google.)
The Reader will recall that standing armies were a feared tool of tyranny during and after the American Revolution and also as far back as the days of the Roman Republic. The presumed method for national defense (against all agents of evil) was a heavily armed citizenry which could assemble as needed in the form of a militia. The seventeenth century also saw increased professionalism and modernization within the English militia. This, in turn, partly gave way to the ensuing establishment of a permanent “Redcoat” army as the Kingdom gradually assumed the role of a major world Empire.
As we well know, part of that Empire was based here, in North America, in the territory which eventually became the United States. Those earliest parts (colonies) were first established at Jamestown in 1607 and at Plymouth in 1620. These had been preceded by the lost/abandoned colonies of Popham (Maine) in 1607 and Roanoke in 1585.
Jamestown was the site of numerous battles and all out wars fought between the English and the native indians (Chesapeake). It was the birthplace of the modern state of Virginia. In 1691 Plymouth Colony merged with The Massachusetts Bay Colony in what is now modern Massachusetts, all being part of the greater Dominion of New England.
Plymouth, from the very start was a model citizen militia society. While a few students today are still aware of the Pilgrims and their Atlantic crossing aboard the Mayflower, fewer still are knowledgable as to the martial force necessary to carve out the new world. The Mayflower’s first stop was at Provincetown Harbor in November of 1620. Desiring a better location, and to take advantage of the hospitable New England winter, they later removed to Plymouth at the end of December. Most remained aboard ship while a team of men worked during the day to raise a village from the ground. Twenty armed men were left ashore every night to prevent marauding. These men were average citizens who provided their own weapons; 911 was not an available option.
Early relations with the local indians were mixed at best. As more and more colonists arrived the indians perceived the impending loss of their lands and many became hostile. Myles Standish was a trained military officer and was placed in charge of security in the new colony. Many view him as somewhat of a hot head. At any rate he was forced to organize militias from among Englishmen in order to repel attacks by natives. “Major” wars erupted in 1637 and 1675. Each time the militia was sent forth to battle, not any group of regular troops. It was by the force of common people bearing arms that America was crafted from the central-eastern part of the continent.
(Early Militia. Google.)
Regular military units were called in during the next century first to assist and bolster the militias against common enemies (the French) and, later, to do battle with the militia. This latter action contributed greatly to the Founders’ desire for a continued militia force instead of a full-time army in young America. The early Americans were also governed in their views by the pre-existing English law and several legal commentators.
Perhaps the greatest commentator of his time regarding natural defense, along with natural law and the civil laws of England in general was Sir. William Blackstone (1723 -1780). Blackstone was an attorney and politician who published from 1765 – 1769 the Commentaries on the Laws of England, a classic still refered to and cited by the law.
Blackstone’s commentary on defense and other matters, generally, has resonance even today. He famously wrote: “It is better that ten guilty persons escape than one innocent suffer.” In modern, fading America, the forces of anti-self-defense gun control stupidly prefer to disarm any and all persons, leaving them to suffer whatever fate criminals have in store for them, than to see a tiny minority of deranged persons have the possibility of committing crimes. All the more stupid is the abundant evidence that such an approach leads only to suffering innocents concurrent with rampant criminal behavior. Defiance of natural law is as successful as defiance of gravity or physics.
Chapter One, Book One of Blackstone’s treatise is entitled: On the ABSOLUTE Rights of Individuals (emphasis added). The final absolute right of individuals set forth therein is “that of having arms for their defense.” Blackstone called this right “a public allowance, under due restrictions, of the natural right of resistance and self-preservation, when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression.”
Blackstone went into further detail, describing the various remedies available to the people in cases of tyranny: first, use of the courts; second, petitions to the King and to Parliament; and finally, when all else fails, having and using their arms to repel tyranny.
At last we draw near to that time when the American colonists repelled the tyranny of the mother country. In my next segment I will discuss the traditions regarding defense and arms in America before the introduction of the Second Amendment. As with their ancient predecessors, these traditions echoe still in our modern world.
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This is the second installment in my new series about the Second Amendment, militias, government, and the natural right of self/defense. After a few more segments I’ll get to the American experience. This column is concerned with more ancient sources. Read on.
My last segment concerned the Natural Law and the provisions therein allowing for armed resistance of force and tyranny. For those not acquainted with Natural Law (American attorneys, etc.), it is the universal law instituted by God for the management of human societies. God’s first draft was extraordinarily simple, as He supposed that people would be capable of easily governing themselves in paradise. The law was codified as: “Don’t eat that fruit.” Unfortunately, the first humans were as dense as their descendants today. They ate the fruit and thus complicated our lives forever.
God later attempted to set out ten simple laws He expected us to obey. True to our fallen, fallible, self-determining ways, we messed those up too. After constantly displaying an inability to adhere to the simple, the ancient Hebrews began to demand of God a “modern” system of government for themselves. They seemed jealous of surrounding Peoples who had, among other things, kings. God, in His omnipotence, offered that they Hebrews didn’t really need or want a king. They begged to differ, instituted a king, and began to suffer immediately.
After the failure of the kings, and the subjugation of the people by more powerful earthly empires, God sent His Son in yet another attempt to clarify His law. Jesus, simultaneously ratifying the existing law and providing an alternative route to salvation, issued another simple commandment. We have not been too quick to pick on that one either. Thus, it appears that people are stuck with their worldly trappings and their constant inability to deal honestly ad logically therewith until the Second Coming. Thus, in our present state, and if we are even capable, we must attempt to relate our world to the eternal principles of the Lord. That is Natural Law. Having ignored and broken the concrete mandates given us, we are left to guess at how such Law applies to our civilizations. Unlike the laws of science, math, and physics, which are difficult but possible to extrapolate and apply, the Laws of society are much less definable. This grasping process has been the work of scholars and theologians for millennia.
The Law as applied to self-preservation has been called the first law of nature. This makes sense as, without resorting to keeping ourselves from harm, most of the other “laws” we can divine seem to matter little.
Previously, I examined several Bible verses which supported the right of self-defense and preservation. I also cited the Catechism of the Catholic Church regarding the duty (not only the right) to defend oneself and those in one’s charge. This doctrine has existed for thousands of years. We are commanded: “Rescue the weak and needy; Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.” Psalm 82:4.
King David, definitely not a pacifist, praised God, saying, “Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.” Psalms 144:1. First Samuel 25:13 described an Israelite muster: “And David said unto his men, Gird ye on every man his sword. And they girded on every man his sword; and David also girded on his sword.” The Israelites were a militia, not a standing army, note that David and every man was equipped with his sword, not a government issue model. Men were expected to report for duty already armed with their own weapons. That means they had to keep and bear those weapons in order to fulfill their duties to their society. This was also the early American situation, as it should be today.
These weapons were and are necessary to preserve freedom in society. Any sane man will pray that he never need use any measure of force in defense however, he should be ready to do so if necessary. The fifth or sixth Commandment (depending on how counted) clearly sets forth God’s intention to preserve life: “Thous shalt not kill.” It is also translated, “Thou shalt not murder.” Exodus 20:13, Deuteronomy 5:17.
The second translation is a prohibition on illicit killing, the first is a total ban. In a perfect world it would be natural to follow a total ban on killing others made in God’s image. However, as noted above, we have removed ourselves from perfection, be it temporarily. Thus, given where we are, while we should strive for perfection, we may be limited to keeping from unlawful killings.
In Leviticus, it appears that everything carries the death penalty. Many of these provisions have actually been codified into civil law over the ages. I’m not sure if anyone was ever executed for eating a shrimp. However, Leviticus gave us the basis for many capital crimes still such today. Accordingly, killers (murderers) may be executed in contravention of the Lord’s prohibition on killing. Leviticus 24:16-17. Numbers and Deuteronomy give further qualification as to which killings are crimes versus accidents.
Coupled with those passages I cited last time, these dictates seem to logically indicate that force, including lethal force, may be used to repel unjust criminal activities. The attendant duty upon us is to use the least force necessary to accomplish our defense.
Jesus exercised the ultimate restraint, in this regard, while enduring His treatment at the hands of His native detractors and Pilate. Jesus made clear His purpose: “I came into the world…to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice.” John 18:38. Demonstrating an eternal human misunderstanding, Pilate replied “What is truth?” His purpose was not to overthrow earthly tyranny, but to provide an eternal alternative. Rather than being an act of non-self-defense, Christ’s actions were the ultimate act of defense of others. This truth may have been lost on one Roman, it was not on all Romans.
American law has been greatly influenced by our colonial past and our origins under the English Constitutional and common law. In turn, English law was dependant on ancient Rome for many of its sources. It must be remembered that the Kingdom of Britain once co-existed with the Eastern Roman Empire. Thus, the legal traditions passed to the Isle of Britannia were those of earlier Roman glory – from the Republic and the earlier Western Empire. From the founding of Rome until the time of Cicero, Roman laws were largely unwritten, even the Constitution. Codification cam much later, under Justinian. The Codex Justianius was issued in 529 A.D., five decades after the fall of the West. The Digesta of ancient law was written soon thereafter. Thus, began our tradition of dual sources of law – statutes and case-law.
I previously cited to the Codex for its express allowance of the use of armed force to deter attack, by private parties and government agents. This dual provision is tremendous as it presupposed that no-one is above the law and that even government force may be repelled when illegitimate. Increasingly in America, the government takes the opposite position – that it is infallible and may not be resisted, even when tyrannical. This is nonsense and may be disregarded as such.
In the next installment I will delve into the English tradition regarding arms and defense. This tradition slowly coalesced into the modern theory of the militia being comprised of armed individual men. Here, I will briefly note some of the long-standing traditions concerning arms in the British Isles before the rise of the common law and the Magna Carta.
“England” has been populated by various peoples probably for about 10,000 years. The earliest peoples there were organized along the lines of families and tribes, each with its own society and rules. It is obvious that most of these people were armed as they were constantly at war with one another and with the occasional outsider. It is clear as mud as to what extent they retained formal doctrines regarding rights, arms, militia duties, etc. “Self” defense often involved the entire tribe and was given to degenerating into all out war. We could assign the Lex Talionis “the law of revenge” or the “law of the jungle” as the chief governing principle of these early Britons.
As the centuries B.C. counted down, civilization and order began to grow in the Isles. Legend has it that King Arthur was able to unite most of the peoples of lower England under his banner. Whether he pulled a sword out of a stone is another matter but it seems that by his time (7th Century B.C.) swords were common among the people, both for use defensively and for militia service.
Thus, when the Romans arrived in 43 B.C., they found a fierce and well armed people, not at all amenable to taming. Four centuries of Roman occupation saw many changes in English life, including the ordering of the militias more along the lines of precise Legionary lines. This, civil and engineering upgrades, and Christianity generally served to the benefit of the people, then and following the Roman’s departure.
Following the Romans, came the Angles, the Saxons, and eventually the Normans, each of whom introduced new character to England. By at least the Twelfth Century England had evolved into a nation-state, not entire undistinguishable from its present form. Then, standing armies were rare and the kings relied upon their subjects to form militias during times of needs. Accordingly, free-men were expected, even ordered to keep arms for their and the common defense. Assize of Arms, Henry II (1181).
King John signed the Magna Carta in 1215 which, in Section 61, provided for armed rebellion of sorts (lead by the nobility) in the event the Crown became tyrannical. This process, of course, necessitated the continued institution of armed citizens.
(Magna Carta Memorial, Runnymede, England. Google.)
Next time, I will move forward in history and begin covering more modern English sources concerning the people, their rights, especially concerning arms and defense. This will serve as a prelude to the customs of those English persons who colonized America, carrying the ancient traditions with them.
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Today I spoke to the Augusta, GA Libertarian Party about citizen-police encounters, especially when the citizen is armed. What a great group! You can view my presentation materials here: https://perrinlovett.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/march-10-2013-libertarian-party-event-bullett-points/. It’s a shortened version of How to Interact With the Police, https://perrinlovett.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/how-to-interact-with-the-police/. I think How to Interact may be one of my most popular posts yet. After the great reception today and some of the feedback I got, I think a follow-up of some sort may be in order.
I decided to where a suit and tie to the event today.
(Who the hell is the thin dude???)
Unless they’re Christmas ties, I generally do not like ties. They remind me of upside-down silk nooses. I only don ties when I go to court. In fact, today when I revved up I ditched the tie and jacket. But, I had to wear them. You see, for many years I have had a closet full of really nice suits I couldn’t fit into. I think the one above is an Austin Reed, if that means anything. Thanks to my exercise program and diet, which I think I will patent and hawk on TV, not only do those suits fit – they’re a little loose! My fat suits may need serious surgery.
(Me. Thin. In a suit. With no cigar or beard… Yes, really me.)
I brought my daughter along for the fun. She did great until I went on a little too long – she got up and told me it was time to leave… Thank you, sweetie!!! We had strawberries and a visit to her little friend’s house as a reward.
(Daddy’s little helper.)
I love talking to and with libertarians, big or small “l.” They are the few who prefer liberty, as Sallust suggested 2000 years ago. And, as a rule, they are informed, engaging, and very very nice. Today was no exception. I fielded questions throughout the presentation, questions that greatly contributed to the overall topic. I also discussed the possibility of addressing other groups. I even offered to “debate” any communist or other hack they could dig up at Augusta State (GRU U) on the subject of gun control. It seems there is still doubt as to what the Second Amendment really means, even after Heller, Parker, and MacDonald, and a slew of other cases. I intend to write a clarifying post soon – particularly as to what part the people play with relation to the militia and where the militia stands with regard to the Imperial military (totally different birds).
I always learn something at these types of events, even when I’m the presenter. Speaking of the militia, today I learned that federal and state law enforcement, in conjunction with the MARINE CORPS!, has been conducting hypothetical war games in our area – against the Georgia militia! These exercises take place next door in South Carolina. I think I will write both governors and the interloper in the White House and ask if they would like the Georgia Militia to actively participate! I will lead the effort, if mr. Deal will allow it and appoint me as a Colonel or General or something. Men, I may be calling on you soon. If nothing else, I will demand to know why the USMC is drilling against the people of our state. Have they killed off all “tha taaarrists”???
Maybe we are the terrorists now. According to Washington’s puppet, Hamid Karzai, the U.S. is colluding with the Taliban. Remember them? They were our allies in the 1980s, who betrayed us on 9/11 and now, after 12 years of war, have become our allies again? I’m confused too. Kind of like al-CIA-da – the terror group developed by Washington during the cold war, who became our enemies in 2001, only to get our help in Libya, Syria, etc. Foreign entanglements, gotta love em.
In other news, Atlanta is now being called the “Detroit of the South” – that can’t be good. More and more suburbs are seceding to get away from the crime, corruption and financial burdens of the Big Peach. I have heard rumors that northern Fulton County may split and reform Milton County or whatever it was called 90 years ago. Peachy.
More rumors – the RepubliCONS, all hyped up on something, are vowing to budget Obamacare away sometime in the future. I have a shiny nickel that says they don’t.
That’s all for now. Many thanks again to Amanda, Rocky and my gracious hosts today. They even gave me a trio of books I have not read before – one about Bastiat! This looks to be a great week. I’m planning some terrific columns and maybe a site upgrade or two. See you tomorrow!
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This is a follow-up to some of my recent columns, Posse Comitatus, A Short History of Gun Control in America, and others. The Second Amendment and its subject matter have been in the news recently as part of the never-ending “debate” over gun control. The Amendment has also received special attention from the U.S. Supreme Court twice in the past five years.
My purpose here is to explain what the Amendment means and what most commentators (even pro-firearms authors) miss in their reading and application. Even if you do not own guns or have an interest in them, this issue affects you and your Liberty. Somewhere in the writing process I realized I should have divided this into several segments. My apologies for the heft of the article. Sadly, I didn’t even get to add in half of what I should – maybe a book is in order? certainly a follow-up’s follow-up.
“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.” Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1791)(entirety).
(Minutemen staring down British Regulars. Google Images.)
The Second Amendment has absolutely NOTHING to do with hunting, sport shooting, and weapon collecting. Those activities are important and are rights which derive from Natural Law. However, they are ancillary to the purpose of the 2nd Amendment. Ancillary also are the issues of self-defense and defense of others and of property from attacks by common criminals. They to are the absolute rights of the People (absolute, under appropriate circumstances). However, none of these things, which are commonly attributed to the true nature of the 2nd Amendment and gun ownership, fall under the actual purpose of the Amendment.
There are two primary reasons why the 2nd Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights. First, the Founders wanted a heavily armed population so that the nation and the constituent States might be well defended from foreign or outside aggression and invasion. Second, and most important, the Founders wanted the People heavily armed in order to overthrow or repel the State governments or the federal, national government in the event said government ever became tyrannical in nature and operation. The true purpose of an armed people is to resist tyranny. This is not only the right of the People, it is also their solemn duty.
Politicians do not like being reminded of this fact these days. Perhaps their guilty consciences get the better of them given the nature of modern government – as close to tyrannical as just about any in history. For reasons given herein and, those which I plan to elaborate on in a future column about arms, the ticks have little to fear. As I have written elsewhere, most humans like to be controlled. In the absence of fair masters, they will take any master that comes along. I hope you, by your nature or by reading this article, are a member of the few who prefer freedom to slavery. Your existence makes the tyrants sweat.
For the longest time the Second Amendment was largely written off by the legal “profession.” When I was in law school I was told the Amendment (and a few others) didn’t really exist. I found this strange. The Amendment was there in the text of the Constitution and its plain language made perfect sense (the 10th Amendment was the same way). Try as I could, I could never locate the provision which allowed for the murder of babies. The law school community regards this right, in blasphemy, as if it had been written by God himself.
Then again, law school has little to do with the law. The one thing that was not required reading in my Constitutional law classes was the Constitution. No mention was made of the natural underpinnings of the Constitution. It’s no wonder most attorneys emerge from this environment without the slightest knowledge of whence our laws are derived. I was different, I always am. I read the old documents and inquired as to why certain things were included and excluded textually. I read a lot. At the time, the only legal textbook in print which even mentioned the 2nd Amendment was the one compiled by Laurence H. Tribe of Harvard law fame. His mention was very brief, but at least he had the curtsey to include it at all.
Most Consitutional law education focuses on two things: 1) the supreme power of the government and; 2) a few pet rights with plenty of case law material for professors to quote (the 1st Amendment, for instance). I also have columns underway to explain both the Constitution (briefly) and the convoluted subject of Constitutional law. You’ll have to wait for those.
As I said, the 2nd Amendment received little official attention for many years. Early in our history and it that of our English forebears, the concept of a well armed population was well enshrined. It was taken as a given that men would be armed. The Founders went the brave extra step and set the armed people as defenders of their own Liberty against the heinous forces of organized government.
Thomas Jefferson was rightly fearful of the problems posed by a standing government army. The Declaration of Independence was full of accounts of the crimes committed by King George through his armies. The mandate for a militia rather than a professional army found its way into the Articles of Confederation, Article 4. While armies are allowed under the Constitution, they are supposed to be limited to a two-year duration, they were meant as an emergency measure. U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8.
In the debates leading to the Constitutional Convention, both the Federalists (in favor of the Constitution) and the Anti-Federalists (fearful of a strong central government) denounced the practice of standing armies as grave threats to liberty.
Writing for the Federalists Alexander Hamilton, himself not the greatest proponent of decentralized liberty, reiterated the common saying of the time that standing armies “ought not be kept up, in time of peace.” Federalist, No. 26. In No. 28 Hamilton asked mockingly, against the fact of armed State militias, when could the federal government ever amass a sufficiently threatening army? As Monday morning’s historical quarterback, I suppose the answer was “in about 200 years.” Hamilton also thought the two-year budgetary limitation placed on the army would render it ineffective for tyrannical purposes. Federalist, No. 24. Out of the pocket again, we now have a standing army fighting numerous “wars” despite the absence of a federal budget for four years.
The Anti-Federalists were equally fearful of a central army. In his Tenth Letter, January 24, 1788, “Brutus” (most likely New York judge Robert Yates) warned of two dangers presented by a standing army. First, it could be used by leaders against the people in order to usurp power. Second, the armies themselves could “subvert the forms of government, under whose authority they were raised…” As examples he cited the once free and constitutional Roman Republic and British Empire.
Interestingly, the Second Amendment could have contained anti-army language. The Virginia Convention proposed a Bill of Rights (June 27, 1788), which would have had the second amendment as seventeenth. It would have read: “That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; that a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state; that standing armies, in times of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and therefore ought to be avoided, as far as circumstances and protection of the community will admit, and that, in all cases, the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.” I rather like that. The Pennsylvania Minority had put forth a similar proposal on December 18, 1787.
During the forty-fifth Congress, Rep. William Kimmel of Maryland, author of the Posse Comitatus Act, echoed the sentiments of the Founders as he quoted Tacitus, “Is there any escape from a standing army but a well-disciplined militia?” 7 Cong. Rec. 3579. He also quoted Lord Bacon, who remarked of the Tudor years of English history, a “mercenary army is fittest to invade a country but a militia to defend it.” Id. Many were the quotes from members of the House and Senate on similar points.
The issue faded as the 19th Century progressed because it was still taken for granted that free people should be armed. As I noted in Gun Control, the States and the federal government from this period to the present, began to enact various illegal, and progressively worse restrictions on gun ownership. The 2nd Amendment did make appearances in law and court cases though during this period of general dormancy. I will discuss two such cases here.
In Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857), the Supreme Court ignobly affirmed black slaves were property as opposed to people. However, the Court’s reasoning touched on the 2nd Amendment. If slaves were considered human beings, then they would be entitled to human rights – such as the right to bear arms. This case gave silent acknowledgment to the 2nd Amendment, which law professors somehow overlooked or wrote off. It also slaps their Supreme Court worship in the face. The fallibility of their god also seems lost on them.
In United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939), the Supreme Court held the 2nd Amendment only protected firearms with militia “value.” Mr. Miller was arrested for illegal possession of a short-barreled shotgun, one of the weapons regulated under the UnConstitutional 1934 National Firearms Act. I always thought this case made some sense. If the only guns protected are those of use to the militia or the military, then it would seem the people have a right to own those types of weapons. And, if they are entitled to own those, why not allow them all lesser guns (like short-barreled shotguns). Subsequently, shotguns of reduced length came in useful to the army GIs and Marines in Vietnam and other tight, uncomfortable places.
The delusional legal community took Miller to mean something else, something only a law professor could belive – that the 2nd Amendment protects a government’s “right” to keep arms. The deliberate misinterpretation of Miller during the last half of the 20th Century gave rise to the idiotic “collective rights” theory, an impossibility in and of itself. The theory lead to the belief of leftists and statists alike that the 2nd Amendment gave the government the “right” to organize a body such as the National Guard. This was ludicrous. Only individual persons have rights. Individuals with rights can join together in the exercise of those rights, but the rights themselves never acquire group status. The status certainly never transcends from the people, individually speaking, to the government. Governments have powers, not rights.
The point was finally clarified (as if such a plainly worded sentence needs clarification…) by the U.S. Supreme Court in two cases early in our current Century. In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) the high Court overturned D.C.’s illegal law restricting handgun ownership. The Court also held the Second Amendment did in fact confer upon the people a fundamental right to keep and bear arms. The collectivists were crushed. The Court actually noted the Natural Law right of self-defense. The law professors were confused. The opinion limited its reach to federal laws and enclaves (like D.C.) and appended certain language regarding “traditional” uses of firearms. The Court also made notable mention of the proper relationship between the people and the militia, but they did not reach my ultimate conclusion from Miller.
In my humble but professional opinion (I are a Constitutional and firearms law litigator person, after all), the legal opinion rendered by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in its earlier hearing and decision of Heller, D.C. v. Parker, 478 F.3d 370 (2007)(Parker was then a co-plaintiff with Heller and several others), was a far better recitation of the 2nd Amendment, its meaning and origins. Judge Laurence Silberman went to great lengths to explain the original meaning of the “militia” and its prerequisite condition of an armed people. I will comment on this subject a little later, in my own words.
I met Judge Silberman at a legal education luncheon (CLE) in 2008, while Heller was pending the Supreme Court. I thanked him for his contribution. However, as is so often my way, I was disgruntled that afternoon and made my usual sarcastic comments to kick off the meeting. CLE’s do that to me. Imagine paying a good sum of money for a decent lunch which you can’t enjoy because some dude or dudette is babbling on about the law. Anyway, I recall referring to D.C. as “the District of Corruption.” I did this before a small gathering of government attorneys and government-dependent attorneys. Judge Silberman gave me a nervous chuckle, the rest of the crowd was aghast at my … honesty.
Anyway, the 2008 opinion was good enough of a start. Two years later the Court added to the new body of 2nd Amendment law.
In MacDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025 (2010) the Court, in striking down an illegal Chicago law, “incorporated” the effect of the Second Amendment to the States, via the 14th Amendment. Many libertarian scholars are dubious of the theory of incorporation but I will not touch on that here other than to say the 2nd Amendment must be respected by the States. This makes sense, as far as it goes, as no entity may legitimately violate fundamental human rights. The Court also included some dangerous language in the decision, particularly regarding the possibility laws may place “reasonable restrictions” on firearms ownership. The reference may prove a trojan horse for gun owners, especially in light of those restrictions already in place (NFA and GCA) which are now taken for granted. I do not take them so and I have no faith in government to keep any additional restrictions “reasonable.”
Other, newer cases are working their way through the courts, generally with good success. I think the Amendment is finally getting some of the respect it deserves. I also don’t think Congress will act to rashly regarding new restrictions, yet, even in the face of the ridiculous hysteria raised of late.
I began by stating the Second Amendment is about the people resisting government tyranny. I do not advocate herein the violent overthrow of the government. Such action, even if warranted, would likely end in disaster. Besides, given the suicidal tendencies of the federal and most state governments, such action would seem pointless. I said “even if warranted” because once any government exceeds its scope and purpose to the point it becomes a threat to, rather than a defender of, the Liberties of the People (the only real reason for the existence of government), then again, it is the right and duty of the people to shrug off such tyranny. When such action is taken legitimately, it is not an act of rebellion. In fact, at such point, it is the government which is in rebellion and deserving of correction. This may be subject matter for another future column.
The Founders, being highly suspicious of standing armies in the service of a central government, determined to set up a militia as a proper alternative. A “militia” is merely the organization to some degree of all the armed men in a jurisdiction. Every State in the Union still maintains a militia, completely separate from the National Guard. The militia of a given state is generally divided into two classes – the “organized” militia and the unorganized. The organized consists of members of the State defense force, whatever it may be termed. These are voluntary citizen forces under control of the Governor. They are generally neutered these days but retain the ability to become a combat ready force. The unorganized force consists of all able-bodied males (and certain females) between certain ages (adults, generally). I am a proud member of the unorganized Georgia militia!
These militias are primarily at the disposal of the States and can only be utilized by the federal government in certain cases. The main point of this system is that the weapons are supposed to be in the hands of the people, not the government. This is specifically true regarding infantry weapons. A militia member should, today, be able to report for duty with any weapons available to a modern infantryman. This would include fully automatic rifles (including SAWs) and shoulder launcher systems (Stingers, etc.).
We currently are restricted from such weapons, illegally, by the NFA and the GCA and amendments. Also, as a counter to my central premise of militia dominance, the federal government has done a terrible job regulating the militias. The States have all but abdicated their independence and authority to Washington. Washington has also taken advantage of this situation by raising and maintaining huge standing, professional military forces in perpetuity. This is all contrary to the intent and the language of the Constitution. The American people have also undergone a dramatic transformation. Regarding these instant issues, the populace tends to regard militias as dangerous bands of domestic terrorists while literally worshipping the federal Imperial military. How many yellow ribbon decals have you seen promoting the militia?
This leads me to my final point, the concept that so many people miss regarding the Second Amendment. Most historical analysis has focused on the “militia” preface and the “right of the people” action clause, or both together (see Judge Silberman). What everyone seems to miss is the “security of a free state.” A state, according to the Founders and their wisdom could only be preserved by an armed people serving as the militia. The key word here is – “FREE.” Given the decline of liberty, seemingly demanded by the people, can we be said to live in a free state anymore? If we do not, is anything else important? I would, of course, answer affirmatively. I’m not so sure about my fellow countrymen. This may provide material for a future column. Your thoughts?