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Constitutional Militia?

Constitutional Militia?

We hear the word, “Militia”, and we hear the phrase “Constitutional Militia”.
Are they different? Is this a useful distinction, or is it only a way to sound bigger and better?

“Militia”, at its most basic, just means people that have organized themselves under arms, but not a paid army under a national command.

In American law and history, it is the collective exercise of the God-given unalienable right of self-defense.

If you want to find it even before history, it is all the guys working together with jagged stones and fire-hardened sticks to keep the cave-bear from taking back the cozy home that they took from him for their families. Historically it goes back to the armed men of ancient Israel, and its English common-law origin can be found in the Dooms of King Aethelred of 1014 AD. It was made part of our system in the Constitution, which mentions it, its necessity, and its functions within the system we established, in Article I Section 8, Clauses 15 and 16; and in the Second Amendment.

More and more of us are learning the importance of militia, and trying to rehabilitate its tarnished image. Militia IS in the Constitution, and we want to defend that precious document….so it seems natural, and better, to say not just “militia”, but “Constitutional militia”

But words have meanings, meanings have consequences. We want to hit our target, not the guy next to it. We should use words with the same precision we aspire to in marksmanship.

Our Constitution not only embraces our militia right and heritage, but gives it a particular political role and describes it in certain ways. So, I take “Constitutional Militia” to mean, “militia recognizably as described in our Constitution”. That is, necessary, supported and assisted in its organization by government, and having inherent authority (as we-the-People) to “execute the Law, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions”.

I want to be clear that I do NOT want to tell anyone how they have to do it. To take arms in any form, for any justifiable (defensive) purpose is our right. But words matter, and specific terms must mean specific things, or we can’t communicate successfully. Some people like to use the word “constitutional” with “militia” to emphasize that it is our right. This is true. But today our government itself has become lawless, and our crying need as I see it, is for a very specific, and very unfamiliar, function of militia: law enforcement. All of us have been raised and taught to think that LE is only the job of government agents. Many people think that for anyone NOT a trained and certified government agent to attempt to enforce law, is itself illegal. Some of them will cite statutes that appear to say so.

But, of course, that is not what our Constitution, the supreme (human) law of the land, says.

If we are going to make this happen, if we are going to use Militia for the necessary things the Constitution specifically says it can do, we must support our claim by being able to show specifically how our militia conforms to each of the things the Constitution says about Militia.

Starting at the end of our Constitution and working forward, the last mention of militia is in the first clause of the Second Amendment, “A well-regulated militia [is] necessary…”

So, if we want to describe a militia as “Constitutional”, we must be able to point to something about how we organize it and say, “See, this is how it is regulated well…”

It is worth digressing for a moment to discuss the word, “regulated”. To most of us today the word conjures up “regulatory agencies”, which too often seem to exist to suppress, mess up, step on, and interfere with most of our activities. In this context it is understandable that the word would give pause to anyone looking to Militia as the defense of their freedom.

However in the Constitution, the word has a different, and clearly discernible meaning. To “regulate” a watch (from the days of mechanical watches and clocks) meant to adjust it to keep correct time—not to slow it down!

To “regulate” a rifle meant to adjust the sights so that it will hit where you point it.

Specifically in the Constitution, the word, “regulate” appears twice. In addition to the Second Amendment, it appears in Article I Section 8 Clause 5, where we give Congress the power “To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof,….” Coining is a metalworking process, in which a workpiece (a “planchet”, in the context of producing coins) is squeezed between dies which impress into it a specific size or pattern. “Coining” money involves assaying the purity, measuring out the weight, then physically “coining” it into a recognizable form and design, so anyone who receives it knows that it is pure and of full weight, therefore full value. The value of gold and silver money is “regulated” by assuring that it conforms to standards of purity and weight, which are the appropriate standards for money.. The shape and design merely show us that the “regulating” has been done.

So if we now replace the word “regulated” in the Second Amendment with “conforming to an appropriate standard”, we see that it cannot mean to suppress or destructively control, rather it means the same as in Article I Sec 8 Clause 5, “conformed to appropriate standards”, which for Militia must be armaments, training, equipment, command structure, communications, etc.

Next we look at Clause 16 of Section 8 of Article I, which says, “To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress

Well and good, you may say, but neither Congress nor the States are doing any of these things in support of militia, unless you count the attempt to re-shape it into the uniformed, paid, centrally-controlled National Guard, which none of the Founders would have recognized as militia. And what would be our chances of getting Congress and the State legislatures to do it right, perhaps providing some financial support but returning control to localities, and desisting from lawless foreign deployments? Less than none, I would agree.

So, is there way to involve government (supposed after all to be we-the-People looking out for each other!) constructively in support of Militia, to satisfy this clause?

There is. To find it we must go back to the Declaration of Independence, the first organic law of our Republic, in which we set forth the principles of law which our Articles of Confederation, and later and more successfully our Constitution, codified.

The Declaration contains a catalogue of crimes committed by British King George III. Among them we find, “He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise”.

I have put in italics the operative clause, which in the context of that document clearly means, that any authority that we-the-people delegate to a government servant, reverts to us if the servant neglects, abuses, or corrupts it.

So, what the Tactical Civics plan does, is to provide an Ordinance by which your local County or municipal government, where your influence is strong and your supervision close, can provide the required “regulation”, at the same time officially and explicitly recognizing your group as militia in the American Constitutional sense.

The first reference to Militia in the Constitution, in Article I Section 8, Clause 15, tells us why all this is so important.

“[Congress shall have power] To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions”

Historically of course militia was called forth by any authority, or individual, or on it own awareness of some crisis to which the community needed it to respond. Giving Congress power to do so as well, does not mean that militia must stand idle until Congress condescends to call it forth. But look at the list of tasks. And again note well: just as Congress’s power to “call forth” is NOT described as exclusive, Congress is NOT empowered to authorize militia for these purposes. The Founders recognized that We-the-People under arms for our own protection, as militia, have inherent authority to execute our law, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions.

These are the very authorities we today desperately need to take up, when we see all around us our own well-paid official servants, who in turn control our paid law-enforcers, “utterly neglecting”, sometimes subverting their duties, and breaking the good laws we made for our own protection. Who will arrest them? We see organized disregard of the law, as when cities declare that immigration law , or the right to bear arms do not apply, or that riots may go unpunished within their jurisdiction. This is insurrection. Who will suppress it? And what but invasion is now going unresisted by our official apparatus at our Southern border? Who will repel it?

The need to exercise these fundamental authorities that we hold as free people, authorities that our founding documents confirm belong to us, is why we must carefully use and preserve the specific term, “Constitutional Militia”, where we can prove that it applies.

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