Wednesday, July 6, 2011

John Longenecker on "Militias and Mumbais."

Minuteman then.

Excellent short essay.

Anti-gun groups are quick to link Militia to state governments, but, as usual, they mislead the electorate. When the Supreme Court and lower courts grapple with the second amendment as a concept of state militia, they err. Still, many wins for the individual right were made possible by a greater adherence to Original Intent than ideas that the Document is a 'living document', that a militia must be a state entity, or that a militia is a hate group.

The United States is a living, breathing entity only because the Constitution and Original Intent are firm. If they were flexible, we never would have survived a generation. Here are a few key points of how the importance of the past is relevant now.

1. Militia within the meaning of the second amendment pre-dates the United States. In the framing era, well-regulated meant self-regulated in answering the question, regulated by whom? There was no government in the framing era when the Militia was first-in-time.

2. Militia pre-dates the formation of the federal government, a creation of the states. The founders did not mean that Militia was a federal concept when, in fact, there was no federal government.

3. Militia within the meaning of the second amendment pre-dates an organized police force by nearly 100 years. There were no cops.

4. Militia within the meaning of the second amendment pre-dates National Guard by about 130 years. So much for the 'state' concept as an exclusive, collective concept.

5. Militia within the meaning of the second amendment is affirmed by the Vitter Amendment to the Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act of 2006.

6. Militia within the meaning of the second amendment is a preparedness paradigm of volunteers to activate in time of disaster or any other emergency. Because there is no one else.

Since citizens have legal authority to protect their communities in the absence of first responders, military and other agencies, there is no interference or conflict with governmental assets. There is simply a structure in place to keep the lid on until their arrival.

Minuteman today.


pdxr13 said...

Let's not forget what "regulated" means in 18th-century-speak.

In addition to "controlled", as by law, regulated was a "high-tech" jargon word of the 18th century used in clock and watchmaking. It means more "balance & timing" or "supplied", as a gear that ticks off seconds "supplies" the minute hand with an input every 60th tick. Well-regulated means relatively unaffected by changes in spring wind status, watch position, temperature, external acceleration/deceleration, among others.

Accurate clocks allowed for precise navigation of the open seas. Thus, it was extremely important for a young trading nation to think along this timekeeping metaphor.


Anonymous said...

And the militia in terms of the Second Amendment is completely irrelevant. A simple linguistics analysis of the Second Amendment shows that the first half is nothing more than a preamble. It is giving the reason, the why, if you will, the second half exists.

If you eliminate the first half, the Second Amendment would read "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Fairly simple and straightforward. Yet, we are saddled with a preamble. "A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State".

But what does that mean exactly?

You must be aware of our history to truly understand what is being said here. At the time of the Revolution, the idea of a standing army was anathema to the very idea of freedom. But our Founding Fathers were practical men. They understood that professional soldiers were needed to defend the country, hence our use of the French and Hessians during the Revolution.

Since a standing army was "necessary" to secure our freedoms, they wanted to ensure that the people would have the ability to defend themselves against that very same army.

The fact that we play into this nonsense that we are somehow the militia is only useful in the anti-gunners hands.

We are the people whose freedom to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!

Female III said...

Just in:

Female III said...

Oh noooooo. I meant to put that in the article below this one. I am so sorry.

Brock Townsend said...

Militia within the meaning of the second amendment pre-dates the United States.
Absolutely and attested by the fact that My 6th Great Grandfather Was Recognized As Fighting/Dying In The Militia At Core Creek in 1711 At 35 Years Of Age. A son who was seventeen at the time was also killed, but there is no mention of him. His wife was killed, his daughter, who was but three, was killed, and my fifth great grandfather, at seven years old, was missed somehow, and most fortunately.
"In the following year, his name appears in an official record of claims paid to persons in Craven Precinct in consequence of militia service rendered by themselves or their testators, intestates, or assignors, during the Tuscarora War."

millerized said...

""pdxr13 said...
Let's not forget what "regulated" means in 18th-century-speak.""

I've always wondered if the old mantle clock that said 'regulated' on it ever had anything to do with the same word in the 2nd.

So....think if it this way....
"A finely tuned militia, being necessary to a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed"...
and it makes a hell of a lot more sense.

Anonymous said...

According to Webster's 1828 Dictionary:



1. To adjust by rule, method or established mode; as, to regulate weights and measures; to regulate the assize of bread; to regulate our moral conduct by the laws of God and of society; to regulate our manners by the customary forms.

2. To put in good order; as, to regulate the disordered state of a nation or its finances.

3. To subject to rules or restrictions; as, to regulate trade; to regulate diet.

Now since the 2nd ends with the words "shall not be infringed", that leads me to think that they did not intend the meaning to be definition #3 as "restrictions" would be infringing.

Most likely (IMHO) their intent was definition #2, as a militia would need to be well trained and well organized ("put in good order") like any group of people would need to be in order to be effective.

Anonymous said...

So if an extremist or racial group wants to form their own militia, then they get to do so, correct?

pdxr13 said...

" So if an extremist or racial group wants to form their own militia, then they get to do so, correct?"

In Oregon, I would call it a "Safety Fitness Fraternal Organization" and have a regular meeting to encourage safe techniques, just like irregular armies train to use.

If you are (a club of one) or belong to a racist or extremist group, keep it to yourself. -best advice I've given all day.


Anonymous said...

So if an extremist or racial group wants to form their own militia, then they get to do so, correct?

They already have and they are called the democratic party and affiliates or are you perhaps blind as well as stupid?

But you're not really here for that purpose are you?

Mark Matis said...

For pdxr13:
You just need to understand that Anonymous at 5:27 PM is either FedPig or one of their fellators.

Anonymous said...

Regular (or perhaps irregular) visitors to this site already know the following, or should:

United States Code (USC)


Section 311. Militia: composition and classes

(a) The militia of the United States consists
of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age
and, except as provided in section 313 of title
32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have
made a declaration of intention to become, citi-
zens of the United States and of female citizens
of the United States who are commissioned of-
ficers of the National Guard.
(b) The classes of the militia are--
(1) the organized militia, which consists of
the National Guard and the Naval Militia;
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists
of the members of the militia who are not
members of the National Guard or the Naval

Section 312. Militia duty: exemptions

(a) The following persons are exempt from
militia duty:
(1) The Vice President.
(2) The judicial and executive officers of
the United States, the several States and Territories, Puerto Rico, and the Canal Zone.
(3) Members of the armed forces, except members who are not on active duty.
(4) Customhouse clerks.
(5) Persons employed by the United States in the transmission of mail.
(6) Workers employed in armories, arsenals, and naval shipyards of the United States.
(7) Pilots on navigable waters.
(8) Mariners in the sea service of a citizen of, or a merchant in, the United States.

(b) A person who claims exemption because
of religious belief is exempt from militia duty
in a combatant capacity, if the conscientious
holding of that belief is established under such
regulations as the President may prescribe.
However, such a person is not exempt from militia duty that the President determines to be

So essentially, if you are of proper age and capable of bearing arms in the field you are in the unorganized militia, whether you like it or not.

Anonymous said...

Like Brock, my family has ties to the Militia well before there was 13 colonies. The first Foster in America was recorded as a member of the Jamestown Malitia in 1623. The states did not start the militias, the local communities did.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how many visitors to this site have read Milton or Shakespeare, or to a lesser extent the King James version of the bible. But it is obvious to those who have that English usage changes over time. For example, when is the last time you "knew" your spouse or significant other?

Which brings us to the phrase "well regulated militia". We know that the left would like very much to impose current usage of "regulated" to that phrase, but it wasn't written last week. They want "regulated" to mean subject ot federal law like the FDA regulates pharmaceutical companies, or like the FAA regulates the aviation industry. Next time you hear this foolishness, ask them whether their congressman has legislation that will cure their bowel irregularity.

To cut to the chase, line infantry was called "regulars" for a reason. The were trained to follow the orders of their NCO's as if following the "regular" ( there's that pesky word again) ticking of a metronome or the most popular wall clock of the day, "The Regulator". A well regulated militia was supposed be able to do the same. George Washington, in a famous letter, was royally ticked that many of his militia had not had the training to do so.

So if our current crop of Tories insist that our militia be "well regulated", they need to come up with the cash to send us all to Basic Infantry School.

Anonymous said...

where can I find the original or initial article having the Minuteman picture describing his equipment in the phototo?