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20 February 2013

Militias And The Second Amendment

Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – When the U.S. Constitution was being debated in Philadelphia, the question of the militia and who would control it came up.  It was pretty much universally agreed that the only time Congress would control the militia is if they actually had to call them into service and make them part of a continental army, make them part of the forces of The United States, not of A United State.  See the difference?  This is very important to understand and very important to grasp.  Check out today’s transcript for the rest…

 

Begin Mike Church Show Transcript

america-secede-or-die-t-shirtMike:  When the U.S. Constitution was being debated in Philadelphia, the question of the militia and who would control it came up.  It was pretty much universally agreed that the only time Congress would control the militia is if they actually had to call them into service and make them part of a continental army, make them part of the forces of The United States, not of A United State.  See the difference?  This is very important to understand and very important to grasp.

In the Virginia ratifying convention it came up.  It was Patrick Henry and George Mason that kept bringing it up saying: Your little constitution here, Madison, says that our militia will be under the control of Congress.  Madison and all his federalist buddies kept saying: No, that’s not what it says.  What it says is if they ever have to be called up, if we ever have to use them to put down an insurrection or rebellion, if we ever have to call them into the service of the United States, then Congress can prescribe the manner in which they will be trained and disciplined.  The states still appoint the officers.  As long as the militias are operating in times of peace, they are not under the general government, and a declaration of war changes everything.  This is a distinction that is key.  It may be the most key distinction here.

To understand that is to understand that it was the duty of the State of Virginia, State of Maryland, State of Delaware, State of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania, New York, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, it was their duty to have a militia.  They required young men to join the militia.  I know in Virginia, because I’ve read the statute, they required young men to bring their own weapon.  If you didn’t bring a weapon, they would fine you.  If you didn’t bring a weapon to drill, they would fine you.

This is the principle behind the Second Amendment.  In case anyone misunderstood the clause in Article I, Section 8 about the militia and about who issued their orders and prescribed their training, the Second Amendment clarifies it.  The security of a free state is the responsibility of a state.  It doesn’t say states, it says a free state.  In 18th century speak, that meant Virginia, it meant New Jersey.  Required upon having a militia, required upon keeping and bearing arms, it required it.  Therefore, the right to bear arms shall not be infringed, in other words, the Second Amendment and the authors of it were reasserting that the Congress should have no control, no authority whatsoever over arms or the militia that would bear those arms in the states, end of discussion.

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This is not hard to grasp.  No one is coming to grab your guns.  If anything, they’re more secure than they ever were with this understanding, because you would be required to have one.  The only state that’s actually taken this requirement seriously in the 20th and 21st century is the State of Georgia.  Georgia takes this very seriously, and they’re on the right track with this.  I heard Professor Gutzman present a verbal essay on this at the ReFounding Father Society meeting in Liberty, Texas a couple weeks back.  After reading up on it, I’m able to report to you that not only was the good professor correct, but there’s an awful lot of empirical evidence that supports the argument.  Well, it doesn’t support the argument, it defines the argument and makes it impervious to attack from the outside.  Keep that in mind.

All the people that are out there squawking and running about, screaming about militias and this, that and the other, you would do yourself a great service to actual study what a militia was in 1788.  I know some of you have, because I’ve heard from some of you.  That, my friends, is the definition of a militia as understood in the 18th century.  It also clarifies clauses in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution and the Second Amendment.

Let’s go through this as the Constitution actually writes it down, in order, and it’s in this order specifically.  The Congress can declare war.  The next power is to “raise and support Armies.”  The next power is to “provide and maintain a Navy.”  The next power is “to make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces.”  The next power is “to provide for calling forth the militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.  You’re understanding this now.  They can call them.   Once they are called, then the following comes into play, “to provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union,” then “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.”

Why these things take on such difficulty in the 21st century with all of our vainglorious knowledge, with all our evolved sensibilities, with how smart we think we are and how intelligent.  We’ve got Google.  We’ve got the internet.  We ought to be able to figure simple things like this out without arguing amongst ourselves.  The meaning of all these things is quite clear, if only you would open your eyes to see it.

End Mike Church Show Transcript

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1 Response

  1. Kevin Heckle

    Mike,
    I’m certainly a believer that the ultimate power to bear arms lies with the People and should always remain so. The 1807-08 Congress passed legislation to arm the Militia, firearms which were purchased and then redistributed to the states for those individuals who couldn’t afford them. Tench Coxe, an early proponent of the individual right to keep and bear arms and working in both the Jefferson and Madison Administrations, was charged with procuring and distributing these public arms. Some would argue that since the FEDERAL government provided these arms for the militias, that they could also take them away. Therefore they argue, the individual doesn’t have the ultimate right to keep and bear arms. If two individuals possessed firearms, one privately owned and the other public property, how could either possession be an equal universal right if the latter could be taken away by the Federal government at will? How would you dispel this notion? And considering that the Congress armed state militias prior to them being called up, wouldn’t that undermine your “order” argument?

    With Much Respect,
    Kevin H.

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