Constitutional “homeland security” structure
Bottom Up: State Militia Structure

The militia is the natural defence of a free country against *** domestic usurpation of power by rulers. *** The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium of the liberties of the republic, since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers, and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.” 

Justice Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States (Boston, Massachusetts: Little Brown and Company, Fifth Edition, 1891), Volume 2, § 1897, at 646.

Also see Current “Homeland Security”: “Top Down” Para-military Structure Revitalizing the Militia Can Promote Monetary ReformMilitia: Immune From Contemporary “Gun Control”Militia: Not Private Associations“the Militia of the several States” • Militia: Not Part of the Regular Armed Forces of the Union or of the States • National Guard: Not a Militia


Constitutional “Homeland Security”: “Bottom Up” State Militia Structure

The constant in all the pre and post-constitutional Militia organizations is that they were structured according to law (i.e., “well regulated”) from the bottom up, not from the top down. They were based upon local organization. If you were in New England, it was the “town”, typically if you were in Virginia it was the “county.” It depended upon which political  jurisdiction was workable and primarily it’s where the people lived. In the case of New England it was “in the town” or “around the town”. Remember, these people were supposed to be organized so that they could be called at a moment’s notice and mustered for some activity and march if they had to go. So they had a centrally located structure where the people actually lived.

  • Pre-constitutional ‘Towns’ had extensive legal authority over their Militia. Statutes from Rhode Island provide examples of ‘well regulated Militia’ referred to in the 2nd Amendment. 14 statutes referenced.

    Reflecting the fundamentally Local foundations of the Militia, throughout the pre-constitutional period Rhode Island’s General Assembly delegated extensive authority to the Colony’s Towns. At various times, the Towns were empowered to:

    • supervise the selection of Militia officers; (footnote 1)
    • regulate the authority of Militia officers; (footnote 2)
    • designate the days for and regimens of Militia training; (footnote 3)
    • judge individuals’ compliance with Militia regulations; (footnote 4)
    • pass on the sufficiency of firearms for Militia purposes; (footnote 5)
    • arrange for inspections and inventories of firearms and ammunition in private hands suitable for Militia service; (footnote 6)
    • see to it that firearms in individuals’ personal possession were kept in good repair for Militia service; (footnote 7)
    • ascertain whether individuals had the financial wherewithal to purchase their own firearms and ammunition for Militia service; (footnote 8)
    • provide firearms and ammunition to the poor; (footnote 9)
    • determine who was physically able to serve in the Militia’s “Alarm List”; (footnote 10)
    • draft individuals from Militia service into military service; (footnote 11)
    • procure substitutes from the Militia for men who defaulted on their military duty (footnote 12)
    • establish Militia “watches” in times of peace and war; (footnote 13)
    • maintain magazines for firearms, gunpowder, and shot suitable for Militia service. (footnote 14)

    Footnotes:

    1.) EN-40 — [Number] 18, The General Court of Election began and held at Portsmouth, from the 16th of March to the 19th of the same mo., 1641, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 1, at 115. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 103.

    2.) EN-41 — At the Generall Court of Election held on the 16th & 17th of March, att Newport, 1642, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 1, at 120-121. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 103.

    3.) EN-42 — [General Town Meeting in Portsmouth,] The 10th of Aprill, 1643, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 1, at 80. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 103.

    4.) EN-43 — Proceedings of the Generall Assembly held for the Collony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations at Newport, the 4th of September, 1666, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 2, at 171-172. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 103.

    5.) EN-44 — [Number] 15, The General Court of Commissioners held for the Collony, Warwicke, November the 2d, 1658, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 1, at 403. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 103.

    6.) EN-45 — [A Town Meeting in Portsmouth,] 5th of October 1643], in Rhode Island Records, Volume 1, at 77; [Number] 13, June the 30th, 1655[,] The Court of Commissioners at Portsmouth, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 1, at 320-321; [Number] 15, The General Court of Commissioners held for the Collony, Warwicke, November the 2d, 1658, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 1, at 403; Acts and Orders of the Generall Assembly, sitting at Newport, May the 3, 1665, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 2, at 117; [Number] 2, By the Governor and Councill att Newport, the 13th and 14th of May, 1667, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 2, at 196; Att a meeting of the Generall Councill, at Newport, on Thursday, August 26, 1669, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 2, at 282; Proceedings of the Generall Assembly of the Collony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, held at Newport, the 13th of March, 1675-6, [Session of] Aprill the 4th[, 1676], in Rhode Island Records, Volume 2, at 536. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 103.

    7.) EN-46 — Acts and Orders made at the Generall Courte of Election held at Newport, May the 23d, (1650), for the Colonie of Providence Plantations, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 1, at 221-222; [Number] 2, By the Governor and Councill att Newport, the 13th and 14th of May, 1667, in Rhode island Records, Volume 2, at 196. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 103.

    8.) EN-47 — Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Providence, on Monday, the 7th day of July, 1777, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 8, at 278; AT the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the GOVERNOR and COMPANY of the STATE of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations, begun and holden (in Consequence of Warrants issued by his Excellency the Governor) at Providence, within and for the State aforesaid, on Thursday the Twenty-eighth Day of May, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy- eight, in Rhode Island Acts and Resolves, Volume 9 [11], at {8}; An ACT for the better forming, regulating and conducting the military Force of this State, AT the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the Governor and Company of the State of Rhode-Island, and Providence Plantations, begun and holden at South-Kingstown, within and for the State aforesaid, on the last Monday in October, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-nine, in Rhode Island Acts and Resolves, Volume 10 [12], at {31-32}; An ACT in Addition to, and Amendment of, an Act, passed in October, A.D. 1779, entituled, “An Act for the better forming, regulating and conducting, the military Force of this State”, At the General Assembly of the Governor and Company of the State of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations, begun and holden, by Adjournment, at South-Kingstown, within and for the said State, on the Third Monday in March, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty-one, in Rhode Island Acts and Resolves, Volume 11 [14], at {51-52}. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 103.

    9.) EN-48 — [Number] 29, Acts and Orders Made and agreed upon at the Generall Court of Election, held at Portsmouth, in Rhode Island, the 19, 20, 21 of May, 1647, for the Colonie and Province of Providence, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 1, at 154; [Number] 7, The General Court of Commissioners held for the Collony, at Portsmouth, March the 10th, 1657-8, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 1, at 371-373; An ACT in Addition to the several Acts regulating the Militia in this Colony, At the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the Governor and Company of the English Colony of Rhode-Island, and Providence-Plantations, in New-England in AMERICA; begun and held by Adjournment at Providence, on the first Monday of February, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifty-five, in Rhode Island Acts and Resolves, Volume 2, at {72}; An ACT, regulating the Militia in this Colony, part of An Act, establishing the Revisement of the Laws of this Colony, and for putting the same in Force, in A LAW, Made and passed at the General Assembly of the Colony of Rhode-Island and Providence-Plantations, held at Providence on the First Monday in December, 1766, in Public Laws of Rhode Island, 1767, at 183; Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Providence, on the second Monday in January, 1776, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 7, at 422-423; An Act for purchasing Two Thousand Arms for the Colony, &c., At the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the GOVERNOR and COMPANY of the English Colony of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations, in New-England, in America, begun and holden (in Consequence of Warrants issued by his Honor the Governor), at East-Greenwich, within and for the said Colony, on Monday the Eighteenth Day of March, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-six, in Rhode Island Acts and Resolves, Volume 8 [9], at {304-305}; At the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the GOVERNOR and COMPANY of the STATE of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations, begun and holden, by Adjournment, at Providence, within and for the said State, on Monday the Twenty-third Day of December, One Thousand, Seven Hundred and Seventy-six, in Rhode Island Acts and Resolves, Volume 8 [9], at {16}; At the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the GOVERNOR and COMPANY of the STATE of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations, begun and holden, by Adjournment, at Providence, within and for the said State, on the Third Monday in June, One Thousand, Seven Hundred and Seventy-seven, in Rhode Island Acts and Resolves, Volume 9 [10], at {14}; Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Providence, on Monday, the 7th day of July, 1777, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 8, at 278; An ACT for the better forming, regulating and conducting the military Force of this State, AT the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the Governor and Company of the State of Rhode-Island, and Providence-Plantations, begun and holden at South-Kingstown, within and for the State aforesaid, on the last Monday in October, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-nine, in Rhode Island Acts and Resolves, Volume 10 [12], at {37-38}. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 103.

    10.) EN-49 — An ACT for the better forming, regulating and conducting the military Force of this State, AT the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the Governor and Company of the State of Rhode-Island, and Providence-Plantations, begun and holden at South-Kingstown, within and for the State aforesaid, on the last Monday in October, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-nine, in Rhode Island Acts and Resolves, Volume 10 [12], at {35}. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 103.

    11.) EN-50 — Acts, Orders and Proceedings of the Governor and Councill of His Majestys Collony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, held at Newport, May, 1667, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 2, at 192-193. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 103.

    12.) EN-51 — An Act in addition to an act, entituled “An act for the relief of persons of tender consciences; and for preventing their being burthened with military duty”, Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at South Kingstown, on Thursday, the 17th day of April, 1777, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 8, at 204-205; Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Providence, on Monday, the 27th day of October, 1777, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 8, at 318; Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at East Greenwich, on Monday, the 1st day of December, 1777, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 8, at 334. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 103.

    13.) EN-52 — An Act for the Establishing of Watches throughout this Colony, both in Time of War and Peace, A LAW, Made and pass’d by the General Assembly of His Majesty’s Colony of Rhode-Island, and Providence- Plantations, held at Newport, by Adjournment to the Eighth Day of September, 1719, in Public Laws of Rhode Island, 1744, at 80. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 103.

    14.) EN-53 — [Number] 29, At the General Courte held on the 14th day of the 7th mo. [September], 1640, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 1, at 109; Acts and Orders made at the Generall Courte of Election held at Newport, May the 23d, (1650), for the Colonie of Providence Plantations, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 1, at 223-224. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 103.

  • Militia Officer Selection: Overview

    How were the officers in these Militia Structures chosen? By election. Local people chose them. It wasn’t something that was given from the top, it was something that was decided from the bottom. Why? Because you had to depend upon the people in your company. You wanted officers you knew, were reliable, and intelligent. It wasn’t a matter of political appointment, it was a matter of life and death in some instances.

    In Rhode Island, for example, they would have these determinations at the lowest level and they would eventually send up the officer list to the Governor because he was Commander in Chief and he may have to work with these people. The governor had a “veto process”, so there was some interplay within the system. But fundamentally it was the bottom (the people) suggesting very strongly to the top (government representatives) how this local Militia Structure is going to be organized and run according to law. And those organizations were given a great deal of latitude. If something happened in your locality, remember, they had primitive means of communication, they didn’t have telephones. If you wanted to communicate between Concord and Boston in those days, you would send a messenger on horseback. So if something occurred in your particular locality, there had to be discretion on the part of the local Militia authorities to deal with it. And typically, that’s what the statutes say. When one of these “alarm” situations (i.e., invasion, insurrection) would occur, the Militia commander in that town or county would muster the Militia and take the appropriate action. He would send information to the County Lieutenant, that is the person who is the commander of the larger structure. And the County Lieutenant sends the information to the Governor. There is a whole chain of command that goes on in “a well regulated Militia” (Second Amendment).

  • From the earliest days Rhode Islanders were empowered to select their own Militia officers by and from amongst themselves. Six statutes spanning the course of 66 years—from 1639 to 1705.

    From the earliest days, Rhode Islanders were empowered to select their own Militia officers by and from amongst themselves, subject to the approval of public officials in the various Towns or in the General Assembly. For example—

    • • [1639] “It is ordered and agreed upon, that the Body of the people, viz.: the Traine Band shall have free libertie to select and chuse such persons, one or more from among themselves, as they would have to be officers among them; to exercise and traine them; and then to present them to the Magistrates for their approbation”(footnote 1)

    • • [1642] “[T]he officers for militarie affairs, [namely] Captains, Leiftenants, Ensigns, Sarjeants and Clarks shall be dewlie chosen every yeare at ye Generall Courte of Election; and that also the officers of each Band shall be chosen within themselves or limitts (and not officers) to be chosen one band out of another Towne or Band; and further that their Powre shall be ordered from time to time by the Towne”. (footnote 2)

    • • [1647] “It is ordered, that all ye Inhabitants in each Towne shall choose their Military Officers from among themselves”. (footnote 3)

    • • [1665] “And as for choosing the Captaine and other millitary officers, every one that is eighteene yeares old or more, and hath taken the oath or engagement of alegiance, shall vote if they please therein, though not freemen, intending only the officers soe chosen are only for the military exercise of training”. (footnote 4)

    • • [1677] “This Court * * * findinge that his Majesty * * * hath required that the inhabitants of his Collony are to be led, conducted and trained up in martiall affaires, doe * * * order * * * that the inhabitants of every respective towne within this Collony, shall * * * have their free choyce or election of their millitary commanders and officers; and that yearly * * * . And that [a public official] * * * shall give forth warrant * * * to warne the inhabitants to assemble in armes * * * to make choyce and elect their commanders and millitary officers. And that for the future * * * the Captaine * * * of the respective Traine Bands, shall give forth warrant * * * to warne and require the inhabitants yearely * * * to assemble in armes and elect their respective commanders and millitary officers for the exercisinge of the people in martiall affaires in each * * * towne.” (footnote 5)

    • • [1699, 1701, and 1705] “[T]hose who shall list themselves under the command of the respective Train Bands, * * * are ordered to give in their names to [certain officers] * * * ; so that when they find there is a suitable number, not exceeding fifty persons for each troop, the said persons so listing themselves, may have liberty to make choice of their own commander”. (footnote 6)

    Footnotes:

    1.) EN-56 — By the Body Politicke in the Ile of Aqethnec, Inhabiting this present, 25 of 9: month. 1639, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 1, at 93. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 103.

    2.) EN-57— At the Generall Court of Election held on the 16th & 17th of March, att Newport, 1642, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 1, at 120-121. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 103.

    3.) EN-58 — Acts and Orders Made and agreed upon at the Generall Court of Election, held at Portsmouth, in Rhode Island, the 19, 20, 21 of May, 1647, for the Colonie and Province of Providence, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 1, at 153. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 104.

    4.) EN-59 — Acts and Orders of the Generall Assembly, sitting at Newport, May the 3, 1665, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 2, at 116. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 104.

    5.) EN-60 — Proceedings of the Generall Assembly held for the Collony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations at Newport, the 1st of May, 1677, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 2, at 568. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 104.

    6.) EN-61 — At the Generall Assembly and Election held for the Collony at Newport, the 7th of May, 1701, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 3, at 433-434. This statute is dated “1699” in LAWS AND ACTS OF RHODE ISLAND, AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS Made from the First Settlement in 1636 to 1705, at 92, reprinted in J.D. Cushing, Editor, The Earliest Acts and Laws of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (Wilmington, Delaware: M. Glazier, 1977), at 107. Reprinted from a compilation dated “1705”, it appears in Military Obligation, Rhode Island, at 37. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 104.

  • Militia performed the ‘police’ function to suppress crime—empowered to execute the laws against criminal activities. Four statutes spanning the course of 56 years—from 1676 to 1732.

    From the earliest days, Virginia empowered her Militia to execute the laws against criminal activities:

    • • [1676] “WHEREAS of late there hath bin many unlawfull tumults, routs and riotts in divers parts of this country, for prevention of such insolences, and punishing offenders in that kind, * * * Be it therefore enacted * * * , that every respective officer and magistrate within this countrey, civill and military, from a constable to the highest civill magistrate, and from the lowest to the highest militia officer, be hereby impowered and strictly commanded for the suppressing and punishing all such unlawfull assemblies, routs, riotts and tumults, to use all lawfull wayes, authoritie, power and command, and whosoever shall be at any time disobedient to any the lawfull commands of any such civill or military officer or magistrate either in assisting, suppressing, quieting and punishing of any unlawfull assemblyes, routs or tumults * * * shall be accounted, judged and punished as mutinous and rebellious. (footnote 1)

    • • [1707] “It is * * * ordered that * * * Majr Harrison have Power to take under his Commd so many of the Militia of Surry County as he shall think Convenient for the better apprehending [certain suspected] murderers” among the Tuscaruro Indians. (footnote 2)

    • • [1711] “Ordered that a detachment of the Militia * * * be forthwith sent to the Maherine [Indian] town to make Search for [certain] suspected [stolen] goods, and that upon discovery thereof they sieze all the Men of that Nation and send them under a guard to Williamsburgh in order to be examined and tryed[.]” (footnote 3)

    • • [1732] When “a Number of the meaner sort of People of [Prince William] County consisting of fifty Men were got together in Arms designing * * * to destroy the Publick Warehouses in that & the adjacent Counties expecting to be joyn’d by other Malecontents from the neighbouring Counties”, the Governor and his Council determined that, “for the more effectual Suppressing the sd Insurrection it is necessary that Orders be forthwith Issued to the Comanding Officers of the Militia * * * to call together the several Troops & Companies under their respective Comands * * * & in Case the Mutineers * * * should presume to Continue in Arms that they then march agt & endeavour to suppress them” (footnote 4).

    Footnotes:

    1.) EN-795 — ACT IV, An act for suppressing of tumults, routs, &c., AT A GRAND ASSEMBLIE, HOLDEN AT JAMES CITTIE THE FIFTH DAY OF JUNE[,] 1676, in Laws of Virginia, Volume 2, at 352. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 337.

    2.) EN-796 — October the 25th 1707, in Executive Journals of Virginia, Volume 3, at 159. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 337-338.

     3.) EN-797 — November the 26th 1711, in Executive Journals of Virginia, Volume 3, at 291. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 338.

    4.) EN-798 — At a Council held at the Capitol the 26th day of March 1732, in Executive Journals of Virginia, Volume 4, at 263-264. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 338.

  • Militia were charged with the ‘police’ function and legal responsibility to maintain local security in and around houses of worship. Six statutes spanning the course of 156 years—from 1619 to 1775.

    Throughout the pre-constitutional period, the Militia was charged with the responsibility to maintain local security in and around houses of worship:

    • • [1619] “All persons whatsoever upon the Sabaoth daye shall frequent divine service and sermons both forenoon and afternoon, and all suche as beare arms shall bring their pieces swordes, poulder and shote.” (footnote 1)

    • • [1632] “ALL men that are fittinge to beare armes, shall bringe their peices to the church uppon payne for every effence[.] (footnote 2)

    • • [1643] “[M]asters of every family shall bring with them to church on Sondays one fixed and serviceable gun with sufficient powder and shott[.]” (footnote 3)

    • • [1736] The Governor issued a Proclamation which “strictly Charge[d] and Command[ed], That all Persons serving in the Militia, who shall during the * * * Holy-Days, repair to their Parish Churches or Chappels, do take with them their Arms, Ammunition, and Accoutrements; and the Captains * * * of the Militia, are to take Care the same be done accordingly”. (footnote 4)

    • • [1738, 1755, 1757, 1759, 1762, 1766, and 1771] “[I]t shall and may be lawful, for the chief officer of the militia, in every county, to order all persons listed therein, to go armed to their respective parish churches[.]” (footnote 5)

    • • [1775] “[T]he * * * chief officer[ ] of the militia, shall and may order the other officers and soldiers under him to go armed to their parish churches on Sundays, and to any licensed meeting-houses, whenever he judges it necessary.” (footnote 6)

    Footnotes:

    1.) EN-799 — Quoted in Narratives of Early Virginia, 1606-1625, Lyon G. Tyler, Editor (New York, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1907), at 273. But, “[t]he acts passed at the general assembly in 1619 * * * never received * * * sanction * * * in England”, and therefore “could not have the force of laws”. Laws of Virginia, Volume 1, at 122, note. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 338.

    2.) EN-800 — ACT LI, A GRAND ASSEMBLY HOLDEN AT JAMES CITTY THE 21st OF ffEBRUARY, 1631-2, in Laws of Virginia, Volume 1, at 174. Reënacted, ACT XLV, A GRAND ASSEMBLY HOLDEN AT JAMES CITTY THE 4TH DAY OF SEPTEMBER, 1632, in Laws of Virginia, Volume 1, at 198. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 338.

    3.) EN-801 — ACT XLI, AT A GRAND ASSEMBLIE HOLDEN AT JAMES CITTY THE SECOND DAY OF MARCH, 1642-3, in Laws of Virginia, Volume 1, at 263. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 33.

    4.) EN-802 — A Proclamation for the more effectual putting in Execution the Laws concerning the Militia: And for preventing the unlawful Concourse of Negros, and other slaves (29 October 1736), in Executive Journals of Virginia, Volume 4, at 471. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 338.

    5.) EN-803 — CHAP. II, An Act, for the better Regulation of the Militia, § VIII, AT A GENERAL ASSEMBLY, SUMMONED TO BE HELD AT The Capitol, in the City of Williamsburg, on the first day of August, [1735]. And from thence continued, by several prorogations, to the first day of November, 1738, in Laws of Virginia, Volume 5, at 19.
    CHAP. II, An Act for the better regulating and training the Militia, § VIII, At a General Assembly, begun and held at the College in the City of Williamsburg, on Thursday the twenty seventh day of February, one thousand seven hundred and fifty two. And from thence continued by several prorogations, to Tuesday the fifth day of August, one thousand seven hundred and fifty five, in Laws of Virginia, Volume 6, at 534.
    CHAP. III, An Act for the better regulating and disciplining the Militia, § IX, At a General Assembly, begun and held at the Capitol, in Williamsburg, on Thursday the twenty-fifth day of March, 1756, and from thence continued by several prorogations to Thursday the fourteenth of April, one thousand seven hundred and fifty-seven, in Laws of Virginia, Volume 7, at 96. Continued, CHAP. IV, An Act for continuing an Act, intitutled, An Act for the better regulating and disciplining the Militia, At a General Assembly, begun and held at the Capitol, in Williamsburg, on Thursday the fourteenth day of September, 1758; and from thence continued by several prorogations to Thursday the twenty-second of February, 1759, in Laws of Virginia, Volume 7, at 274; CHAP. III, An Act for amending and further continuing the act for the better regulating and disciplining the Militia, § IX, At a General Assembly, begun and held at the Capitol, in the City of Williamsburg, on Tuesday the 26th of May, 1761, and from thence continued by several prorogations to Tuesday the 2d of November[,] 1762, in Laws of Virginia, Volume 7, at 538; CHAP. XXXI, An act to continue and amend the act for the better regulating and disciplining the militia, § X, At a General Assembly, begun and held at the Capitol in Williamsburg, on Thursday the sixth day of November, 1766, in Laws of Virginia, Volume 8, at 245; CHAP. II, An act for further continuing the act, intituled An act for the better regulating and disciplining the militia, At a General Assembly, begun and held at the Capitol, in the City of Williamsburg, the seventh day of November, one thousand seven hundred and sixty-nine, and from thence continued by several prorogations, and convened by proclamation the eleventh day of July, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-one, in Laws of Virginia, Volume 8, at 503. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 338.

    6.) EN-804 — CHAP. I, An ordinance for raising and embodying a sufficient force, for the defence and protection of this colony, AT a Convention of Delegates for the Counties and Corporations in the Colony of Virginia, held at Richmond town, in the county of Henrico, on Monday the seventeenth day of July, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, in Laws of Virginia, Volume 9, at 29-30. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 339.

Constitutional “homeland security” is “[a] well regulated Militia” based upon “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms”, which is “necessary to the security of a free State” as the Second Amendment admonishes. Militia are State government institutions, organized under statute with full constitutional legal authority, thoroughly civilian in character—not private associations.

Militia are permanent governmental institutions, not something that spring into existence because people have concerns regarding circumstances that negatively affect them. Militia existed in 1788 and had been in existence at all times, in war and peace, for over 150 years throughout America, settled and regulated pursuant to Colonial and then State statutes.

Militia units were small. A typical unit was a “Militia Company”, which might have been 30-50 men. And they built so many “companies” into a “battalion”, 2-3 “battalions” into a “regiment” to become a larger structure when circumstances required in order for “the Militia of the several States” to perform their constitutionally mandated duties.