“the Militia of the several States”

GOVERNMENTAL INSTITUTIONS THAT EXERCISE GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORITY—THOROUGHLY CIVILIAN

“The Militia of the several States”: Governmental Institutions, Thoroughly Civilian

“The Militia of the several States” are constitutional establishments, no less parts of the federal system than Congress, “the Office of the President“, the Supreme Court or the several States. (footnote 2) Indeed, inasmuch as the Militia are composed of near to the totality of WE THE PEOPLE themselves—the only parts of the federal system that can boast that distinction—their longevity exceeds that of Congress, “the Office of the President”, the Supreme Court , and the States, because those entities are the People’s mere creatures, whereas the Militia are the physical embodiments of THE PEOPLE’S “‘[p]olitical power that grows out of the barrel of a gun’”. (footnote 3) In 1788 WE THE PEOPLE “ordain[ed] and establish[ed] th[e] Constitution”, and through it Congress, “the Office of the President” and the Supreme Court. (footnote 4) In 1776 “the good People of the[ ] Colonies” caused their “REPRESENTATIVES” to “publish and declare, That the [ ] United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES”. (footnote 5) But long before either of those events, THE PEOPLE themselves served in the Militia throughout America.

Moreover, the political status of the Militia, not just their longevity, is superior to that of Congress, “the Office of the President”, the Supreme Court, and the States. All of the latter are THE PEOPLE’S mere “representatives”, whereas the Militia are THE PEOPLE, unmediated by possibly faulty “representation”. Because in America THE PEOPLE alone are sovereigns, (footnote 6) they themselves must always control the “‘[p]olitical power [that] grows out of the barrel of a gun’”, not delegate (let alone surrender) that control to “representatives”. To be sure of such personal control, they must always control the guns in their own hands. The only institutions which enable them to do that are the Militia. (footnote 7)

The Second Amendment, after all, does not describe “[a] well regulated Militia” as “being necessary to the security of a free State” without abundant support in the historical record. To the contrary: It was largely through the efforts of the Militia—in the face of the gravest adversities, and against the determined resistance of powerful enemies who compassed their destruction, if they refused to bend to subjection—that WE THE PEOPLE secured their independence and established just governments throughout America in the late 1700s. That Americans thus won their own freedom through their own efforts was the original cause and the most important effect of what has come to be called “American exceptionalism”. (footnote 8)

The meanings of the original Constitution and the Bill of Rights known at the times of their ratifications.

The specific problem of how to interpret the language of the Constitution first arose—and was definitively solved for all time thereafter—in the late 1700s. The original Constitution was ratified in State Conventions from 7 December 1787 through 21 June 1788; and the Bill of Rights was ratified by the States’ legislatures from 20 November 1789 through 15 December 1791. (footnote 1) At that point in time, in order to be “ratified” in any rational sense of that verb, the original Constitution and the Bill of Rights individually and together had to have meanings, in every word and phrase, fully accessible to the individuals who ratified them—that is, WE THE PEOPLE who the Preamble itself asserts “ordain[ed] and establish[ed] this Constitution”, and their representatives in the States’ legislatures. THE PEOPLE and their representatives had to understand exactly what they were “ordain[ing] and establish[ing]” and “ratifying”. Before they took those fateful steps, they had to be assured of far more than that the original Constitution and its Amendments would be explained to them, piece by piece in some random fashion, only at unpredictable later dates in an uncertain future, and then only according to the unilateral interpretations of public officials whose identities they did not yet know, or might never know, and of whose competence and good faith they could have no guarantee. So THE PEOPLE must have believed that no facts material to any question of constitutional interpretation were unascertainable in principle, let alone affirmatively withheld or knowingly and willfully misrepresented by their agents in the Federal Convention that drafted the original Constitution, the State Conventions that ratified it, the Congress that drafted the Bill of Rights, and the State legislatures that ratified the first ten Amendments. (footnote 2)

Footnotes:

1.) See House Document No. 94-539, ante note 3, at 10, 12; Documents Illustrative of the Formation of the Union of the American States, ante note 1, at 1007-1061, 1063-1067. Hereinafter, unless otherwise qualified, reference to “the Constitution” simpliciter should be taken to include the original Constitution and all of its subsequent Amendments in existence at the relevant time.

2.) The Sword and Sovereignty: The Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 27-28.

‘the Militia of the several States’ are a tangible ‘check’ against rogue government officials who break the law under color of law—what the Framers called ‘usurpation’ and ‘tyranny’.

The specific problem of how to interpret the language of the Constitution first arose—and was definitively solved for all time thereafter—in the late 1700s. The original Constitution was ratified in State Conventions from 7 December 1787 through 21 June 1788; and the Bill of Rights was ratified by the States’ legislatures from 20 November 1789 through 15 December 1791. (footnote 1) At that point in time, in order to be “ratified” in any rational sense of that verb, the original Constitution and the Bill of Rights individually and together had to have meanings, in every word and phrase, fully accessible to the individuals who ratified them—that is, WE THE PEOPLE who the Preamble itself asserts “ordain[ed] and establish[ed] this Constitution”, and their representatives in the States’ legislatures. THE PEOPLE and their representatives had to understand exactly what they were “ordain[ing] and establish[ing]” and “ratifying”. Before they took those fateful steps, they had to be assured of far more than that the original Constitution and its Amendments would be explained to them, piece by piece in some random fashion, only at unpredictable later dates in an uncertain future, and then only according to the unilateral interpretations of public officials whose identities they did not yet know, or might never know, and of whose competence and good faith they could have no guarantee. So THE PEOPLE must have believed that no facts material to any question of constitutional interpretation were unascertainable in principle, let alone affirmatively withheld or knowingly and willfully misrepresented by their agents in the Federal Convention that drafted the original Constitution, the State Conventions that ratified it, the Congress that drafted the Bill of Rights, and the State legislatures that ratified the first ten Amendments. (footnote 2)

Footnotes:

1.) See House Document No. 94-539, ante note 3, at 10, 12; Documents Illustrative of the Formation of the Union of the American States, ante note 1, at 1007-1061, 1063-1067. Hereinafter, unless otherwise qualified, reference to “the Constitution” simpliciter should be taken to include the original Constitution and all of its subsequent Amendments in existence at the relevant time.

2.) The Sword and Sovereignty: The Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 27-28.

The Second Amendment secures a more expansive right than merely individual self-defense under any and all circumstances.

The Second Amendment implicitly secures an even more expansive “right of the people to keep and bear Arms” for individual self-defense under any and all circumstances. Sir William Blackstone, renowned author of the Commentaries on the Laws of England, was the Founding Fathers’ legal mentor. “At the time of the adoption of the Federal Constitution [the Commentaries] had been published about twenty years, and it has been said that more copies of the work  had been sold in this country than in England, so that undoubtedly the framers of the Constitution were familiar with it.” (footnote 1) For as Blackstone made clear, “[s]elf defence * * * as it is justly called the primary law of nature, so it is not, neither can it be in fact be taken away by the law of society.” (footnote 2) Plainly, however, that is not the Amendment’s express purpose. For in strict legal analysis, personal self-defense is a “privilege”, which one may choose to assert or exercise, or not. as he alone deems appropriate. An aggressor has no right to claim that his victim should not defend himself; but the victim labors under no personal duty to do so. (footnote 3) In any community organized in Anglo-American political principles, however, everyone shares the legal duty, which government may enforce against him, to participate in defense of that society against aggressors and lawbreakers. This is not a matter of persona choice. No one can assert a legal privilege or immunity of absolute pacifism or conscientious objection (although the society may grant such privilege or immunity as a matter of legislative grace). (footnote 4)

Footnotes:

1.) Schick v. United States, 195 U.S. 65, 69 (1904). See, e.g., The Federalist No. 84 notes [1and 2].

2.) Commentaries on the Laws of England,(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Robert Bell, American Edition, 4 Volumes & Appendix, 1771-1773), Volume 3, at 3-4 (footnote omitted) (bold-face emphasis supplied).

3.) See generally, Wesley N. Hohfeld, Fundamental Legal Conceptions As Applied In Judicial Reasoning (New Haven Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1964).

4.) Constitutional “Homeland Security”, Volume I, The Nation in Arms, Bookmasters Inc., Ashland, Ohio (2007), by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 42-43.

The duty of communal self-defense places a corresponding duty on all public officials not to infringe upon ‘the right of the people to keep and bear Arms’.

Under the Constitution, the duty of communal self-defense requires all able-bodied individuals to serve in “A well regulated Militia”. To ensure the fulfillment of this duty—particularly against aggression and lawbreaking by domestic usurpers and tyrants—the Constitution recognizes an absolute “right of the people to keep and bear Arms”, and a corresponding duty of all public officials not to “infringe[ ]” upon that right. The Founders wrote the Second Amendment as they did so as to emphasize that each individual citizens’s duty to keep and bear Arms precedes, explains, justifies, and directs the primary exercise of the right, and in and of itself constitutes an absolute limitation on the power of public officials. (footnote 1)

Footnotes:

1.) Constitutional “Homeland Security”, Volume I, The Nation in Arms, Bookmasters Inc., Ashland, Ohio (2007), by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 43 (bold emphasis supplied).

Justice Joseph Story recognized the Militia Institution as the ultimate guarantor of ‘a free State’ (Second Amendment) in his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States

As Justice Joseph Story observed, in a passage that cannot be repeated to often:

“The militia is the natural defence of a free country against *** domestic usurpation of power by rulers. It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time of peace, both from the enormous expenses with which they are attended and the facile means which they afford to ambitious and unprincipled rulers to subvert the government or trample upon the rights of the people. 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.” (footnote 1)

Footnotes:

1.) Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States (Boston, Massachusetts: Little, Brown, and Company, Fifth Edition, 1905), Volume 2, § 1897, at 646 (footnote omitted) (emphasis supplied).

True constitutional Militia are government establishments, preëxisting by dint of the Constitution under Congressional or, in default thereof, State statute, according to the principles and practices of the pre-constitutional Colonial and State Militia Acts. * * * The Militia enjoy governmental status and exercise governmental authority. (footnote 9)

Footnotes

1.) U.S. Const. preamble.

2.) Compare U.S. Const. art I, § 8 cls 15 and 16; art. II § 2 cl. 1; and amend II with art. I, § 1; art II, § 1, cls. 1 and 4; and art. III, § 1.

3.) Compare Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung (Peking China: Foreign Languages Pres., First Edition, 1968), at 61 with U.S. Const. amend. II.

4.) Id. at 1.

5.) Declaration of Independence.

6.) See Afroyim v. Rusk, 387 U.S. 253, 257 1967); and Chisolm v. Georgia, 2 U.S. (2 Dallas) 419, 454 and 456-457 (opinion if Wilson, J.), 470-472 (opinion of Jay, C.J.) (1793).

7.) By Tyranny Out of Necessity: The Bastardy of Martial Law, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., Bookmasters Inc., Ashland, Ohio (2014), page 454-455.

8.) The Sword and Sovereignty: The Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page x (Author’s Preface).

9.) Constitutional “Homeland Security”, Volume I, The Nation in Arms, Bookmasters Inc., Ashland, Ohio (2007), by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 161.