Why have “the Militia of the several States” Faded from Popular Concern?

“[No one can] refute the definition of ‘a well regulated militia”’ as ‘the body of the people, trained to arms‘. (footnote 1) Rather, ‘the right of the people to keep and bear Arms’ in ‘well regulated Militia’ has ‘largely faded as a popular concern’”. 

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 1874.

Also see “Militia”: What are They? • “Militia” Defined • Oxymoronic “Unorganized” Militia • Militia: Permanent Constitutional Institutions • Militia: Near Universal Membership • National Guard: Not a Militia • Justice Joseph Story


Why Have “the Militia of the several States” Faded from Popular Concern?

No one can refute the definition of “a well regulated militia” as “the body of the people, trained to arms”. (footnote 1) Yet, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” in “well regulated Militia” (Second Amendment) has largely faded as a popular concern. Why?

  • because all too many Americans simply grew tired of bearing the personal burden of self-government which service in the Militia imposes;
  • because their political leaders did not remind them that “[a] well regulated Militia” is “necessary to the security of a free State”, not only on paper, but in the field as well;
  • because their leaders invented “the militia of the United States”, “the organized militia”, and “the unorganized militia” for the purpose of subordinating “the Militia of the several States” to a “standing army”;
  • because their leaders promoted pervasive “gun controls” in order to constrain as much as possible “the right of the people to keep and bear [the very] Arms [most useful for well regulated Militia]”, and eventually to disarm “the people” entirely; and
  • because in recent years both the supposed friends of the Second Amendment and its worst enemies have agreed that, if it guarantees any “right” at all, the Amendment secures only a very narrow “[individual] right * * * to keep and bear Arms”, unconnected to “[a] well regulated Militia”.

  • The State community self-defense structure against rogue government officials with an appetite for abusive powers has not been maintained in any State in the Union.

    Rogue public officials at every level of the federal system are aggressively advancing an agenda antagonistic to any rational conception of “a free State” (Second Amendment), but perfectly consistent with—because it is consciously aimed at—a totalitarian police state. At the Local and State levels, police forces, Sheriffs’ departments, and other law-enforcement and emergency-response agencies are becoming increasingly para-militarized while becoming decreasingly concerned with the rights of the citizens they are supposed (in their self-congratulatory idiom) “to protect and serve”. Brutality by the police and their unabashed contempt for legal limits on their actions are now the rule, not the exception—proving that next to no “good cops” exist anymore, or else they would have weeded out the “bad cops” long ago. At the level of the General Government, the Executive Branch even claims the Hitlerian prerogative simply to kill any American whom it labels an “enemy combatant” or “terrorist”. (footnote 1) And everywhere throughout America, WE THE PEOPLE find themselves bereft of any sure means to control the rogue public officials, political parties, and factions and other special-interest groups who and which brazenly corrupt governments, rig elections, foment foreign military adventures, infest the country with the degeneracy of cultural bolshevism, and loot the economy. Rather, these miscreants have succeeded in demolishing social solidarity by fragmenting Americans into mutually hostile groups that can be easily manipulated through the tactic of “divide and rule”. Would any of this be possible, though, if the Militia of the several States” were properly revitalized? (footnote 2)

    Footnotes:

    1.) See 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 1605-1624.

    2.) Id., page 1875.

  • Average Americans are unprepared for emergencies and natural disasters.

    Throughout the length and breadth of this country, average Americans are completely unprepared for such emergencies as natural disasters (hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods), industrial accidents (especially those chemical, biological, and nuclear in nature), a major failure in the national electrical grid, epidemics and pandemics, serious shortages in the production and distribution of food that could lead to famines, and economic crises and even collapse caused by breakdowns in the monetary and banking systems. Instead, they have been made utterly dependent upon small, élitist bureaucracies which more than once have proven themselves incapable of dealing with such problems. Would any of this be true if “the Militia of the several States” were properly revitalized? (footnote 1)

    Footnotes:

    1.) 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 1875.

  • Next to no Americans know anything about ‘the Militia of the several States’ today. The reason for this Justice Joseph Story pinpointed long ago.

    “[T]he Militia of the several States” are the constitutional institutions which, properly organized, would secure WE THE PEOPLE’S “right to keep and bear Arms” and maximize its political significance and practical efficacy. Yet next to no Americans know anything about them today. The reason for this Justice Story pinpointed long ago in the 1830s:

    “The importance of a well-regulated militia would seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised that, among the American people, there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition, from a sense of its burdens, to be rid of all regulations. How it is practicable to keep the people duly armed without some organization it is difficult to see. There is certainly no small danger that indifference may lead to disgust, and disgust to contempt; and thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by th[e Second Amendment] of our national bill of rights.” (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.

The Second Amendment was not adding anything new to the Constitution, it is one of the ten “further declaratory and restrictive clauses” that, compiled in the Bill of Rights, were “added” to the original Constitution “in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers”. (footnote 2)

Footnotes:

1.) Virginia Declaration of Rights (1776) art. 13.

2.) RESOLUTION OF THE FIRST CONGRESS SUBMITTING TWELVE AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION (4 March 1789), in Documents Illustrative of the Formation of the Union of the American States, House Document No. 398, 69th Congress, 1st Session (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1927), at 1063.