Befitting a project that is not optional, the ultimate step for revitalizing “the Militia of the several States” within and under the aegis of each of “the several States” must be legislation: the enactment of comprehensive sets of State statutes, (footnote 1) possibly with a capstone of Congressional legislation to provide any necessary uniformity in “organizing, arming, * * * disciplining, * * * and * * * governing” the Militia that individual States may have overlooked or set at cross purposes. (footnote 2) Before this step is reached, however, two others must be taken:
CHSA: The key to revitalizing “the Militia of the several States”
PRIVATE ASSOCIATIONS ORGANIZING AND EDUCATING LOCAL CITIZENS HOW TO TRANSITION INTO A CONSTITUTIONAL STATE MILITIA STRUCTURE
Citizens’ Homeland Security Associations (CHSA)- The key to revitalizing “the Militia of the several States”
- A solid intellectual foundation for the project of revitalizing the constitutional Militia must be laid.
A solid intellectual foundation for the project must be laid. It would be pointless to propose statutes that cannot be fully explained and justified, because legislators and voters are ignorant of the historical and legal precedents, principles, and practices of “the Militia of the several States”, and therefore are incapable of understanding the necessity and proper method for revitalizing them. Predictably, too, those opposed to revitalization of the Militia will attempt to discredit, if not ridicule and even demonize, every legislative proposal aimed at the end and every advocate of such proposals. Therefore, overwhelming historical, legal, and practical proof of all the contentions advanced in support of revitalizing the Militia, and decisive refutation of every argument thrown against the plan, must be provided—well before the legislators are asked to introduce and fight for the enabling statutes. Self-evidently, this will be an on-going, long-term project.
A program of public education on this subject will require preparation of comprehensive scholarly studies that compile, review, analyze, and draw practical legal and political conclusions from the extensive statutory and other legal-historical materials concerned with establishment and operation of the Militia in each of the original thirteen Colonies and independent States from the early 1600s to the late 1700s.
These studies should explain:
• the interrelated right and duty of individuals to keep, bear, train with, and deploy under arms, upon which the Colonial and State Militia were based, which they embodied, upon which they depended, and which they collectively exercised;
• how these principles and practices became permanent parts of the fundamental law of the United States and of “the several States” through the original Militia Clauses and of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States;
• the perpetual rôle of “the Militia of the several States” in “homeland security” that the Constitution mandates;
• the inextricable and mutually supportive relationship between “the Militia of the several States” in the body of the Constitution and “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” guaranteed in the Second Amendment; and
• the tasks revitalized “Militia of the several States” can and should undertake today in a comprehensive program of “homeland security” centered in States and Localities.
These studies should supply the resources necessary for the preparation of:
• materials that explain the parts veterans’ organizations, professional and trade associations, community groups, religious congregations, fraternal lodges, the patriotic media, and so on should play in promoting “homeland security” through the revitalization of the Militia in their States; and
• materials for public education on the Militia in home schools, all public as well as private elementary and secondary schools, and colleges—including the history, purpose, and constitutional place of the Militia, the contemporary rôle of the Militia in “homeland security”, and familiarization with firearms and their safe and effective use.
- Americans cannot depend upon their State legislators and executive officers to undertake this task themselves.
Even as the intellectual foundation is being poured into completion, broadly based citizens’ groups and organizations—indeed nothing less than a full fledged grass-roots Militia movement—must be established to erect the final legislative structure. Americans cannot depend on their State legislators and executive officers to undertake this task themselves on their own initiatives, even with access to all the necessary historical, legal, and other information. For, with much of that information already at hand in one form or another, for generations public officials have neglected to revitalize or even to study the Militia—and although now confronted by the pressing needs of “homeland security” still continue to neglect, fail, or refuse to set about it. Without direction and massive public pressure and support from outside and wholly independent of officeholders in State governments, politicians, the major political parties, and squabbling special-interest groups, nothing will be done.
Under these circumstances, patriotic Americans themselves must take charge by constructing working models of revitalized Militia tailored to each particular locality and State. This should be done through Citizens’ Homeland Security Associations (CHSAs) that will study, design, experiment with, and establish the best methods for organizing and operating Local Militia “companies” or other units, and on the basis of this knowledge and experience will then propose, help to draft, and promote State legislation to revitalize the Militia along these lines.
- Each CHSA should perform 7 basic activities within their local community.
CHSAs must begin their operations while the intellectual foundation for revitalization of the Militia is still being completed, because their operations will contribute significantly to that foundation. Although History can describe how the Militia were organized and operated in the past, only close study of and careful experimentation under present-day conditions can prescribe how the Militia should be organized and operate in the context of today’s needs and resources.
Each CHSA should perform seven basic activities:
1.) organization—to form and maintain itself;
2.) investigation—to study, devise, experiment with, and test concepts, methods and techniques required for a State and Local program of “homeland security” based on the Militia;
3.) explanation—to prepare reports on such formation, operation, and testing for general education of the public and submission to the State’s legislature in support of bills to revitalize the Militia there;
4.) preparation—to draft model bills and supply expert advisors for State legislators and their staffs;
5.) promotion—to encourage and assist State legislators to enact, and the Governor to sign the bills necessary for revitalizing the Militia in its State; and
6.) participation—to plan for and prepare to assist in integrating its members and other citizens into Militia “companies” or other units within the program of “homeland security” the State’s legislature adopts; or, in the absence of such program,
7.) mobilization—to educate and exhort its members and other citizens in how to act independently, both individually and collectively, as volunteers in aid of “homeland security”in their communities in the event—but only in the event—of some Local, State, or National catastrophe beyond the capabilities of the regularly constituted authorities.
- Each CHSA should serve 5 functions within their local community.
- Each CHSA should function as:
1.) an educational institution for its own members and the communities in which hey live, mobilizing and organizing them into a cohesive socio-political movement directed towards restoring “the Militia of the several States”.
2.) a political center for promotion of the revitalized Militia among State legislators, community groups, and the general public;
3.) a laboratory for devising and experimenting with structures and operations appropriate for the revitalized Militia—at minimum by investigating, planning, and testing ways and means of organizing, equipping, training, and governing individuals in Local Militia “company” or other unit, and then evaluating workability of these structures and operations in the context of anticipated Local and State “homeland security” needs;
4.) a focal point for recruiting its own members
5.) a facility for instructing individuals as to what “homeland security” function will be required in their Local communities should dire emergencies arise, and how to perform these functions independently should no other alternative prove available.
- A CHSA should never consider, designate, describe or represent itself, let alone purport to act, as any kind of private ‘militia’, ‘military force’, ‘military organization’ or ‘para-military establishment’.
A CHSA should never consider, designate, describe or represent itself, let alone purport to act, as any kind of private “militia”, “military force”, military organization” or “para-military establishment”, for at least three reasons:
1.) First, at no point in its existence can a CHSA constitute a “Militia” or any component thereof in the constitutional sense of that term.
2.) Second, a CHSA should engage only in the study of subjects related to, and to the advocacy of, revitalization of “the Militia of the several States”. A CHSA should never conduct actual field operations of a “military” nature, such as:
• requiring its members to acquire and wear “military” uniforms, equipment, or like apparel;
• directing its members to parade, drill, or maneuver with firearms and related accoutrements;
• otherwise providing its members or other citizens with actual “military” training; or
• maintaining an armory or other store of firearms and ammunition.
3.) Third, no member of a CHSA (let alone the organization itself) needs to assert “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” (footnote 1) as a justification for his participation in the organization’s activities. After all, an individual can study and promote revitalization of “the Militia of the several States” in the abstract, without himself possessing, or otherwise having any personal familiarity with firearms. Or, a member’s personal possession of firearms can be precisely hat, personal, and unconnected with the CHSA’s activities. After all, a CHSA might simply advocate that its members acquire, always possess in their homes, and regularly train with firearms on their own, yet never establish a member’s compliance with that recommendation as a condition of membership, in which case some members might never come to possess or even handle firearms.
In addition, because many of the problems of “homeland security”, and their solutions, may have no relation to the use of firearms, CHSAs should never refrain from recruiting members for whom personal possession of firearms is not a significant concern, is not desired, and may even be precluded by reason of their personal religious or other conscientious scruples. The Militia being embodiments of WE THE POPLE, they must not exclude anyone who can contribute effectively to “homeland security”, even if only in a limited fashion. The “wellregulated Militia” that are “necessary to the security of a free State” (footnote 2) will always need, and find places and employment for, those individuals of conscience for whom “a free State” encourages to stand on their principles.
1.) U.S. Const. amend. II.
2.) U.S. Const. amend. II (emphasis supplied).
- The ultimate purpose of each CHSA’s program is to cause its State legislature to enact one or more bills revitalizing ‘the Militia of the several States’.
A CHSA must always present itself, and act, as nothing more than a group of Local citizens exercising their “freedom to engage in association for the advancement of beliefs and ideas”, (footnote 1) and through it their freedoms “of speech, * * * of the press, * * * [and] peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances”. (footnote 2) Everyone in the United States has an absolute right to advocate revitalization of “the Militia of the several States”, because the Militia are perpetual components of the Constitution’s federal structure, with permanent characteristics, which Congress and the States—or in absence of their action, WE THE PEOPLE themselves—must organize, arm, discipline, train, and govern. When someone speaks about that matter to other individuals and to the public, that is “freedom of speech” and “freedom of association”. When he communicates in or through the media, that is “freedom of the press”. And when he addresses legislators and other public officials, individually or collectively, that is “freedom of petition” and “freedom of assembly”. Indeed, one could easily merge all of these activities into “freedom of petition” alone, because the ultimate purpose of each CHSA’s program is to cause its State legislature to enact one or more bills revitalizing “the Militia of the several States”. (footnote 3)
A CHSA’s advocacy of its own members’, or the general public’s, independent and personal acquisition of firearms and ammunition falls squarely within the freedoms of speech and association (and the press, as well, if the organization employs any form of public communication), and need not necessarily rely in any way on “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” as members of any private organization. On the one hand, if private ownership of firearms is legal in the jurisdiction in which the CHSA operates, when particular members or other citizens happen to follow its advice their actions come within their own “right * * * to keep and bear Arms”, as to the exercise of which their membership in the CHSA, and its recommendations, are supererogatory. On the other hand, even if private individuals’ possession of firearms is ostensibly “illegal” in that jurisdiction, the CHSA and its members nevertheless enjoy the freedom to advocate that the “laws” restricting such possession be changed, as well as to advocate the necessity for such possession through the Militia notwithstanding those “laws”. Indeed, inasmuch as the latter advocacy would be constitutionally protected even were “laws” banning private possession of firearms under all conceivable perfectly valid, (footnote 4) it must be absolutely privileged when its premise and purpose is to revitalize the Militia, because the constitutional definition of “Militia” includes the duty of all able-bodied adult Americans too “keep and bear Arms”, a duty the fulfillment of which no National, State, or local “law” can prohibit. Rather, being unconstitutional, such a prohibition is not a “law” at all: “it * * * imposes no duties * * * [and] is, in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed” (footnote 5)
1.) See, e.g., NAACP v. Alabama ex rel. Patterson, 357 U.S. 449, 460-461 (1958). Accord, United Transportation Union v. State Bar of Michigan, 401 U.S. 576, 578-579 (1971); NAACP v. Button, 371 U.S. 415, 429-430 (1963); Bates v. City of Little Rock, 361 U.S. 516, 522-523 (1960), De Jonge v. Oregon, 299 U.S. 353, 364-365 (1937).
2.) U.S. Const. amend. I.
3.) See, e.g., Eastern Railroad Presidents Conference v. Noerr Motor Freight, 365 U.S. 127 (1961).
4.) See, e.g., Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444, 447-449 (1969) Contrast Noto v. United States, 367 U.S. 290 (1961), with Scales v. United States, 367 U.S. 203 (1961).
5.) Norton v. Shelby County, 118 U.S. 425, 442 (1886).
- In the final analysis CHSAs are seeking to advance and effectuate precisely the right and duty ‘to keep and bar Arms’ through legislation that revitalizes “the Militia of the several States”.
This is not to say that members of CHSA, and the organization itself, can or should not assert “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms”—and duty, too—as a purpose and justification for their activities. Quite the opposite: In the final analysis they are seeking to advance and effectuate precisely that the right and duty through legislation that revitalizes “the Militia of the several States”.
Nonetheless, even if a state statute does revitalize “the Militia of the several States”, and some or all of the members of many CHSAs in that State may voluntarily join one or another regular constitutional Militia “company” and therein and exercise the right and duty to keep and bear arms in the full manner the Constitution foresees that all adult Americans should, they will do so only as individuals, not as members of and CHSA. Indeed, inasmuch as CHSAs will dissolve upon revitalization of the Militia, membership in them will no longer be possible. Moreover, every Militia “company” in the State may be organized on principles, engage in practices, and be composed of personnel quite different from what any particular CHSA may have recommended to the State legislature. Also, once incorporated within a regular Militia “company, former members of a CHSA will become components of the governmental structure both of their own State and of the United States—a status they never had, nor could have had within their CHSA.
- CHSAs may prove useful in a catastrophic event before the revitalization of the Militia.
If a disaster beyond the capabilities of regularly constituted authorities strikes the Locality, State, or Nation before revitalization of the Militia can be accomplished, members of the CHSAs may, as individuals, voluntarily join with other citizens to organize provisional community self-protection units on their own recognizance, under the aegis of “the primary law of nature”, the right of self-defense, which can [not] be in fact taken away by the law of society”. (footnote 1) Under such circumstances, WE THE PEOPLE will probably have no other choice:
First, grim experience has taught Americans that responses to major crises from National, State, and Local authorities are all too often inadequate, even incompetent.
Second, that these authorities have failed to see, or refused to accept, something as elementary to “homeland security” as the necessity to revitalize “the Militia of the several States” should teach everyone that they may repeat their sorry past performances in the future.
As exercises of WE THE PEOPLE’S inherent authority to form their own Militia whenever Congress and the States refuse, fail, neglect or unable to do so in the face of catastrophic events, such ad hoc units would not necessarily be continuations, outgrowths, or derivations of, or in any other way to, CHSAs, though. To the contrary, they would be formed even if CHSAs never existed, and under the exigencies of the circumstances might be organized on and operated according to principles entirely different from any other devised by any CHSA. That, in practice, they might happen to crystallize around the seeds of CHSAs or their members provided in particular Locales would be entirely adventitious.
1.) See William Blackstone Commentaries on the Laws of England (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Robert Bell, American Edition, 4 Volumes & Appendix, 1771-1773), Volume 3, at 4.
1.) See generally Constitutional “Homeland Security”, Volume I, The Nation in Arms, Bookmasters Inc., Ashland, Ohio (2007), by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., Chapter Twelve.
2.) See U.S. Const. art I § 8, cl. 16 and art. VI, cl. 2.
3.) Id., at 1, page 85.