Last Updated on January 25, 2022 by Constitutional Militia
“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. 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’”. 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. 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”. 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, 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.
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”.