Second Amendment

The Death of the Constitutional Militia and the Rise of the Military-Police State


From Instapundit Glenn Reynolds' USA Today column, which looks at the role the militia played during the American founding:

In 1912, when the federal government tried to send militia units into Mexico, the militias balked, noting that the Constitution allowed them to be called out only to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, or enforce the law — not to invade other countries. Surprisingly, perhaps, Attorney General George Wickersham agreed, leading to a change in the law that produced the modern-day National Guard, a force that is not so limited. Since then, America has been far more active abroad.

But this departure from the system the Framers set up has encouraged more intrusive law enforcement at home, and more military action abroad. So I'll ask you: If a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state, then are we insecure? Or unfree? Or both?

Read the whole thing.

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  1. So I’ll ask you: If a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state, then are we insecure? Or unfree? Or both?


  2. I might have figured out posting from my phone.

    1. Noooooo!

      You don’t want to anger the squirrels by using a phone.

    2. Yeah, I’m posting from my phone now. Sometimes are better than others depending on how the site is behaving.

      1. Be prepared for weird lockups of your browser and frequent popups for apps andyor redirections to the Google Play store for some bullshit game or another.

    3. Ooh, goody; another poster with comments full of extraneous periods and misspellings! 😉

      1. Oh, is that what that’s from?

      2. La lq. La I can’t.hear you.

  3. NPR had something today about a Baptist Church running a gun raffle. They made it sound as if that were something to be shocked and appalled at. I found it offensive.

    1. There’s one in South Troy NY, doing so as a general protest of the SAFE Act.

      1. NY Daily News had this on the front cover with the headline “LET US SLAY”

        Saw it at the store, had no idea why I was supposed to shit my pants in terror at the idea of a gun being raffled.

  4. The militia, on the other hand, couldn’t betray the people because it *was* the people.


  5. You might as well have written this article in some alien language considering what the reaction of the average pundit will be to this. I’d kind if like to see the variety of distortions their faces make as they read this.

    1. Are those facial distortions or are they sounding out the words?

  6. If the constitution says that the militia is what’s there “only to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, or enforce the law” and the National Guard does something else, then the National Guard is NOT the state militia.

    1. They aren’t anymore when they get “federalized”. Happened to me…several times.

  7. Reynolds’ linked book, or least the page he linked to in Google books, doesn’t seem to support his assertion that it was the militias that balked. Instead, the legal question originated inside the Army staff (imagine something like that happening today in any federal agency) as was seen by state Guard leadership as an attempt to bypass the Guard in favor of a strictly federal force. After all, state militias were called to active service about 10 years prior in both the Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection.

    Another chuckle for those here who may remember the roundout brigade strategy:

    many regulars disliked mixing Guard and Army regiments in the same brigade or divisions

  8. This gets to the fundamental that liberty = responsibility.
    The sophisticates that mock gun owners would be helpless in the face of a Katrina, or the LA riots. While the “grown ups” wait for the government to save them, the real first responders are organized and armed to defend their neighborhoods or businesses.

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