"I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except
for a few public officials." — George Mason, in Debates in Virginia
Convention on Ratification of the Constitution, Elliot, Vol. 3,
June 16, 1788
"The militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people
themselves, ... all men capable of bearing arms;..." — "Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republic", 1788 (either Richard Henry Lee or Melancton Smith).
"Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then,
that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom? Congress shall have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American ... The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the People." — Tench Coxe, 1788.
"How we burned in the prison camps later thinking: What would
things have been like if every police operative, when he went out at night to
make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive? If during
periods of mass arrests people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling
with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the
staircase, but had understood they had nothing to lose and had boldly set up in
the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers,
pokers, or whatever was at hand? The organs would very quickly have suffered a
shortage of officers and, notwithstanding all of Stalin's thirst, the cursed
machine would have ground to a halt." — Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Nobel
Prize winner and author of The Gulag Archipelago, who spent 11 years in
Soviet concentration camps.
If we are ready to violate the Constitution, will the people
submit to our unauthorized acts? Sir, they ought not to submit; they would
deserve the chains that our measures are forging for them, if they did not
resist. — Edward Livingston
Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun. — Mao
Zedong, Nov. 6, 1938, Selected Works, Vol. 2
The meaning of "militia"
The word "militia" is a Latin abstract noun, meaning "military service",
not an "armed group" (with the connotation of plurality), and that is the way
the Latin-literate Founders used it. The collective term, meaning "army" or
"soldiery" was "volgus militum". Since for the Romans "military service"
included law enforcement and disaster response, it might be more meaningfully
translated today as "defense service", associated with a "defense duty", which
attaches to individuals as much as to groups of them, organized or
When we are alone, we are all militia units of one. When together with others
in a situation requiring a defensive response, we have the duty to act together
in concert to meet the challenge. Those two component duties, of individuals to
defend the community, and to act together in concert with others present, when
combined with a third component duty to prepare to do one's duty and not just
wait until the danger is clear and present, comprises the militia duty.
Real courage is found, not in the willingness to risk death, but in
the willingness to stand, alone if necessary, against the ignorant and
disapproving herd. — Jon Roland, 1976
Militia Duty: Defend. Co-operate. Prepare.
To understand the above motto is to understand the foundation of society
and legitimate government and law.
Click on the button to get the indicated file
Papers — These are the documents that helped launch the
modern militia movement.
James B. Whisker — Standard references on the subject. Includes The
Militia (1992) and The American Colonial Militia (1997).
Reading List — Books and articles on the theory and history of
Movement (CMM) — The movement associated with militia.
Setting up a Committee of Safety — The governing system for militia units.
Committees of Protection, Correspondence and Safety — Collection of historical documents.
Manual of Courts-Martial, 2008 edition. Includes the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).
Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) —
Edition as of 1997 June 15, for comparison.
How to Start & Train a Militia Unit: PM 8--94, by Maj. George Westmoreland, USMC, Ret. — Essential training
U.S. Army Field Manuals — Essential training
Crime Prevention & Law Enforcement Directory— The first
comprehensive guide to neighborhood watch, cellular on patrol, citizen police
academy, and related programs.
sharing email lists and directories
First Congress Debate On Arms And
Militia 1789 — Including debate on wording of Second Amendment.
Militia Act of 1792 — Indicates intent of the
Founders for the Militia.
— Indicates importance of keeping the Militia well-trained.
The Role of the Militia in the
Development of the Englishman's Right to be Armed — Clarifying the
Legacy, by Joyce Lee Malcolm.
The Right of the People or the
Power of the State, by Stephen Halbrook.
The Right to Keep and Bear Arms
under the Second and Fourteenth Amendments, by Stephen Halbrook.
The Citizen-Soldier under Federal and State Law
, by James Biser Whisker, West Virginia Law Review 94 (1992): 947.—
Discusses "dual-enlistment" system by which someone enlisting in the National Guard joins both the state body and the U.S. Army.
Call to Arms: Historical Background
— Virginia Militia in the War for Independence, from PBS.
Women — Women have also served in militia.
Alert Network — How to set up an alert system for emergency communications.
Militias Criticized for Upholding Honor —
Revealing email exchange.
2006 Table of Selected Militia Laws, Don
Hamrick — Guide to state statutes available online.
The Militia Reporter; Containing the Trials of
Capt. Jos. Loring, Jun. on the Charges of Gen. Winslow... (Boston: T.
Kennard, 1810) — Report on trials of several militia personnel, provides
useful insights into social deference issues of the time.
Ancient Hebrew Militia Law, David B. Kopel, Denver University Law Review — Judaic foundations of the militia tradition.
U.S. Army Manuals and Regs — Good
resource on a variety of tools and methods.
Federal Preemption: The Militia Clauses in
American Jurisprudence. — Collection of cases and commentaries on the
boundaries between federal and state militia powers.
Committees of Protection, Correspondence
and Safety — The political arms of the militia.
What is the Militia? — Gentle
Restore the Militia for Homeland
Security, by John R. Brinkerhoff, Journal of Homeland Defense, November
2001 — Other than the mischaracterization in an endnote of "unauthorized"
militia as "illegal", has some good points reflecting some of the thought in
"Can we tape?" — A Practical Guide
to Taping Phone Calls and In-Person Conversations in the 50 States and D.C.
From The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the
Press. The federal statutes are, of course, unconstitutional for acts
committed on state territory, but we need to be cognizant of the potential
legal problems as we conduct private criminal investigations.
The Rise of Militias Worldwide — Examines
worldwide spread of the movement.
— Special Forces Underground & The Resister.
The Militia Watchdog — Mark
Pitcavage's anti-militia site, no longer actively maintained, and transferred to the ADL.
The Dogpound — Anti-Militia Watchdog
site. Has some good links and graphics.
Project Megiddo — Report of
FBI analysis and recommendations for response to possible disorders reveals
anti-constitutional official attitudes.
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. — John F. Kennedy
It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its
government. — Thomas Paine
What distinguishes those engaged in militia from an army
The authority for militia is any threat to public safety.
Those active in militia are usually not bound for a fixed term of
service, or paid for it.
Those active in militia cannot expect arms, supplies, or officers to
be provided to them.
No one has the authority to order militia to surrender, disarm, or
Μολὼν λαβέ (Molon labe), “Come and get them!” — Reply of
the Spartan General-King Leonidas to Xerxes, the Persian Emperor, who came with
hundreds of thousands of troops to conquer Greece, and demanded that Leonidas and his 300 men
lay down their arms. Thermopylae, 480 BC.
Today, there lies a plaque dedicated to these heroes, composed by the poet Simonides of Ceos (c. 556-468 BC), at the site that reads:
Ὦ ξεῖν', ἀγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις ὅτι τῇδε
κείμεθα, τοῖς κείνων ῥήμασι πειθόμενοι. (Original is in all caps, no diacritical marks.)
"Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by,
that here, obedient to their laws, we lie."
“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded sense of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse... A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other.”
— John Stuart Mill (1806-1873), “The Contest In America,” Fraser's Magazine, February 1862
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