Make No Mistake, WE Are the Militia

Authors Note: This was originally posted on the last version of Lone Voice back in March of 2018. A recent Twitter spat prompted me to repost this as I believe it pertinent to the argument being made by my friend @UsagikoNat . She’s a feisty Pro Second Amendment warrior and I’m proud to call her friend!


Make no Mistake:

We are the Militia

“A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves…and include all men capable of bearing arms.”  ~Richard Henry Lee 1788

            A month ago, a madman entered a school and killed 17 people including 16 students and a teacher.  While I could go on about the details of the event, I am here to answer the David Hogg’s of the world who are crying, loudly, for guns to be taken away from the American People.

            While they claim to be calling for ‘common sense’ gun control measures, what they’re actually screaming for is a ban on certain (okay, all) firearms.  In the wake of this, Dick’s Sporting Goods, WalMart, Kroeger (Including Fred Meyer) and now BiMart have decided (in apparent violation of Oregon Law) to bar citizens 18-20 years of age from purchasing firearms (ANY firearms) or Ammunition.  Something that they (people 18-20) have a legal right to do.

            Also in Oregon, we have an initiative (42 then 43 when 42 was withdrawn) that seeks to ban any semi-automatic rifle or handgun capable of accepting a magazine with a capacity greater than 10 rounds.  This would effectively ban ALL semi-automatic weapons from Oregon.  It would require citizens who already own said weapons to register them (read register for confiscation) within 120 days or be guilty of a Class B Felony.

            The people calling for this are using some of the most bogus arguments, the most inane ‘studies’ and the most blatantly false statements that have ever been used in politics.  So here I am to put some of this to rest.

            First, allow me to explain why I know whereof I speak.  I am a student of history.  Particularly American History.  There are two eras that have always fascinated me, and I have studied those eras pretty intensely.  First, most folks already know I am a Civil War buff.  I was (and will again be) a reenactor.  I have studied the writings of Lee, Longstreet and Chamberlain.  I have read After Action Reports of many battles.  I have studied Poinsette’s Cavalry and Tactics and various other Civil War training manuals.

            But I also have studied the American Revolution at length.  I particularly find myself drawn to the words of great men such as Patrick Henry, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, Alexander Hamilton and Benjamin Franklin.  I have read many of the federalist papers and have them downloaded onto my hard drive.  I have read and reread (and reread and reread) the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  I have educated myself on the history of those documents.  I have read the Declaration of Independence (which contrary to leftists and revisionist historians is a legal document) and have taken the time to learn what they meant, what the founding fathers intended and the direction they hoped this nation would take.

            One of the favorite arguments used by gun grabbers (and one actually settled by Heller v. DC) is that the 2nd only applies to the militia.  Well, if you define the militia as the founders did, that would be correct.  The founding fathers considered every able bodied adult to be a member of the militia.  That is born out multiple times by various people.

            Thomas Jefferson said,  “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”

            This is pretty clear.  But it gets even more clarity when you consider the words of Geo. Mason, “I ask you sir, who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people.”

        Joseph Story, a Supreme court justice wrote, “The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium of the liberties of a republic…”

        And finally, a quote from Tenche Cox, “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 have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright 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.”

            So the question as to who was the militia has been thus answered…repeatedly.  These quotes are only a small representation of those freely available to any who wishes to educate themselves on the subject.

            Another argument is that the 2nd amendment only applies to muskets because assault rifles weren’t invented yet.  Now, I don’t often see this argument, but when I do, I savagely repudiate the idiot who makes it.  On its face, this argument is absurd.  Does the right to privacy only apply to one’s home and papers?  Afterall, your smart phone didn’t exist in 1787, so they obviously didn’t mean the government couldn’t snoop in it at will.  Therefore, you have no right to privacy and the government is allowed to go through your phone, your laptop or your tablet at will and does not need to seek a warrant.

            No, the founding fathers said ARMS.  That means weapons.  Whether it be a sword, a musket, a rifle or your M-1911.  In fact, George Washington said, “A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.”

            That statement makes a pretty clear case that the intent was that the people would be as well armed (If not better) than the Government.  Now understand, nothing in their words absolves a person from responsibility.  Something the anti-gunners seem to do with abandon as they rush to blame guns for violence rather than the perpetrator of the crime, but I digress.

            The simple point of fact is, not only did the founding fathers believe it was an individual right granted to all of the citizens of this country, but that the right applied to the same arms that were held by the standing army.  I remind the reader that Ben Franklin owned a battery of field artillery.  That was the deadliest weapon of the time.

            The 2nd amendment applies to all arms, not just muskets.

            I want to revist, briefly, the notion that the 2nd applies to the militia and not the people.  One final point on that.  Of all of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights, 8 of them are restrictions on what the Government can do to the people. The First and Fourth Amendments use the word ‘People’ but both are universally accepted to outline individual rights. In fact, all of the first 8 Amendments refer to individual rights and liberties and with the exception of the 2nd Amendment, there are few, if any who would disagree. Why then, should we believe that the founders intended that one right; out of all the rights enumerated, that ONE right would be a collective right and not an individual right? The answer is simple.  They didn’t. The Second Amendment, like all of the others, was intended to outline an individual right and not a collective one.

            Alas, I must close this for now, but I will have a second part to this at some point, I am certain.