'What is the Militia?'

'What is the Militia?'

This is a discussion on 'What is the Militia?' within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Preface: An interesting report written in 1863 that though 145 yrs. old remains to this day and time relevant and insightful. As featured in the ...

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Thread: 'What is the Militia?'

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    'What is the Militia?'

    Preface: An interesting report written in 1863 that though 145 yrs. old remains to this day and time relevant and insightful.

    As featured in the New York Times:

    'What is the Militia?'
    October 4, 1863, Wednesday
    Page 4, 1186 words

    Story archive URL -
    Full article URL - http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive...B6678388679FDE

    - Janq
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    Member Array Southtexas's Avatar
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    Interesting read, my wife is taking constitutional law, it amazes me how very few people know what the Federal definition of militia is, chapter 10 usc, 311 I think or somewhere around there, it defines what the organized vs unorganized militia is. Not exactly helpfull to my side of most 2A arguments.
    I do love how often people tell me the National guard is the modern militia, makes me want to scream, but then again I also believe the 2nd was more about anti federalism than right to keep/bear arms, so I detest the very thought of someone saying the National Guard is a militia.

    just my 2 cents worth.

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    Member Array whitetrashfarm's Avatar
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    'What is the Militia?'

    I had read somewhere before, that the organized milita was not brought into being for 117 years after the bill of rights

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    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    A 'National' Guard isn't a 'State' milita. They are a reserve for the "old Army".

    It's been my understanding, and I've been outta college for a lot of years now, the milita was the men of a given satae in reserve and ready to go at the states mustering.

    someone help me here if I'm discombobulated.
    Last edited by goldshellback; February 14th, 2008 at 04:57 AM. Reason: add to
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    Senior Member Array press1280's Avatar
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    Agreed, the militia is not the Nat'l Guard(was no such thing back then), or the regular standing army,which if my history is correct, the US was only supposed to have during wartime. Anyways,why have the second amendment say that your army will keep and bear arms(duh!).
    I believe as many others have that it is the guarantor amendment for the rest of the Bill of Rights. The "teeth," so to speak that some tyrannical government gets into power and tries to take away these rights, we as citizens have adequate means of resistance and overthrow of the government. The founding fathers were afraid of a powerful central government, so the 2nd Amendment was a way to keep them in check.
    Its also amazing(looking at the DC gun case) how DC and the other states filing a brief w/DC(NY,NJ,HI,MD,the usual suspects in other words) keep saying its state rights. W/O the 2nd amendment,they would be absolutely correct. But that would mean by the same token,that each state could stop freedom of speech,press,religion,exc if it wanted. Why is the 2nd amendment any different?
    "The right of the whole people, old and young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear arms of every description, not such merely as are used by the militia, shall not be infringed, curtailed, or broken in upon, in the smallest degree..."
    Nunn v. State GA 1848

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    Senior Member Array tegemu's Avatar
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    Question: Since it states that all able bodied males between 20 and 45 constitute the militia, does this then mean that non able bodied men, men outside of that age range and women are not in the militia, does this in any way restrict their carrying of firearms?
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence in their behalf. - George Orwell

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    Member Array Southtexas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tegemu View Post
    Question: Since it states that all able bodied males between 20 and 45 constitute the militia, does this then mean that non able bodied men, men outside of that age range and women are not in the militia, does this in any way restrict their carrying of firearms?
    Exactly why I said it can be played against my views, also note the key part in that definition is that is the organized militia, the unorganized militia is a completely different standard, but see when the "anti KEEP and BEAR" folks interpret the 2nd they always state that its the militias right to keep and bear and not the people, please remember at the time of the constitution a woman had no rights regarding politics, To answer you ?
    from my view, the people and not the militia were given the right to keep and bear arms, as the militia depended on the people it was guaranteed to the people not the Persons of the militia, common sense would tell you then that if the men were off to perform duty in the militia the women/boys/girls/oldmen, would still have the right to common/self defense, IE indian raids etc, so of course they did not simply say only Militia members could keep and bear arms.

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    People get far too hung up on the militia preamble to the actual affirmation of the right, IMHO.

    Had the founding fathers intended the second amendment to apply only to the militia, they would have said "the right of the militia to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed".

    They chose to use the specific phrase "the People".

    Nowhere in the Constitution and Bill of Rights does "the People" refer to anything but the citizenry, individually and as a whole.

    Plainly, "the People" refers to each individual in the First and Fourth Amendments.

    It seems to me it is absolutely silly to argue that "the People" has one meaning in the First Amendment, an opposite meaning in the Second Amendment, and then reverts to it's original meaning in the Fourth and subsequent amendments.

    Matt
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    What is the 'militia'? George Mason said it simply:

    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
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    VIP Member Array SammyIamToday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattLarson View Post
    People get far too hung up on the militia preamble to the actual affirmation of the right, IMHO.

    Had the founding fathers intended the second amendment to apply only to the militia, they would have said "the right of the militia to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed".

    They chose to use the specific phrase "the People".

    Nowhere in the Constitution and Bill of Rights does "the People" refer to anything but the citizenry, individually and as a whole.

    Plainly, "the People" refers to each individual in the First and Fourth Amendments.

    It seems to me it is absolutely silly to argue that "the People" has one meaning in the First Amendment, an opposite meaning in the Second Amendment, and then reverts to it's original meaning in the Fourth and subsequent amendments.

    Matt
    It's not silly when you have a political axe based upon irrational arguments to grind.
    ...He suggested that "every American citizen" should own a rifle and train with it on firing ranges "at every courthouse." -Chesty Puller

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