Standing Armies and the Second Amendment - Page 3

Standing Armies and the Second Amendment

This is a discussion on Standing Armies and the Second Amendment within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Nova, you might want to check out how Defense appropriations bills are enacted. Not one dollar of the U.S. military budget paid out to the ...

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Thread: Standing Armies and the Second Amendment

  1. #31
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    Nova, you might want to check out how Defense appropriations bills are enacted. Not one dollar of the U.S. military budget paid out to the armed services is provisioned more than two years in advance. Congress does, in fact, stick with the Article I, Section 8 requirement of not appropriating money for an army for more than two years.

    That is turns out we keep sending to Washington D.C. legislators who choose to keep updating that funding every two years is a perfectly Constitutional expression of our desire not to be invaded as well as to be able to go kill people and break things where trouble against us arises.

    So, define "standing"---because the Constitution never mentions the phrase "standing army". Also as pointed out, there is no two year restriction on Navy appropriations, and the Marines are funded through the Department of the Navy, so the Squids and Jarheads can quite Constitutionally have their jobs in perpetuity.
    “What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia

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  2. #32
    Senior Member Array agentmel's Avatar
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    I can't help but add my thoughts:

    It is highly unlikely that some of the most gifted political philosophers that have ever lived (our founders) never thought of these arguments. Warfare was already plenty complex in their day. Consider the difficulty and materials needed to move supplies to thousands of soldiers without 4wd trucks, GPS, or roads in many cases. Large, sailing warships are also not whipped up at a moment's notice. Further, they have a legitimate function of coastal defense.

    It may simply be that those who wrote the constitution simply didn't care about these arguments. Many of them were opposed to offensive war itself on principal. They understood, as we seem not to, that war itself is injurious of freedom. War is always and everywhere destructive of life and private property. Funding war requires the "appropriation" (theft) of funds from productive people. War can never be said to be "good" even if fought for all the right reasons (which is a highly dubious condition). It can only be, at best, a necessary evil, but only in instances of direct and immediate self-defense. Even then, forcing others to contribute to their own defense is still immoral.

    By the way, when was the last time American soil was directly attacked by anything approaching a foreign army?

    I believe the founders envisioned temporary armies that would only be employed in defense of American soil, not the permanent monument we have erected to bringing death and destruction to people thousands of miles away. I doubt they could have imagined that the experiment they started, the freest place ever in the history of man, would, less than 300 years later, spend a full half of the entire world's military budget.

    The founders made a crucial theoretical mistake to the extent they believed that government could be controlled. That government is best which governs least and "war is the health of the state" (Randolph Bourne).

    Mel
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  3. #33
    Member Array Nova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    So...

    Exactly what exactly is the point of this thread? Are you proposing the disbanding of the Armed Forces?
    Proposing that we declare wars and ratify an amendment to the Constitution rather than continue opposing the intent of the Framers.

    Still, standing armies do represent a threat to your rights and the Framers acknowledged that repeatedly. If we support the 2nd amendment, it'd be wise to seriously support it by opposing standing armies.

    Remember, the 2nd amendment says this:

    Quote Originally Posted by 2nd Amendment
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
    Militias are a natural opponent to tyrannical standing armies. Standing armies are bought and paid for by the Federal Government - that is the government that regularly attacks people, as AgentMel said, thousands of miles away.

    States have proven that they can field serious soldiers in the form of the National Guard. If the Federal Government didn't rape my wallet every year, state governments could take on a much more significant role in our federal system.

    I realize many of the folks here are in the military - I'm not saying we need to disband the armed forces, although that is the most Constitutionally pure course of action. I would point out that you should take a look in the mirror and ask yourself whether the same Federal Government that abuses your 2nd Amendment rights is trustworthy in its use of a standing army.

    I'm also hopeful that a lot of sensible people join the military, and many of them are conservative. But, soldiers follow orders, foremost. They are representatives of the same government that seeks to destroy the 2nd amendment.
    Springfield XD45 4" 13+1

  4. #34
    VIP Member Array Dal1Celt's Avatar
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    Just when I thought it couldn't get any better.

    My bet is that this thread gets closed before noon 20 Oct 09.

    "Without fear there can be no Courage!"

  5. #35
    Member Array Nova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farronwolf View Post
    Wasn't this during a declared war? You already admit that congress has the power to declare war, which they did and this took place during that time. As President, FDR was well within his power to do so, or are you saying he wasn't.

    There must be some other straw for you to grab. If your advocating disbanding the standing army, you need to find some reason for doing it during peace time, and find some reason for that argument. Not arguing against things that were done during a declared war by the army which you agree is constitutional.

    The executive order which you referenced was within the first 2 years after congress declared war. Please refer to your previous post with those areas in bold.
    Evidence?

    Tell me where in the Constitution it says that the President may suspend habeus corpus and intern people.

    So as long as Congress declares war, I guess we can have another Holocaust if we want - whoopdy doo! We can defy the law of gravity because we declared war!!
    Springfield XD45 4" 13+1

  6. #36
    Member Array Nova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agentmel View Post
    I believe the founders envisioned temporary armies that would only be employed in defense of American soil, not the permanent monument we have erected to bringing death and destruction to people thousands of miles away. I doubt they could have imagined that the experiment they started, the freest place ever in the history of man, would, less than 300 years later, spend a full half of the entire world's military budget.
    Definitely said better than I could.
    Springfield XD45 4" 13+1

  7. #37
    Member Array MSGTTBAR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    2. Congress may raise and support Armies with the limitation that financing be restricted to a 2 year period.

    Congress must first declare war. That is why it is ordered this way:



    The reason we know that Congress cannot perpetually fund a military force is listed in the President's powers, as well as numberous other sources from the Founding Fathers which I have already listed.



    "When called into the actual service of the United States" modifies everything that came before it - "and the militia of the several states" is cordoned off with commas on either side, indicating it is an addition to a series.

    Militias were to be the regular opposition to a standing army. If militias were strong, then the standing army could not conquer the country.
    By your reasoning, all of section 8 must be done, in order, before war can be declared and an army funded.

    Section 8 is a list of what Congress has the power to do. They can maintain an Army and provide the finances for it for 2 years. The money must be approved again at that time if the Congress wishes to maintain the Army, but they are limited to another 2 year term for the appropriation of the money. Today, the US Air Force also falls under this restriction. There is no time restriction on the US Navy. The US Coast Guard is not a Defense Department Function. The US Marine Corp is a US Navy Agency.

    There is no requirement for a declaration of war in order to raise and support an army.
    Life is too short to be serious!

  8. #38
    Member Array Nova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSGTTBAR View Post
    There is no requirement for a declaration of war in order to raise and support an army.
    Hmmmm...why do you keep saying "raise...an army"?

    Raise from what? When you raise something, you lift it above the position it was formerly.

    When you "raise" an army, you enlist men to fight. Why would you enlist men to fight if you already have a standing army though? Is that not a bit redundant?

    Today, we already have an army. You must mean that "there is no requirement for a declaration of war in order to support an army." Because we already raised an army in WWII - now we've been "supporting" that army for over half a century by, as you said, renewing their funding every 2 years.

    According to your logic, there must have been no reason to declare war in WWII. We already declared war in WWI. Why didn't we just continue "supporting" our army then?

    First we had to "raise" an army because back then, we followed the Constitution. And we did just fine in WWII.

    So, the Constitution says "raise and support..." There's no reason to "raise" an army when you have already have a standing army.
    Springfield XD45 4" 13+1

  9. #39
    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    Evidence?

    Tell me where in the Constitution it says that the President may suspend habeus corpus and intern people.

    So as long as Congress declares war, I guess we can have another Holocaust if we want - whoopdy doo! We can defy the law of gravity because we declared war!!

    "Article 1 Section 9

    A writ of habeas corpus is a legal action against unlawful detainment that commands a law enforcement agency or other body that has a person in custody to have a court inquire into the legality of the detention. The court may order the person released if the reason for detention is deemed insufficient or unjustifiable. The Constitution further provides that the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus may not be suspended "unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it"."

    I believe Lincoln was the first to do it.

    Michael

  10. #40
    Member Array Nova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlr1m View Post
    "Article 1 Section 9

    A writ of habeas corpus is a legal action against unlawful detainment that commands a law enforcement agency or other body that has a person in custody to have a court inquire into the legality of the detention. The court may order the person released if the reason for detention is deemed insufficient or unjustifiable. The Constitution further provides that the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus may not be suspended "unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it"."

    I believe Lincoln was the first to do it.

    Michael
    And where in there does it say that being Japanese denies you habeus corpus rights?
    Springfield XD45 4" 13+1

  11. #41
    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    And where in there does it say that being Japanese denies you habeus corpus rights?
    That is left to whomever has the power to do it. Right now its the Government.

    Michael

  12. #42
    Member Array Nova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlr1m View Post
    That is left to whomever has the power to do it. Right now its the Government.

    Michael
    Your man Lincoln said this is a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

    We are the government. So, it's up to us! Or is it...?

    So long as I'm not Japanese, I feel pretty comfortable with my habeus corpus rights! Let's hope the government doesn't decide to be too powerful in regard to my 2nd amendment rights
    Springfield XD45 4" 13+1

  13. #43
    Member Array Colt 45's Avatar
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    H.J.Res.114

    I agree with your premise here about the Founding Father's view of standing armies. However, I disagree that Congress has not declared war since WWII. This is the text of H.J.Res.114 which satisfies in my opinion the Constitutional requirement to declare war. This was the authorization to go into Iraq.

    Max

  14. #44
    Member Array BudMan5's Avatar
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    I have to interject just a little here

    Good strong arguments from both sides but I need to insert some actual history of the standing Army and the militias. I am retired but my last career was as a military history researcher for the Fed government. I have extensive records on line at the Virtual Vietnam Archives of Texas Tech University. You can search them under "Bud Harton" collection.

    First, all wars that the US has fought, with the only exception being Vietnam, have been fought mainly by the militia when they have been summoned by either Presidential Order or by Congressional Declaration of War (which also ends up with a CinC (the President) issuing an order). Look back in history to all of our wars and they were mainly fought by "volunteers" organized in State unit units. WW1 and WW2 were mainly fought by call ups and by draftees that were used to fill in shortages in the units. Examples? The first units ashore on Normandy Beach were the 1st Infantry Divison and the 29th Infantry Division. The 29th was a National Guard unit out of Virginia. Most of the folks who were captured at Bataan and Correigidor were National Guard troops that had been called up by the President in a 'limited emergency' almost a year before Pearl Harbor. Most of the Army and Marines in Korea were call backed to service from the reserves and whole National Guard units were called up, broken apart and used for replacements, the 44th Infantry Division was one. Remember San Jaun Hill and the Rough Riders? They were Army Reserve Cavalry units as was LTC Teddy Roosevelt.

    Standing armies are limited in size by Congress. At times, such as the Vietnam War, the standing Army became quite big because activating the Guard/Reserve was less desirable than increasing the draft. That was thought of as a mistake by most historians afterwards.
    That was corrected during Sandbox I (1st Gulf War) and all the later wars and the Guard and Reserve units are repeatedly being called to active duty.

    This was recognized as necessary as far back as George Washington who realized that a standing Army, of limited size, was required to maintain training and installations should there be need for a call up which has, of course, proved true over and over.

    It was also true of the Conderate forces during the Civil War. Seven members of my family including a great grandfather are buried in the Conderate cemetery at Gettysburg, all of whom died with NC state units as part of the Army of Northern Virginia. Most died with the Virginia units but at least one, a great-great uncle dies with the 26th Alabama.

    History has taught and the both the Legislative and Executive branches have confirmed that a standing Army (Navy, Marines, AF and sometoimes the CG) are necessary to maintain freedom. There size and roles are limited by Congress and controlled operationallyt by the President and on occassion, they have to be supplemented by a call up of the militia as represented by the National Guard and Reserves.

    The 2A guarantees the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms for the common defense which may include forcefully prytecting ourselves from a standing Army and a tyrantical government.

    Sorry for the bandwidth.
    Bud

    When the cute TV reporter asked the Texas Ranger why he shot the bank robber six times with his.45, he replied, ""Cause they don't make a .50"[/I]

  15. #45
    Member Array Nova's Avatar
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    You make a good point in mentioning the Confederate forces in the Civil War. As you say, they were Guard and Reserve units, not men enlisted by the Federal Government. That's why the Confederacy was so capable of fighting for so long. If the majority of the USA's military budget was controlled by the Federal Government back then, the Civil War would've been a pretty insignificant affair.

    Today, I look at the amount of money the Federal Government spends on the military and I wonder how a Guard or Reserve unit could compete with that. As you said, the 2nd Amendment gives us the right to protect ourselves against tyrannical government.

    But, that sounds a bit crazy these days when I'm staring in the face of a Federal Government whose military budget is bigger than the GDP of many countries. They've got control of nuclear weapons, missiles, and technology I've never dreamed of.

    How do the states protect themselves from this Federal Government, in the spirit of the 2nd amendment?
    Springfield XD45 4" 13+1

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