Standing Armies and the Second Amendment - Page 4

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; Originally Posted by BudMan5 Good strong arguments from both sides but I need to insert some actual history of the standing Army and the militias. ...

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  1. #46
    Senior Member Array agentmel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BudMan5 View Post
    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.
    History is simply a pointless list of past occurrences until given an analysis, which is of course what makes the study of history useful. It is important, however to realize that analysis only occurs within the ideological framework of the individual performing said analysis. As an historian for the Federal Government it is perhaps possible that your analysis would lean toward justifying that government's actions.

    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.
    Once the state "militias" (NG) are placed under direct federal control and funding, they cease to be militias, and simply become, in fact if not title, federal soldiers. Your volunteer status changes once you are getting paid. Perhaps someone with a better understanding of what makes a militia could correct us here.

    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.
    Despite the use of the phrase "this has proved true", this statement has an ideology that underpins it. You may as well have said, "since in every conflict the US military has ever involved itself it was morally proper to do so, it sure was a good thing we had all these soldiers waiting around." Someone who disagreed with the underlying moral position (that every war was justified) would find this argument unsatisfying.

    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.
    This is analysis based on the unstated belief that all US military conflicts have in fact maintained our freedom. I consider taxes and inflation to be an abridgment of my economic freedom, and must disagree with this analysis, since war must be paid for with taxes or inflation (usually both). I'm also not convinced that any of the conflicts of the last 50 years have anything to do with me at all, much less my freedom.

    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.
    We agree!!



    Mel
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  2. #47
    Member Array BudMan5's Avatar
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    Actually. I never had to justify the governments actions

    I, of course, bow to your obviously superior intellect and beg your forgiveness.

    I suspect that ni matter what I or anyone else has to say, you will be able to beat us down into submission.

    You don't mind if I walk away from your version of reality do you? I am indeed humbled by your keen perspective and of course, undeniable logic.

    The only thing I lean towards is justifying my country's actions, not my government's. I actually believe that we still govern ourselves.
    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]

  3. #48
    Senior Member Array agentmel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BudMan5 View Post
    I, of course, bow to your obviously superior intellect and beg your forgiveness.

    I suspect that ni matter what I or anyone else has to say, you will be able to beat us down into submission.

    You don't mind if I walk away from your version of reality do you? I am indeed humbled by your keen perspective and of course, undeniable logic.

    The only thing I lean towards is justifying my country's actions, not my government's. I actually believe that we still govern ourselves.
    I apologize if my presenting a contrary view came across as an overt act of violence. I shall withdraw my forces from your position. You should feel well to know that your position is subscribed to by many more than is mine.

    Mel
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  4. #49
    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agentmel View Post

    Once the state "militias" (NG) are placed under direct federal control and funding, they cease to be militias, and simply become, in fact if not title, federal soldiers. Your volunteer status changes once you are getting paid. Perhaps someone with a better understanding of what makes a militia could correct us here.

    Mel
    "I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials." George Mason (3 Elliot, Debates at 425-426)

    "The militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves, ... all men capable of bearing arms;..." -- Richard Henry Lee writing in "Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republic", 1788, page 169.

    "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.
    -------------

    Michael

  5. #50
    Member Array Nova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agentmel View Post
    As an historian for the Federal Government it is perhaps possible that your analysis would lean toward justifying that government's actions.
    I'm a young accountant.

    So, it just so happens that I completely support the the Sarbanes-Oxley act. Um, nevermind the fact that it increases government regulations that require hiring many more young accountants.

    I wouldn't be a bit...biased would I?

    Every good auditor knows that an independent third party is the best source of information about an entity. The reason being that he has no stake in the matter - he won't make money based on what he tells you.

    Soldiers in the nation's armed services are often second or third generation military men. They are paid by the Federal Government. They have a major stake in supporting standing armies.

    I leave it to philosophers and statesmen to determine the answer to this question. I believe they already have though. Our Founding Fathers were very clear.
    Springfield XD45 4" 13+1

  6. #51
    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    There are good arguments on both sides of this one. I can see the logic behind the founder's opinion of no standing army and a standing navy. 2 centuries ago, the only way for our country to be invaded was by sea. So, couldn't we say that with the speed and efficiency at which an invasion can be mounted against us today, that facing this type of warfare, our founders could have rationalized the need for a standing army?
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

    "A heavily armed citizenry is not about overthrowing the government; it is about preventing the government from overthrowing liberty. A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own government." -source

  7. #52
    Senior Member Array agentmel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlr1m View Post
    "I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials." George Mason (3 Elliot, Debates at 425-426)

    "The militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves, ... all men capable of bearing arms;..." -- Richard Henry Lee writing in "Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republic", 1788, page 169.

    "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.
    -------------

    Michael
    So, it would seem that helps make my point. If the militia are us, we cease to be the militia (or that role is superseded) if or when we are on the federal military payroll.

    Zacii, we would still have to be invaded by sea. Do you know how "we" got our tanks and supply equipment to Iraq? By sea.

    Mel
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    How long have we watered the Tree of Deceit with the blood of patriots?

  8. #53
    Member Array Nova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacii View Post
    So, couldn't we say that with the speed and efficiency at which an invasion can be mounted against us today, that facing this type of warfare, our founders could have rationalized the need for a standing army?
    I assume you're talking about a surprise attack.

    The Japanese performed a surprise attack, bombing Pearl Harbor and annihilating most of our Navy. We used our manufacturing capabilities to rebuild the Navy and destroy Japan in a constitutionally declared war.

    I think we should wait until we're attacked before we mobilize our armed forces. That's what we did in WWII and we won.

    Since then, we've maintained a standing army and lost nearly every operation we've attempted (mainly Vietnam and Iraq). I know correlation does not equal causation, but those results are not concerting for me.

    Let's say we got rid of our standing army and sent everyone home. Instead, we had various rag-tag militias all across the United States, funded by their own state/local governments. Let's say Russia declared war on us with a surprise attack akin to Pearl Harbor.

    We'd declare war that day and we'd start drafting people - most people would volunteer. We'd direct our economy to building tanks, ships, etc just like in WWII. We'd obviously have a lot of state/local militias that own their own planes, weapons, and equipment.

    All of the people on this forum spend money on handguns and rounds, voluntarily, to provide for their own safety. It's not that crazy to picture yourself voluntarily buying an automatic weapon and ammo for it, meeting up with a legal militia on the weekends and doing drills, like the National Guard. 2 weekends a month, 1 month a year or whatever.

    You can defend your freedom without sacrificng it to a standing army.

    Also, the colonies defeated the greatest superpower known to man using guerrilla tactics and knowing the land. That is the reason we have not yet defeated the Tabliban in Afghanistan. They know the land and they are patient.

    How did the Mujahideen defeat the USSR? A bunch of rag-tag nobodies against the 2nd most powerful nation on earth? They shot down some helicopters with precision RPGs. We could certainly do better than that.

    The thing I don't feel safe with is a massive Federal Government pointing a gun at me if I don't pay my income tax to fund abortion, war, and whatever godless activities they have concocted next.
    Springfield XD45 4" 13+1

  9. #54
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    Nova, YOU elected these guys (and gals). Instead of making completely ludicrous claims that the military is unconstitutional, perhaps you should work to vote in folks you won't be so bed-wettingly afraid of?

    Your understanding of history - wait, did I just say understanding? Allow me to rephrase... Your butchering of history is insulting. Your twisting of the Constitution is laughable. You, and those like you, are more dangerous to this nation than any standing army has ever been. Good luck to you in the dark days of conspiracies, delusion, and ever spiraling paranoia that seem to be coming for you...
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  10. #55
    Member Array Nova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    Nova, YOU elected these guys (and gals). Instead of making completely ludicrous claims that the military is unconstitutional, perhaps you should work to vote in folks you won't be so bed-wettingly afraid of?
    I am. I voted for Ron Paul and I continue to vote for people who share his views on imperialism.

    Your understanding of history - wait, did I just say understanding? Allow me to rephrase... Your butchering of history is insulting.
    Erhm, all I did was quote the Constitution and show some of the Founding Fathers' quotes. It's all right there. They said it themselves. You either side with them or you make up the rules as you go.

    Your twisting of the Constitution is laughable. You, and those like you, are more dangerous to this nation than any standing army has ever been.
    That's quite a compliment but, I'm just your average concealed carrying citizen.

    I don't have control over nukes, fighter jets, missiles, carriers, etc.

    Good luck to you in the dark days of conspiracies, delusion, and ever spiraling paranoia that seem to be coming for you...
    No delusion here - just reading the Constitution and the intent of the Framers.

    What're you reading?
    Springfield XD45 4" 13+1

  11. #56
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    I showed you what I was reading in my last post - you ignored it because it shows quite plainly that there is NO relationship between the power of Congress to declare war and their power to maintain an Army and a Navy. There is no ambiguity in this. There has never been a single challenge to the federal govt's power to maintain a military that has withstood the simplest Constitutional review.

    You, sir, are intentionally ignorant when it comes to the document you claim to venerate - I KNOW that you know you're wrong, as no one has ever come close to getting your view any sort of judicial review - and it's honestly depressing me to keep reading your opinions. I usually manage to avoid such tripe here on DC.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  12. #57
    Member Array Nova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    I showed you what I was reading in my last post - you ignored it because it shows quite plainly that there is NO relationship between the power of Congress to declare war and their power to maintain an Army and a Navy. There is no ambiguity in this. There has never been a single challenge to the federal govt's power to maintain a military that has withstood the simplest Constitutional review.
    I am not sure whether there has been a challenge to this end. There should have been. I'm not a constitutional lawyer. Regardless...

    James Madison is the Father of the Constitution. Here is what he said about standing armies:

    "In time of actual war, great discretionary powers are constantly given to the Executive Magistrate. Constant apprehension of War, has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body. A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people."

    The Common Room: James Madison on a standing army

    You, sir, are intentionally ignorant when it comes to the document you claim to venerate - I KNOW that you know you're wrong, as no one has ever come close to getting your view any sort of judicial review - and it's honestly depressing me to keep reading your opinions. I usually manage to avoid such tripe here on DC.
    Was Madison ignorant when it came to the document that he wrote?

    I simply share Madison's view of the Constitution, which he wrote. Do you disagree with him?
    Springfield XD45 4" 13+1

  13. #58
    njr
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    Nova, I'm in general agreement with you, but coming from the left.

    In re history: I think your interp of the majority of the founding fathers intent is correct. I think the reason the ffs were mostly against standing armies was similar to the reason why they were against central banks- they were slaveholding planters or representatives thereof and their interests with with the rural agricultural sector which benefitted more from a decentralized gov than the smaller class of merchants in the towns and cities which benefitted more from a centralized gov and banking system that could help industry by setting up tariffs nationally to protect young American industry from the threat of English manufacturing, for example.

    The rural slavocrats dominated up to the civil war, when they were crushed by urban merchants and industrial capitalists. From that point on, the U.S. ruling class started to look outward, culminating in the age of imperialism in the late 19th cent, with imperialism continuing on to today. Why is this relevant to standing armies? You can't impose capitalism on your terms on the rest of the world without a professional army.
    By the forests, behind the guns/In the streets and in the houses/Between the tanks, by the roadside/At the hands of the men, of the women, of the children/In the cold, in the dark, in hunger....

    Bertolt Brecht, "To The German Soldiers In The East", stanza 9.

  14. #59
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    I am not sure whether there has been a challenge to this end.
    Here is a tidbit, then:
    The Framers of the Constitution vigorously debated the necessity and advisability of a standing army. Federalists such as ALEXANDER HAMILTON and JAMES MADISON argued that a standing army was needed for the maintenance of a unified defense. Others, like THOMAS JEFFERSON and GEORGE MASON, were fearful of instituting a military establishment that could be an instrument of governmental abuse. They argued that the Constitution should prohibit, or at least limit, the size of the armed forces. The opposing sides compromised by approving a standing army but limiting appropriations for its support to two-year terms, thereby imposing a continual check on the military's activities.

    The authority of the government to maintain a military and to develop rules and regulations governing it is found in Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, which grants Congress the power to provide for the common defense and to raise and support armed forces.

    The U.S. Supreme Court confirmed the legality of the standing army in EX PARTE MILLIGAN, 71 U.S.(4 Wall.) 2, 18 L. Ed. 281 (1866). It held that the Constitution allows Congress to enact rules and regulations to punish any member of the military when he or she commits a crime, in times of war or peace and in any location. The Court further confirmed the constitutionality of MARTIAL LAW in situations where ordinary law is insufficient to secure public safety and private rights.
    From Military Law - Service In The Military, Rights Of Service Members, Military Criminal Justice System, Law Of Armed Conflict
    I'm not a constitutional lawyer.
    Gee, really?

    And for all your bluster about Madison, all of his quotes were in opposition to a LARGE standing army, or an army in concert with an overgrown and tyrannical executive. He was a part of the group that compromised on the matter, ending with what we have today; an army that must be "reformed" every two years by Congress in the form of bills to pay for it.

    Of course, "large" is about as well defined as "reasonable restrictions," so you can go ahead and argue about how big the army should be or how much we should spend on it, but it is utterly, crystal clear that the "standing army" meets Constitutional muster, just as it was intended.

    Seriously, pick a new paranoia to cling to, this one will give you no traction whatsoever...
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  15. #60
    Senior Member Array TheGreatGonzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    Seriously, pick a new paranoia to cling to...
    Personally, I would go with the "flu shot" thing. That one is huge right now.
    Gonzo
    "Skin that smokewagon!".

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