A Well-Regulated Militia
Bringing Our Country Together... with the Second Amendment?

Copyright 2016, by Mark Edward Vande Pol, all rights reserved

The election of Donald Trump has saved the Second Amendment from the Democrats, for now. Yet we remain a nation almost catastrophically divided, with demographic trends that leave the winners in a slowly shrinking and aging numerical minority, with more anchor babies and the disastrous products of public skools and leftist universities coming of age by the week (anybody who doubts that has only to look at what has become of California over the last thirty years). Seeking to overcome that trend, Mr. Trump has spoken of healing our inner cities as a President for all the people, this in a nation of suburban moms, inner city gangbangers, millennial baristas, collapsing rural communities, perpetual students, software geeks, frantic healthcare workers, distant bureaucrats, “lofty” academics, cut-throat media, unemployed craft-workers, disabled veterans... Among such a wide array of disparate if not conflicting needs and loyalties, it is seemingly obvious that means to achieve such unity would appear vanishingly obscure.

No, they are not obscure; they are obvious, almost too obvious to see, hidden in plain sight in the original intent of that same Second 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.

While the gun lobby has rightly been focused on the second clause of the Amendment as a matter of individual liberty, the keys to returning the nation to its Constitutional basis are actually found in the first. As this is not at all so obvious, we will start with the term “well regulated,” which at the time the Amendment was drafted meant that said "Militia" was at all times to be prepared for lawful military deployment:

  1. They were to be physically ‘combat ready,’
  2. They would conduct regular practice and drill,
  3. There was to be an established command structure,
  4. They were to be familiar with tactics,
  5. They were to be under sufficient self-control for functional teamwork, and
  6. They would stock adequate supplies and armaments compatible with their fellow citizens.

When these standards are cited, most people think of the National Guard, which does indeed perform to the above standard and constitutes an American militia (as most people at all cognizant of the term understand it). Gun control advocates (advocating a police state) go so far as to hold (wrongly) that the National Guard is all the Founders intended in the Second Amendment. Yet that view is contradicted by the undeniable fact that the Framers of our Constitution feared a standing army as a potential threat to turning on the citizenry.[2] Nor was that fear totally unjustified. In some respects, the National Guard has been increasingly used as a standing army operating under Federal order with decreasing regard for its State command structure and even to override State authority entirely.[1]

As opposed to a standing army, Madison's clear intent for the Second Amendment "Militia" was to prepare the entire nation intellectually and physically to deter foreign enemies without requiring the expense or incurring the risk of a limited government morphing into a police state.[3],[4] His idea was not without precedent or citation, even then. As Madison conceived it, the American Militia was to resemble the enduring success of the Swiss national defense system, wherein even today, every adult male MUST enlist in military training (as well as any female who volunteers). Similarly, every Swiss family is required by law to maintain a working military rifle at home,[5],[6] a preference for citizen-soldiers clearly reflected in the second clause of the Amendment.

Note that in the first clause, the word "Militia" is capitalized, a proper noun. Appropriately, its definition and dual construction is carefully specified in Federal statute:

Title 10 › Subtitle A › Part I › Chapter 13 › § 311 10 U.S. Code § 311 (1903) - Militia: composition and classes:

(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

(b) The classes of the militia are—

(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and

(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

The purpose of this dual construction is to maintain flexibility with respect to changing demands for increasing or shrinking America's active contingent. The organized militia is comprised of those more likely to serve in military duty with the unorganized militia consisting of the rest of the population in case of the demand for a near total commitment.

Accordingly, for the American Militia to be "well regulated," every able-bodied male from 17-45 is to be capable of being entrusted with military firearms AND must be subject to and therefore familiar with the rules governing their use: What constitutes an illegal search, what are the rights of the accused, what are the rights of a property owner, how to make a legal arrest… all those nasty little details building the web of restrictions meant to minimize the need for policing and keep our government from getting out of hand.

So, in your judgment, is the American unorganized militia combat ready? Are we physically fit? Are we appropriately skilled and drilled? As a nation, are we familiar with the Constitution we are to defend? It is therefore (and dispiritingly) rather obvious that this nation is far from meeting its Constitutional standard of being "well regulated," nor do most people possessing even a modicum of sanity (given the state of the nation's young people) regard that as a reasonable goal. So we let “the military,” “the police,” or the National Guard take care of those things for us, historically, a catastrophically foolish thing to do.

The Tool Kit

Unfortunately, as a nation suppsedly defending the free world and as regards Constitutional education, we are so far from being "well regulated" that this disparity between where we are and what even resembles the standards of the Supreme Law of the Land is no laughing matter. For this nation to function as united, we therefore need to fix that ignorance and reverse this intentionally-catastrophic product of educational malpractice dispensed by the political left.[7],[8] Ladies and gentlemen, this means mass education and training for the entire Militia, no exceptions; whether scholar, football player, or drugged-out indigent, it must be done, or we just let the left ruin the nation, as they are well on their way to doing.

But who is to set the standards of such an education? Isn't that usurping a State power? Not in the least, State Militias must be able to work together under a unified command structure with compatible equiment and training. These requirements are met per Article I, Section 8:

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

So, it is up to Congress to set the standards for training and fund it. Then the States are to perform the training to Federal specification under the command structure of the National Guard. Hence, both the authority and the command architecture to provide and deliver said training to the people are already there without any usurpation of State powers by the Federal government. So, how are these powers invoked?

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States;

The President of the United States is the Commander in Chief, invested with the Constitutional authority to issue orders to the national Militia. Since 9-11, the nation has been in a state of war in which the National Guard has already been called to fight. Thousands of terrorists have infiltrated the continental US over our porous borders. Hence, the President has every reason to assess the readiness of the unorganized militia and could simply issue an order that elements of the unorganized militia undergo said training as a simply logical matter of preparation. With the backlog of people to train and the obvious lack of facilities, this can't happen all at once anyway, so it shouldn't be difficult to start with high school graduates, then add a requirement for high school and college graduation, and then move on to the adult public at large.

I know, I hate invoking such powers too, but from what I can tell, the situation is that dire (but then, I live in California).

What if the people refuse to take the course? No problem! There is no justification for the taxpayer to fund the college education, welfare benefits, or anything else for able-bodied adult citizens seeking to shirk their duty to learn how to defend their family and country while respecting the rights of their fellows. Nor should the Feds fund States unwilling to participate. Yet there are potentially more serious consequences for failure to participate that might be easier to effect. Any “refuseniks” at issue would have refused a lawful order by the Commander in Chief. Refusal to "report for duty” on the part of the unorganized Militia could be a felony resulting in the loss of voting rights as tried in military courts (relatively few liberal judges there). Hence all the ultimate enforcement powers the President would need are already in the Constitution. Not a single statute is required other than an appropriation. This would lead to screaming from the left almost as loud as they would at the prospect of seeing the raging snowflakes they’ve mass produced with Skinnerian positive reinforcement training being transformed by basic training into men.

But what about the disabled, the mentally retarded, or religious exceptions? To the first two, are specifically exempted by the statutory definition of the militia as “able bodied.”[9] As to a religious exemptions, nobody would be killed by education and training; the military has long possessed means to accommodate and integrate religious objectors. I don’t see how such a consideration would apply.

Maybe it’s not so “obscure” an idea as at first it would appear. So let's take a look at how it might work in real life.

Getting Real

Imagine if you will, a “Black Lives Matter” borderline gangbanger showing up at said training facility for some free range time with which to eventually wreak his vengeance on “White Privilege.” He meets as his instructor, a grizzled Korean War vet, Vietnam War vet, Afghanistan War vet, or an Iraq War vet... Now this training; said vet is in charge; black guys, white guys, latinos, egg-heads (a distinct sub-species)... doesn't matter to them. Said newbie-would-be-militants of either stripe must listen and perform, knowing that no training means the only people getting range time, weapons, equipment, and ammunition would be the very people they can't stand. This is an opportunity to impart the education from which either of our budding revolutionaries have been so terribly deprived their entire lives. Our political opposition will learn about the blessings of constitutionally limited government and that we as conservatives never have been a threat to them unless they pose a direct and imminent threat to our lives, families, or property. Think of the power of the realization among inner city indigents that their "enemies" aren’t the problem; it's the power junkies who have been using him that are (that geeky guy just down the line for instance...).

Obviously, some of these people are unsuited to national much less military service. Yet even in the case of our "gangbanger," it would be a snap to add drug rehab and educational standards to the graduation requirements. Doesn't this beat an eventual violent felony and prison? What better context is there to detect that nascent potential? What else are we going to do with these people? Are we really going to let them prey upon each other in their hell-hole cities like the Democrats do? All that happens then is the public has to pay for the damage done, the trial, the prison time... all producing another generation of welfare babies, not to mention enlarging the unionized cohort of prison guards, parole officers, remedial educators, welfare case-workers, lawyers... Democrats all. Then there's recidivism. Against the cost of the training, besides reducing the costs of social failure, consider the impacts of mandatory physical fitness on medical costs. I can't really see a downside to getting the victims of socialism the help they need if they can't initially complete the training. And no, I'm not talking about giving them "remedial education" as the educrats call it. We need learners and that is a matter of self-control not hand-holding. It takes the kind of rigorous training these young people have never had, neither in public schools nor at home, that military training provides routinely to recruits from all walks of life.

Really, this is about a social transformation, without which America won't ever be great again. This is about undoing the damage done by 80 years of liberalism delivered by an educational bureaucracy with structural motives to deliver a dysfunctional product. It will take ALL of us to accomplish it. Besides, I'd really like it if this country was more like Switzerland: educated, talented, civil, safe, cultured, beautiful, and perennially at peace. Don't you want that too? You tell me what less it's going to take to turn Dearborn or South Central LA into a place you'd want to visit? If WE don't fix the people who live there, it isn't going to happen. It's time once again, for Republicans to free the slaves living in an urban prison of indentured constituency. Regulating the national Militia is our opportunity to truly unite this nation and prepare it for what it really will take to defeat and cleanse the terrorists in our midst… that is, unless you want “the government” to do it with the full latitude to decide just who constitutes a “terrorist.”[10] This is our last chance to educate those who have suffered for decades in Democrat-dominated inner cities to learn that we as Christian conservatives hold them as our brethren, that we see ourselves as accountable for redressing their ignorance, and seek to release them from the bonds of their Democrat paymasters. Their victims must be healed to make America great again.

Can you hear the screams from the left? “FASCISM!!!” they’ll shriek… to which we will quietly explain to their victims that fascism was exemplified by a German National SOCIALIST Workers' Party (the NAZIs) that originally had had great affinity for Karl Marx. We will explain how socialism was always meant to benefit those with the clout to control the inevitably bankrupted government (its lenders) at the expense of everybody else, and how the people screaming loudest about using a government order to undergo training enjoy a dysfunctional and compulsory monopoly in a public education system designed to resemble a 19th Century German system! (We need to fix that too, but that’s a different article.)[11]

Training necessarily includes an explanation of why we have limited republican government. That, as opposed to democracy, the reality is that we all can’t have time to learn all of what goes into every complex issue and therefore must select representatives to make choices. That local government needs representation at the State level, just as States are represented in the Senate.[12] That a central government with fewer powers has less opportunity to sell corporate favors. That “gun control” was first devised by Democrats in the post-Civil War Deep South to deprive freed slaves from the ability to protect their families.[13] That “diversity is our strength” does not mean it is your strength. The people blathering those leftist sound-bites are internationalists.[14] They want a world without countries, without borders, and the people disarmed everywhere. Yet without a sovereign government empowered to act upon the will of the people, you have no representation. The point is: Without the people maintaining a representative government with limited powers, by force of arms if necessary, we will have tyranny eventually, no matter what, and certainly will if we lack the numbers, supplies, organization, and infrastructure necessary to sustain that restraining force. The people need to learn that the Second Amendment isn’t about “hunting.”

What leftist advocates of “diversity” are really about is destroying unity by creating and amplifying disputes, whether in race, class, public speech, sexual behavior, or religion... creating division offers control freaks the opportunity for wield power settling “the issue” to their liking. Diversity is their strength, not yours. Unity is our strength and it is about time to bring our nation together and consciously build unity again. The key to that unity is in trusting our neighbor with the power to defend themselves and their families with an education founded in unifying principles that are our Constitution. It starts with the Second Amendment.

Yeah, I know, it’s a goofy idea. 'Nobody would want to do it. Who's going to take six weeks out of their busy schedule? How cold we stay competitive doing that? It's insane.' Uh, don't the Swiss sustain manufacturing in a very high wage country? The oldest participatory democracy in the world, is a nation with few natural resources but its people, one composed of three language groups (French, German, and Italian) that have a LONG history of fighting out their differences, AND an equally enviable record of staying out of foreign wars. They seem to have taken the time for training and are doing just fine thank you.

Nor is Switzerland alone in this focus upon universal training. Israel too prepares its entire citizenry to defend the country. You see, the only thing "far out" about this idea is us.

'But who would live in a barracks or a tent? People would be at each other's throats.'

People pay to go camping, if they can. They aren't at each other's throats. Have you looked at our National Parks? Some are like "tent city," but people seem to like it enough to make reservations a year in advance. Imagine Mark Zuckerberg having to show up and perform his duties. He's in the Militia too. It might change his imperious behavior, knowing that he was just another citizen. Give us 20 Mark! No, not dollars Mark, "push-ups." Help make America "US" again, by making Americans great again, one at a time.

'But what are we going to do, build camps?'

In fact, part of that training might be to help enlarge facilities. Camp Pendleton was a pretty nice place. So is what used to be Fort Ord. Some people pay a lot to go to half as good a clime. There used to be many others, but we were so busy "saving money," we've spent ourselves as a nation. The National Parks have campgrounds, and there is many an inner city child who has never seen one. Those Parks need work too, as they are in disastrous condition. Moreover, unlike the unconstitutional use of those Park lands as a monopoly public entertainment enterprise, this use of National Parks is well within the Article I, Section 8 limits of "Forts, dock yards, arsenals, magazines, and other needful buildings." Maybe Madison wasn't so far off. Maybe we are.

The Nub

You tell me how to better resolve the demographic disaster that came so very close to engulfing us while staying within the very bonds of the constitutionally limited government we seek to retain. You tell me how else we are going to get the attention of disaffected young people strung out on their smart phones long enough to get them to understand what preserves their liberty. You tell me how we are going to cure the monopoly on indoctrination enjoyed by the left: media, academia, advertising, and the arts. You tell me how we are going to get the public serious about preparing to survive acts of domestic terrorism, nuclear war, an EMP weapon, or a catastrophic hack of utility infrastructure without a police state or FEMA. A well-regulated militia is organized and prepared, and that includes logistics.

Organizing and procuring the resources necessary for military training and adequate range time is within the responsibilities of the Congress and the commander-in-chief. We've been hearing for years from the left how it is that gun owners should have adequate training before being allowed to own firearms. How then could the left make a successful arguement against supplying that training to everybody? This is also an opportunity to employ those disabled vets, who are uniquely qualified to impart the necessity of Constitutional protections, having fought amid their lack in disastrous circumstances, worldwide. This is an opportunity for them to exercise the leadership role they have earned. This is an opportunity for vets to work with inner city black and Latino kids so that they learn that their belief in the depth and ubiquity of white racism is nothing more than Democrat propaganda meant to keep them in imprisoned in that urban ghetto plantation.

Hence, we already have the lines of federal authority drawn, a necessary degree of independent top-level infrastructure in the National Guard to implement the program AND a long-established precedent in the Civilian Marksmanship Program,[15] with instructional materials and methods perfected for over 110 years. This can be done quickly. It’s only a matter of scaling.

So, what else might it take to make it happen? There are multiple ways that existing statutes could be amended to augment this program, the scope of which is beyond this article. There would need to be a minor change in appropriation to scale up the CMP. There would need to be either regulatory or statutory changes to various programs such as Pell Grants, student loans, food stamps, etc. making CMP certification a requirement for those in the unorganized militia albeit a blanket statute governing all public assistance might be sufficient. This is up to the Congress, but the real impetus for getting this done MUST come from the people, and particular, those gun owners who have historically been suspicious of any government program. And to you I turn with the concluding paradox:

For nearly a century, gun owners have been asking rhetorically, “What part of ‘shall not be infringed’ do you not understand?” Yet many of these very people would bristle at the idea of teaching inner city kids how to operate firearms. To some perhaps, many of those adverse demographic interests are worthy of simple extermination, in part out of recognition that the feeling is mutual. Others just can't envision taking such drastic measures. To them I must remind: "Remember what the left did to California, the State that elected Ronald Reagan?" To them I have to ask: "What part of, 'A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,' do you not understand?"

 

Mark Edward Vande Pol is the author of Natural Process - That Environmental Laws May Serve the Laws of Nature. This book demonstrates why regulatory environmental control is fundamentally flawed and proposes a free-market alternative together with examples and implementing strategy. You can learn more about this book at http://www.naturalprocess.net.

Mr. Vande Pol's second book is about an amazing discovery on the Biblical Sabbath for the Land: Shemitta: For the Land Is Mine. The original system, never practiced or articulated, was an amazing and comprehensive plan for national defense, environmental health, and empowerment of the poor, presaging a pattern that spans the entire Biblical history, from Abraham to Revelation. You can learn more about it at www.shemitta.com.

A third online picture book is available for free. Wildergarten details our 27-year esearch project, what has been called the finest native plant restoration in the world. You can learn more about it at www.wildergarten.org.

Notes:

[1] Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, Digital Documents and Photographs Project, Civil Rights: The Little Rock School Integration Crisis, http://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/research/online_documents/civil_rights_little_rock/Press_Release_Proclamation.pdf Note: This citation is NOT in support of what the State of Arkansas was doing to exclude black students from schools. It merely points out that the executive branch of the Federal government has exerted armed force against the States without Congressional authorization, a potential the Founders rightly feared.

[2] Constitution for the United States, Amendment III: "No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law."

[3] Madison, James Jr.; The Federalist, No. 46, New York Packet. 1788. " . . . the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. . . . a militia amounting to near half a million citizens [~1/5 of the free population] with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence."

[4] Madison, James Jr.; Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787: June 29: "The means of defence against 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."

[5] The structure of the Swiss militia system stipulates that the soldiers keep their own personal equipment, including all personally assigned weapons, at home. Compulsory military service concerns all male Swiss citizens, with women serving voluntarily.

[6] Halbrook, Stephen P.; The Swiss Confederation In the Eyes of America’s Founders; Swiss American Historical Society Review, Vol. 48, #3, 2012; pp32-69; ISBN 0883-4814. Examines how the Swiss history of resistance to European powers provided inspiration for the American Revolution and how the Swiss experience influenced debate of the proposed federal Constitution in the American States. stephenhalbrook.com/law_review_articles/swiss_confederation.pdf

[7] Iserbyt, Charlotte Thompson; the deliberate dumbing down of america: Exposing the Global Road to Ruin through Education (abriged version); Mrs. Iserbyt was President Reagan’s Undersecretary of Education. Conscience Press; Revised & Enlarged edition (2011); 488 pages; ISBN-13: 978-0966707113 available free online at http://www.deliberatedumbingdown.com.

[8] Gatto, John Taylor; The Underground History of American Education; : A School Teacher's Intimate Investigation Into the Problem of Modern Schooling; Odysseus Group (November 2000); 412 pages ISBN-13: 978-0945700043; also available free online at Archive.org at https://archive.org/details/TheUndergroundHistoryOfAmericanEducation_758.

[9] Op cit., Title 10 U.S. Code § 311.

[10] Bruer, Wesley; DOJ pivots from ISIS to U.S. anti-government groups with new position; CNN; 4:49 PM ET, Thu October 15, 2015. http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/14/politics/justice-department-domestic-terror-council/

[11] Vande Pol, Mark Edward; Knowledge Economy: A Simple and Workable Plan to Transform Education
This is as revolutionary an approach as you will ever see, anywhere. http://www.wildergarten.com/wp_pages/articles/knowledge_economy.html.

[12] The original pyramidal structure of American republican government as a hierarchy of governments in parallel with democratic representation was destroyed by one of the most bizzarre rulings in the history of the Supreme Court: Reynolds v. Sims, in which the Court ruled that States had to apportion BOTH of their legislative houses by equal population. Effectively, this ruling violated the "Great Compromise" that is the Constitution itself, with the House apportioned by population and the Senate by States. It is as if the Court ruled the Constitution itself unconstitutional because the States differ in population ordering Senators to represent equal numbers of people within multiple or fractional States! Earl Warren deserved impeachment on this opinion alone.

[13] Kopel, Dave; The Dark Secret of Jim Crow and the Racist Roots of Gun Control.

[14] Ideologies of this sort are most characteristically observed among the the Fourth International (post-reunification).

[15] The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) is a national organization dedicated to training and educating U. S. citizens in responsible uses of firearms and airguns through gun safety training, marksmanship training and competitions. The CMP is a federally chartered 501(c)(3) corporation that places its highest priority on serving youth through gun safety and marksmanship activities that encourage personal growth and build life skills. Links on this page will lead you to more detailed information about the CMP and its programs.


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