The Purpose and Necessity of the Second Amendment & “the Militia of the several States”, and the Invasion-Infringement of the RTKBA. A short commentary

By Daniel V. McGonigle III

February 2, 2013

The Preamble of the Constitution declares that:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

The 2nd Amendment further declares that:

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.”

In Story’s Commentaries, Sec. 1890 on the 2nd Amendment, the dual power and right comprising the clauses of the 2nd were explicitly noted and re-affirmed.

“§ 1890. . . The militia is the natural defence of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers . . .  The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.(2) And yet, though this truth would seem so clear, and the importance of a well regulated militia would seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised, that among the American people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition, from a sense of its burthens [burdens], to be rid of all regulations. How it is practicable to keep the people duly armed without some organization, it is difficult to see. There is certainly no small danger, that indifference may lead to disgust, and disgust to contempt; and thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by this clause of our national bill of rights.”—Story, Joseph. Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States. 3 Vols., Boston, 1833. (2) 1 Tucker’s Black. Comm. App. 300; Rawle on Const. ch. 10, p. 125; 2 Lloyd’s Debates, 219, 220. [Modern spelling added—DM]

In Presser, the U.S. Supreme Court re-affirmed both clauses of the 2nd Amendment, noting that all able-bodied People capable of bearing Arms have a duty and constitute the Militia for security and common defense, and that the People cannot be deprived of ordinary infantry-grade Arms.

“It is undoubtedly true that all citizens capable of bearing arms constitute the reserved military force or reserve militia of the United States as well as of the States; and, in view of this prerogative of the general government, as well as of its general powers, the States cannot, even laying the constitutional provision in question out of view, prohibit the people from keeping and bearing arms, so as to deprive the United States of their rightful resource from maintaining the public security, and disable the people from performing their duty to the general government.” ~ Presser  v. State of Illinois, 116 U.S. 252 (1886)

The “reserved military force or reserve militia of the United States” [Presser] means “the Militia of the several States, when called into actual service of the United States” [Art II § 2 cl 1]. A “militia of the United States” does not exist as a constitutional entity. The Founders and the States ratifying conventions maintained the existing State Militias as State institutions that could be called forth for national emergencies.

“The Militia of the Several States” Guarantees the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is an 8-part commentary by America’s current preeminent constitutional scholar Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., PhD, JD, author of Pieces of Eight, the greatest work on the power of the purse, and author of Constitutional “Homeland Security” and of The Sword and Sovereignty, the two greatest works on the power of the sword.

Lacking its enumerated, mandated defense and deterrent counterpart, that being the Militia and common Defense state institution, the unorganized RTKBA and the toothless 10th Amendment alone have done little to stop the “Forward” march of usurpation and tyranny. Usurpers in 2013 continue pushing “Forward” with plans for more restrictions, bans, registration and confiscation. Usurpers continue pushing violations of rights to life, liberty and property across a wide spectrum, in 180-degree opposition to the purpose of government as protector and defender of those very rights. All while concurrently, usurpers continue to build a militarized police state surveillance and control grid.

In 1772, a Boston Committee of Correspondence report was widely circulated that re-asserted the rights of Americans:

“In short, it is the greatest absurdity to suppose it in the power of one, or any number of men, at the entering into society, to renounce their essential natural rights, or the means of preserving those rights; when the grand end of civil government, from the very nature of its institution, is for the support, protection, and defence of those very rights; the principal of which, as is before observed, are Life, Liberty, and Property. . . The right of freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave.”—Samuel Adams, The Rights of the Colonists: The Report of the Committee of Correspondence to the Boston Town Meeting, November 20, 1772

County Sheriffs and Sheriffs Associations are to be greatly commended for taking a stand, and their numbers are growing, in support of the RTKBA and against recent usurpation of the RTKBA.

The Committees of Correspondence, the Suffolk Resolves, the Provincial Congresses and Committees of Safety, the Continental Congress, the Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitutions of the several States, the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights never intended that County Sheriffs alone would be authorized to draw a line in the sand, to assemble, to petition for redress, to nullify and/or to execute the Laws when necessary, without the authorized and organized whole body of “the People of the several States” composing “the Militia of the several States“. [See the 1st Amendment; 10th Amendment; Virginia Declaration of Rights, § 13; Art I § 8 cl 15/16; Art I § 2 cl 1; Art II § 2 cl 1; Story’s Commentaries § 1890; Presser v. Illinois].

As Dr. Edwin Vieira Jr. has been asserting since 2005, the urgent necessity is to revitalize “the Militia of the several States“.

Again, declared and re-affirmed:

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.”

© 2013 Daniel V. McGonigle III