Answering misconceptions: American militia

The hoplophobes and hoploclasts are always with us.  Consider this comment recently posted online.

“There are no militias in the United States. They were all absorbed into the National Guard in 1906. You and your vigilantes, operating outside the authority of your State Governments, are not the militia. Even the militias at Lexington and Concord existed and operating under the direct command and control of their provincial government (the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, John Hancock presiding). You guys don’t have any of that, do you.”

In the interests of answering challenges like this, consider this response to one of the points the poster brought up.

Dear Mr. Comment-maker, please allow me to gently correct you.

You are not distinguishing between the TWO types of militia recognized by federal (and state) law. Also known as the Dick Act, the Militia Act was passed in 1903 (not 1906), and created two classes of militia within the United States.

First was the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard, the Naval Militia and state defense forces (sometimes called the State Guard or State Military Reserve).

However, it also recognized the reserve militia (also called the unorganized militia), then comprised of all able-bodied men between the ages of 18 and 45 not currently serving in the military.

While MOST of the state-organized/state-recognized militia WERE absorbed into the National Guard et al, some organized units of militia remained solely State formations, and the reserve militia (unorganized militia) continued to be in existence, able to be called up (varying from state to state and in federal law) by sheriffs, governors, legislatures, and simply by individual members responding to appeals from counties, towns, and whomever needed help.

These militia were (and are) free to organize, equip, train, and even deploy as they wish and do not need to be under any governmental agency jurisdiction or control – other than that of any citizen of the State.

BUT – in exchange for those freedoms, they eschew almost all federal and state funding. As with the old pre-Dick Act unorganized militia, whether on Manhattan or in some remote ranching or mining community (like Deadwood or Medora or Silver City or Alta), provides their own uniforms, equipment, weapons, supplies and more.  No government freebies.  Many people consider that a fair or better trade.

Not ALL unorganized militia are necessarily “fully armed” as many volunteer fire departments consider themselves to be militia, as do at least some Community Emergency Response Teams, Medical Reserve Corps groups, and Sheriff’s Posses (both mounted and dismounted). I suspect that at least some posts of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars do, or have groups within them which do, function as militia units.

To refuse to allow and recognize the G-d-given right to organize ourselves and work together to defend ourselves, our families, our neighbors, and our communities against threats is an order that will always be disobeyed, just as it was in the Third Reich, Soviet Union, and elsewhere. The threats are criminal violence, invasion, fire (structures and wildfire), flood, blizzards, hurricane, and more. Including tyrants – and nannies and Karens and Mrs. Grundys.

But even if the entire idea of unorganized or reserve militia were abandoned, that would NOT impact the basic concept of the Second Amendment. That does nothing but recognize a human right that existed long, long before the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.  The right to keep and bare arms, for ANY reason, but especially for self-defense.

About TPOL Nathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (a christian), Pahasapan (resident of the Black Hills), Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer, Evangelist. Successor to Lady Susan (Mama Liberty) at TPOL.
This entry was posted in History of Liberty, Nathan's Rants and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Answering misconceptions: American militia

  1. FrankInFL says:

    ‘Bear’, not ‘bare’.


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