May 20, 2016 | 2nd Amendment, Civil Liberties, Constitution, Founders, History, Militia
by Nicholas Testaccio
“Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.” – Captain John Parker, Colonial Militia.
I want to stand on the Green in Lexington with my two grandsons and tell them the story of Captain Parker, and his company of Minute Men.
I want to see the look in their eyes as I relate the tales of men so daring that I can barely explain the reverence I have for such honor and fortitude.
I want them to enjoy the story, wonder at the bravery, and admire the courage it took for the men and women who started this nation. Every one of who served its community by contributing to the Militia. Whether one of Captain Parker’s Minute Men bearing arms, the miller, the merchant, or the wives who made the patches, and the gun powder that fed the muskets.
I want them to know, and understand that in the eyes of the men who stood on that Green, and words penned to the Constitution, the Right to Keep and Bear Arms was not simply about owning a firearm for self defense, but rather it was a sacred duty to country.
According to militia statutes all able bodied men between the ages of 16 to 45 carried their weapons wherever they went. It was not simply a right to “keep and bear arms”, but a duty to contribute to the security of the colony, and subsequently the nation.
Virginia’s Militia Statutes:
-  “ALL men that are fittinge to beare armes, shall bringe their peices to the church * * * , yf the mayster allow not thereof to pay 2 lb. of tobacco * * * , and the servants to be punished.”
-  “[M]asters of every family shall bring with them to church on Sondays one fixed and serviceable gun with sufficient powder and shott * * * , and servants being commanded and yet omitting shall receive twenty lashes on his or theire bare shoulders[.]”
-  “[I]n each county * * * all free male persons, hired servants, and apprentices, above the age of sixteen, and under fifty years, except such as are * * * excepted [under the statute], shall be enlisted into the militia[.]”
-  “[A]ll free male persons, hired servants, and apprentices, between the ages of sixteen and fifty years [with various exceptions] * * * shall * * * be enrolled or formed into [Militia] companies[.]”
Lest we believe that Virginia was the only one of thirteen colonies that enforced such statutes, each colony was required to maintain a “well regulated militia”.
-  “[E]very Inhabitant of the Island [of Rhode Island] above sixteen or under sixty yeares of age, shall alwayes be provided of a Musket, one pound of powder, twenty bullets, and two fadom of Match, with sword, rest, bandaleers all completely furnished.”
-  “[E]ach and every effective Man * * * shall provide, and at all times be furnished, at his own Expence (excepting such Persons * * * unable to purchase the same) with one good Musquet, and a Bayonet fitted thereto, * * * one Ram-rod, Worm, Priming-wire and Brush, and one Cartouch-Box.”
Each colony recognized that hostilities would sweep the nation and so some strengthened their Militia statutes.
New Jersey Provincial Congress
-  “The Congress taking Into consideration the cruel and arbitrary measures adopted and pursued by the British Parliament and present Ministry for the purpose of subjugating the American Colonies to the most abject servitude, and being apprehensive that all pacific measures for the redress of our grievances will prove Ineffectual, do think it highly necessary that the inhabitants of this Province be forthwith properly armed and disciplined for defense of the cause of American freedom. And further considering that, to answer this desirable end, it is requisite that such persons be entrusted with the command of the Militia as can be confided in by the people, and are truly zealous in support of our just rights and privileges, do recommend and advise that the good people of this Province hence forward strictly observe the following rules and regulations, until this Congress shall make further order therein:”
- “That one or more companies *** be Immediately formed in each Township *** that the several Committees in this Province do, as soon as may be, acquaint themselves with the number of male inhabitants in their respective districts, from the age of sixteen to fifty, who are capable of bearing arms; and thereupon form them into companies, consisting as near as may be of eighty men each; which companies so formed shall, each by itself, assemble and choose, by plurality of voices, four persons among themselves, of sufficient substance and capacity for its officers, namely, one captain, two lieutenants, and an ensign.”
- “*** [S]hall with all convenient speed furnish himself with a good musket or firelock and bayonet, sword or tomahawk-, a steel ramrod, priming-wire and brush fitted thereto, a cartridge-box to contain twenty-three rounds of cartridges, twelve flints, and a knapsack, agreeable to the direction of the Continental Congress, under the forfeiture of two shillings for the want of a musket or firelock, and of one shilling for the want of the other above-enumerated articles”; also ” that every person directed to be enrolled as above shall, at his place of abode, be provided with one pound of powder and three pounds of bullets of proper size to his musket or firelock.”
Across the Thirteen Colonies were formed the Militia that were always armed and ready to protect the county, enforce the law, and give a good account of itself in time of war. Militia existed for 150 years in that form until the American colonies began that time when it became necessary “to dissolve the political bands” with Great Britain.
On April 19, 1775 the Militia began to flex its independence from the yoke of Britain. It became, as was intended through Five Hundred years of English common law the good People of the colonies exercising their authority to “distress and harass [the crown] by all the ways in which they are able; that is to say, by the taking of our castles, lands, and possessions, and by any other means in their power, until the excess shall have been redressed, according to their verdict”. – CARTA LIBERTATUM of King John, 1215
Even King John, as vicious and sadistic a ruler as he was purported to be, was forced to recognize the authority of the people to seek and obtain redress by any means possible. And how was this accomplished?
Militia has a long and honored place in our history. It was the means, by which the barons would harass the king, it was the mustering of Minute Men on Lexington Green, and it was to be the authority “to execute the Laws of the Union” as recognized, and enacted by the authors and signers of the Constitution.
Now, when someone tells me that he or she is a constitutionalist, and they shy from the proper lawful meaning of Militia, and the Second Amendment, I have to call fake.
I did not create the definition of Militia, nor did those who drafted the Constitution. They used hundreds of years of historical fact and original statutes in writing “the Constitution of the United States”. They debated for months and considered “every word” so that it would “have its due force, and appropriate meaning, for it is evident from the whole instrument, that no word was unnecessarily used, or needlessly added”.
So the question to the individual rights theorists is whether or not the words “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state” have any meaning or “due force”?
What I am writing here are not the secrets hidden away in some crypt, or kept in some government bunker beyond the hands of the people. They are in plain view for all to see. Yet, it remains one of the biggest scams perpetrated upon the American people with those claiming to be friends of liberty as part of the deception.
The authors of the Constitution did not endow us with the power, but rather recognized the weight to enforce our sovereignty when government fails to abide by the limited delegated authority that “We the People” grant. However, there is a misconception in the current mindset that is at best unlawful, historically inaccurate, but more importantly dangerous to the continuity of a free nation.
When we abandon the only “necessary” implement of our authority we place ourselves outside the rule of law. Our law recognizes authority, power, and delegate’s limited aspects of that to government, but does not make implications determined by mood, agenda, twists, or political aspirations.
In Connerly v General Contractor the court noted, and I think correctly, “The dividing line between what is lawful and unlawful cannot be left to conjecture.” The court went on to determine that “The result is that the application of the law depends, not upon a word of fixed meaning in itself, or one made definite by statutory or judicial definition, or by the context or other legitimate aid to its construction, but upon the probably varying impressions of juries ***. The constitutional guaranty of due process cannot be allowed to rest upon a support so equivocal”.
At this time in history it is essential to remind ourselves of the arguments presented by one of our great statesmen, Patrick Henry. “By this [the grant of power that permitted Congress to arm the militias], sir, you see that [congressional] control over our last and best defence is unlimited. If they neglect or refuse to discipline or arm our militia, they will be useless: the states can do neither-this power being exclusively given to Congress. The power of appointing officers over men not disciplined or armed is ridiculous.”
The rules for tyranny are as obvious as Henry had railed against the wording that could, and would be interpreted. Judge Alex Kozinski recognizing the patterns of history wrote in his dissent of Silveria v Lockyer “Judges know very well how to read the Constitution broadly when they are sympathetic to the right being asserted. *** When a particular right comports especially well with our notions of good social policy, we build magnificent legal edifices on elliptical constitutional phrases —or even the white spaces between lines of constitutional text.” And perhaps the elimination of certain words that do not reconcile with the comfort of individuals either averse to performing their duty, or ideology that ignores past lessons.
Judge Kozinski continues, “The majority falls prey to the delusion—popular in some circles—that ordinary people are too careless and stupid to own guns, and we would be far better off leaving all weapons in the hands of professionals on the government payroll. But the simple truth—born of experience—is that tyranny thrives best where government need not fear the wrath of an armed people. Our own sorry history bears this out *** All too many of the other great tragedies of history— Stalin’s atrocities, the killing fields of Cambodia, the Holocaust, to name but a few—were perpetrated by armed troops against unarmed populations.”
In his reference to the past, Judge Kozinski does not fail in his recognition that the primary goal of the second amendment is a requirement of law. “Many [of those tragedies] could well have been avoided or mitigated, had the perpetrators known their intended victims were equipped with a rifle and twenty bullets apiece, as the Militia Act required here.” In our fundamental law, the right of the People to keep and bear those arms most suitable to military service is paramount to restraining, or as established centuries ago, to “distress and harass” the government “until the excess shall have been redressed, according to their verdict”.
Over decades the general public has been brainwashed. There is no other way of putting it. Somehow, after all the strife of bringing forth a free and open society, we’ve been led to believe that we can now place any trust in agencies of government. By trust I mean to enter a court of the realm that Judge Koszinski notes, “use some constitutional provisions as springboards for major social change”. To ask agencies of government for permission to grant us license to defend ourselves in some inferior manner flies in the face of a nation “of the people, by the people, for the people”.
The individual by definition is but one against great odds, and it is not those who believe in the strength and force of unity who have been deceived, but rather those who ignore the facts of division and confusion who have been led down the path to defeat.
It is time that we drop the pretense that the few and scattered victories of individuals have overcome the relentless juggernaut of tyranny, or that acting in concert with compelling government interests, granted privileges, whims, fears, and false doctrine will maintain “a free state”.
It is our right, it is our duty “to execute the Laws of the Union” as “A well regulated militia”, and when the state abandons the rule of law as set by the People, it is your duty “To stand [y]our ground”.