The Constitutional Militia: The defense of the nation is the responsibility of its people

69th New York Militia
69th New York Militia

Thanks to the main stream media and anti-gun political agendas, the word militia is likely to have most running in fear. The word brings to mind images of ragtag red-necked racists running around the woods with “machine guns” and swastikas. While there are certainly radical groups out there claiming to be militias, the concept of an organized militia derives its authority from the U.S. Constitution for the purpose of maintaining liberty and defending the nation from hostile invasions. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 15 states that-

“The congress shall have the power to….provide for the calling forth of the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrection and repel invasion.”

According to Richard Henry Lee, the “militia,” when properly formed, is made up of the people themselves and includes all men who are able to bear arms.  Put in the context of the U.S. Constitution, this makes sense because the idea of our republic is that the people are sovereign to government power and the government is a servant to the people. This could not be the case except for the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which are known as the bill of rights. Today, it seems as if many people accept the idea that the federal government, through the supremacy clause, has total power over the states. This is untrue: they only have supreme power over those laws that support the Constitution, and the Tenth Amendment explicitly states that:

“All powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved to the states and the people, respectively.”

This supports the rights of the people to be armed and ready to act in defense of the nation. Many people today feel that the idea of militias and an armed citizenry is outdated and unnecessary because we have an Army. In fact, many would argue that the National Guard is the constitutionally authorized militia. Not true; the reality is that the only constitutionally authorized military force to be funded and maintained by the government is the United States Navy. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 13:

“The congress shall have the power to provide and maintain a Navy”

While Article 1, Section 8, Clause 12 states that:

 “The congress shall have the power to raise and support armies, but no appropriations of money to that use shall be for more than two years.”

That means that the standing U.S. Army is in fact an unconstitutional entity receiving money illegally. The founders, at the time of signing the Constitution, understood that standing armies historically have been the greatest threat to the liberties of the people.  That is still true today, as the tyrannies of the twentieth century saw the world’s most brutal dictators use their standing armies to commit mass murder on an unprecedented scale. At the time, of course, the founders would have been referring to the armies of Great Britain and the history of the Roman Empire as examples. This clause explicitly describes the congress’ responsibility to provide funding for the state militias while giving it a choice to provide for a “national military.” This is more evident by the actual wording of the Second Amendment. Not too many people realize that the Second Amendment is the only place in the Constitution where the word “necessary” is found. The word is referring to the maintenance of the people’s militias.

The purpose of our constitutional republic based on the rule of law is to protect the sovereignty of the people and ensure government does not have the power to suppress the rights of freemen…

Read the rest by David Risselada at FreedomOutpost.

Photo credit Wikimedia/US Library of Congress