"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." The United States Constitution, Second Amendment.
This post was planned (mine, anyway) for a bit farther down the road. (Chuckling as I write it 'cuz it's a subject very dear to me and close to my heart.)
Publius brings to the fore some excellent points in his post, among which is self-preservation and that of loved ones and neighbors.
Not to detract from the most excellent job most Law Enforcement Officers do, but it should be common knowledge, if not understanding, that police forces are not here for 'protection', regardless what is written on their cars (To protect and to serve). Not totally, anyway.
They do serve as a deterrent to crime and violence, but not all. In some instances, such as at a street/bar brawl or fight in progress in a home, they may help to save a life by stopping the altercation. There's an adage in CCW that is simple and direct, completely covering this topic: "A gun in hand is better than a cop on the phone." That is where most peace officers are found when trouble strikes. Not at the scene stopping an intruder from breaking into your home. Not at the home when the drunken husband decides to beat on his wife or children. Not at the bridge when the mother decides to take her children to the bridge and drop them into the water below.
Also, if you ever make a 9-1-1 call and tell the police there is an armed intruder in your home, don't expect them to be 'right there', because they won't be. And when they do arrive, don't expect them to come charging in on white stallions to gather you in their arms and carry you safely away. Because they won't.
Most likely, they will set up around your home, or wherever you are, and cordon the area, take time to set up their SpecOps platoon and a few others, call in a shrink to talk to the intruder/hostage taker...you get the idea. None of them wants to, nor will they, come charging in to take the criminal element under fire. Nor should we, as citizens, expect them to. No one should have to die as part of their job, though in police circles it is an occupational hazard.
This would be a perfectly safe world if every person had a police officer at their side continually protecting them.
But we don't and this is where the Second Amendment of the Constitution comes in, one small section of it, anyway. (Other Amendments that protect our right to guns are the Ninth and Tenth.)
The Second Amendment is constantly under attack because some people who want all the marbles know that a civilian populace without weapons becomes a herd. When only the police and military have weapons, everyone else is a sheep. (For evidence of this, refer to what Hitler did in Germany and other parts of Europe, or what is happening in parts of Africa or South America today.) Our Founding Fathers knew this and gave us the power of their wisdom in the Second Amendment, and the others. All people, not just Americans, have the God given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Those are inalienable rights. Rights guaranteed Americans by our Constitution.
So it behooves every legal, law-abiding American to exercise their freedom, for a freedom not exercised is a freedom lost. "The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Exercise that right. Buy a rifle, a shotgun, and a handgun. (I'll get to what kinds later, so be patient.) Check the facts about gun 'control' in any city or state or nation that restricts gun ownership and you will see that crime rises in every one when civilian gun ownership is taken away. Australia, England (especially), Washington D.C., etc. At the opposite end of that, states that allow concealed carry have reductions in crime. Prime example: Florida. Don't take my word for it, check the F.B.I. statistics.
Now, as to the remainder of the Second Amendment. The part that reads, "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state..."
We have to first answer the question, "Who is the militia?"
Succinctly put: The militia is any person who lives in the community/county/state/country and who is not part of the standing military.
In short: every able bodied man between the ages of 16 and 60, according to the Constitution. If the women want to be included, that is fine, there is no prohibition against it. I encourage it, even. Who better to know when they need defending than the person being attacked?
The Militia Act of 1903 enabled the National Guard, it did not abolish the militia. What it did was establish a reserve military component that was also instructed to aid its home state in times of emergency. At no time can a Guardsman/woman enter a private home uninvited if they are acting in their military capacity. That, too, is in the Constitution, Amendment Three. (There is a 'prescribed by law' clause there, but it's beyond this at the moment since the country is not under direct attack nor has martial law been established. But I can feel it coming.)
Militia units are still a very viable and active component of the Civilian Army as envisioned by our Fathers, verifiable in their correspondence. So, again I ask, "Who is the militia?"
When under attack by anyone, I am the militia. I am the one most responsible for my defense or demise. Therefore, it is in my best interests to be ready for that attack.
(Do you realise that Switzerland requires each citizen to not only be armed, but to practice regularly with that issued weapon? America should have the same law. Crime rates in Switzerland are among the lowest per capita in the world. Plus: No country has ever attacked Switzerland.)
So, we have settled 'who' the militia is. Let's examine 'unorganised' militia a little.
Let it be known, I am not in any militia. I want to be, but have got a little long in the tooth (those remaining) to be of much value to them regardless how young I think I am.
Minnesota has the 32nd Field Force Militia. It is part of the unorganised American Militia, so far as I have been able to discern. Not all states have an unorganised Civilian Militia, but they should. If they were following the Constitution they would have. A standing Civilian Militia is the only honest, real force to follow what the Fathers adhered to in the Constitution.
In part: "...Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government..."
And that is one part of the Constitution liberals and socialists would love to abolish. That is the sole aim of any person who wants to "change the Constitution to be a more forward, modern and understanding document" (Re: Mubarack Obama).
What that sentence in the Constitution says is that 'We, the People' - the actual employers of those in the Capitol- have the right to rebel against the government, even to the raising of arms.
(No, I am not advocating an insurrection, rebellion or take-over of anything. But if the need arises, so be it.)
The expression, "Freedom is earned, not given," is what the militia is about. Those people are taking their responsibilities to their loved country very seriously. As I believe we all should.
Is joining a militia for everyone? No, not at all. Some are just not cut out to defend themselves and will always need someone to do the dirty work for them. No offense meant by that, it's just life. Some people don't feel a need to defend their homes, their country, their lives or their loved ones. Some people do. More power to them. Here again, if you don't feel your rights are worth defending, you don't deserve those rights. Our Founding Fathers knew this. They pledged everything they had to it, that's why we are where we are today.
However you look at it, joining a militia is up to the individual- they don't 'draft' anyone. Nor do they send their emissaries overseas to fight foreign wars. They strictly defend the Homeland. That is their job. Your job. My job. Our job.
Now- will we need the militia one day?
If events keep on as they are, my opinion: yes we will.
If the government continues to corrupt itself, spend itself into bankruptcy, erode our rights and take what they have not earned from those who earned it, we most certainly will. I have no doubt of it.
But the militia will not be our police force. That will be up to the individuals of the community.
Consider this. Taking another page from history after the Civil War and the West was wild and woolly and hard to curry below the knees. Did you ever see a movie where the outlaw gang took over a community? Do you think it would have happened easily? I don't. Every man in the community had a gun and knew how to use it. They'd just fought a war. They fought Indians. They fought each other. No outlaw gang was going to ride into a town and take it away from the citizens unless the citizens wanted them to. Every window, door and rooftop would have been an opening for a marksman. Those outlaws would all have been worm food in Boot Hill.
That is going to become the responsibility of every citizen of every community if a worst-case scenario evolves. We will have some people 'hired' as 'town Marshall's' or lawmen, but total safety will be up to the individuals. A lawman's job is to give a semblance of peace, to patrol and prevent so much as possible. It is not to jump in front of a bullet to save anyone. It should not have to be, it will not be.
A neighborhood watch is a good idea. Neither militia nor police force, they are a deterrent to crime, even encouraged by Minnesota law. Drive around any community and you will see the rectangular sign with the blue eye, its caption: Neighborhood Crime Watch. Should these people be armed? Of course. Everyone should be armed. That is how peace is kept. Seriously- you don't think the blue uniform of a policeman stops attacks, do you? Of course not: it's the gun they carry, the ability to use it and the criminal's knowledge of this. That's what stops the crime. Imagine now if every honest citizen was armed. There's your police force, your crime deterrent, your militia. That is your Home Guard.
So there you have it, self defense, in a nutshell.
One further thought about the current police forces throughout the country. When the money stops coming in, where are these men going to stand? Are they going to continue their positions for little or no pay? Or will they be as the rest of us: trying to 'get by' ? Of course, we could barter for their services, if they were willing. Or if the community was willing. Here again, there are so many unanswered questions about what is going to happen that we all are playing this by ear. No one knows the music. Or else we can't read it.
As to answering another of Publius' questions: Yes, most certainly there are preppers who are militia members. I don't know any, wish I did, but they are among us. Thank God.
Now, a few links to militia matters, in case anyone is interested in getting to know them a bit more.
Here is the Militia Act of 1792:The Militia Act of 1792 and it's an excellent read.
Minnesota's 32nd Field Force website is: http://www.32ndff.net/ and it is an interesting read. They have the Standards for joining, equipage and regulations.
Overseeing many militia sites is the Well Regulated Militia. Their web address is: www.awrm.org/ and you can find all the standards and reasons to belong to any state militia there.
Again, consider how much your freedom means to you and yours before you decide to not join a militia group. But do understand, joining a militia will be tough work. Not hard, tough. It isn't something to do if you just want to bang guns on a week end or stroll through Como Zoo. It's going to be tough- worse than Basic Training. And rightly so because you're learning to defend your home. Also, militia do not provide the weapons or equipment: the individual does. A valid reason being, it's the individual's responsibility and if that person puts their own money into proper gear, they're not going to be wasting others' time and be more willing to do what needs doing- which is train.
Prep on, Folks. Thanks for stopping by. Up next: what the well dressed Prepper packs on his belt.