Today, I’m going to tread ground upon which many fear to tread by discussing the first two phrases of the Second Amendment.
The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution states thus: “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.”
Seems to me that we have either ignored or simply missed a very vital component of liberty in our discussions and writings about secession…or about the Second Amendment. That very vital component is the existence and use of force.
No reasonable proponent of state sovereignty wants to propose secession and state nationhood through armed overthrow and insurrection. All of the thought leaders of secession that I have read concentrate on the orderly and lawful methods of secession, and eschew any ideas of military resistance. That’s fine.
But James Madison, John Adams, Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson had a different perspective.
The Framers knew that when tyranny advanced against any state, the state’s last option to resist that tyranny was to take up arms and fight. They had just proven its effectiveness by seceding from Great Britain through the use of state militias.
Most of the words I’ve ever seen written about the Second Amendment had to do with the last phrase of the Amendment. Even when I wrote about this subject HERE, my emphasis was about firearms.
My only paragraph about the militia said this:
“Any State with a well-regulated Militia would be capable of defending itself from Federal tyranny. Over the past two hundred years, the individual States have forgotten that their security as a free State relies upon a well-regulated Militia. The first two phrases in the Amendment shed light on today’s power structure in the United States. The Federal government now has standing armies, navies and an air force that far outnumbers any state militia. So, state sovereignty has been destroyed. Now states are more like counties…no sovereignty, only slave territories of a cancer-ridden Federal system.”
The very nature of government is force. It is not governed itself by anything but raw force. Bullies and tyrants never are. If you doubt this, go find a woman who has gotten a restraining order against an abusive ex-husband. See how safe she feels. A week hardly goes by in which there is not a news story about an ex-husband or boyfriend who murders a woman, even though she got a court-issued restraining order. But courts don’t enforce restraining orders because cops are not personal bodyguards. They only deal with violations after the fact.
In like fashion, courts and Congresses, resembling murderous ex-boyfriends and looters, are only stopped from wreaking their mayhem by force or the threat of force.
Do you notice that American armed forces are in Afghanistan and Iraq, not walking the streets of Pyongyang, North Korea? That’s because North Korea is very willing to defend itself. Washington bows up like a banty rooster about the lawful Iranian civilian nuclear program, but sends bribes to “Dear Leader” Kim Jong Il.
Even if secessionist and nationalist leaders champion the cause of non-violence and secession through lawful means, they do themselves and their followers a disservice by refusing to broach the subject of armed resistance to Federal tyranny. That position is akin to posting a sign in your front lawn that reads “Gun Free Zone.” You’ve just announced that you have no means of defending yourself against attack and violence. Ask those at Fort Hood, Columbine High School and Virginia Tech.
There is a fine line between acknowledging that you’ll fight tyranny and picking a fight with a tyrant. The first trick is to know enough not to cross that line. The other trick is to be aware that the bad guys keep moving the line.
I think of a state like Texas and its very exciting nationalist movement. I encourage a free and open discussion of militia re-building as they move forward. With a Texas population of over 24 million, the militia could easily become a force of 1-2 million able-bodied adult men.
Secessionists in every state need to talk about this subject.
Any state that seriously contemplates secession must reconstitute and rebuild its own Militia. This will be one of the most solemn indications of that State’s seriousness about its own liberty and the liberty of its citizens.
Copyright © 2009, Russell D. Longcore. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.