If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government...Federalist 28, Alexander Hamilton
There is a phrase that I have heard mentioned from time to time on the internet, and up until now I always thought it was just something somebody made up. However, after doing a bit of research I discovered that back in September of 1830 during a campaign speech for Senator, Stephen Decatur Miller said, “There are three and only three ways to reform our Congressional legislation, familiarly called, the ballot box, the jury box and the cartridge box.”
I’m tired of arguing with people, or trying to convince them that the ultimate authority in this country resides with the people, and that our government is bound by the limits we have imposed upon it through the Constitution. I truly am. People are dead set on believing whatever it is that they believe, and it seems that no matter if they are Republican or Democrat, they only want to believe that the opposing party is the only thing that is wrong with this country.
If you really want to believe that all we have to do to restore America is to elect enough candidates from either the Republican, or the Democrats to get a majority, and then America will suddenly be hunky dory, then you need to go see a proctologist to have your head removed from your rear end.
In his book Tragedy and Hope author Carroll Quigley wrote, “The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to the doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can “throw the rascals out” at any election without leading to any profound or extreme shifts in policy.”
That quote, right there, sums up the nature of both political parties in this country. It is just like Teddy Roosevelt said in his Progressive Covenant With the People speech back in 1912, “Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people. From these great tasks both of the old parties have turned aside. Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare they have become the tools of corrupt interests, which use them impartially to serve their selfish purposes. Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics, is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.”
But the truth is, even if you are too biased or apathetic to seek it out, is that neither party, and our entire government, for that matter, is corrupt and routinely violates the law. What law is that Neal? Why the Constitution―the supreme law of the land.
In Federalist 15 Alexander Hamilton wrote, “Government implies the power of making laws. It is essential to the idea of a law, that it be attended with a sanction; or, in other words, a penalty or punishment for disobedience. If there be no penalty annexed to disobedience, the resolutions or commands which pretend to be laws will, in fact, amount to nothing more than advice or recommendation. This penalty, whatever it may be, can only be inflicted in two ways: by the agency of the courts and ministers of justice, or by military force…”
While Hamilton was speaking about the ability of a government to enforce the laws it enacts, the idea that a law is attended with a sanction, or punishment, exists equally in regard to those who make the laws. They are bound, by oath, to uphold the Constitution, the supreme law of the land, and if they violate that oath and overstep their authority by enacting laws which they have no power to enact, or by enacting laws which violate our unalienable rights, they are in fact criminals.
But, is throwing the rascals out, as Quigley wrote a sanction or punishment when they are simply replaced by someone of the same corrupt nature? In a speech delivered to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, James Madison spoke the following words, “Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks — no form of government can render us secure. To suppose liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea.” And for those who don’t know what chimerical means, the dictionary defines it is a plan or course of action that is not possible to achieve.
So, getting back to that phrase I spoke of, we as citizens have three options open to us to obtain a government which adheres to the limits outlined by our Constitution; the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box. It is plainly evident that the people of this country, well a good percentage of them anyway, don’t have the faintest idea, or don’t care, what the Constitution says are the powers granted our government. They will vote for whomever comes closest to their personal expectations and desires of what they want from government. It doesn’t matter if a person votes for a candidate who promises to enact new benefit programs, such as Obamacare, or if a person votes for candidates who will do whatever it takes to defend us from the bogeyman terrorists, the end result is the same, we get more programs, more infringements of our liberty, and a government that grows bigger and bigger.
So it appears that the first option, the ballot box, is not going to restore America onto the path envisioned by our Founders.
What about the jury box? You tell me, do you think that your local District Attorney is going to file charges on your behalf against YOUR congressman, your senator, or the President? It wouldn’t matter if you provided reams of paperwork documenting clear cut violations of the Constitution, it ain’t gonna happen. And you can forget about getting any justice from the IN-Justice Department. After all, aren’t they the ones who initiated the gun running scandal Fast and Furious? Aren’t they the ones who caused Waco and Ruby Ridge? You think Eric Holder is going to answer YOUR petitions for a redress of grievances…even though the First Amendment guarantees you the right to petition YOUR government for a redress of grievances? You think that you are going to get any justice from them? They don’t care about justice, just ask the family of Ambassador Stevens who was killed at the embassy in Benghazi, the family of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry who was killed with one of the guns involved in Eric Holder’s Fast and Furious program, or Vicki Weaver, daughter of the family killed at Ruby Ridge. As far as our government is concerned we don’t deserve justice, but let someone threaten any of them and they will move heaven and earth in the search for justice.
So that leaves us with but one option, the cartridge box. Before I go any further, I want to make it perfectly clear that I AM NOT saying that people should go out and become vigilantes and take justice into their own hands. That being said, our country was founded by men who stood up and fought against tyranny. In 1785 James Madison would write, “Because it is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of Citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The free men of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entagled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle.” How did they deny it? They denied it by saying that they would not tolerate a government which was tyrannical and oppressive, and they placed their lives on the line in support of their beliefs.
Even Abraham Lincoln, in his Inaugural Address, declared, “This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it.” Over a century later, Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglass would say, “The right to revolt has sources deep in our history.”
Although this was written after our war for independence, AND was written by a Frenchman, Frederic Bastiat, I am absolutely certain that our Founders would have agreed wholeheartedly with what he said, “If every person has the right to defend—even by force—his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right—its reason for existing, its lawfulness—is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force—for the same reason—cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.
But, unfortunately, law by no means confines itself to its proper functions. And when it has exceeded its proper functions, it has not done so merely in some inconsequential and debatable matters. The law has gone further than this; it has acted in direct opposition to its own purpose.”
You see, our Founders believed in the principle of natural law, that our rights are derived from our Creator and that no man, no group of men, no government, may deprive us of them. And if anyone attempts to deprive us of our rights, IT IS our right to stand up and fight for them, up to and including the use of force. In his Second Treatise on Civil Governments, John Locke wrote, “By the same reason may a man in the state of Nature punish the lesser breaches of that law, it will, perhaps, be demanded, with death? I answer: Each transgression may be punished to that degree, and with so much severity, as will suffice to make it an ill bargain to the offender, give him cause to repent, and terrify others from doing the like. ”
In 1787 John Adams wrote something entitled A Defense of the Constitutions of Government. From it I quote, “The right of a nation to kill a tyrant, in cases of necessity, can no more be doubted, than to hang a robber, or kill a flea. But killing one tyrant only makes way for worse, unless the people have sense, spirit and honesty enough to establish and support a constitution guarded at all points against the tyranny of the one, the few, and the many.”
But the point is that we do not have to kill them, we only need to stand up to them, and stand up in sufficient numbers, and with sufficient force, to cause them to back down. A perfect example is what happened recently in Nevada at the Cliven Bundy ranch, the militia came in and stood beside Mr. Bundy and the government, for the time being, seems to have backed down. It matters not whether, as some believe, Mr. Bundy had no claim to that land. The point is that the militia, stood their ground against what they considered to be a threat to Mr. Bundy’s rights and the government backed down.
Unfortunately, due to media misrepresentation, the militia has gotten a bad name. People hear the word militia and they automatically assume they are a bunch of anti government lunatics who want to start a war. While there may be some fringe elements who are like that, for the most part militia-members are simply those who want the government to stay within its defined limits and have banded together to defend themselves should it not.
According to the dictionary there are 3 definitions for militia. Number 1 is; soldiers who are also civilians; an army of soldiers who are civilians but take military training and can server full-time during emergencies. Number 2 is; reserve military force: a reserve military army that is not part of the regular armed forces but can be called up in an emergency. And number 3 is, (and this is the one most people envision when they hear the word); unauthorized quasi-military group: an unauthorized group of people who arm themselves and conduct quasi-military training.
Now that you know what the dictionary says, let’s see what the LAW says. According to Title 10 of the United States Code, Section 311-Militia composition and classes, the militia is defined as:
(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
(b) The classes of the militia are—
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.
That’s what the law says. What did our Founding Fathers say? Well, Richard Henry Lee, great uncle to Confederate General Robert E. Lee, said, “A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves…and include all men capable of bearing arms.” (Additional letters from the Federal Farmer, at 169, 1788)
In an article in the Pennsylvania Gazette, February 20, 1788, Tenche Coxe wrote, “Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American… The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.”
In his Commentaries on the Constitution, Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story writes, “The militia is the natural defense of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers. It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time of peace, both from the enormous expenses, with which they are attended, and the facile means, which they afford to ambitious and unprincipled rulers, to subvert the government, or trample upon the rights of the people.”
Now do these quotes sound at all like the impression of a bunch of renegade outlaws that the media has portrayed the milita as being? No, the militia is you and I, and every other freeman who is willing to stand up, not only for their country, but for their liberty.
On June 18, 1789, an author writing under the pseudonym of A Pennsylvanian would say, “As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.”
Every time there is a shooting somewhere I hear the call for stricter gun laws and the cry for bans on more and more classes and types of firearms. But that goes completely against the purpose and intent of the militia. I constantly hear that back in the time of our Founders that the colonists did not have automatic weapons and large capacity magazines. Well neither did the government against whom they were fighting…the British. They ALL had muskets and flintlocks, with a few assorted side-arms and blunderbuss’s thrown in for good measure. And what is a blunderbuss? Why it is basically a sawed off shotgun.
But you say these arms are no longer needed by the average citizen. Well, didn’t Title 10 of the United States Code say that all men, aged 17 and over members of the militia? Well, according to Thomas Jefferson, from his Notes on the State of Virginia, “Every able-bodied freeman, between the ages of 16 and 50, is enrolled in the militia…The law requires every militia-man to provide himself with arms usual in the regular service.”
You tell me, do our ‘regular’ servicemen go off to fight with semi-automatic weapons and 10 round magazines? What about all these government agencies like the ATF, the DEA, Homeland Security, who are basically quasi-military units, who have all the latest firepower at their disposal, while our right to keep and bear arms is continually being limited further?
Another Founding Father who wrote under the pen name of An American Citizen, wrote, “The militia, who are in fact the effective part of the people at large, will render many troops quite unnecessary. They will form a powerful check upon the regular troops, and will generally be sufficient to over-awe them.” And how are we to over awe anyone who has fully automatic weapons, armored vehicles, and a host of other military style weaponry at their disposal when our government limits our ability to own even the most basic of automatic firearms? Or is that been their intent all along?
As Patrick Henry so eloquently stated during the Virginia debates for ratification of the Constitution, “O sir, we should have tine times, indeed, if, to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people! Your arms, wherewith you could defend yourselves, are gone…Did you ever read of any revolution in a nation…inflicted by those who had no power at all?”
I know this has been rather long, but I am just saying that it is my belief that our country has gone way past the point where anything we do at the ballot box is going to make any kind of a difference. We no longer have a government that cares about the rule of law, or justice, therefore any hope of obtaining justice through peaceful petitions is probably out of the question as well. That leaves us with but one option.
You may not care about these things as long as you have a roof over your head, a job, and something to keep you entertained. But the time will come when our governments continued growth and infringements upon our rights affects you in ways that you do not like. It will be then that you cry the loudest and ask why didn’t someone warn you that this was going to happen. And it will be then that those of us who have been talking about it for decades will tell you to shut the hell up–because we HAVE BEEN warning you.
I will leave you with 3 quotes to ponder, and then you can get back to your lives.
A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.-Edward Abbey
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.-Ben Franklin
When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist. When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat. When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist. When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent; I wasn’t a Jew. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.- Martin Niemöller