The unorganized militia

The unorganized militia

Some anti-gun activists claim that the Second Amendment only gives the right to keep and bear arms to “a well-regulated Militia.” So who is in that militia?

Actually Congress has defined the members of the militia.

Section 311 of US Code Title 10, entitled, “Militia: composition and classes” in its entirety (with emphases added) defines the militia as follows:

(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.

Thus the militia is either the National Guard (the organized militia) or every able-bodied man between 17 and 45 (unorganized). That’s all of us.

For example, it was the militia that diverted Flight 93 from its intended target in Washington, DC, on 9/11, says
Neptunus Lex.

What purpose, the militia?

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  • Hey,wait a minute? Women have to be citizens and members of the National Guard, but men only need to intend to be citizens? Maybe you shouldn’t advertise this, Dom. Not that I don’t hate guns, anyway.

  • I’ll give you credit for actually addressing that inconvenient little part about a “well regulated militia.”  Congress has defined militia, but that bit about “well regulated” still hangs out there.  In my 41 years I have fired maybe 2 dozen rounds, all in a single afternoon.  The friend who took me to the range with his collection of long and short firearms has vastly more experience than I do.  Neither 1 of us, both of whom fall within the definition, knows who our CO is in this militia.  I think that blows out the well regulated bit. 

    On a different note, I seem to only comment when I disagree with you.  Sorry about that.  Since I read almost everything, take my vast stretches of silence as applause.

  • It is important to note that neither the Founding Fathers, nor Congress, nor the Constitution created or otherwise defines the militia, and the militia is not a creature of government, but of society itself.  The militia existed before the Congress and before the Constitution.  The militia existed before the Founding Fathers.  The militia exists separate and apart from government.

    It was the militia that met and engaged with the lawful government’s soldiers at Lexington and Concord, when the government sought to forcibly impose gun control on the people.  It was the militia that laid seige to Boston in opposition to the government’s forces.

    Thus we can see that the militia exists not to protect government, but to protect society—the people—from any and all threats, including that of oppressive government, be that government an oppressive English king or otherwise.

  • DGS—

    By law, your county Sherrif is the commander of the local militia.  So, now you know who your commander is.  the one remaining question: does he know?

    I’m foggier about this—is his role as militia commander (which BTW fufills the idea that the “captains” of the militia be elected)related to his mostly unused but still extant power to form a posse?  and what of Posse Commitatus, the laws that keep federal troops from being used as law enforcement.

    glad I’m too old to be in the Militia. Hmmm—am I too old to own a gun?