Grassroots Commentary

Militias and Mumbais

By John Longenecker · Jul. 5, 2011

Anti-gun groups are quick to link Militia to state governments, but, as usual, they mislead the electorate. When the Supreme Court and lower courts grapple with the second amendment as a concept of state militia, they err. Still, many wins for the individual right were made possible by a greater adherence to Original Intent than ideas that the Document is a ‘living document’, that a militia must be a state entity, or that a militia is a hate group.

The United States is a living, breathing entity only because the Constitution and Original Intent are firm. If they were flexible, we never would have survived a generation. Here are a few key points of how the importance of the past is relevant now.

1. Militia within the meaning of the second amendment pre-dates the United States. In the framing era, well-regulated meant self-regulated in answering the question, regulated by whom? There was no government in the framing era when the Militia was first-in-time.

2. Militia pre-dates the formation of the federal government, a creation of the states. The founders did not mean that Militia was a federal concept when, in fact, there was no federal government.

3. Militia within the meaning of the second amendment pre-dates an organized police force by nearly 100 years. There were no cops.

4. Militia within the meaning of the second amendment pre-dates National Guard by about 130 years. So much for the ‘state’ concept as an exclusive, collective concept.

5. Militia within the meaning of the second amendment is affirmed by the Vitter Amendment to the Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act of 2006.

6. Militia within the meaning of the second amendment is a preparedness paradigm of volunteers to activate in time of disaster or any other emergency. Because there is no one else.

Since citizens have legal authority to protect their communities in the absence of first responders, military and other agencies, there is no interference or conflict with governmental assets. There is simply a structure in place to keep the lid on until their arrival.

Anti-gun groups are quick to portray Militia as hate groups, supremacist groups, isolationist or anti-government forces, but there are too many good relationships between Militias and law enforcement for this to be true. Official refusal to work with Militias is rare, and forty-eight states simply have no problem with armed citizens by the millions.

Militias can be summoned to canvas large expanses of land for a lost child when police assets are needed urgently elsewhere. Militias think of food banks, first-aid preparedness and general preparedness paradigms and drills. Militias are medically trained for rescue.

You have your hate groups, your end-of-the-world cults, and you have your Lone Wolf anti-social individuals, but these are not militias any more than the Ku Klux Klan is a benevolent society. You Lone Wolf is not connected with any preparedness Militia, but with terrorist plans of abroad. Which brings me to the Mumbai scenario.

Named after the mass shootings in Mumbai, India of November, 2008, the cloning of that terrorist strike is known to be planned for the U.S. What boosted casualties during those several hours of mass shootings was a combination of striking various locations and striking where the citizenry was known to be unarmed.

While free countries are coming to realize that stunning acts can happen anywhere, America, too, is coming to appreciate a Mumbai-style shooting is possible. Today, chatter captured by Intelligence divulges plans for Lone Wolf strikes of sweeping gunfire a la Mumbai.

What was missing in Mumbai and in the multiple provinces the shootings occurred is a second amendment. They did not have their own “rifle behind every blade of grass.” During World War II, Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto advised against striking the United States mainland; he is quoted as saying that there is a rifle behind every blade of grass. Is this a great country, or what?

Let it be known. That’s fine.

One of the best deterrent effects of an armed citizenry is the publicity and general knowledge of it. One of the best preparedness models is the freedom of citizen volunteers to swing into action on very short notice wherever they are on the likelihood that they will be immediately present in sufficient numbers when emergency strikes.

This concept of such a freedom of movement is a meaningful preparedness and response model. Given the fact that governmental assets may be hours to days to weeks away, this one is the multiplication of the Good Samaritan concept so oft praised by law enforcement lately for takedowns.

The beauty of this volunteer force is that it does not answer to any centralized authority. It can deploy in any local emergency without bureaucracy. It can tend to business immediately without permission from any bureaucrat, and it can self-critique and train from one mission to the next without interference.

For a lost child or a Mumbai-style strike, immediacy is everything. [The very idea of an Amber Alert utilizes the concept of involving civilians quickly and as widely as possible.] The freedom of movement in having a rifle behind every blade of grass – or a loaded sidearm on every hip – is the same concept.

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