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From State militia to Nation Guard

The Founding Fathers would never have been able to have the Constitution adopted by the states had they not agreed to place the Bill of Rights in it.   They were hoping, of course, that we citizens would read the Constitution occasionally and refuse to allow it to become an unused backdrop for politics as usual.   Unfortunately, unconstitutional legislation began almost before the ink was dry on the new document.

Governments are made of bureaucracies.   Bureaucracies have bureaucrats as heads who have the selfish motives of wanting more power and more pay.   These goals are attained by making the bureaucracy larger - with more people in it - with more paperwork (or computerwork today) - and with more legislation giving it more "responsibilities".

Legislatures are made of legislators who want to create bills to become laws so that they can say they have accomplished something.   Their major purpose is to be re-elected.   Even if they were actually statesmen, they would still have to grandstand to be re-elected against those who are simply politicians.

Then there are there are the psychopaths like Karl Marx, George Soros, Barack Obama, and those who we call the Shadow Party.   These people are like catalysts and accelerators for more government control of the people rather than government as the servant of the people as the Founding Fathers intended.   And psychopaths are very charming - in fact they are the most accomplished liars known to mankind.

Consequently, the people tend to be too trusting, and to go to sleep while they are literally taken to the cleaners.   Lately, it has taken the threat of creeping gun control (with the goal of taking away our guns) to begin to wake people up.   But the Second Amendment has more in it than guns for citizens.   It states: 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.

This is a two-part amendment that was adopted to keep us free.   When the Constitution was adopted, the Sovereign States (all thirteen of them) had militias, citizen armies with weapons comparable to those of the federal government.   The States did not want to lose their sovereignty, so the Constitution was drafted so that the federal government would be subservient to the States.   This is why there are several branches of the federal government, each with limited power, and a balance of powers overall so that no one branch can dictate to all the others or to the States.   This is why the word "State", wherever it is found in the original and correct document we call the Constitution, is capitalized.   [It should be noted that some organizations have changed the context of the document so that it will appear that the federal government is supreme above the Sovereign States.   The Heritage Foundation has it right.   Yet, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has it wrong - at this time at least.   This looks a lot like another attempt to change history.]

The militias of the States, when combined, could have easily thrown off the yoke of strong federal government if necessary.   If that had not been the case, the States would never have agreed to adopt the new federal government.   The idea was to have a united group of States for the common defense against common enemies and for fair trade among themselves.   But since that time, the federal government has become a monster to be feared.

The Bill of Rights is a unique feature among constitutions, and it probably should have included more rights for citizens.   It did not, however, and the "right of imminent domain" still allows private property to be seized by the government.   There is no fair taxation when income tax is graduated with varying percentages, and when a majority can vote to have a minority pay their taxes for them.   This last thought is prevalent in places like New Jersey where the dairy farmers and transient military are forced to shoulder most of the tax burden - or in California where the transients and dwellers in the foothills and mountains must pay higher taxes than the domineering city folk.   In fact, income tax is merely a means to make the higher income people pay the taxes for those with less income.

But going back to point of this page, the federal government has succeeded in usurping the States rights as shown in the first part of the Second Amendment.   That part is the most critical if we are to have an effective defense against a brute-force takeover by the federal government or by a branch of the federal government.   While we all had our eye on the ball that has to do with gun control, the real power against a usurping federal government was taken from us - or in some cases bought from us.   I am speaking of the State militias who once could challenge the federal government using comparable weapons.

The National Guard

"A well regulated militia", the Second Amendment states, "being necessary to the security of a free State", means that each State must have a militia to secure freedom for that State.   But unless the State has a militia with weapons comparable to those of our federal government, the State cannot be secure.   Might still makes right.   The Constitution with its Bill of Rights is a piece of paper that is only as good as the Indian treaties with our federal government if we do not back up the document with force.   The Indians did not have the might to enforce their right - and now neither do we the people.

As weapons for the U.S. military have been evolving, the militias have been taken away from the States - and what was once State militias has been given second-rate equipment.   Anyone can see that it would be a real problem for citizens with hunting rifles to face a military with bulletproof vests, tanks, fighter-bombers, and drones.   Far better to have state-of-the-art weapons to counter a takeover by the federal government.   Yet, even the talk of militias is being sold by communists here as anti-American and not politically correct.   They say this while they push gun control.

The militia system in the United States did not begin with any conception of a universal military obligation.   It was based upon voluntary service.   The National Guard is based upon this same principle, citizens who choose to look upon soldiering as an avocation, carrying their military work in peacetime along with their normal occupations - the units so formed being controlled by their separate State governments.

This was the base at the time the National Guard was formed.   But as the National Guard grew, it became ungainly.   There was neither unformity within States nor integration among States.   The Spanish-American War showed that there was much to learned about mobilization, and Secretary of State, Elihu Root, accordingly instituted a study and rearrangement of U.S. military organizations.   This resulted in the passage of the Dick Act in 1903 which divided the militia into (1) organized militia to be known as the National Guard of the State, and (2) a remainder known as reserve militia.   Regular Army armament and discipline were prescribed as was instruction by Regular Army personnel.

At the outset, the President was authorized to call this force for constitutional purposes for periods not to exceed nine months.   In 1908 this time was lifted, as was the restriction on service outside the continental limits of the United States.

A book published in 1907, criticizing military policy, caused the National Guard to improve their standards.   In 1912, Attorney General Wickersham, passing on the Dick Amendment of 1908, ruled that it was his opinion that to move National Guard units outside the continental limits of the U.S. would be unconstitutional.   In 1916, National Guard units were called into United States service "to protect against invasion, rebellion..."   They spent six months on the Mexican border with an enrollment of 100,000 men.   When the U.S. declared war against Germany in 1917, these troops served as a rallying force around which to build the National Guard units necessary to supplement the Regular Army.   The Selective Service Act of May 18, 1917, drafted the National Guard into federal service, and by subsequent War Department orders, the Guard was distributed and formed into 16 National Guard combat divisions, each mobilized and trained in a separate camp.   These served with honor for the duration of the war.   When peace came, most of the Guardsmen went back civilian life, and a new force was needed for the military.

A plan was adopted by General John J. Pershing to set up an Army of the United States to consist of (1) Regular Army, (2) Organized Reserves, and (3) National Guard.   Under this plan, the Guard would be a State force under State control except for those periods when actually in federal service.   The act of June 4, 1920, implemented this plan.   This increased federal aid of all kinds for the Guard.   The governor of each State was the commander-in-chief of the Guard for his State, except when the Guard was in federal service.   Arms, vehicles, and supplies - as well as training and training expenses - came from the federal government.

Amendments to the 1916 and 1920 acts created "The National Guard of the United States" distinct from the "The National Guard" of the several States.   They differ only in character, and the purpose of the latest amendment was to allow Congress to order the National Guard (in case of emergency) into active service as federal troops.   This eliminated the State governors from the chain of command.

What has followed since is to allow the Department of Defense to call up the National Guard without the consent of Congress.   And now, of course, Obama can do whatever he wants with the National Guard.

Governments always try to take over completely once their foot is in the door.   The State militias that were meant to deter the takeover by another government (like the English Parliament and King in 1776) have morphed into a National Guard that is owned and essentially controlled by the federal government.   The first part of the Second Amendment has been removed, and only the second part, the right to keep and bear arms, remains.

The Solution

The people must ask the governors and legislatures of our States to take back State control of the National Guard so that it is 50 State Guards.   The federal government will not want this to happen, so the chances are Congress and the president will not go along with it.   However, under the Constitution, the States should have this defense from a hostile takeover from our own federal government.   Part of the problem will be a re-allocation of money from federal to State defense use.   The States should take money that is used now for federal dollars given to the National Guard, and give the money to the Guard directly.   In theory, this should actually save us money, and the national defense will not be impaired.   In the event of a national emergency, the governors will have time to be allowed to give permission to activate Guard units for the common defense.   In the event that an attack on the United States is begun with atomic weapons, chances are any shortening of time for reserve units to be called up will not really effect the outcome of our defense.   Our initial response by our strategic forces, in place and ready, will be the only immediate answer.

Even if the communist/gangster government of Obama is removed, there will be another time in the future when another anti-American government will attempt to takeover the U.S.   We cannot let this happen.   The only way to deter might is with comparable might.   We must take back the National Guard and equip and train it to be equal to the the armed forces of the federal government.

Most of the above history comes from R.S. Thomas, Associate Military Historian at the Army War College.  


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