Ensuring the Militia is Well-Regulated.

The militia, as defined by the Founding Fathers, was the whole of the people, armed and disciplined and ready to arms at need.  “Well-regulated”, in the vernacular of the time meant “properly functioning” as in a “well-regulated” clock was one that kept good time.  And, indeed, the original “militia acts” specifying arms, ammo, and other supplies that each household was to retain on hand for use when called up certainly operated from those definitions

So, in order that the militia (the whole of the people, armed and disciplined) be well-regulated (properly functioning as a militia) I propose the following (I’ve got some caveats at the end, so read the whole thing before criticizing):

  1. Every American from the age 17 through 45, as well as those older individuals who wish to be included, who is not a conscientious objector nor a prohibited person shall be included in the militia.  Note, this is somewhat broader than what law already is–the “Unorganized Militia” is all males 17-45 who is not a conscientious objector.  I merely take out the sex discrimination and add in older individuals who wish to be included in the militia.  After all, with the advances of medicine folk tend to remain healthy and vigorous a lot longer than they used to.
    I would add that I’d be fairly broad on the allowance for “conscientious objector.”
  2. Shooting ranges shall be established in each city and town such that at least one lane is available for every 300 militia members.
  3. Every militia member shall possess at least one firearm in one of the following calibers:  9X19 mm, .45 ACP, 10 mm, 5.56 NATO, 7.62 NATO, 7.62X39, .338 Lapua, .50 BMG, 12 Ga shotgun. If financial hardship prevents the militia member from owning such a weapon, loaners shall be available at the prescribed ranges for militia training.  They shall also possess on hand no less than 250 rounds of ammunition in the caliber of their chosen weapon.
    Note:  while rifles are preferred, as suggested by the caliber list handguns and shotguns are acceptable.
  4. Each militia member shall present themselves to a designated official no less than annually, demonstrating that they do, in fact, possess the required arms and ammunition.
  5. Each Militia Member shall, once each month, receive one hour plus reasonable travel time off with pay to attend a nearby shooting range (see point 2) to practice with their militia weapon.   Employers that wish to provide an on-site shooting range for their own employees use may take a tax credit for the construction of such a range and an annual deduction for the operation of said range.  Scheduling these monthly range trips shall be by mutual arrangement between employer and employee provided that they average at least one per month and no more than 45 days shall pass between consecutive range trips except in case of particular hardship.
  6. One hundred rounds of ammunition shall be provided to the militia member for use at each of those monthly range trips.  Additional ammunition used shall be at the militia member’s expense.
  7. No limitations shall be placed on additional firearms that may be owned by militia members nor on their training with them save only that training must be conducted in a reasonably safe manner (i.e. clear lines of fire, adequate backstops, reasonable security against other people wandering into the line of fire).
  8. These rules shall in no way be considered to limit the use of firearms for sport, recreation, or personal protection.

There you go.  A “well-regulated militia.” Now, I’ll be honest, if this were actually put forward seriously, I’d have several…concerns let us say…myself.  The cost would be high (but perhaps not as high as some things of lesser value that the government already does) and I have a real problem with government mandates in general.  I’m also accepting here (for sake of argument, not that I agree with it) the anti’s argument that the Federal government is claiming responsibility for “well-regulated” (which includes training–a State responsibility according to Article One).  It’s in the order of “I don’t agree with it, but let’s take it and see where it leads.”

I do believe the above is Constitutional under the following provision from Article One of the United States Constitution:

The Congress shall have Power To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.

One thing this would do is clearly and unequivocally establish a “well-regulated militia” in the sense the Founding Fathers meant the term.  And I flat guarantee that the people repeating over and over again that the 2nd “says ‘well-regulated'” would go into vapors over such a proposal.  For that reason alone, I’d love to see such a proposal seriously put forward, warts and all.  Since it would show once and for all that their “it says ‘well-regulated'” is disingenuous claptrap meant merely to justify their desire to prohibit privately owned firearms (at least from anyone they don’t personally approve of).

So, can we get a real “well-regulated militia”?

 

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16 thoughts on “Ensuring the Militia is Well-Regulated.”

  1. What, no .40 S&W? If you’re going to allow 9×19, after all, .40 is a widely used caliber that has more power. And one lane for every 300 people might get interesting, as that’s 33 lanes for my small town of 10,000 people.

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    1. I thought about it, but I was specifically l was specifically looking at rounds used by military forces. There are others I could have listed but those seemed to cover most of the territory (as it were).

      And yes, one lane per 300 people is a lot. (Not all of that 10,000 people will be militia members–some will be underage, some will be over the mandatory age and not wish to be enrolled militia, some will be conscientious objectors, but still, a lot will be.) OTOH, each lane would then need to be in use 300 continuous hours each month just to meet the training requirement. Since a month only has 720 hours, keeping every lane full 42% of the time itself would be a stiff challenge.

      But, hey, it says “well-regulated militia” so… 😉

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  2. Yeah, the Constitution specifically gives the Fe(de)ral government the power to arm the Militia. Despite what some people think about implied powers, it does *not* give the Feds the power to dis-arm the people.

    And your reconstituted Militia concept is very much in line with what I have in mind if I ever become ‘King for a Day’. Couple of things I’d do differently.

    Re: frequency of training – while monthly (or more frequent) training is ideal, I believe even the Swiss only require their Militia to demonstrate proficiency once/year. I know that when I was in the Guard we only had range time once/year. ‘Course, we were a support unit; with infantry it would make sense to go more often.

    Re: firearms/ammo availability – using currently issued arms as Militia weapons only makes sense from a logistical standpoint. Would ‘allow’ (encourage? require?) members to obtain current standard weaponry as they wish. Privately acquired arms can be used with all the ‘bells and whistles’ in which the member’s little hearts delight. Those who demonstrate that they cannot afford to obtain weaponry, even from Government stocks at cost a la the Civilian Marksmanship Program (from which I obtained my 1st M1 Garand) will be issued a weapon by the Government. Upon successful completion of Militia service, you will get to retain the weapon if you so desire. For ammo, I’d issue a combat load (I like 120 rounds) once/year, using up 100 of it on mandated range time to ensure ‘turnover’ and leaving the extra 20 for hunting, etc.. Additional standard ammo for more training could again be obtained from the government at cost.

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    1. The thing to remember is that it’s not going to happen (at least not any time soon) so I went with more “what would meet ‘well regulated’ while making anti-gun-freedom-deniers heads explode?”

      I chose “ammo commonality” rather than specific weapons–allowing 7.62X39 under the idea that it could be scrounged from potential enemies.

      Issuing every serving military member a personal weapon which they then get to retain upon honorable separation from service is something else of which I approve but considered a separate issue from “arm, train, and provision” (i.e. “well-regulate”) the militia.

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    2. One could argue that even active duty military are largely not well-regulated, seeing as they only get to range qualify once a year, if even then. USAF was absolutely pathetic in that regard while I was in it.

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      1. In 1981 we had one day of “Dry fire” training (basically familiarization with the M16A2) and one day on the range with a whole lot of “hurry up and wait.” (Shot 4 points short of expert. Four. Damn. Point.)

        Was supposed to have another range day before shipping overseas from Goodfellow AFB but the range was down so that didn’t happen (so no second chance for the Expert Marksman ribbon, dammit).

        Out of six years, that was it.

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        1. Didn’t qualify in basic because the range was down.

          Didn’t qualify at either of my two duty stations because range was reserved for qualifying Marines and security forces.

          Didn’t get either pistol or rifle EM because I never served at a base that had a range available for quals. Was disappointed because I really wanted to pad out my pathetic row of ribbons. Should have been easy as I have shot competitively but damn … Every single range!

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  3. I like it. And it wouldn’t cost me a penny because I already qualify under at least four calibers. Not that I am admitting that I have any firearms. I’m saying that hypothetically, if this were to become law, and if I weren’t an avid canoe-er, and if I still didn’t wake up with screaming nightmares from my tragic canoe accident in which I lost all my firearms, then I’d qualify. Hypothetically.

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  4. I like the idea, though I probably have the same potential objections you do (mandates are always tough, among other things).

    I would eliminate the un-Constitutional effective ban on automatic weapons and “dangerous devices” (like explosives and artillery). Though I’m ok with requiring them to be kept in an armory for safety.

    I would primarily require firearms safety training in school, and range time (which could be waived for conscientious objectors) to establish safe use. Excellence could be rewarded, but minimum safety would be all that was required. Upon graduation (providing you don’t FAIL – defined as shooting yourself repeatedly, or shooting others) and PASSing of the course, you’re issued a carry license.
    (Yes, I posted part of this in response to your link on Sarah’s blog.)

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    1. Details, details…

      I would add a requirement for a conscientious objector to show certification in first aid / CPR, etc., and have supplies available when in their home or own vehicle. That also has a general benefit – I have stopped for three accidents where I could actually do something without a “jaws of life” – and was the only one among a dozen that had supplies. (Two of them, though, the wife was with me and I deferred to her – she has a full EMT certification.)

      That requirement would conflict at least two of the left-leaning powerhouses – the Red Cross and the American Heart Association. Oppose the law because of “icky guns” – or quietly support it, because they would make a bundle of money from training?

      Other one I could think of is setting requirements for those armories – how much ammo and other logistics per capita, permissible distance between them (a lot of places, it’s a half hour or more drive through a whole lot of nothing between towns), etc.

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      1. I’m not too worried about details because we all know it’s not going to happen.

        The purpose is to illustrate that the folk saying “but it says ‘well-regulated'” as some kind of justification for gun control that they don’t really mean it. They aren’t after “a well-regulated militia” but simply prohibition of private firearms.

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  5. How ’bout, every year you qualify as “militia”, your driver’s license is free? That way, you don’t need “mandatory” anything.

    And, if you think about it, there’s a connection — if you can handle machinery well enough to put enough holes in the circle, you can probably handle machinery well enough to stay on the road.

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      1. Now *that* is a concept behind which I could get. Indeed, it’s basically how the Swiss run (ran? I’ve heard they’re getting all Europeanized now.) things: show up at Canton polling place armed, get to vote. Don’t; don’t.

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