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On Militias and their Legality

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posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 05:34 PM
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Hello all. In light of recent events in our country I'd like to discuss militias and their legality or lack thereof.

Mods, I ask you in advance to warn me if I skirt any delicate subject lines in reference to ATS policy for recruiting, etc. This thread is not meant to recruit or ask to be recruited into any militia as I am not representing any militia and am not a member of such.

However, the content of the thread MAY go into the questioning of how to join militias and where they can be found in our country. If this violates any policies then please kindly let us know without being Draconian about it.

But for now I just wish to ask a simple question and precipitate a discussion of the constitutional legality of militias.

Can any experts or anyone knowledgeable on the topic tell us a few things such as:

1. are militias constitutionally legal?
2. are militias viewed as terrorist organizations by our government?
3. is it legal/illegal (or viewed as a terrorist activity) to train with a local/state militia in the interest of honing a civil defense force to curtail "both foreign and domestic" indiscretion (i.e. our own government).
4. if the IDEA of militias are legal, does it cross over into illegal/terroristic territory if said militia explicitly declares in their mission statement that their stated goal is to defend america and american rights against the runaway government/u.s. military?

What I mean is that, IF militias are in fact legal, does it cross over into illegal/terrorist category if the militia expressly states that their mission is to combat U.S. military forces should they "impinge upon the rights granted to Americans by the Constitution"?

To further explain, is the state of affairs such that a militia is allowed to organize and practice so long as they do not express any belligerent or "terroristic" intent towards the government and act more like a weekend hobbyist group? And would an express statement (on an official militia website perhaps) automatically cause the feds (FBI, etc) to step in and detain said militia members on charges of "conspiring to ...[insert belligerent charge here]"?
Or are militias given Constitutional rights to exist EVEN if their express stated goal is to combat the U.S. government/military upon infringement of constitutional rights?

Also, allow other militia topic discussions/questions here for anyone interested in knowing more, telling more, asking more about militias or joining one, etc.




posted on Sep, 29 2009 @ 05:46 PM
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reply to post by rufusdrak
 


You might have considered included the link for militia as well as a short definition :


Quote from : Wikipedia : Militia (United States)

From Old English milite meaning soldiers (plural), militisc meaning military and also classical Latin milit-, miles meaning soldier.

The Modern English term militia dates to the year 1590, with the original meaning now obsolete: "the body of soldiers in the service of a sovereign or a state".

Subsequently, since approximately 1665, militia has taken the meaning "a military force raised from the civilian population of a country or region, especially to supplement a regular army in an emergency,frequently as distinguished from mercenaries or professional soldiers."

The distinction is due to the fact that militia members are not paid soldiers, but serve as volunteers on an ad hoc basis to protect the freedom of their home and country.


This may or may not become an inflammatory thread due to the particular topic and the often misunderstood misnomer of what exactly a "militia" is and or is not.

I am glad you included a disclaimer, as well as mentioning you are not affiliated with a militia, as neither am I, nor am I willing to be recruited by one now, nor was I in my past, nor will I be in my future due to my own desire to lead only myself.

I know no one else other than myself who is capable of demonstrating complete and utter discipline and I would be seeing a lack of discipline in those people surrounding me where agent provocateurs might come in just to agitate the mentally unstable and or those who do not have a responsible mindset like myself.



posted on Apr, 2 2010 @ 04:25 PM
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reply to post by rufusdrak
 


Rather than to "quote" the Second Amendment, I'd like to refer to the PRIOR version for clarification: “ . . but every State shall always keep up a well-regulated and disciplined militia, sufficiently armed and accoutered, and shall provide and constantly have ready for use, in public stores, a due number of field pieces and tents, and a proper quantity of arms, ammunition and camp equipage.” Articles of Confederation, 1775, Article 6, Clause 4. avalon.law.yale.edu...

Militias of 2010 are in no way legally or historically descended from the militias mentioned in the 1787 Constitution of the United States. I do not want to confer any sense of legitimacy on those who are calling themselves militia in 2010.

They have usurped a venerable name from an era where citizen soldiers were the mainstay of American expansionism. But that was over by 1861. It was true that both North and South fought in divisions raised in states and were so designated. But they were not "activated" militiamen. Aside: recruiting by states was continued by the US Army until World War 1. The first “mixed” division was the 42nd Rainbow division (in which Col. Douglas MacArthur served).

Today’s self-proclaimed militiamen are in no way descendants of the honorable units mentioned in the US Constitution. Today’s militiamen are mostly NRA inspired misfits and Rambo-wannabe’s. For us to grant to them any quanta of legal recognition merely because they have (shrewdly?) chosen an old but defunct label is to be constantly avoided. We must not grant to them any form of legitimacy based on usurping a venerable name.

It is my concern that us carelessly referring to them as 'militia' we may thereby confuse the uninformed and give some sort of a propaganda victory to them on the cheap. It is OK to call those extremists 'militia' provided we always make it clear in the same content that they are not related to the 1787 militias.



posted on Apr, 2 2010 @ 04:34 PM
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Militias are perfectly legal, and in fact, are even defined in the U.S. Code:




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.


Cornell Law Link

[edit on 2-4-2010 by brainwrek]



posted on Apr, 2 2010 @ 05:00 PM
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reply to post by brainwrek
 


Private militia's do not fall under the "unorganized militia" definition. In that clause the "unorganized militia" is all men between 17 and 45...basically those eligible for the draft.

The militia's that the OP is talking about are not Constitutionally protected...they are "private militias" and have no legality behind them.

The "official" militia of the United States is the National Guard...this is the "well regulated" militia of the states. THere are also some state defense forces...but those are also "well regulated". A bunch of yahoos running around in the woods is not "well regulated"...who are they "regulated" by??? They would need to be regulated by the state congress to be defined as a defense force...which they are not.

Having said that...I don't think you will be arressted for being in a private militia...unless of course you are planning to overthrow the government or planning other such illegal activities.



posted on Apr, 2 2010 @ 05:04 PM
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Originally posted by OutKast Searcher
reply to post by brainwrek
 


Private militia's do not fall under the "unorganized militia" definition. In that clause the "unorganized militia" is all men between 17 and 45...basically those eligible for the draft.

The militia's that the OP is talking about are not Constitutionally protected...they are "private militias" and have no legality behind them.

The "official" militia of the United States is the National Guard...this is the "well regulated" militia of the states. THere are also some state defense forces...but those are also "well regulated". A bunch of yahoos running around in the woods is not "well regulated"...who are they "regulated" by??? They would need to be regulated by the state congress to be defined as a defense force...which they are not.

Having said that...I don't think you will be arressted for being in a private militia...unless of course you are planning to overthrow the government or planning other such illegal activities.


Read section (2) defining the unorganized militia. It says nothing about the need to be regulated.

Militias are also legal under 1st Amendment protections, as in the freedom of association.

There is no law prohibiting a group of people from training together, nor is there a law mandating such groups be regulated by any government.

Militias are legal. That is not opinion, that is 100% fact.

As for the NG, they stopped being the "official" militia of the U.S. the moment the federal government took control of each states respective NG units away from the state leadership.

[edit on 2-4-2010 by brainwrek]



posted on Apr, 2 2010 @ 05:42 PM
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Its obvious they are legal because if they weren't they'd already have jailed people on official member lists. If they could arrest these people under the law they would.



posted on Apr, 2 2010 @ 06:02 PM
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The obvious deciding factor here is the INTENT of the "militia." If the mission of a particular group is to act as a last line of defense in the event of a foreign invasion, then they are consistent with the intent of the Constitution. If, on the other hand, they are dedicated to the overthrow of the constitutionally and legally elected government, they are by definition "insurrectionists." Technically, they would only be terrorists if they targeted civilians. In short, as long as "militias" trained to kill Russkies, the government could indulge their actions. The moment they start hinting that they are willing to kill US troops, they become insurrectionists. If they threaten civilian officials (eg; Governors) they become terrorists. Not that this makes the subject any less emotionally charged.



posted on Apr, 2 2010 @ 06:04 PM
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Originally posted by rufusdrak
1. are militias constitutionally legal?


As has been pointed out, it depends on the definition of militia. SLK's definition includes: "a military force raised from the civilian population of a country or region, especially to supplement a regular army in an emergency, frequently as distinguished from mercenaries or professional soldiers."

I think many of the "militias" that we're hearing about today would be more properly called "Resistance movements".

Bottom line is that forming an organization is legal, it's the ACTIONS that they take that might be illegal.



2. are militias viewed as terrorist organizations by our government?


It depends again. The "government" isn't one big entity that thinks with one mind. Many in government view the modern day militias as possible terrorists organizations. Others in government view them as citizens standing up to the government.



3. is it legal/illegal (or viewed as a terrorist activity) to train with a local/state militia in the interest of honing a civil defense force to curtail "both foreign and domestic" indiscretion (i.e. our own government).


I think so. Planning on Overthrowing the Gov't is a Crime



4. if the IDEA of militias are legal, does it cross over into illegal/terroristic territory if said militia explicitly declares in their mission statement that their stated goal is to defend america and american rights against the runaway government/u.s. military?


I believe so. See above thread. I do believe an express statement to resist the government by force would probably draw some unwanted attention, as it should, in my opinion.



[edit on 4/2/2010 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Apr, 2 2010 @ 06:11 PM
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Originally posted by rufusdrak
1. are militias constitutionally legal?

According to the Second Amendment they are legal, I would think thats about as definitive an answer as anybody can find.



2. are militias viewed as terrorist organizations by our government?


Most certainly, I don't think I have ever heard the media or a talking head speak positively of a militia ever. I have no doubt if the feds thought they could pull it off successfully they would round up and execute or imprison every single militia member in the US. Fortunately they have other areas of our lives to run at the moment so other than the Hutaree arrests they aren't going forward with anything like that just yet.



3. is it legal/illegal (or viewed as a terrorist activity) to train with a local/state militia in the interest of honing a civil defense force to curtail "both foreign and domestic" indiscretion (i.e. our own government).


I would think its definitely viewed as terrorist activity (by law enforcement and federal authorities) to train in such a fashion. Make no mistake there are groups within the government tasked to keep track of such things and they know who is training with who; look no further than the Hutaree arrests for proof that they are keeping very close tabs on such groups.



4. if the IDEA of militias are legal, does it cross over into illegal/terroristic territory if said militia explicitly declares in their mission statement that their stated goal is to defend america and american rights against the runaway government/u.s. military?


There are several unconstitutional laws on the books which permit the government to squash any such efforts. Unfortunately its also a bad idea to question the constitutionality of these laws, as any citizens who talk about rights, laws and the constitution are also viewed in a negative light by authority figures.

The bottom line is that if you value your current life and wish to remain out of jail do not under any circumstances associate with militias or anyone known to be associated with them as its a VERY bad time to do so.



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