Mitch McConnell is Steve Bannon’s top priority: ‘I’m going to light him up’



Supreme Shitlord


(HT Brock @ FNC ):

Mitch McConnell is Steve Bannon’s top priority: ‘I’m going to light him up’

President Trump’s recently removed chief strategist Steve Bannon has vowed to paint a target on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, according to a report Friday evening.

“Mitch McConnell, I’m going to light him up,” Bannon told the Economist.

While Trump has been unsuccessfully trying to motivate the senator from Kentucky to take action on his policy agenda, the chairman of Breitbart News is taking a different approach to getting McConnell to cooperate with the White House.

“In the White House I had influence … At Breitbart, I had power,” Bannon repeatedly told the Economist reporter.

Bannon left his West Wing job earlier this month and promised he would fight for his former boss.
“We will never turn on him. But we are never going to let him take a decision that hurts him,” Bannon said.




I hope Bannon exposes this slithering piece of fucking quisling treasonous garbage.

I hope he shows the Normies exactly how this traitor sonofabitch is the RINO version of Harry Reid.

Show the Normies how this piece of shit sold them out, sold America out from 2006 to this minute in time. How of whats gone down in the last 12+ years was virtually impossible without this reptile from The Swamp was even remotely possible without McConnell & his marxists in drag.

Treason is not sufficient a concept of what this traitor is.

CsMJctaWcAAsPTy (40)

Why They Fear President Donald Trump



If they can’t control Mr. Trump or get rid of him, they can’t control or get rid of us

So They Think

You Got To Think Like A Globalist

What They Fail To Appreciate Is

We Are The Dirt People

On November 8, 2016

The Great Fuck You Was Our Color Revolution

It Was A Warning

They Are Ignoring It

Same As They Ignored The Tea Party

Thats OK

This Constitution Is Plumb Gutted Out

It Is Time For Another American Revolution

Pertinent Reading

Lots going on. A dynamic political environment. No worries. How is it any different than any other day really? Just keep a cool head, stay away from crowds, watch what the right hand is doing while the left trues to distract from whats going on under the fig leaf of legitimacy. That’s germane advice right there. “Legitimacy” does not exist but for our sovereign selves, the plurality that constitutes, (get it, “Constitutes”?), we who are the dirt people, and the sole voice of that plurality name of Donald Trump. Don’t matter if you love or despise the guy, he is probably the first duly legitimately elected President in living memory or longer. It is no small mater that. It is a vestige of something which is being torn asunder piece by piece. Saving that, or getting ready to fight what might usurp it, is worth everything at this stage.

From the media illusion you might have the impression the entire US has lost its fucking mind. So go illusions of the 5th column variety with a sprinkling of deep state jimmy’s to finish off this attempted coupe of lets get Trump & the dirt people for defying our special privilege of the mandarin’s sunday.

Remember, us dirt people are the mice. They keep laying out the cheese, the trap set, the desired consequences waiting for the pre-planned narratives.

Its really cheesy the machinations of the players, how obvious the crisis as a means and false flag events, a playbook increasingly obsolete. Whats interesting to note is how out of timing these narrative traps have become, that make the narratives irrelevant to any who see whats behind the curtain. To me its indicative that they are struggling with advancing the agenda, the time table has been flipped over, the pieces don’t fit as they once did, they are horrible improvisationalists, it’s that whole dogma thing, they got lead feet, they can not adapt to consequences unintended, improvising is not the strong suit of  ones who rely on useful dupes and the brainwashed collective.

Nimble and adaptive, a mindset where preparedness is second nature, having learned how to live with less, with the prospect of calamitous events & times, where trust but verify, and understanding the unknowns & unknown unknowns are enevitable, must be accepted, and taken in stride, that good does prevail because you never say die, you never quit, you never give into despair, that resistance is fertile in its myriad of forms no matter how small or seeming inconsequential, that resistance has a quality & a quantity all its own.

So why not stop being afraid. Join The Honorable Resistance. Get right with God. Learn new ways, build family & tribe, take on new skills, grow food, make things with your hands & mind, win your heart & mind as that will win others hearts & minds by living example. There is an entire world out there, an entire culture, an entire way of life below the radar. Its vibrant, self sustaining, it begins with each of us, it gives birth to solidarity. It is living Liberty and it requires no permission, it is resistance as natural as it is to live it.

You can’t see it touch it last it or smell it till all of a sudden one day you understand what it is. Its freedom, it begins between the ears and in the spirit of the heart.

No matter what you gotta work for what you got if your any kind of self determining person. Dirt people are that, they, we are, those who produce, create, design, grow, raise,  build, maintain, fix, modify, improve, we are the glue that not only holds everything together, we are who have ever in the entire history of life effected positive change on this mortal plane.

Remember that when the human extinction movement talks smack about their precious genocide.




Courtesy of WRSA

League of the South statement on Charlottesville

Straight Line Logic: He Said That? 8/22/17

Aesop: What Are You Prepared To Do?

The Smallest Minority: Indoctrination

Review Journal: 2 men acquitted of all charges in Bunkerville standoff case

WRSA: No Guilty Verdicts In Bundy Ranch Standoff Trial

WRSA: NYT: McConnell, In Private, Doubts If Trump Can Save Presidency * (Doubts my fucking ass. It is on purpose, what lying sack of shit)

ZMan: Affirmative Action And The Managerial State

Mike Rowe Eviscerates “Smug” Snowflake Who Calls Him A “White Nationalist”

Jim’s Blog: Not time for war yet

Circa: Former Obama aide Ben Rhodes is now a person of interest in the unmasking investigation

Fernandez: Normies: Our Fragile Civilization

Zero Hedge: Kamala Harris Calls For Congressional Investigation Of “White Supremacist Terrorism”

A Brief Kakistocracy Blog: History of Counterprotesting the Fascists

America: Steve Bannon Goes In From The Cold *( outlier perspective & critical thinking)

Eaton Rapids Joe: Extinction Burst?

Vox Day: Antifa = Alt Left In one fell swoop, the God-Emperor changed the rhetorical game

Free North Carolina: Judge to IRS: Start naming names

The Feral Irishman: Just So We Are Clear – The Ten Causes Of The War Between The States

William S. Lind: Charlottesville Was a Massive 4GW Failure

tradionalRIGHT: VictoriaForeign Policy: Here’s the Memo That Blew Up the NSC

Trump Thanks Putin For Kicking Out 755 Diplomats: “We’ll Save A Lot Of Money”

Revised History: If Liberty Was the Object, Why Did They Give Us Centralism?

DHS: 23% of all federal prisoners are illegals, just 7 of 42,034 saved from deportation

SLL: Google: Search Engine or Deep State Organ?, by Michael Krieger

FNC: 25 Years Ago Today the Federal Govt Changed its Rules to Launch a Sniper Attack on Off-Grid Family

Jim’s Blog: Red Guards and Cultural Revolution























More links later…

The White Right Rises: “Cultural Marxists would do well to remember that when whites get mad enough to bite, the bite is often fatal.”

What about Bunny Rabbit? Can I yell Bunny Rabbit?

So it’s YOUR fault!

American Digest: Door.Ass.Bang: Illegals exit via the dead end of Roxham Road


Illegals scamper towards Canada. One free ride ends. Another free ride begins.

Everything in this photo but the vegetation and the naked human bodies was in all likelihood made, created, financed, designed, manufactured, conceived, maintained, serviced and operated by us White people.

I’m looking at that haughty woman giving the camera the evil eye that sure looks like there is black supremest glaring at the world. And you know what, these people who say they hate us whites, our “privilege”, we must die, and all the other dog whistles of bigotry, and I think these people are jealous. Really. Its the sin of envy that consumes them. Seriously. Think about it, if they despise and hate everything we stand for, us whites, our symbolism that reminds us of our past glories and tragedies, our culture, our legacy, our politics, our existence, then why in the hell do they do anything to come to our country America, wear the clothes we make and sell, the luggage they are using, the American made taxi, use american money, have a white man livery them, drink out of white made plastic bottles with white water in them, even walk on the asphalt road made and laid by white people in shoes that are white mans style? Shit, thats white mans air your breathing missy.

Forget all that.

We didn’t invite you in the first place.

You have to go back.

Or go away.

Thats all there is to it.

At best you are an uninvited guests.

And now, you have looked the gift horse in the mouth.

You wore out what empathy & compassion we did extend to you.

But that wasn’t good enough.

Now, we no longer care.

About you.

For you.

Ungrateful you are.

And we, us whites, are supposed to be punished somehow for being who we are.

Take it as a courtesy: We don’t care.


Jesse James: Charlottesville AAR Vox Day: Riot police called out in Charlottesville




If there is doubt about the intent of those intent on destroying the race of Men of The West, this after action report will remove all doubt what is the state of affairs under the illusions and false narratives. Excellent work, very well written 1st hand report.      George Soros’ 22nd century version of bolsheviks. Of course, Soros is continuing the marxist jewish version of kill the kulak aka genocide.

We get to see what kind of man & president Donald Trump is. It is a decent probability standard operating procedures and the subsequent actions by all involved from antifa, 5th column media, to the Va. State police, is to put President Trump in a difficult position and effectively make Trump the straw man in all this.





Charlottesville AAR

Written by Jesse James

The rally that wasn’t. Charlottesville had the possibility of being the largest nationalist/pro-white rally of the last decade, and certainly the largest in the short history of the Alt-Right. The city of Charlottesville denied the permit for the event and then reinstated it after a judge determined it violated our First Amendment rights. Not to be outdone, the mayor, city counsel and police elected to ignore all pretense of legality and actively helped Antifa, creating a situation in which one person is dead, and at least 19 injured.


The approaches to Lee Park were surrounded by armed Antifa and those looking to attend the event had to wade through 2-3 city blocks of armed, screaming Communists assaulting people with axe hafts, pepper spray, urine and clubs…while the cops did nothing. Lee park itself was blocked off by some 4′ aluminum fencing that did nothing to block the rocks, urine, and pepper spray being lobbed into the park…while the cops did nothing. Antifa and BLM attempted to murder several people, focusing on the older people, and those they could separate from the crowd. The standard method was to attempt to cripple them by striking their knees or bludgeon them to death in the head with clubs…while the cops did nothing. About an hour after the event was scheduled to start, the cops did something. Who authorized them to do so, I don’t know, but they proceeded to push the event goers single file through the fencing and clear the park. Single file into waiting Antifa and their communist allies. Single file out of the park in violation of a binding legal document stating we had a right to assemble there. Why, you ask? The rally had become violent…because the cops did nothing. In their infinite wisdom, CPD decided since things were violent when the two sides were SEPARATED, the only logical conclusion would be to force them TOGETHER.


Some allies were outside the fence held the line long enough for people to get out, and a running melee down Market St. ensued as people attempted to reorganize. The majority walked over a mile and a half to regroup at McIntire Park and attempt to assemble there. The cops, content to watch communists assault and attempt to murder those of us engaged in a political rally, decided to act. Rather than communicate we would not be allowed to assemble at the secondary location WHEN WE ASKED THEM, they waited until we already were to begin threatening arrest if we did not disperse. Many people were nearly two miles away or more from their cars. With a large number of communists hunting them throughout the city those there to peaceably assemble were now forced to walk dozens of blocks to their transportation, outnumbered and at a significant disadvantage. Despite the city, police and communists allied against us, the vast majority of conflicts between the communists and the right went decidedly in our favor. The communists and anti-whites should be scared and I understand their need to use state actors as a bludgeon against us…they simply have no other options.


As I was leaving the event I saw the Dodge Charger that struck the protestors speeding down 2nd St. SE and a gentleman get arrested on Monticello Ave. by the cops. I was unaware of the incident at that point but realized the significance of the reasons the vehicle was losing both bumpers and dented afterward. The negligence of CPD in maintaining law and order at any point during the event is to blame for this tragedy. CPD exacerbated an already tense situation and directly inflamed the situation by pushing the opposing groups together in a single street, leading to assaults, attempted murder and mayhem. They subsequently failed to communicate with the event leaders and led to people, many unfamiliar with the city, walking back to their vehicles under the threat of assault from protestors bussed in and left to roam the city unmolested while armed and attacking people. The tacit approval from CPD and Charlottesville city counsel, including the overt support for violence against whites from vice-mayor Wes Bellamy, led to the deaths in the city. In their quest for political points, the government of Charlottesville would, and did, gladly sacrifice the rule of law than to allow an unpopular point of view to be expressed. The government of Charlottesville would rather see people die than allow an unpopular point of view to be expressed. The government of Charlottesville and CPD engaged in criminal negligence and should be held as a party to any and all violence that occurred.

Lessons learned:

Have comms between various groups
Understand and implement PACE, a secondary location outside the city is a must…preferably private property owned by an ally
Have a clear C&C structure, and a way to disseminate information quickly to groups/individuals
Too few medics, everyone should have gauze/bandages, tourniquet and QuikClot
Shields and eye protection are your friend. Full-sized riot shields are a huge advantage in avoiding urine, pepper spray and other assorted things the ‘peaceful’ Antifa throw
Pick your battles and own the battle space. Hostile cities should be avoided, as the ROL is now a political weapon and local police are not to be trusted.
Police groups looking to act out and give the movement a bad name. A skinhead with a swastika is not who we are and should not be talking to the press on behalf of us.

We will not be replaced. We will not stop. We will not accept defeat. We will not go gently into that good night. We will not forget…if you didn’t want this you should have killed us all when you had the chance in 1865.

– Jesse James

P.S. Shoutout to my lovely wife, who supports the vast majority of my sometimes less-than-safe decisions and has learned to live with the rest. She is the silent partner to everything I have been able to accomplish here.





Riot police called out in Charlottesville


#Charlottesville city officials have declared a local emergency.

Per Pax:

Antifa attacked the rally and the police declared it an unlawful assembly and ordered us to disperse. #UnitetheRight /1

We were prepared to engage in civil disobedience and be arrested. I was on a line with Baked Alaska, Spencer, Damigo, and a few others. /2

The state police refused to arrest us. They assaulted us, knocked our guys down, and pepper sprayed us. /3

The police pushed us into a hostile crowd of antifa. They wanted to create a violent situation. /4

We had to battle our way out, I saw people bleeding and a lot of pepper spray casualties. /5

I think we might have done too much winning last night and they decided we couldn’t be allowed to speak today. I await comment from ACLU. /6

I don’t understand why the lesson of Berkeley with regards to the police didn’t register, but regardless, it should be eminently clear that peaceful protest by the Right will not be permitted.


AGITPROP: August 12th 2017





Dynamic last few days. Lot of things are in flux. There’s Charlottesville Unite The Right Rally. Goolag is getting the just desserts of unintended consequences, and Hijack The Meme is becoming more than a thing, its upstream of everything, it’s our legacy of America and as Men of The West defying, revolting, and the fight is just starting, figuring out we are Legion.










Easter Sunday












1 1ninetymilesxJFUW1tqnoyio1_1280

















1994 Valparaiso Univ. Law Review: THE HISTORY OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT (companion piece to “If Liberty Was the Object, Why Did They Give Us Centralism?”)

I believe this is the seminal modern work on The 2nd Amendment. Superbly written, enlightening, with intricate and verifiable references. There really is nothing quite like it. It has remained virtually unknown for 23 years. Yet it pertains to present day more so than ever. It follows the path through time, politics, religion, political sciences, war & peace, migration, pogrom, and Liberty. It is both provincial and nationalistic in its scope. Yet it is to the point finely crafted to keep to the point. You can read it numerous times and come away with more than you can digest each time because it opens new and old insights rarely if ever discussed today.

Note: Companion work to Al Benson Jr’s If Liberty Was the Object, Why Did They Give Us Centralism? 




(Posted in unedited entirety, THE HISTORY OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT David E. Vandercoy):

(Hyper link references are missing, please refer to published web page)

[Copyright © 1994 Valparaiso Univ. Law Review. Originally published as 28 Val. L. Rev. 1007-1039 (1994).

For educational use only. The printed edition remains canonical. For citational use please obtain a back issue from William S. Hein & Co., 1285 Main Street, Buffalo, New York 14209; 716-882-2600 or 800-828-7571.]
by David E. Vandercoy[*]

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.[1]

I. Introduction
Long overlooked or ignored, the Second Amendment has become the object of some study and much debate. One issue being discussed is whether the Second Amendment recognizes the right of each citizen to keep and bear arms,[2] or whether the right belongs solely to state governments and empowers each state to maintain a military force.[3]

The debate has resulted in odd political alignments which in turn have caused the Second Amendment to be described recently as the most embarrassing provision of the Bill of Rights.[4] Embarrassment results from the politics associated with determining whether the language creates a state’s right or an individual right. Civil libertarians support the individual rights recognized in the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments and defend these rights against governmental abuse. Civil libertarians insist that each citizen be accorded the right to free speech, even if the citizen is a Nazi hatemonger. Similarly, criminals can count on a vigorous defense of the fourth amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches as well as the fifth amendment right not to incriminate oneself. All of this is true even though most of us would (p.1008)agree that Nazi hate language is of no utility, and a criminal’s confession, absent coercion, and the fruits of a search of his or her house are among the best indicators of actual guilt or innocence. Yet, we zealously defend these rights on the premise that governmental abuse of power is a greater evil than that posed by individual hatemongers or criminals.

In the context of the Second Amendment, civil libertarian instincts are overcome by our fear of one another. As a consequence, we find civil libertarian organizations, such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), acting as participants in such groups as the National Coalition to Ban Handguns.[5] Indeed, the ACLU, typically at the forefront of defending individual rights against an encroaching government, takes the position that the Second Amendment protects only the state’s right to an organized military–a well-regulated militia. It rejects any suggestion that the Second Amendment protects an individual right.

While this phenomenon is interesting, it is not the subject of this Article. My purpose is much narrower. I will address the history of the Second Amendment and attempt to define its original intent. I will not suggest that original intent is controlling. On this point, I am reminded that George Washington once suggested, “Individuals entering into society, must give up a share of liberty to preserve the rest. The magnitude of the sacrifice must (p.1009)depend as well on situation and circumstance, as on the object to be obtained.”[6]

The purpose of this Article is only to define those shares of liberty the Framers intended to retain and those given up in the context of the Second Amendment. By way of preview, this Article will contend that the original intent of the Second Amendment was to protect each individual’s right to keep and bear arms, and to guarantee that individuals acting collectively could throw off the yokes of any oppressive government which might arise. Thus, the right envisioned was not only the right to be armed, but to be armed at a level equal to the government.
To determine the original intent of the Second Amendment, this Article will examine the history of armed citizens in England, the Federalist and Antifederalist debates, the meaning of the word “militia,” the constitutional ratification process, and the various state constitutions in existence at the time.

II. The Rights of Englishmen
Eighteenth-century commentators frequently discussed the evils of standing armies.[7] Blackstone observed that professional soldiers endangered liberty.[8] In free states, the defense of the realm was considered best left to citizens who took up arms only when necessary and who returned to their communities and occupations when the danger passed.[9] Standing armies were viewed as instruments of fear intended to preserve the prince.[10]

A. The Establishment of the English Citizen Army
Blackstone credits King Alfred, who ruled England from 871 to 901 A.D., as establishing the principle that all subjects of his dominion were the realm’s soldiers.[11] Other commentators trace the obligation of Englishmen to serve in (p.1010)the people’s army to 690 A.D.[12] Regardless of the beginning date, an Englishman’s obligation to serve in a citizen army is an old proposition. Coupled with this obligation to defend the realm was the obligation to provide oneself with weapons for this purpose.[13]

King Henry II formalized his subjects’ duties in 1181 by issuing the Assize of Arms.[14] The arms required varied depending on the subjects’ wealth, with the poorest freemen obligated to provide the least–an iron helmet and a lance.[15] The Assize required not only arms to be possessed, but precluded the possessor from selling, pledging, or in any other way alienating the weapons.[16] In 1253, the armed population was expanded beyond freemen to include serfs, individuals bound to the land and the land’s owner.[17] Serfs were required to procure a spear and dagger.[18]

Inclusion of serfs in the citizen army was related to the mustering of men and arms which occurred early in 1253 for purposes of crossing the sea to Gascavy and supporting the realm against the King of Castile.[19] Another general levy occurred in 1297, which directed all men possessing land to a value of twenty pounds to provide themselves with horses and arms and to come to London for purposes of service in France.[20]
B. The Tudor Period
The citizen-army concept continued to develop through the Tudor period. Henry VIII decreed that fathers must purchase longbows for sons between seven and fourteen years of age and teach them to shoot.[21] Each citizen between the age of fourteen and forty years was required to own and use a longbow unless (p.1011)disabled.[22] Queen Elizabeth I formalized the process by issuing instructions for general musters of the citizen army in each county.[23] Commissions were issued to various knights to take charge of such musters.[24] The purpose of the musters was to enable Queen Elizabeth to know the “numbers, qualities, abilities and sufficiency of all her subjects in that county …, from the age of sixteen years upward, that may be found able to bear armour or to use weapons on horseback or on foot.”[25] The citizen army, during Queen Elizabeth’s reign, acquired the name “militia.”[26]

By the end of the Tudor period, the citizen army or militia concept had become a fixed component in English life. The period’s commentators attributed English military successes to the universal armament practice prevalent in England but absent on the continent.[27] Visitors from the continent even noticed the stark difference.[28] Historians suggested that English universal armament caused a moderation of monarchial rule and fostered individual liberties because the populace had in reserve a check which soon brought the fiercest and proudest King to reason: the check of physical force.[29] However, the virtues of universal armament and the effect of universal armament on monarchial rule had not escaped Parliament’s notice.
C. The Stuart Period
The early Stuart period was the single most important period in English history in terms of shaping the political theory of the American revolutionary leaders.[30] During this period, civil war occurred between Parliament and the crown, a King was executed, another King fled to France, a military dictatorship (p.1012)ruled, supremacy of the English Parliament over the crown was established, and Parliament installed a new King and Queen and forced them to accede to a Declaration of Rights.[31] Throughout this period, various factions sought to control the militia and intermittently to disarm opposing factions.[32]

James I, the first Stuart monarch, took the Crown in 1603.[33] An agitated House of Commons immediately confronted him.[34] James had proclaimed that individuals elected to Parliament could be seated only if certified by the chancery; only proper men could be certified.[35]

Parliament took the position that it would determine who should be seated.[36] The relationship deteriorated, with James frequently asserting that Kings hold their thrones by the will of God, not Parliament, and that to dispute the King is blasphemy.[37] James’s position was that the King was the law and all rights flowed from the King. Consequently, in 1621, James advised Parliament that it existed only by the grace of the King.[38]
Legal commentators and Parliament assessed the question of the King’s power differently. Lord Coke argued that the King’s prerogative was limited to what the law of land allowed him.[39] Coke’s view was that the law of England was composed of only three parts: common law, statute, and custom.[40] Consequently, the King had no power outside of these. Parliament pointed out that its powers and liberties were “the ancient and undoubted birthright and inheritance of the subjects of England ….”[41] James I tore the page containing these words from the Journal of the Commons.[42]

James’s son Charles fared no better in his relations with Parliament. In (p.1013)1628, Parliament enacted the Petition of Right.[43] This petition enumerated Charles’s violations of the rights of his subjects, including forced loans to the Crown, imprisonment without process, quartering of soldiers in English homes without the consent of the owner, and the execution of persons pursuant to martial law.[44] The King agreed to acknowledge his excesses because he needed Parliament’s assistance in raising revenues.[45] Charles I thereafter dissolved Parliament and refused to call new Parliaments for eleven years.

Charles I began developing his own army.[46] Charles attempted to raise funds for additional military forces by writs or assessments on each individual.[47] In addition, ecclesiastical canons were added which advised subjects that bearing arms against the King would result in damnation.[48] Scotland went into open rebellion.

Charles I was forced to call Parliament to session in 1640 for purposes of raising additional taxes because of the rebellion.[49] The new Parliament, frequently called the Long Parliament because of its extended tenure,[50] seized the opportunity to assert its influence to the detriment of the monarchy. Parliament secured for itself the power of dissolving and eliminating the King’s prerogative courts.[51] Additionally, Parliament demanded that Lord Strafford, the King’s leading minister, be removed from his post on the grounds that Strafford had raised a standing army in Ireland.[52] The King complied; Strafford was executed; and Ireland revolted.

Swelled with its success in outmaneuvering the King, the Long Parliament moved to seize control of the militia.[53] The King balked and refused to accede to this demand. Parliament moved forward and appointed its own officers to (p.1014)take charge of the militia by passing the bill the King had refused to sign as an Ordinance of Parliament in 1642.[54] Parliament called out the militia and warned that militia units mustered under authority other than that of Parliament would be punished.[55] The King did the same, and civil war ensued.[56]

The actual ability of Parliament or the King to muster the militia is unclear. Charles attempted to disarm many militia units by confiscating public magazines and seizing the weapons of residents.[57] In addition, Charles sought to arm Catholics he had previously disarmed to secure their assistance.[58] These acts could be considered as evidence that Parliament was more successful at securing the support of local militias than was Charles I. In any event, Parliament’s forces prevailed. Charles I was executed in 1649 and the Kingship and the House of Lords were abolished. England was declared a free state.[59]

Parliament’s declaration notwithstanding, England was not a free state. The militia, mustered in 1642, became standing armies by 1649. After a period of years, the citizen-soldiers no longer served as the need arose. Many were unwilling to follow the dictates of Parliament. Parliament created its own army, known as the “New Model Army” in 1645.[60] True to its roots, a large portion of the army perceived that its loyalties lay with the people, not Parliament. Several events fostered this perception. One event was Parliament’s failure to pay the soldiers. Other events included Parliament’s favoring a national Presbyterian church.[61]

Many army leaders, including Oliver Cromwell, were advocates of religious freedom. Those army leaders took the position that the English people’s freedom of worship was a right over which Parliament had no control. Thus, part of the army, initially raised by Parliament, saw itself as an independent political force empowered to act in the name of the people. The army, increasingly subject to Cromwell’s control, proposed an “Agreement of the People,” which excluded Parliament’s power over religion, impressing men into the army or navy, or requiring accused persons to incriminate themselves.[62] Parliament rejected the “Agreement.”[63](p.1015)

Consequently, soldiers took an oath, called a “Solemn Engagement,” to remain together until their demands for back pay and political changes were met.[64] The army defined Parliament’s authority and dictated when it would meet.[65] Subsequently, Parliament attempted to disband the army. The army declined and eventually took over the government, installing the Rump Parliament.[66] When a subsequent Parliament attempted to disband the army, it was dissolved.[67] Ultimately, another Parliament bestowed on Cromwell the role of Lord Protector.[68] This Parliament also attempted to reduce the army’s size and revitalize the militia.[69] Cromwell, however, dissolved Parliament and created a military government. Segments of the army, paid regularly by the government, were assigned to each of eleven military districts.[70] Cromwell’s army was authorized to disarm all Catholics, opponents of the government, and anyone else judged dangerous.[71] When Cromwell died in 1659, the Rump Parliament met again and enacted laws that empowered government officials to confiscate arms from landowners to protect the Commonwealth.[72] Shortly thereafter, legislation was passed authorizing the seizure of arms from Catholics, anyone who had borne arms against Parliament, or anyone else judged to be dangerous to the State.[73]

In 1660, the army intervened and General George Monk reinstated members of Parliament who had been purged in 1648 because they favored the monarchy.[74] Parliament then restored the monarchy by placing Charles II, the executed King’s son, on the throne. Charles II was in an uncomfortable position. He had no army. His father was executed after the Civil War. Because of the policy of universal armament and the Civil War, the English people were heavily armed. Cromwell’s army of 60,000 was mingled with the rest of the population. Consequently, Charles II decided to develop his own army and to disarm the population.[75](p.1016)

Charles II disbanded the army except for troops he believed would be loyal to his government.[76] Parliament assisted by enacting the Militia Act of 1661 which vested control over the militia in the King.[77] Charles II began molding a militia loyal to the throne by directing that his officer corp assemble volunteers for separate training and “disaffected persons … not allowed to assemble and their arms seized.”[78] In 1662, the more select militia was authorized to seize arms of anyone judged dangerous to the Kingdom.[79] In addition, gunsmiths were ordered to report weekly on the number of guns made and sold; importation of firearms was banned.[80]

A move toward total disarmament occurred with passage of the Game Act of 1671.[81] The Game Act dramatically limited the right to hunt to those persons who earned over £100 annual income from the land.[82] More importantly, and unlike any prior game act, it made possession of a firearm by other than those qualified to hunt illegal and provided for confiscation of those arms.[83]

Charles II’s successor, his brother James, pursued the disarmament. James, however, was the object of suspicion because he was Catholic. As King, James was also the official head of the Anglican Church. He sat on the throne of a country that barred Catholics from holding appointed office.[84]

James was challenged only a few months after taking the throne by Charles II’s illegitimate son, the Duke of Monmouth, who proclaimed himself as the Savior of Anglicanism.[85] James crushed the rebellion and, in doing so, doubled his standing army to 30,000 men.[86] He used his kingly “dispensing power,” which permits kings to make an occasional exception to the law, to appoint Catholic officers to enter his army. James quartered his new troops in private homes in violation of Parliamentary enactments. The populace thus became suspicious of whether James might plan to impose his religion on (p.1017)England.[87]

James continued disarmament by enforcing it in Ireland. The common perception was that James was disarming Protestants in Ireland and the new Whig party that opposed him. James then asked Parliament to repeal the test acts that precluded Catholics from holding office, to suspend the Habeas Corpus Act, and to abandon the militia concept in favor of standing armies.[88] Parliament refused.

James responded by having his Judges find that the laws of England were the King’s laws and the King could dispense with them.[89] The King replaced Protestants with Catholics at high government posts, including the military; he then placed 13,000 men of his army outside London.[90] In 1688, James’s son-in-law, William of Orange, a Protestant, landed in England with a large Dutch army. James’s army deserted him and he fled to France.
William and Mary became sovereigns in 1689. Parliament restricted their powers by adopting the Declaration of Rights.[91] William and Mary were required to accept the rights enumerated in the Declaration as the rights of their subjects and to rule in accordance with Parliament’s statutes.[92] The Declaration recited the abuses by James, including the raising and keeping of a standing army without Parliament’s consent, quartering of troops in private homes, and disarming Protestant subjects. The declaration set forth the positive right of Protestant subjects to have arms for their defense, suitable to their conditions, and as allowed by law.[93]

The Declaration did not create a new right. The English had been able to possess individual arms for centuries and at times were required to keep them. Nevertheless, the debates attending the Declaration make clear that Parliament thought the right should be recognized as a right of individuals. The Whigs in the Convention Parliament were the most outspoken in favor of the right to (p.1018)possess arms to resist tyranny.[94] The members were aggrieved that the King and a prior Parliament had attempted to, and did, disarm some of the English subjects.[95] An early draft of the grievance portion of the Declaration recited that “the Acts concerning the militia are grievous to the subjects,”[96] a reference to those portions of the civil war era militia acts that permitted the militia to disarm those suspected of disloyalty.

To address this grievance, the draft stating the positive right first provided: “[I]t is necessary for the Publick Safety, that the Subjects which are Protestants, should provide and keep Arms for their common Defence. And that the Arms which have been seized, and taken from them, be restored.”[97] This version stated a collective purpose for the right, public safety, and common defense. A second version followed that deleted the reference to the public safety but retained the collective purpose language: common defense. It altered the “should keep” language to “may keep.” This version read, “[T]hat the Subjects, which are Protestants, may provide and keep Arms, for their common Defence.”[98]

The final version came after a compromise with the House of Lords. A prior Parliament, during the civil war era, had not only permitted its militia, a collective organization, to disarm others, but had also abolished the House of Lords. The House of Lords apparently objected to the “collective purpose” language in the Commons draft. It secured new language that completely eliminated the collective purpose–common defense language.[99] The complete text, on this point, as adopted, reads “[T]hat the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defense suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law.”[100]

Several other points are important regarding this article of the declaration. First, the language that Protestant subjects may have arms “as allowed by law” was not construed as a limitation on possession, but rather a limitation on (p.1019)use.[101] Parliament enacted a new game or hunting act that deleted firearms from the list of hunting equipment that could not be possessed except by the wealthy.[102] Arms could be confiscated if used to poach game, but possession of arms was protected as a matter of right.[103] However, the phrase “as allowed by law” highlights that what Parliament giveth, Parliament could take away. With or without the phrase, Parliament’s Declaration of Rights only protected those rights from abuse by the monarchy. In 1689, like today, the non-constitutional English system permits the current Parliament to abrogate the rights granted by a prior Parliament.
Second, the English Declaration of Rights states “that the subjects which are Protestants may have arms.”[104] However, contemporaneous legislation in 1689 made clear that while Catholics were not permitted to stockpile weapons, they were allowed to possess arms for defense of their house or person.[105] Last, although the Declaration speaks solely in terms of an individual right to bear arms, a review of eighteenth-century literature indicates that the intended purpose was to provide both an individual and a collective right with the collective right being the more important.[106] A true collective right, however, could only be protected by guaranteeing the individual right.
Two points should be addressed on this issue. First, during the civil war era and thereafter, both Parliament and the monarchy had proclaimed themselves, to the exclusion of the other, as the protector of the subjects’ well-being. To facilitate the collective rights of the subjects, each had attempted to disarm the others’ supporters. Thus, the collective organization intended to protect all subjects’ liberty, the militia, became an instrument of governmental tyranny. The collective rights of all subjects could not be guaranteed if the government had the power to vest enforcement in one collective organization because the government controlled the organization. Accordingly, the government’s power to appoint the officers of the militia and select its membership meant that the militia could become an instrument of the government, not the people. Thus, the people’s collective rights were enforceable only if the power of enforcement, force of arms, was universally dispersed.(p.1020)
III. The English Theorists
Accordingly, when Blackstone spoke of the rights of persons, he defined such rights as being either: 1) absolute, that is belonging to the person whether out of society or in it; or 2) relative, meaning the right is an incident of membership in society.[107] Blackstone described the right to keep arms as absolute or belonging to the individual, but ascribed both public and private purposes to the right. The public purpose was resistance to restrain the violence of oppression; the private was self-preservation.[108] Blackstone described this right as necessary to secure the actual enjoyment of other rights which would otherwise be in vain if protected only by the dead letter of the laws.[109]
In addition to Blackstone, the views of other seventeenth- and eighteenth-century English political theorists clearly influenced the political views of the colonists who ultimately would revolt and establish a new nation.[110] American political thought was strongly linked to “republican” thought in England.[111] The essence of republican thought was that a citizenry could rule itself without the paternal guiding hand of a monarch.[112]

One of the leading republican theorists was James Harrington.[113] Harrington’s beliefs were simple and direct. He believed that ownership of land gave people independence.[114] This independence would cultivate rights now (p.1021)considered fundamental, including the right of self-government. Harrington also believed that the actual independence attained would be a function of the citizen’s ability to bear arms and use them to defend his rights.[115] He sought support from the works of Machiavelli, who proclaimed that there was a direct relationship between good arms and good laws.[116]

A central thesis of Harrington’s republican theory is that an armed population is a popular government’s best protection against its enemies, both foreign and domestic.[117] While Harrington and subsequent republicans argued the virtue of armed citizenry, they warned that standing armies were to be avoided at almost all cost because such armies become the government’s instrument to retain power.[118] Rather, a populace that possessed the land and arms inevitably would retain political power as well as serving as the best defense against the popular government’s enemies.
These views became tenets of early republican or whig political theorists during the eighteenth century.[119] Henry Neville argued that by arming the people, democracies could obtain incomparable advantage over neighboring aristocracies because the aristocracies could not arm their populace for fear they would seize the government.[120] Robert Molesworth praised the armed and free Swiss, as well as his own brethren, the English, as examples of the virtue of arming the people as individuals.[121](p.1022)
IV. The Politics of the Founding Fathers
The English republican views on the relationship between arms and democracy profoundly influenced the views of the founding fathers.[122] Both the Federalists, those promoting a strong central government, and the Antifederalists, those believing that liberties including the right of self-rule would be protected best by preservation of local autonomy, agreed that arms and liberty were inextricably linked.[123]
The first discussion in which these views were articulated occurred in the context of Article 1, section 8 of the Constitution concerning the powers of Congress to raise a standing army and its power over the militia. As initially proposed, Congress was to be provided the power to raise armies.[124] Objections were raised that there was no check against standing armies in time of peace.[125] The debate focused on how to avoid the dangers of a standing army; there was no dispute that a standing army posed a significant threat to the liberty of the people.[126] The dilemma was that some type of national army would be necessary in time of war, but the results of waiting until war occurred to raise a national army could be disastrous.[127]

The solution adopted was two-fold. First, Congress would have the power to raise an army but no appropriation of money for that use could be for more (p.1023)than two years.[128] Because the people controlled the House of Representatives and the Senate, and Congress controlled the purse, the people were given an effective check against the dangers of a standing army. The second check against the dangers of a standing army was provided by the existence of the militia. Again, however, the necessity of providing for the common defense had to be satisfied while guarding against the national government’s abuse of power.

If the danger of a standing army was to be limited, the militia, which was then under the control of the states, must be available to meet national emergencies until an adequate standing army could be raised. Thus, the national government needed the power to call upon the militia. Conversely, the existence of a militia independent of federal control was deemed necessary as a check on the standing army which Congress was authorized to raise.[129] The resolution was to provide Congress with the power to organize, arm, and discipline the militia and to govern such parts as may be called into federal service, but to reserve to the states the appointment of officers and actual training of the militia.[130] The drafters of this particular language hastened to point out that the power to organize, arm, and discipline was intended only to allow Congress to prescribe the proportion of men to officers, specify the kind and size of arms, ensure that men were armed in fact either by themselves, the states, or by Congress, and to prescribe exercises.[131] The States were to be in control of the militia by reason of the power to appoint officers and provide for the actual training.[132] The national government would be in control of the militia only when the militia was called out for national service and, even then, would have to rely on the State appointed officers to execute its orders.

A. The Antifederalist View
Additional views on the relationship between freedom and arms were expressed when the Constitution was being submitted to the states for ratification. The Antifederalist views were stated in pamphlets entitled Letters (p.1024)from the Federal Farmer to the Republican.[133] Richard Henry Lee is credited with authorship.[134] The self-styled federal farmer thought of himself as a supporter of federalism and republicanism.[135] His view of federalism was not that set forth in the proposed Constitution of 1787. The federal farmer argued that a distant national government was antithetical to freedom:
[T]he general government, far removed from the people, and none of its members elected oftener than once in two years, will be forgot or neglected, and its laws in many cases disregarded, unless a multitude of officers and military force be continually kept in view, and employed to enforce the execution of the laws and to make the government feared and respected. No position can be truer than this, that in this country either neglected laws, or a military execution of them, must lead to revolution, and to the destruction of freedom. Neglected laws must first lead to anarchy and confusion; and a military execution of laws is only a shorter way to the same point–despotic government.[136]

The federal farmer also saw evil in Congress’s power to raise an army, despite the two-year limit on money appropriations and the states’ control over the militia via the appointment of officers.[137] He understood the need to provide for the common defense but believed an additional check was necessary. He proposed requiring two-thirds consent in Congress before a standing army could be raised or the militia could be pressed into service by the national government.[138] Additionally, the federal farmer argued that a select militia composed of less than all the people ought to be avoided. The farmer argued that, to preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.[139]
Another Antifederalist, George Mason, spoke on the relationship between (p.1025)arms and liberty. Mason asserted that history had demonstrated that the most effective way to enslave a people is to disarm them.[140] Mason suggested that divine providence had given every individual the right of self-defense, clearly including the right to defend one’s political liberty within that term.[141]
Patrick Henry argued against ratification of the Constitution by Virginia, in part because the Constitution permitted a standing army and gave the federal government some control over the militia.[142] Henry objected to the lack of any clause forbidding disarmament of individual citizens; “the great object is that every man be armed …. Everyone who is able may have a gun.”[143] The Antifederalists believed that governmental tyranny was the primary evil against which the people had to defend in creating a new Constitution. To preserve individual rights against such tyranny, the Antifederalists argued for the addition of a Bill of Rights which included, among other rights, the right to keep and bear arms.[144]

B. The Federalist View
The Federalists, those supporting the Constitution as drafted, did not dispute the premise that governmental tyranny was the primary evil that people had to guard against.[145] Nor did the Federalists dispute the nexus between (p.1026)arms and freedom.[146] In one of the first Federalist pamphlets, Noah Webster argued that the proposed Constitution provided adequate guarantees to check the dangers of any standing army.[147] His reasoning acknowledged checks and balances, but did not rely on the same. Rather, Webster argued:
Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every Kingdom of Europe. The Supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.[148]

Similarly, James Madison made clear that, although the proposed Constitution offered sufficient guarantees against despotism by its checks and balances, the real deterrent to governmental abuse was the armed population.[149] To the Antifederalist criticism of the standing army as a threat to liberty, Madison replied:
To these [the standing army] would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from amongst themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by government possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops …. Besides the advantage of being armed, which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are (p.1027)attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.[150]

Another leading Federalist, Alexander Hamilton, voiced a similar view.[151] Hamilton suggested that if the representations of the people, elected under the proposed Constitution, betrayed their constituents, the people retained the right to defend their political rights and possessed the means to do so.[152]
In summary, both Federalists and Antifederalists believed that the main danger to the republic was tyrannical government and the ultimate check on tyrannical government was an armed population.[153] Federalists and Antifederalists disagreed, however, on several issues. First, they disagreed as to whether sufficient checks and balances had been placed on the proposed national government to control the danger of oppression.[154] Second, the Antifederalists believed a bill of rights should be incorporated into the Constitution to guarantee certain rights.[155] The Federalists argued that such a bill of rights was unnecessary because the power of the federal government was restricted to the grant of authority provided by the Constitution.[156] There was no need to (p.1028)provide exceptions to powers not granted.[157] Further, the Federalists argued that providing exceptions to powers not granted was dangerous because it could encourage a claim that powers not expressly stated had been granted.[158] Again, both sides not only agreed that the people had a right to be armed, both sides assumed the existence of an armed population as an essential element to preserving liberty. The framers quite clearly had adopted James Harrington’s political theory that the measure of liberty attained and retained was a direct function of an armed citizenry’s ability to claim and hold those rights from domestic and foreign enemies.[159]

V. The Ratification Process
The Federalist and Antifederalist pamphlets were written to influence the ratification process by which the proposed Constitution would become effective.[160] In addition to revealing the drafters’ political philosophy, the pamphlets and other documents intended to influence ratification reveal additional concerns with the right to bear arms.[161] Antifederalists rejected the claim that the militia would serve as a deterrent to the threat posed by a standing army.[162] The responsive argument widely made was that Congress might be able to confine the existing militia force, all armed citizens, to a select militia made up of a small segment of the population.[163] Baron Von Steuben, (p.1029)Washington’s Inspector General, had already proposed such a force.[164] The fear was that creation of a select militia, armed by and loyal to the federal government, would be accompanied by disarmament of the people in general.

A. The State Conventions
All of the arguments for and against ratification came to bear in the state conventions.[165] In New York, Hamilton advocated adopting the Constitution and amending it, if necessary.[166] Hamilton’s argument was that if amendments were to be made, they ought to be made after adoption since an alteration would constitute a new proposal and must undergo a new decision in each state.[167]
Hamilton’s argument prevailed. New York ratified the Constitution, but it included with the ratification statement a declaration of rights and a statement that ratification was made with the assumption that the rights enumerated in the declaration could not be abridged or violated and were consistent with the Constitution.[168] Accordingly, New York ratified, but made clear that the people had a right to keep and bear arms and that the militia was to include all the people capable of bearing arms, not just a select few.
Similarly, New Hampshire ratified the Constitution but stated:
It is the Opinion of this Convention that certain amendments & alteration in the said Constitution would remove the fears and quiet the apprehensions of many of the good people of this State & more effectually guard against an undue Administration of the Federal Government–The Convention do therefore recommend that the (p.1030)following alterations & provisions be introduced into the said Constitution.

Congress shall never disarm any citizen unless such as are or have been in Actual Rebellion.[169]
In Pennsylvania, James Wilson argued against adding a bill of rights on grounds already offered by Madison,[170] that such an enumeration was unnecessary and indeed dangerous since no person could enumerate all the rights of men.[171] Pennsylvania ratified, but a substantial minority drafted a series of proposed amendments that included the following:
That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and their own State or the United States, or for the purpose of killing game; and no law shall be passed disarming the people or any of them unless for crimes committed, or real danger of public injury from individuals.[172]

It is doubtful that the Pennsylvania minority was attempting to constitutionalize hunting as a sport.[173] Rather, the delegates were attempting to eliminate the possibility that game laws, used effectively in England at different points to disarm the population, would not produce a similar result in America.
Samuel Adams made similar arguments in Massachusetts.[174] The argument that adoption must precede amendment prevailed.[175] In Virginia, Madison secured ratification, but George Mason, Patrick Henry, and Richard Henry Lee were successful in having the convention adopt a Declaration of Rights which was to be recommended to the First Congress for adoption as constitutional amendments.[176] The right of the people to keep and bear arms (p.1031)was included as was the statement that a militia composed of the body of the people was the natural and safe defense of a free state.[177]
North Carolina’s convention proposed that a declaration of rights be added to the Constitution which explicitly identified the right of people to keep and bear arms as a natural right and one of the means necessary to the pursuit and obtainment of happiness and safety.[178] Identification of the right was accompanied by the statement that the militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the natural and safe defense of a free state.[179] The North Carolina convention refused to ratify the Constitution until the document included this and other rights.[180] North Carolina did not ratify the Constitution until the Bill of Rights was drafted and submitted to the States.[181] Rhode Island followed an identical course by identifying the right of the people to keep and bear arms as a natural right, among others, and declining to ratify the Constitution until after the Bill of Rights had been drafted and submitted.[182]
To summarize the state ratification process, three states, New York, New Hampshire, and Virginia, ratified while expressing their understanding that the people had a right to bear arms and that Congress would never disarm law abiding citizens.[183] Two states, North Carolina and Rhode Island, refused to ratify until individual rights, including the people’s right to keep and bear arms, (p.1032)were recognized by amendments.[184] In Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, an effort was made to amend or condition ratification on amendment to include, among others, the right to keep and bear arms.[185] Efforts to amend were defeated but not on the merits. There is no evidence from any state convention that any speaker suggested that the proposed Constitution would permit disarming the public.

B. The Framers’ Views of the States and Their Role
As discussed earlier, one of the disputes between the Federalists and Antifederalists related to the relative strength that ought to be given to the central government. Prior to adoption of the Constitution, the country was ruled by the Articles of Confederation.[186] These articles preserved the autonomy of the individual states and provided little power to the central government.[187] The proposed Constitution altered this balance in favor of the central government. The proposed change provoked substantial discourse.[188] In recent times, the Antifederalists have been called states’ rights proponents as a consequence of their position that the proposed Constitution provided too much power to the central government, with too few checks, at the expense of the states.[189]
This label–states’ rights proponents–is inaccurate and misleading. Federalists and Antifederalists feared governmental tyranny by all governments–state and federal. The framers of the Constitution, particularly the Antifederalists, were not attempting to preserve states’ rights. They were attempting to preserve the people’s rights by maintaining local autonomy in the form of the various state governments.
The Antifederalists relied extensively on the works of Baron de (p.1033)Montesquieu to support the proposition that the geographic size of an area strongly influenced its form of government.[190] Montesquieu had written democracy could survive only in a small-sized state, small enough to permit the actual participation of the people in government and small enough so that each citizen understands that promoting the public good directly promotes the individual.[191] A middle-sized territory, as Montesquieu terms it, would inevitably become a monarchy; to an extensive territory, a despotic form of government was best adapted. In large republics, the public good is sacrificed to a multiplicity of views and the citizens do not perceive the nexus between promoting the public good and their individual welfare.
According to Montesquieu, a middle-sized territory would tend to become a monarchy because ambitious persons who do not perceive the public good as beneficial to them seek grandeur by imposing their will on others. One person eventually prevails and assumes the role as prince. The monarchy then exists through a system of honor established by giving perks and titles. If the territory is too large, one person cannot command sufficient allegiance on honor of enough of the populace to control the territory. Ruling a large territory requires more than a system of titles and perks. Order can be maintained only by immediate, passive obedience to the rules; passive obedience can be achieved only by an instilling fear. The multiplicity of views, the dissents, are stifled by fear. According to Montesquieu, rule by fear, despotism, was a logical incident of the government of a large territory. Montesquieu’s theory continued that while a small republic could internally maintain its republican character, it would be destroyed by foreign forces.[192] The dilemma could be resolved only by a confederate republic, a form of government in which small states become individual members of an association which is able to provide security for the whole body.[193]
The Antifederalists used Montesquieu’s well-known works to argue for a less powerful central government and more autonomy for the individual states, a government which would more closely resemble the Articles of Confederation model and Montesquieu’s confederate republic rather than that proposed by the Constitution. Antifederalist publications confirm that preserving the autonomy of the states was a means to the end of protecting the people’s rights, not an end (p.1034)in itself. In arguing against the new Constitution, the Pennsylvania Minority framed the question–“Is it probable that the dissolution of the state governments, and the establishment of one consolidated empire would be eligible in its nature, and satisfactory to the people in its administration?”[194]
The answer– “I think not, as … so extensive a territory could not be governed, connected and preserved, but by the supremacy of despotic power.”[195]
The reason– Being “satiated with the blessings of liberty” after “asserting their inalienable rights against foreign despots at the expense of so much blood and treasure,” the people will spurn the shackles prepared for them under the new Constitution and confirm their liberties.[196]
Although the complaint was the dissolution of state governments, the problem was viewed as a loss of the people’s rights.
In another publication, an unidentified Pennsylvania Antifederalist, writing under the pen name Montezuma, purported to be an advocate of the Constitution and to give the “inside story” of the dark designs of the proponents. Montezuma suggested:
We have taken pains to leave the legislatures of each free and independent state, as they now call themselves, in such a situation that they will eventually be absorbed by our grand continental vortex, or dwindle into petty corporations, and have power over little else than yoaking logs, of determining the width of cart wheels.[197]
Montezuma continued that state legislatures would be powerless when the national government exercised exclusive control over commerce and the power to wage war, make peace, coin money, borrow money, organize the militia and call them forth to crush insurrections.[198] By eliminating the powers of the states, the clouds of popular insurrection would likewise be broken.[199]
Another Antifederalist writer, using the name John DeWitt, posed similar arguments to the people of Massachusetts to influence the ratification convention (p.1035)in that state. The writer, whose true identity is unknown, argued that the strong national government would swallow up the state governments in a hasty stride to a Universal Empire in the Western World. The predicted result was a loss of the people’s liberty.[200] Again, the Antifederalist argument was that retention of power by the states was necessary to secure the rights of the people.[201]
The Antifederalists, while believing the people’s rights would be protected best by strong state governments, did not trust those governments. Federalists also distrusted state governments. Both groups distrusted any government because, as George Mason stated, “considering the natural lust of power so inherent in man, I fear the thirst of power will prevail to oppress the people.”[202] James Madison similarly distrusted not only man’s ambition for pre-eminence and power but also the factionalism posed by groups of men organized and pursuing narrow interests under the banner of state government.[203]
The Revolutionary era and state constitutions illustrate the distrust of the states’ power. It should not be surprising that Americans in the midst of a revolution against tyranny would be suspicious of government, particularly when dealing with plans for their own government. As a consequence, most of the state constitutions of the era vested primary governing authority in a popularly elected legislative branch of government, not the executive,[204] and contained a statement for a bill of rights.[205] All contained a statement that all power originally rests in the people.[206] The state constitutions of Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania contained an explicit provision concerning the right to bear arms. The constitutions of Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, and Virginia identified the necessity of maintaining the militia to preserve the free state. New York’s constitution, while providing for a militia but not a right to bear arms, also noted that Quakers could not be compelled to bear arms. (p.1036)Similarly, Maryland, New Hampshire, and Virginia provided for a militia but not explicitly for the right to bear arms. They also provided for popular revolt by giving the people the right to reform the government and the right to defend their life and liberty[207] and by providing that the doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power is slavish, absurd, and destructive.[208] In context, providing for the militia, defined at this time as the body of people all bearing arms, appears to be the functional equivalent of providing each individual with the right to bear arms.
VI. The Bill of Rights
With ratification complete and the First Congress assembled, James Madison introduced amendments setting forth what would eventually become the Bill of Rights. The ratification process had produced a call for such a declaration. Madison and Hamilton had argued that ratification must precede amendment and now the time had come to honor the implied promise that amendments would be made. Madison campaigned for a seat in the first Congress on the pledge that he favored amendments.[209]
Madison’s first proposal was made on June 8, 1789, to the House of Representatives. It embodied nineteen substantive items and appeared to track the suggestions made by the various state conventions. Madison’s first proposal was not in the form of a separate Bill of Rights. Instead, he proposed amendment by interlineation, placement of the individual amendments in the text of the Constitution. One of the proposed amendments was “that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, a well-armed and well-regulated militia being the best security of a free country; but no conscientious objector shall be compelled to render military service in person.”[210] Madison’s proposal called for this right and the right to freedom of the press, religion, and speech, to be inserted in Article 1, Section 9, between clauses 3 and 4. Article 1, Section 9 concerns limitations on Congress’s power over citizens, namely, no suspension of habeas corpus, no ex post facto laws, and no bills of attainder. Madison’s suggested placement of this amendment demonstrates that he understood the right to bear arms to be an individual right. Had Madison viewed the right as the states’ right, the more logical placement of the right would have been in Article 1, Section 8, clause 16, which reserves to the states the power to appoint the officers of the militia and provides authority to train the same.(p.1037)
In addition, Madison’s notes regarding the introduction of his proposals contain an outline which suggests he should read the amendments and explain that they first relate to private rights. He then instructed himself to explain the deficiencies of the English Declaration of Rights. Among the deficiencies was that the declaration was a mere act of Parliament and that guarantees were not sufficiently broad, namely, no freedom of press or conscience and the restriction of arms to Protestants.[211]
Madison’s proposals were referred to a select committee that reported to the House sitting as a committee of the whole. When the proposal left the select committee, it read:
A well regulated Militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; but no person religiously scrupulous shall be compelled to bear arms.[212]
In the House, the debate focused on the last clause. The argument was as follows:
Mr. Gerry — This declaration of rights, I take it, is intended to secure the people against the maladministration of the Government; if we could suppose that, in all cases, the rights of the people would be attended to, the occasion for guards of this kind would be removed. Now, I am apprehensive that this clause would give an opportunity to the people in power to destroy the Constitution itself. They can declare who are those religiously scrupulous and prevent them from bearing arms.[213]
An amendment to remove the “religiously scrupulous” language failed.[214] Madison yielded to pressure to set forth amendments at the end of the Constitution. Seventeen articles of amendment were sent to the Senate.[215]
The Senate streamlined the package by combining some amendments and simplifying others. On the right to bear arms, the Senate omitted the words “composed of the body of the people” and deleted the provision exempting (p.1038)conscientious objectors from service.[216] The Senate rejected language that would have added the words, “for the common defense” as part of the phrase “the right of the people to keep and bear arms (for the common defense) shall not be infringed.”[217] Ultimately twelve articles were sent to the states for ratification. The first two failed, but the other ten were ratified.[218] The language of the Second Amendment, as adopted, read:
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.[219]

VI. Conclusion
English history made two things clear to the American revolutionaries: force of arms was the only effective check on government, and standing armies threatened liberty. Recognition of these premises meant that the force of arms necessary to check government had to be placed in the hands of citizens. The English theorists Blackstone and Harrington advocated these tenants. Because the public purpose of the right to keep arms was to check government, the right necessarily belonged to the individual and, as a matter of theory, was thought to be absolute in that it could not be abrogated by the prevailing rulers.
These views were adopted by the framers, both Federalists and Antifederalists. Neither group trusted government. Both believed the greatest danger to the new republic was tyrannical government and that the ultimate check on tyranny was an armed population. It is beyond dispute that the second amendment right was to serve the same public purpose as advocated by the English theorists. The check on all government, not simply the federal government, was the armed population, the militia. Government would not be accorded the power to create a select militia since such a body would become the government’s instrument. The whole of the population would comprise the militia. As the constitutional debates prove, the framers recognized that the common public purpose of preserving freedom would be served by protecting each individual’s right to arms, thus empowering the people to resist tyranny and preserve the republic. The intent was not to create a right for other (p.1039)governments, the individual states; it was to preserve the people’s right to a free state, just as it says.


[*] Professor of Law, Valparaiso University School of Law.
[1] U.S. Const. amend II.
[2] See generally David I. Caplan, Restoring the Balance: The Second Amendment Revisited, 5 Fordham Urb. L.J. 31, 40-41 (1976) (arguing that the first Congress stated that a well-regulated militia was “necessary” to the security of a free state, not just “sufficient,” and that Congress recognized that the ordinary processes of law may be insufficient to protect the people at all times).
[3] See generally Keith A. Ehrman & Dennis A. Henigan, The Second Amendment in the Twentieth Century: Have You Seen Your Militia Lately?, 15 U. Dayton L. Rev. 5, 57 (1989) (arguing that the Framers’ intent behind the Second Amendment was to assure the states that they would retain the right to an organized and effective militia, not to create broad individual rights); Peter B. Feller & Karl L. Gotting, The Second Amendment: A Second Look, 61 Nw. U. L. Rev. 46, 67-70 (1966) (asserting that the Second Amendment refers to the collective right of the body politic of every state to be protected by an independent state militia).
[4] See Nelson Lund, The Second Amendment, Political Liberty, and the Right to Self-Preservation, 39 Ala. L. Rev. 103 (1987); Sanford Levinson, The Embarrassing Second Amendment, 99 Yale L.J. 637 (1989).
[5] See Don P. Kates, Jr., Handgun Prohibition and the Original Meaning of the Second Amendment, 82 Mich. L. Rev. 204, 207 (1983). The ACLU’s summary of its national board’s action at the June 14-15, 1980, meeting sets out the following policy considerations:
The setting in which the Second Amendment was proposed and adopted demonstrates that the right to bear arms is a collective one existing only in the collective population of each state for the purpose of maintaining an effective state militia.
The ACLU agrees with the Supreme Court’s long-standing interpretation of the Second Amendment that the individual’s right to bear arms applies only to the preservation of efficiency of a well regulated militia. Except for lawful police and military purposes, the possession of weapons by individuals is not constitutionally protected. Therefore there is no constitutional impediment to the regulation of firearms.
Nor does the ACLU believe that there is a significant civil liberties value, apart from the Second Amendment, in an individual right to own or use firearms. Interests of privacy and self expression may be involved in any individual’s choice of activities or possessions, but these interests are attenuated when the activity, or the object sought [sic] to be possessed is inherently dangerous to others. With respect to firearms, the ACLU believes that this quality of dangerousness justifies legal regulation which substantially restricts the individual’s interest in freedom of choice.
Id. at 207 n.15. At the same meeting, the board approved the following clarification: “It is the sense of this body that the word ‘justifies’ in the policy means we will affirmatively support gun control legislation.” Id.
[6] George Washington further stated, “It is at all times difficult to draw with precision the line between those rights which must be surrendered, and those which may be preserved ….” See Letter from George Washington to the President of Congress (Sept. 17, 1787) in 1 Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution 305 (John P. Kaminski et al. eds., 1983).
[7] See John P. Reid, In Defiance of the Law: The Standing-Army Controversy, The Two Constitutions, and the Coming of the American Revolution 79-85 (1981).
[8] 1 William Blackstone, Commentaries *320 [hereinafter Commentaries].
[9] See generally Leon Friedman, Conscription and the Constitution: The Original Understanding, 67 Mich. L. Rev. 1493 (1969) (explaining that the existence of a standing army during peacetime was widely condemned as a threat to liberties).
[10] Id.
[11] Commentaries, supra note 8, at *321.
[12] David T. Hardy, Armed Citizens, Citizen Armies: Toward a Jurisprudence of the Second Amendment, 9 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 559, 562 (1986) [hereinafter Hardy, Armed Citizens].
[13] William S. Fields & David T. Hardy, The Militia and the Constitution: A Legal History, 136 Mil. L. Rev. 1, 8 (1992).
[14] See Arthur Allen Leff, The Leff Dictionary of Law: A Fragment, 94 Yale L.J. 1855, 2078 (1985).
[15] 2 English Historical Documents 416 (David C. Douglas & George W. Greenaway eds., 1953) [hereinafter English].
[16] See 1 Frederick Pollock & Frederic W. Maitland, The History of English Law Before the Time of Edward I 421-42, 565 (1968).
[17] David T. Hardy, The Second Amendment and the Historiography of the Bill of Rights, 4 J.L. & Pol. 1, 7 (1987) [hereinafter Hardy, Historiography].
[18] Id.
[19] Sources of English Constitutional History 141 (Carl Stephenson & Frederick G. Marcham eds., 1937) [hereinafter Sources].
[20] Id. at 163.
[21] 3 Hen. 8, ch. 13 (1511).
[22] Id.
[23] Sources, supra note 19, at 397.
[24] See, e.g., Sources, supra note 19, at 396 (Records Concerning the Militia (1539-1577)).
[25] Id. at 397 (Instructions for General Musters (1572)).
[26] Id. at 396.
[27] John Fortescue, The Governance of England, otherwise called The Difference Between an Absolute and a Limited Monarchy 114-15 (C. Plummer ed., rev. ed. 1885). Fortescue saw Englishmen as healthy, wealthy, and well armed, “wherefore thai ben myghty, and able to resiste the adversaries of this realme, and to beet oper reaumes that do, or woldee do them wronge. Lo, this is the fruty of Jus polliticum et regale, under which we live.” Id.
[28] In 1539, the French ambassador reported that “in Canterbury, and the other towns upon the road, I found every English subject in arms who was capable of serving. Boys of 17 and 18 have been called out without exception of place or person ….” L. Boynton, The Elizabethan Militia 8-9 (1967).
[29] See generally 3 Thomas Babbington Macaulay, The History of England From the Accession of James the Second 47 (1900) (1st ed. 1849) (discussing English acceptance of a standing army by the end of the Tudor period).
[30] See H. Laski, The Rise of European Liberalism (1936); John V. Orth, North Carolina Constitutional History, 70 N.C. L. Rev. 1759, 1765 (1992).
[31] See The Parliament of Wonders: Common Debates 1628 (Robert C. Johnson et al. eds., 1977) [hereinafter Parliament].
[32] Id.
[33] For a general discussion of this area, see 8 Samuel R. Gardiner, History of England From the Accession of James I to the Outbreak of the Civil War 1603-1642 (1965).
[34] Id.
[35] Sources, supra note 19, at 406-07.
[36] Sources, supra note 19, at 412-13.
[37] Roy G. Weatherup, Standing Armies and Armed Citizens: An Historical Analysis of the Second Amendment, 2 Hastings Const. L.Q. 961, 966-67 (1975) (citing King James I, The Workes of the Most High and Mightie Prince James 529, 531 (1616)).
[38] Weatherup, supra note 37, at 967.
[39] Sources, supra note 19, at 441.
[40] Id.
[41] Id. at 429.
[42] Id.
[43] See Joyce A. McCray Pearson, The Federal and State Bill of Rights: A Historical look at the Relationship Between America’s Documents of Individual Freedom, 1993 How. L.J. 43, 46 (discussing the second antecedent of the federal bill of rights).
[44] Sources, supra note 19, at 450-52.
[45] 2 Historical Collections 257 (J. Rushworth ed., 1721).
[46] References to this army appear at Sources, supra note 19, at 490 (The Nineteen Propositions, June 1, 1642, in which Parliament insisted on removal and discharge of the same).
[47] Sources, supra note 19, at 455-56.
[48] Weatherup, supra note 37, at 968.
[49] Lawrence Herman, The Unexplored Relationship Between the Privilege Against Compulsory Self-Incrimination and the Involuntary Confession Rule (Part I), 53 Ohio St. L.J 101, 136 (1992) (discussing Charles’s reconvening Parliament in order to get an appropriation of money).
[50] See Daniel R. Coquillette, Ideology and Incorporation III: Reason Regulated–The Post-Restoration English Civilians, 1653-1735, 67 B.U. L. Rev. 289, 301 (1987) (discussing the Long Parliament).
[51] Sources, supra note 19, at 479-81.
[52] Id. at 477-78.
[53] Id. at 486-87.
[54] Id.
[55] Sources, supra note 19, at 488.
[56] Id. at 487.
[57] Joyce Lee Malcolm, The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms: The Origins of the Second Amendment 8-9 (1981).
[58] Id. at 393-94.
[59] Sources, supra note 19, at 523.
[60] Edmund S. Morgan, Inventing the People 73 (1988).
[61] Id. at 67.
[62] Id. at 72.
[63] Id. at 73 (citing 7 John Rushworth, Historical Collections 867-68 (1721)).
[64] Morgan, supra note 60, at 74.
[65] Sources, supra note 19, at 507 (citing The Heads of the Proposals (1647)).
[66] Hardy, Historiography, supra note 17 [errata: Armed Citizens, note 12], at 573.
[67] Id.
[68] Id.
[69] Id.
[70] Id.
[71] Stephen P. Halbrook, That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right 45 (1984); David T. Hardy, Origins and Development of the Second Amendment (1986).
[72] Hardy, Historiography, supra note 17 [errata: Armed Citizens, note 12], at 574 (Citing Ordinances and Acts of the Commonwealth and Protectorate 1317 (London 1911)).
[73] Id.
[74] Morgan, supra note 60, at 94.
[75] Robert J. Cottrol & Raymond T. Diamond, The Second Amendment: Toward an Afro-Americanist Reconsideration, 80 Geo. L.J. 309, 321 (1991).
[76] Hardy, Historiography, supra note 17 [errata: Armed Citizens, note 12], at 574.
[77] Sources, supra note 19, at 541.
[78] 8 Calendar of State Papers (Domestic), Charles II, No. 188, at 150 (July 1660).
[79] See J.R. Western, The English Militia in the Eighteenth Century 10 (1965).
[80] Joyce Lee Malcolm, The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms: The Common Law Tradition, 10 Hast. Const. L.Q. 285, 299-300 (1983) [hereinafter Malcolm, Tradition].
[81] 22 & 23 Car. 2, ch. 25 (1671).
[82] Id.
[83] Id.
[84] Sources, supra note 19, at 555.
[85] Hardy, Historiography, supra note 17 [errata: Armed Citizens, note 12], at 577.
[86] Weatherup, supra note 37, at 140 [ed: reference is to 1982 Senate Report pagination.].
[87] For example, King James II tried to force the Church of England’s clergy to support his policy of religious tolerance and to read his Declaration of Indulgence from their pulpits. The Archbishop of Canterbury and six other bishops petitioned the King against the use of his dispensing power. King James had them charged with seditious libel. The jury acquitted, and the public endorsed the result. Edith G. Henderson, The Background of the Seventh Amendment, 80 Harv. L. Rev. 289, 330-31 (1966).
[88] Id.
[89] See Sources, supra note 19, at 583; Godden v. Hales, 89 Eng. Rep. 1050 (K.B. 1686).
[90] Weatherup, supra note 37, at 141 [ed: reference is to 1982 Senate Report pagination.].
[91] Sources, supra note 19, at 599.
[92] Id. at 606.
[93] Id. at 601.
[94] Malcolm, Tradition, supra note 80, at 307.
[95] The Declaration of Rights contained as its fifth and sixth charges against James II the assertion that he had attempted “to subvert” the “[l]aws and [l]iberties” by “raising and keeping a Standing army … in time of peace” and “[b]y causing several good Subjects, being Protestants, to be disarmed at the same Time when Papists were both armed and employed contrary to Law.” The Bill of Rights, 1 W. & M., sess. 2, ch. 2 (1689).
[96] Journal of the House of Commons from Dec. 26, 1688 to Oct. 26, 1693, at 21-22 (London 1742) (Lib. of Congress Rare Books Collection)).
[97] Malcolm, Tradition, supra note 80, at 307 (citing 10 H.C. Jour., 1688-93, at 21-22).
[98] Id. (emphasis added).
[99] 1 W. & M., sess. 2, ch. 2 (1689).
[100] Sources, supra note 19, at 601.
[101] 1 W. & M., Sess. 2, ch. 2 (1689).
[102] Malcolm, Tradition, supra note 80, at 309 (citing 4 & 5 W. & M., ch. 23 (1692)).
[103] Id. at 311 (citing Rex v. Gardner, Strange, 2 Reports 1098, 93 Eng. Rep. 1056 (K.B. 1739)).
[104] Sources, supra note 19, at 601 (“Bill of Rights”).
[105] Malcolm, Tradition, supra note 80, at 309 (citing 1 W. & M., ch. 15 (1689)).
[106] See Halbrook, supra note 71.
[107] Commentaries, supra note 8, at *88.
[108] Id. at *144.
[109] Id. at *140-41.
[110] See Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (1967); Michael W. McConnell, The Origins and Historical Understanding of Free Exercise of Religion, 103 Harv. L. Rev. 1409 (1990).
[111] See John G.A. Pocock, The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition 462-552 (1975); Caroline Robbins, The Eighteenth-Century Commonwealthman: Studies in the Transmission, Development, and Circumstances of English Liberal Thought from the Restoration of Charles II Until the War with the Thirteen Colonies 385 (1959); Robert E. Shalhope, Republicanism and Early American Historiography, 39 Wm. & Mary Q. 334, 334-37 (1982).
[112] See William M. Wiecek, The Guarantee Clause of the U.S. Constitution 18-19 (1972).
[113] See generally Pocock, supra note 111 (tracing republican thought from Aristotle to Machiavelli and Florentine political theory, to James Harrington and the English civic humanists, to the eighteenth century’s Radical Whigs, and, ultimately to the American Founders). For an in-depth analysis of Harrington’s political thought, see The Political Works of James Harrington (John G.A. Pocock ed., 1977).
[114] See generally James Harrington, The Commonwealth of Oceana, in The Political Works of James Harrington, supra note 113, at 170 (explaining that the way to mediate security of property with widespread civic participation was to redistribute property, especially non-feudal, “allodial” interest in land, broadly within society so that citizenship, and the opportunity to participate, would be widely available). Not all republicans, however, held egalitarian property distribution notions. For a discussion of elitist aspects of republicanism, see, e.g., Hendrick Hartog, Imposing Constitutional Traditions, 29 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 75 (1987); Frank I. Michelman, Possession v. Distribution in the Constitutional Idea of Property, 72 Iowa L. Rev. 1319 (1987).
[115] The Political Works of James Harrington, supra note 113.
[116] Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince and the Discourses 44 (Luigi Ricci trans., Mod. Lib. ed. 1950) (1513).
[117] See James Harrington, The Political Writings of James Harrington: Representative Selections 74 (Charles Blitzer ed., 1955).
[118] Morgan, supra note 60, at 157.
[119] See, e.g., Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (1967); Pocock, supra note 111, at 462-552; Robbins, supra note 109, at 385. Although these historians are all part of a common movement, there do exist significant differences in the ways they view republicanism. See Shalhope, supra note 111, at 334-37.
[120] Hardy, Historiography, supra note 17 [errata: Armed Citizens, note 12], at 585 (citing Cristopher Hill, Some Intellectual Origins of the English Revolution 27 (1980)).
[121] Hardy, Historiography, supra note 17 [errata: Armed Citizens, note 12], at 589 (citing Francois Hotman, Francor Callia at iv (R. Molesworth trans., London 1711)).
[122] The Founding Fathers were influenced by the fact that the entire body of republican philosophy known to them was based on English and classical history, which taught that popular possession of arms was vital to the preservation of liberty and a republican form of government. See Robert E. Shalhope, The Ideological Origins of the Second Amendment, 69 J. Am. Hist. 599 (1982).
[123] The unanimity with which Federalists and Antifederalists supported an individual right to bear arms is a reflection of their shared philosophical and historical heritage. The unanimity in the contemporary understanding of the Second Amendment helps explain the relative absence of recorded debate over it. What little debate there is appears at 1 Annals of Cong. 778-80 (J. Gales ed., 1834) and relates to James Madison’s proposal that the amendment provide that “no person religiously scrupulous shall be compelled to bear arms.” Id.
[124] U.S. Const. art. I, § 8, cl. 11-16. In these clauses, Congress may “declare War, … raise and support Armies, … provide and maintain a Navy; … make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces; … provide for calling forth the Militia … provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia ….” See also Chappell v. Wallace, 462 U.S. 296, 301 (1983) (stating that the framers of the Constitution clearly contemplated that Congress have plenary authority over creation and maintenance of military).
[125] Documentary History of the Constitution 560 (Dept. of State, 1900), reprinted in 3 Documentary History of the Constitution of the United States of America 1786-1870, at 560 (Johnson Reprint Corp. 1965).
[126] Id. at 560, 599, 677, 746.
[127] For a discussion of the debate concerning the military at the Constitutional Convention, see Samuel P. Huntington, The Soldier and the State 80-97, 345-46 (1957).
[128] See U.S. Const. art. I, § 8, cl. 12.
[129] Akhil Amar argues that the Second Amendment also provides a linguistic gloss on Congress’s Article I military powers. An army constituted hired soldiers, unlike a militia that consisted of the general public. Consequently, Congress’s power to raise an “army” involves authority to enlist soldiers, not conscript them. See Akhil R. Amar, The Bill of Rights as a Constitution, 100 Yale L.J. 1131 (1991).
[130] U.S. Const. art. I, § 8, cl. 15 reserves to the states “the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.”
[131] See 1 The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, at 386 (Max Farrand ed., 1911) [hereinafter Records].
[132] U.S. Const. art. I, § 8, cl. 16 reserves “to the States respectively” the power to appoint the officers of any militia for which Congress might provide and to conduct the “training [of] the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.”
[133] Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republican (W. Bennett ed., 1978) [hereinafter Federal Farmer].
[134] The true author of the Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republican is unknown. The traditional view is that Richard Henry Lee of Virginia was the author. Steven R. Boyd argues that the overwhelming contemporary opinion was that Lee was indeed the “Federal Farmer.” See Steven R. Boyd, Impact of the Constitution on State Politics: New York as a Test Case, in The Human Dimensions of Nation Making 270, 276 n.14 (J. Martin ed., 1976).
[135] Letter from the Federal Farmer (Oct. 13, 1787), reprinted in 2 The Complete Anti-Federalist 251 (H. Storing ed., 1981).
[136] Federal Farmer, supra note 133, at 13.
[137] For Antifederalist attacks on standing armies, see, e.g., Essays by a [Maryland] Farmer, in 5 Herbert J. Storing, The Complete Anti-Federalist 22-28 (1981).
[138] Id. at 21-22.
[139] Id. at 124.
[140] 3 The Papers of George Mason 1725-1792, at 1075 (Robert A. Rutland ed., 1970).
[141] Id. at 1075, 1076.
[142] Speeches by Patrick Henry Before the Virginia Ratifying Convention (June 5 & 7, 1788), reprinted in The Anti-Federalist Papers and the Constitutional Convention Debates 199-216 (Ralph L. Ketcham ed., 1986).
[143] Don B. Kates, Handgun Prohibition and the Original Meaning of the Second Amendment, 82 Mich. L. Rev. 204, 229 (1983).
[144] See David C. Williams, Civic Republicanism and the Citizen Militia: The Terrifying Second Amendment, 101 Yale L.J. 551 (1991).
[145] Madison warned that the greatest danger to the constitutional order and to the liberty of the citizen was not the possibility of a tyrant President, which he regarded as slight, but the risk that Congress would take over the powers of the other two branches of government. “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands,” Madison wrote, “may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” The Federalist No. 47, at 329 James Madison) (Tudor Publishing Co. 1937). Power “is of an encroaching nature,” and something more than “parchment barriers” is required to restrict it “from passing the limit assigned to it.” Id., No. 48, at 321. The risk of congressional power is great, far greater than the risk from the President or the courts. Congress “alone has access to the pockets of the people.” Id. at 321, 323. Its supposed influence over the people is an inducement to act, and it can expand its power in many ways, masking its encroachments “under complicated and indirect measures.” Id. at 323. Madison concluded that “it is against the enterprising ambition of this department that the people ought to indulge all their jealousy and exhaust all their precautions.” Id.
[146] William H. Rawle, A View of the Constitution 125-26 (2d ed. 1829). Alexander Hamilton saw the people’s possession of arms as guaranteeing freedom from state as well as from federal tyranny. The armed populace, “by throwing themselves into either scale, will infallibly make it preponderate” against either a federal or a state invasion of popular rights. The Federalist No. 28, at 228 (Alexander Hamilton) (John C. Hamilton ed., 1864).
[147] See Staff of Senate Subcomm. on the Constitution, Comm. on the Judiciary, 97th Cong., 2d Sess., Report on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms 27 (Comm. Print 1982).
[148] Noah Webster, An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution Proposed by the Late Convention Held at Philadelphia 43 (Philadelphia 1787), reprinted in Pamphlets on the Constitution of the United States Published During Its Discussion by the People: 1787-1788, at 5 (Paul L. Ford ed., 1888).
[149] At the convention, James Madison remarked:
As the greatest danger is that of disunion of the States, it is necessary to guard [against] it by sufficient powers to the Common Govt. and as the greatest danger to liberty is from large standing armies, it is best to prevent them, by an effectual provision for a good Militia.
James Madison, Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787, at 600 (Gouverneur Morris) (Ohio Univ. Press rev. ed. 1984).
[150] The Federalist No. 46, at 310, 311 (James Madison) (Modern Library ed., 1937).
[151] See Alexander Hamilton and the Founding of the Nation (Richard B. Morris ed., 1957).
[152] The Federalist No. 28 (Alexander Hamilton).
[153] See supra notes 133-52 and accompanying text.
[154] The Antifederalist warnings of inevitable doom, which would follow granting the central government an army power, were neutralized by a Federalist-proposed system of checks and balances that would prevent the army from usurping the power of the elected government and oppressing the people. See The Address and Reasons of Dissent of the Minority of the Convention of Pennsylvania to their Constituents (Dec. 18, 1787), reprinted in The Anti-Federalist Papers and the Constitutional Convention Debates 254-56 (R. Ketcham ed., 1986). The minority feared that:
A standing army in the hands of a government placed so independent of the people, may be a fatal instrument to overturn the public liberties; it may be employed to enforce the collection of the most oppressive taxes, and to carry into execution the most arbitrary measures. An ambitious man who may have the army at his devotion, may step up into the throne, and seize upon absolute power.
Id. at 254.
The Federalists advanced the contrary view, including Alexander Hamilton who argued that if the central government was denied an army power then future generations would be unable to adequately protect themselves. The Federalist No. 23 (Alexander Hamilton).
[155] See 1 Herbert J. Storing, The Complete Anti-Federalist: What the Anti-Federalists Were For 64-70, 72 (1981) (discussing the debate between Federalists and Anti-federalists over whether a constitution that based government on republican principles needed a bill of rights to protect individual liberties).
[156] Id.
[157] Washington advised Lafayette: “There was not a member of the Convention, I believe, who had the least objection to what is contended for by the Advocates for a Bill of Rights ….” 3 Records, supra note 131, at 297-98.
[158] The Federalist No. 84 (Alexander Hamilton).
[159] See supra notes 113-21.
[160] See Philip B. Kurland & Ralph Lerner, The Founders’ Constitution (1987).
[161] Reid v. Covert, 354 U.S. 1, 24 (1957) (“Their fears were rooted in history. They knew that ancient republics had been overthrown by their military leaders.”).
[162] Instead of a standing army providing for the nation’s defense, the Antifederalists advocated the use of a well-regulated militia maintained by each state. These militia would be under the state governor’s control but subject to requisition by the national government in time of need. The prevailing sentiment was that:
The standing army with its upper-class officers and lower-class enlisted men was basically an aristocratic institution. It was associated with the British Crown and with European despotism. It was quite unnecessary in the eyes of many Americans. The distance of the United States from Europe meant that it required no permanent military force with the possible exception of small frontier garrisons to deal with the Indians. Consequently, it was generally agreed that primary reliance must be put on a citizen militia composed of part-time officers and enlisted men.
Huntington, supra note 127, at 166-67.
[163] Virginia’s Richard Henry Lee argued that select militia might be used to disarm the population and that, in any event, it would pose more of a danger to individual liberty than a militia composed of the whole population. He charged that a select militia “commit[s] the many to the mercy [and the] prudence of the few.” Richard Henry Lee, Letters From the Federal Farmer: Letter III (Oct. 10, 1787), reprinted in The Antifederalists 229 (Cecelia M. Kenyon ed., 1966).
[164] See Rudolf Cronau, The Army of the American Revolution and its Organizer (1923).
[165] See Max Farrand, The Framing of the Constitution of the United States (1913).
[166] The Federalist Papers, a collection of some 85 newspaper essays, was written between October 1787 and May 1788 by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay to persuade the New York state ratifying convention to adopt the Constitution. A standard critical edition in use today is The Federalist Papers (Clinton Rossiter ed., 1961).
[167] For example, in The Federalist No. 23, Publius addressed the need to adopt a constitution “at least equally energetic with the one proposed,” relying upon the “[d]efective” nature of the Articles of Confederation. The Federalist No. 23, at 143, 146 (Alexander Hamilton) (Modern Library ed. 1941). The argument was frequently reiterated. See id. No. 15, at 93 (Alexander Hamilton); id. No. 22, at 140 (Alexander Hamilton); id. No. 26, at 164-65 (Alexander Hamilton).
[168] See 1 The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution as Recommended by the General Convention at Philadelphia, in 1787, at 327-31 (Jonathan Elliot ed., 2d ed. 1836) [hereinafter State Debates].
[169] See Documents Illustrative of the Formation of the Union of the American States, H.R. Doc. No. 398, 69th Cong., 1st Sess. 1007 (1927).
[170] 3 State Debates, supra note 168, at 626-27; 2 State Debates, supra note 168, at 436.
[171] The classic formulations of the mischief feared by inclusion of a bill of rights are found in the speech by James Wilson before the Pennsylvania ratifying convention. Leonard W. Levy, Original Intent and the Framers’ Constitution 270-72 (1988).
[172] Pa. Const. of 1776, Declaration of Rights, art. XIII.
[173] See 2 Bernard Schwartz, The Bill of Rights: A Documentary History 665 (1975).
[174] Id. at 675.
[175] Id.
[176] See William S. Fields & David T. Hardy, The Militia and the Constitution: A Legal History, 136 Mil. L. Rev. 1, 36 (1992) (discussing the unusual alignment in Virginia where liberals like Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and Richard Henry Lee joined forces with conservatives like George Mason to promote a bill of rights). The Virginia Proposals for a bill of rights were drafted by a committee that included Antifederalists Lee and Mason, as well as Federalists James Madison, John Marshall, and George Wythe.
[177] The Virginia convention urged the adoption of the following language:
That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; that a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defence for a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and therefore ought to be avoided, as far as the circumstances and protection of the community will admit; and that in all cases, the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.
3 State Debates, supra note 168, at 659.
[178] N.C. Proposal for a Declaration of Rights, § 19, in 4 State Debates, supra note 168, at 244.
[179] N.C. Const. of 1776, Declaration of Rights, art. XVII.
[180] In August 1788, the North Carolina Convention refused to ratify the Constitution by a greater than two to one majority. The vote is recorded in 4 State Debates, supra note 151, at 250-51. North Carolina did not ratify until November 1789. Robert A. Rutland, The Ordeal of the Constitution: The Antifederalists and the Ratification Struggle of 1787-88, at 250-51 (1966).
[181] Id.
[182] See 1 State Debates, supra note 168, at 331-37.
[183] See Lawrence D. Cress, An Armed Community: The Origins and Meaning of the Right to Bear Arms, 71 J. Am. Hist. 22, 31 (1984).
[184] See Patrick Conley, First in War, Last in Peace: Rhode Island and the Constitution, 1786-1790, in The Constitution and the States: The Role of the Original Thirteen in the Framing and Adoption of the Federal Constitution 276-85 (Patrick Conley & John P. Kaminsky eds., 1988).
[185] See Stephen P. Halbrook, The Right to Bear Arms in the First State Bills of Rights: Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Vermont, and Massachusetts, 10 Vt. L. Rev. 255 (1985).
[186] The United States expanded its rulers’ powers when it adopted the Constitution in place of the Articles of Confederation. See Gerald Gunther, Cases and Materials on Constitutional Law 77 (12th ed. 1991).
[187] See Harold G. Maier, The United States Constitution in its Third Century: Foreign Affairs: Distribution of Constitutional Authority: Preemption of State Law: A Recommended Analysis, 83 Am. J. Int’l L. 832, 832 (1989).
[188] Jackson T. Main, The Antifederalists: Critics of the Constitution, 1781-1788 (1961).
[189] See, e.g., Akhil Reed Amar, Of Sovereignty and Federalism, 96 Yale L.J. 1425, 1452 (1987).
[190] Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755) was a French political philosopher who classified various forms of government and their attributes. His ideas were well-regarded by the Americans; Jefferson once wrote that in economics, Adam Smith is generally recommended, in politics and government, Montesquieu’s treatises held equal stature. “To Mr. Thomas Mann Randolph, New York, May 30, 1790,” in 8 The Writings of Thomas Jefferson 31 (Memorial ed. 1903).
[191] Montesquieu, The Spirit of Laws, bk. VIII, ch. 16, at 176 (David W. Carrithers ed., 1977).
[192] Id. at bk. IX, ch. 1, p. 183.
[193] Id.
[194] The Antifederalists 40 (Cecelia M. Kenyon ed., 1966).
[195] Id.
[196] Id. at 40-41.
[197] Id. at 63.
[198] Id. at 64.
[199] Id.
[200] Id. at 104-05.
[201] One leading Antifederalist shared and advocated this view. Mason argued that the people’s political happiness rested on the state governments because the states, as smaller political units, provided more direct representation of the people. The Antifederalists, supra note 194, at 272.
[202] 3 The Papers of George Mason 1052 (Robert A. Rutland ed., 1970).
[203] The Federalist No. 10 (James Madison).
[204] Federal & State Constitutions of the United States (Ben Poore Perley ed., 1924); Maryland, 817; Massachusetts, 956; New Hampshire, 1279; New Jersey, 1310 (religion); New York, 1329; North Carolina, 1409; Pennsylvania, 1540; South Carolina, 1640; Virginia, 1910.
[205] Id.; Maryland, 817; Massachusetts, 956; New Hampshire, 1279 (Bill of Rights added 1784); New Jersey religion; New York, 1329 (militia, religion); North Carolina, 409; Pennsylvania, 1540; Virginia, 1910.
[206] Id.; Massachusetts, 956; Maryland, 817; New Hampshire, 1279; New Jersey, 1310; New York, 1329; North Carolina, 1409; Virginia, 1910.
[207] Id.; New Hampshire, 1279.
[208] Id.; Maryland, 818; Virginia, 1909.
[209] Edward Dumbauld, The Bill of Rights and What It Means Today 33 (1957).
[210] Hardy, Armed Citizens, supra note 12, at 609.
[211] Id.
[212] The Founders Constitution 211 (Philip B. Kurland & Ralph Lerner eds., 1987).
[213] Id.
[214] See William Miller, The First Liberty 123 (1986).
[215] The House labeled its sections of what became the Bill of Rights as “articles.” See Mark P. Denbeaux, The First Word of the First Amendment, 80 Nw. U. L. Rev. 1156, 1166 (1986).
[216] Dumbauld, supra note 209, at 46.
[217] The Senate did so without explanation. See Hardy, Armed Citizens, supra note 12, at 611.
[218] Of the two amendments that were defeated, one concerned the apportionment of representatives, and the other would have prevented congressional salary increases from taking effect until after the next election of representatives. Peter Suber, Population Changes and Constitutional Amendments: Federalism Versus Democracy, 20 U. Mich. J. L. 409, 440 (1987). The ten amendments that were ratified became the Bill of Rights in 1791. Maeva Marcus, The Adoption of the Bill of Rights, 1 Wm. & Mary Bill of Rights J. 115, 118 (1992).
[219] U.S. Const. amend II.

AL Benson Jr: If Liberty Was the Object, Why Did They Give Us Centralism?

Verbatim from Al Benson short essay critical thinking masterpiece on Gray North’s one of a kind outlier of critical thinking Conspiracy in Philadelphia.

To me, these are essential works. To understand what has happened to our great Republic, these are of the highest value. They point the way to what went wrong, what the US Constitution produced, the administrative tyranny we face as people, how this tyranny of centralism was baked into the USC. Why ratification of the Constitution was such contentious issue, and rightfully so as we see now, as the any-federalists pointed out, such as Patrick Henry’s famous remark, “I smell a Rat”.

There is a what I like to call a companion piece to Al Benson & Gary Norths works: THE HISTORY OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT, by David E. Vandercoy in the 1994 Valparaiso Univ. Law Review. 27 years have passed since it’s publication, it has proven through time and events to be increasingly germane to why the 2nd Amendment. It is not only about “guns”, it’s about everything to do with self determination and Liberty. You can read it verbatim on a subsequent separate post. As you do, I believe you will see what is so profound about our founding. Why we became the country, culture and people we are.


If Liberty Was the Object, Why Did They Give Us Centralism?

by Al Benson Jr.

The issue seemed clearer to some (but not all) in 1787. When the Constitution was presented for ratification in Virginia the issues were much better understood than they are today. Of course people back then had not had the dubious “benefit” of our government school system with its obfuscations and omittances regarding our history. It was pretty well understood in Virginia, as well as in other areas, that the issue was a strong federalism, or centralism, as opposed to a loose confederacy of state governments where states rights were to be the rule–the dreaded (by historians) Compact Theory!

In his speeches against ratification Patrick Henry noted that the delegates in Philadelphia had overstepped their bounds in that they had not been sent there with power to create a central government, but only to amend the Articles of Confederation. However, in light of the results of that convention it does seem that some went with other motives in mind. Henry warned the Virginia delegates that they were not to consider how they could increase trade nor how they could become a great nation, but rather how their liberty could be secured. Henry said, and quite accurately, “…for liberty ought to be the direct end of your government.” He made another prescient statement in this regard when he said: “If you give too little power today, you may give more tomorrow. But the reverse of the proposition will not hold. If you give too much power today, you cannot retake it tomorrow, for tomorrow will never come for for that.” In light of the direction this government has gone in from 1787 until now, does any sane person wish to argue with Mr. Henry’s logic?

Author, economist and columnist Gary North wrote a book almost twenty years ago now called Political Polytheism which dealt with much of this. For starters he noted that: “…The Constitution removed Christian religious tests as the judicial requirement of the judges and officers of the new national government. That, in and of itself, delivered the republic into the hands of the humanists. Nothing else was necessary after that. From that point on the secularization of America was a mopping-up operation.” That’s a much different assessment than most of us have been fed regarding the Constitution, even in Christian circles, or might I say, especially in Christian circles? I have to admit that when I first saw North’s book and skimmed it, I was a little hesitant about his thesis. As the years have passed I have become much less so.

And he made another trenchant observation, one that many of us, myself included, had not even thought of at the time. I since have come to where I can see his logic. He said: “The sought-for Constitutional balance of the one and the many, apart from the Bible and Old Testament case laws, is unattainable.” In other words you cannot have the proper relationship between a central government and the state governments apart from Scripture. So the further this country departs from Scripture and God’s law the more impossible it will be for us to really do anything right, especially in the area of differing governmental jurisdictions. By the same token, the “checks and balances” we have been told will keep the different branches of the national government in their proper spheres won’t work either.

North also noted that: “Like Newton’s universe apart from God’s constant, active providence, the ‘balanced Constitution’ will eventually move toward centralized tyranny (the fear of the Anti-Federalists) or toward dissolution (the fear of the Federalists). Both movements took place in 1861-65.” The Anti-Federalists feared tyranny; the Federalists feared secession. North’s comments add a whole different perspective to the question of the Constitution and what it really says.

Back in August of 2004, Gary North wrote an article called Conspiracy In Philadelphia. He also wrote a book by the same name. He observed: “In 1787 the states, with one exception (Rhode Island) were explicitly based on faith in God. In most cases, elected state representatives were required to swear their belief in the Trinity. The new constitution made all such oaths illegal for federal office (Article VI, Clause III). By means of the 14th Amendment (1868), the U.S. Supreme Court has applied this prohibition to state governments completing the transformation in the case of Torcasso vs. Watkins (1961). I told this story fifteen years ago. In response, the silence has been deafening.” Mr. North, like many of us over the years, has learned that the movers and shakers, the ruling elite, the country’s “other masters” will simply ignore what they do not want dealt with, and they press their lackeys in the “news” media to do the same, and the media bombards us with sports extravaganzas and “reality shows” to the point where we do not have the time or inclination for any serious reflection. If the truth can be out there and almost totally ignored by the general populace, Christians included, they don’t even have to bother shoving it down the “memory hole” anymore. Most people today will gaze at the plans for their own destruction and that of their kids–and yawn.

However, for the unusual few that may be concerned about the truth and how it might affect their children and grandchildren, Mr. North has posted his book Conspiracy In Philadelphia on the Internet, from which it can be downloaded. My son downloaded it for me and for a friend of mine at church. It can be found at and I would encourage those who have genuine concerns about our “founding document” and its background to download North’s book and see what he has to say. Knowing about Mr. North, I am sure his analysis will be penetrating and worth your time.


From Woodpile Report

Ol’ Remus:

“The left would have us believe the election was invalid, that the presidency is rightfully theirs, stolen by nefarious means and handed to an agent of the “deplorables”. They will accept no other explanation. They do not intend to accept the result of the election. Ever. They intend to overturn it—in effect, in fact, or both. They may succeed. We’ve learned what citizenship is worth, now we’re approaching a moment of clarity on the value of the ballot box.”

Ol’ Remus again: “Regardless of cause, the classic question has it right: if you’re not preparing for the worst, what are you preparing for? In the coming collapse will you rely on availability of food because you “know” it will “always” be there at some price? Or will you rely on government to eagerly rush pallets of attractively packaged food to your door, carefully chosen with respect for your dietary preferences, because you’re a good person? Or will you rely on a deep larder and the means to resupply and defend it?

As Selco learned, “everything can collapse really fast”. Everything, not some things. Days, not months. All at once, not by degrees, the degrees are behind us. What you have is all you’ll have, if you can keep it.”

On Food. “Finding good water isn’t a problem in the hills of Appalachia. Survivalists who fixate on water probably have other regions in mind, the arid southwest or the western high plains. If I lived, say, on the lee side of the Rockies I’d worry more about water than I do. Which is not much.

Here there are springs and weeps everywhere, creeks big and small, lakes, ponds, rivers and reservoirs, even the occasional swamp. If this isn’t enough to keep you hydrated, it rains regularly and generously in summer, and snows in the winter. Water would often be an obstacle to the travelin’ man keepin’ low and movin’ fast in interesting times.

Where survival doesn’t turn on a scarcity of water and adequate shelter has been managed, food quickly reveals itself for the priority it is. This is not as obvious as you’d imagine. You’d have to get up early and work hard to avoid food in America. In the last hundred years, only in the “dust bowl” times of the ‘thirties did America see anything like a food shortage. Notice there was always bread for the bread lines in the Depression. The lines were from lack of means, not lack of product.

Great Britain came close to a food emergency in the early ‘forties when wartime sinkings by U-boats meant already meager rations had to be cut and cut again. Our wartime rationing was, by comparison, leisure class dining. Japan was besieged so effectively it was in the first phase of actual starvation before the war ended. Totally exhausted and dysfunctional post-war Europe wasn’t far behind.

As a nation we’re unwilling to entertain even a cutback in variety, much less prepare for actual scarcity. But given all the swords hanging over our heads, a time will almost certainly come when “low fat, low calorie, gluten-free” pseudo-food will be the meal of last resort, a time when even foodies will dream of double cheeseburgers and heaps of greasy fries. Calories and nutrients are life, no getting around it.

What it pleases us to call “hunger” is more properly “appetite”. Hunger is the personal form of famine, with symptoms a near kin to bleeding out, except slower. It’s deprivation so severe there comes a point short of death where viability is irrecoverable even if rescued. True hunger invokes its own form of insanity, a fixation on food to the exclusion of all else. It drives otherwise ordinary persons to commit acts that defy belief. Famine survivors often carry debilitating memories of what they’ve seen or done.

In war and in tyranny, it should surprise no one food is weaponized. For economy and efficiency it can’t be beat. Cut the food supply and all else happens with no further effort.”



Some reading you might be interested in:

An old one that is always new:  The Pig Trap

Par Buchanan: After the Coup, What Then?

Prepare Your Mind Harden Your Heart: See How You Have Been Deceived – NARRATIVE COLLAPSE


NYT’s Goes Full Bolshie

Rand Paul: Civil asset forfeiture turns the American justice system on its head



The End Game of the Left

Libertarian to Alt-Right: Flight from Utopia

Matt Bracken On The Deep State Coup

Lexington and Concord: The Flame Remains Unlit by Bill Buppert

Tribalism and the Alt-Right

How to Make Pemmican

Kurt Schlichter: The Military Coup Against Donald Trump of 2018, Part 1

Kurt Schlichter: The Military Coup Against Donald Trump of 2018, Part 2

Z Man: Positive and Negative

Cold Fury: They Have Nothing

Is The Deep State Plotting To Remove President Trump From Office Within The Next 6 Months?

End of War On The Cheap?

Former Navy SEAL Craig ‘Sawman’ Sawyer warns of ‘gruesome massacre’ if Trump removed from office

This Mysterious Military Spy Plane Has Been Flying Circles Over Seattle For Days

SAVAGE: CIVIL WAR IF TRUMP TAKEN DOWN Americans – not Russians – elected Trump

House with Confederate flag stormed in AL, two males beaten and killed

Kurt Schlichter: The Military Coup Against Donald Trump of 2018, Part 1

Kurt Schlichter: The Military Coup Against Donald Trump of 2018, Part 2

Z Man: Positive and Negative

Cold Fury: They Have Nothing

Is The Deep State Plotting To Remove President Trump From Office Within The Next 6 Months?

End of War On The Cheap?

Former Navy SEAL Craig ‘Sawman’ Sawyer warns of ‘gruesome massacre’ if Trump removed from office

This Mysterious Military Spy Plane Has Been Flying Circles Over Seattle For Days

SAVAGE: CIVIL WAR IF TRUMP TAKEN DOWN Americans – not Russians – elected Trump

House with Confederate flag stormed in AL, two males beaten and killed





Captain Capitalism: The Pettiness of the Left

The Pettiness of the Left

Great Word. This excellent post, (above), by Captain Capitalism is an outstanding indictment of the values & principles of self-determination and living/thinking freedom. The motive power of self sufficiency is the great weapon of Liberty.


Also posted and linked at WRSA as  Captain Capitalism: The Pettiness of the Left, Or Live Below Your Means And Have A Good Life




My thoughts are Exactly what Captain Capitalism said which underly the difference between being a slave to the State or living as a Freeman. There is a fundamental set of components of Liberty in what he is talking about.

My wife and I chose about 12 years back to live in what is considered “poverty” by many standards, what it is really is an economy of living well inside our means, where we are never caught out with no alternatives, because the life we lead is alternative to begin with.

The first component is attaining Zero Debt.
This changes everything. Every penny, every resource, every tangible addition to our intrinsic wealth, totally belongs to us. You could say it is a value added way of life.

The second component is we never acquire anything that does not posses a multiple of benefits that compose value which exceeds the investment.
The third component is thinking. This may be the most important and highest value added component.

The third component is finding, learning, making, creating, building, growing, trading, and bartering everything we can. And if we can not, by any of these self sufficient means, have something under these methods, we scrutinized it carefully in relation to all other aspects of self determination, we learn to do without or learn alternatives which square with these principles we establish.

We own everything we have. No note, lien, loan, or mortgage.
We buy, barter, make, do, everything we outright. There is no compromise on these sets of values. If we do not have the wealth, be it barter, skills, labor, time, or money to acquire something outright, we do without and or find alternatives which do. Or learn to do without.

It is not difficult to do all this. At first the hardest part is learning how to think in this manner. All else follows once we developed good habits of thinking in this value added mindset.
We learned early that patience is not only a true virtue, it helped us to unlearn compulsive behavior and instant gratification. The gratification we did learn is wealth itself, for we created tangible real wealth that is entirely independent of the mainstream economy. That after awhile, we began to think naturally in this manner, it became the prime directive, which we base all our actions of providence upon.

The whole idea is to learn and live a way of life where we require as little fiat money as is physically possible to do.

Do we do without?
Oh yes.
Are we poor?
Not even close.
We are richer than when we had good paying skilled labor jobs.
Do we have lots of money from our ways of being frugal.
No. By most standards we are at the bottom of the economic food chain.
Are we happy, does living cash poor worry us?
Our lives are full each day. We are producers. We fabricate, craft, grow, employ steadfast daily manual labor, into as many facets of the sphere of our lives, as we are capable of applying.
At some stage, this all became natural behavior and thinking, it was evolutionary more than revolutionary. Though we are now natural revolutionaries. We defy norms, we revolt against mainstream, we live an open source insurgent lifestyle based on values and principles of being self determined and self sufficient.

We joined the honorable resistance.
We have it made.
And instead of dropping a ton of money by buying our way into it, we husbanded our blue collar humble wealth, invested it in ourselves, in order so we could afford the time and labor to build tangible wealth over a steady increasing logarithmic line.

Is it hard work?
Yes, but only as you get up each day, and chip away at what from the outside looks like a daunting mountain of hard work.
We persevere.
And perseverance gets you things places and results better than anything money can acquire or buy.

Do we lack things we need?
Not in the sense it makes life difficult.
Only in the sense we just can not go there here and now.
But our way of life makes it possible, to do so through thinking and application of our standards of living we established within our means.
And because of this, we hardly notice lack of “things”.
We learn & live to do without.

I believe every day as more and more people join the honorable existence, we become a body of people who are immune to the statist-quo, to the overlords, to the whims and vagaries of control and manipulation the tyranny breathing down our throats has created.
Because we are and have withdrawn our consent, we have left behind the world order, therefore we have
become independent from the “system”. Unplugged, Free.

No many would cry but the government has guns! They will just break down our doors and kill us if we refuse to comply! Resistance is futile!

Please, excuse me for being contrary, because we are contrary to begin with. Those who cry it is futile, that it is impossible, they miss the entire point. We are free, because we choose to be free. Because we practice what we preach. We live the life, not talk, live it. And as more and more of us unplug from the Matrix, we become that much more indomitable, till one day we become a force no tyrants or system of slavery can stop us.

Like the fine fellow who wrote this great testimony.
He defies.
He revolts.
He resists.
And you can never win if you are fear doing so to, by failing to live so and think so begin with.

Jim’s Blog: Coup by permanent government in the wind


Coup by permanent government in the wind

( also see this-  Free North Carolina: ‘Taking down Trump’ would provoke civil war )

( and this-  Savage: “There Will Be Civil War In This Country” If Trump Taken Down  )

Coup by permanent government in the wind
I expected, and predicted, a self coup by Trump, seizing the power of the presidency for the president, but instead, Mueller has empaneled a grand Jury, which is the permanent government, the presidency, seizing the president.

Empaneling a grand jury is institutional preparation for arresting Trump, not institutional preparation for an impeachment vote in the senate. Attempting to arrest Trump is a coup.

A grand jury issues indictments. That is what it is for. A grand Jury indictment directly results in an order for someone to be arrested and imprisoned. The target usually does not know what the indictment is, what the evidence is, what the charges are, until after he is jail, which is mighty convenient for prosecutors – and for coup makers.

Should it succeed, not long thereafter leftists will be arresting leftists for insufficient leftism, until the process is halted by a Cromwell, a Stalin, or a Napoleon, or until the process goes all the way to the Seven Kill Stele, and everyone executes everyone else for insufficient leftism, leaving very few survivors.

Mueller’s cops armed with guns and a warrant may well be quietly shown the door by Trump’s praetorians armed with guns and a presidential pardon, but if both sides survive, trouble and escalation will ensue until one side does not survive.

A grand jury is pretty much a formality, since the prosecutor has complete control. A grand jury will indict you for being a ham sandwich, so will surely indict Trump of being a Russian agent and stealing the elections. Or something. We will probably never find out what the charges were, because once the arrest is made, or attempted, the charges will cease to matter, and being able to hit what you are shooting at will matter. Does anyone recollect the charges on which King Louis or Czar Nicholas was executed?

The trouble is that the institutional outcome of the grand jury process is not a two thirds vote in the Senate, as provided by the constitution, but a bunch of social justice warriors dressed as cops equipped with an arrest warrant from someone no has heard of, giving Trump a perp walk in front of the press.

And when you attempt to give the president a perp walk, that is not an arrest, but a coup. By empaneling a grand Jury, Mueller begins walking down a path where the end of the path is his death or Trump’s death.

First faction to start shooting usually wins. The merely elected government, the mere president, needs men who will shoot to kill other men dressed in police uniforms and equipped with a judicial warrant from someone no one has ever heard of. For I am pretty sure that those attempting to serve a judicial warrant on the president will shoot to kill. Once the fatal words are spoken, the logic of the situation is that you win or you die. The violence inevitably escalates. Whoever is slowest to face up to this loses, gets arrested, imprisoned, and eventually, executed, for once imprisoned, too dangerous to live. If Trump gets arrested, one thing will lead to another thing, and pretty soon his entire family and then all elected Republicans will be arrested, and not very long thereafter, executed. It is defect/defect, and the one who defects hardest and first wins. A grand jury exists to arrest people. Once you start resolving political conflicts by arresting your opponents, you win or you die. If Mueller attempts to arrest Trump or his people and fails, Trump has to arrest Mueller and his people, for if he does not, Mueller will surely succeed the second, the third, or the tenth time.

And if Mueller successfully arrests Trump, he is going to have to kill Trump, and a rapidly increasing number of other people, for if he does not then sooner or later Trump is going to be unarrested.

Arresting people is violence, and the logic of violence takes over from the logic of politics. Once started, hard to stop. This does not mean that the escalation will take place overnight, though it well may do so, but there will be escalation.

If the permanent government successfully performs a self coup against the merely legitimate and formal government, we get informal and illegitmate government, on the model of our officially unofficial official state religion. This sets in process a power struggle, where you get a sequence of coups, each lefter than the last, as happened when the Kadets overthrew the Czar to institute moderate conservative parliamentary democracy on the British model, until the army, the praetorians, or the security services get involved, or until a single dictator makes himself absolutely supreme.

Unless saner heads prevail and stuff Mueller back in the bag, or just simply shoot him and his jurors, we are on track for a coup, which, if it succeeds, will result in a chain of ever more radical coups.

From the illegal re-election of Tiberius Gracchus in 133BC to Caesar crossing the Rubicon in 49BC was eighty four years, one long human lifetime of steadily escalating political violence, ending in direct military intervention.

From moderate constitutional monarchists overthrowing the King of France to Napoleon was ten years of steadily escalating violence, ending in direct military intervention.

From the Kadet’s overthrowing the Czar in the name of constitutional democratic monarchism to Stalin stabilizing the Russian political system was sixteen years of steadily escalating political violence, during which the military and the security services have remained strangely quiescent.

So this grand jury is not going to result in the stuff instantly hitting the fan. Rather, we will see substantial and escalating erosion of the norms of peaceful political competition, and in retrospect future historians will record the revolution as starting in 2017 or not very long thereafter. It is not going to instantly result in war to the knife, and for a while, everyone will think that normality continues. But the logic of events takes us to war to the knife, and the side that first sees the logic of events and acts on that logic, wins.

Politics by arresting your opponents is not politics, but war. Wars are easy to start, hard to stop. The side that first realizes that war has begun gains a substantial advantage.