Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 6 Num. 59 ====================================== ("Quid coniuratio est?")
Member of Michigan Militia
Opening statement to Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism June 15, 1995
Thank you for the opportunity to testify today.
The following statement will attempt to answer the question of the legitimacy and the need of the citizen militia.
Not only does the Constitution specifically allow the formation of a federal army, but also recognizes the inherent right of the people to form militias. Further, it recognizes that the citizen and his personal armament are the foundation of the militia. The arming of the militia is not left to the state but to the citizen. However, should the state choose to arm its citizen militia, it is free to do so: bearing in mind that the Constitution is not a document limiting the citizen, but rather limiting the power of government. But should the state fail to arm its citizen militia, the right of the people to keep and bear arms becomes the source of the guarantee that the state will not be found defenseless in the presence of a threat to its security.
It makes no sense whatsoever to look to the Constitution of the United States, or that of any state, for permission to form a citizen militia, since logically, the power to permit is also the power to deny. If brought to its logical conclusion in this case, government may deny the citizen the right to form a militia. If this were to happen, the state would assert itself as a principal of the contract, making the people the agents. Liberty, then, would depend on the state's grant of liberty. Such a concept is foreign to American thought.
While the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution recognizes the existence of a state militia and recognizes their necessity for securing a free state, and while it also recognizes that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, the Second Amendment is not the source of the right to form a militia, nor to keep and bear arms. Those rights existed in the states prior to the formation of the federal union. In fact, the right to form militia and to keep and bear arms exists from antiquity. The enumeration of those rights in the Constitution only underscores their natural occurence and importance.
According to the Tenth Amendment, ultimate power over the militia is not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution. Consequently, the power of the militia remains in the hands of the people. Again: the fundamental function of the militia in society remains with the people. Therefore, the Second Amendment recognizes that the militias' existence and the security of the state rests ultimately in the people who volunteer their persons to constitute the militia and their arms to supply its firepower.
The primary defense of the state rests with the citizen militia, bearing its own arms. Fundamentally, it is not the state that defends the people, but the people who defend the state.
The second line of defense of the state consists of a statutory organization known as the national guard. Whereas the national guard is solely the creation of statutory law, the militia derives its existence from the inherent, inalienable rights which existed before the Constitution and whose importance are such that they merit specific recognition in that document. While the national guard came into existence as the result of legislative activity, the militia existed before there was a nation or a constitutional form of government. The militia, consisting of people owning and bearing personal weapons, is the very authority out of which the United States Constitution grew! This point must be emphasized. Neither the citizens' militia nor the citizens' private arsenal can be an appropriate subject of federal regulation.
It was the armed militia of the American colonies whose own efforts ultimately led to the establishment of the United States of America. While some may say that the right to keep and bear arms is granted to Americans by the Constitution, just the opposite is true: the federal government itself is the child of the armed citizen. We the people are the parent of the child we call "government". You senators are part of the child that we the people gave life to. The increasing amount of federal encroachment into our lives indicates the need for parental corrective action: in short, the federal government needs a good spanking to make it behave.
One other important point needs to be made. Since the Constitution is the limiting document upon the government, the government cannot become greater than the granting power. It is the servant. That is, the servant cannot become greater than its master.
Therefore, should the chief executive or other branch of government, or all branches together, act to suspend the Constitution under a rule of martial law, all power granted to government would be cancelled and defer back to the granting power -- that is, the people.
And I'll conclude with this statement: Martial law shall not be possible in this country as long as the people recognize the Bill of Rights as inalienable.
My statement is not complete, however it has been made part of the Record for those who would like to review it. Thank you very much.
I encourage distribution of "Conspiracy Nation."