This is NOT a gun control thread...


Rather, I’m thinking about the third level of our defense, the unorganized militia, in relation to the threat of terrorist acts inside our nation.

Consider the following: Even with our heightened sense of insecurity following the WTC, the opportunities for terrorist attacks are manifold. Public schools, water supplies, gatherings of all types (sporting, civic, seasonal), oil pipelines and refineries, power plants, railroad hazardous loads, etc.

To some extent, our open and free society leaves us vulnerable to various forms of attack. Our multicultural society, with strong civil rights tradition, discourages the act of singling out any one group for automatic suspicion.

Is it possible that we could be headed towards the same type of situation that Israel, for example, finds itself in? It seems that there is an incident every day - a gunman, a suicide bomber, a car bomb. Other areas of the world see this type of constant threat, too - I have a friend who lives in Indonesia.

We will need to be more vigilant. We will need to increase security at any vulnerable points, and it will take some time to do this. But America is a BIG country, with millions of people. The police, the FBI, the National Guard, the Armed Forces - this protection is their natural responsibility. But there simply aren’t enough of them.

So, my question is this - if the threat of terrorist acts is deemed strong enough, or if several more significant ones happen, what is the possibility that Congress could call upon the citizen militia (as provided in the Constitution)? And if so, could/would it be effective?

Do you really want people with guns to shoot people they deem might be terrorists?

The WTC tragedy was horrible, but that scenario actually scares me even more (much more). Luckily, I don’t “fit the profile” to most of the folks who would have the guns. Unfortunately, many millions of innocent people do.

I don’t think this would be effective in handling the scenarios you mentioned. Say for example that terrorists attacked the water supply. I’m not sure how I see a bunch of citizens with guns protecting against this. All I envision is a bunch of vigilanteism after the fact. Public Schools? I want a bunch of trained police officers who hopefully have a pretty good understanding (by now) of what the best course of action is, rather than a bunch of rednecks sayin “Let’s get em boys!”.

I don’t really see that there is a likelihood of such actions being necessary anyway. I don’t think that enough of these radicals are here to create a situation in which the system in place couldn’t respond adequately. IMHO.

I always thought the National Guard was the only militia recognized by the government (at least the federal government). After all, that’s how courts have justified allowing the government to pretty much ignore the Second Amendment IIRC.(not that I’m trying to turn this into another gun control debate)

Well, it’s a great idea to think that we could use local militia men for our nation’s cause, it is unfortunate however that they do not have the proper training to take on battle fields in Afghanistan.

As far as on the homefront, I believe that the Constitution’s reference to local militia would be the equivalent of individual states’ National Guard. For example, many states National Guard has been called up to help with city and county police to restore order and safeguard the communities. In fighting the Revolutionary War, individual states pledged support, ie there was no federal army, only local ones. But again, I’m sure that local milita men would be proud to serve, but consider that their training may not be sufficent.

For what it’s worth, these are the reasons I prefer that the U.S. be on the offense (as it is) rather than the defense.

A civillian militia could only be used against a well identified(uniformed) enemy. Since terrorists like to conceal themselves by blending in with the citizenry, the militia would be useless at best, vigilantes at worst.

Further, the whole concept of the “citizen militia” is one that is referred to as “arising” in the advent of a catastrophic breakdown/removal of our free system. It is not meant to exist for the purpose of simple police work.

The National Guard is not the only militia recongnized by the government, it is a branch of the US Army, and can be mobilized and deployed by order of the President.

Read this for more complete information.

see the post immediately before mine.

The short answer is:

  1. Yes, under Federal Law, every able-bodied male age 17-45 capable of shouldering arms, who is not already in the military or National Guard, is a member of the “Unorganized Militia,” whether he wants to be or not.

  2. But the Unorganized Militia has never been called into actual service. (The term didn’t even exist in Federal Law until 1906.)

  3. The only circumstance under which the Unorganized Militia might be activated were if there were such an overwhelming threat to the nation – say, if every country on Earth simultaneously decided to invade the U.S. – that the active military, plus the reserve military, plus every member of the National Guard of every state, were inadequate to repel the threat. Having a few high-profile terrorist organizations scurrying around hardly qualifies as such an all-or-nothing, do-or-die circumstance.

My thoughts had envisioned something more like Britian’s Home Guard, or the like, acting in concert with official forces as watchmen, point-of-entry guards, etc.

Anyway, the general concensus seems to be against the possibility.

Guess we’ll just let this thread fade away…

Congress will never call on them.

However, some militia units (ones that I know members of) are guarding such targets as we speak, armed primarily with cell phones. I’m sure they have firearms with them, but they know full well that in most cases they wouldn’t be able to use them (except in self defense as defined by the law in each particular state).

This doesn’t mean they have a 24 hour guard on all the targets in their areas of operations, since most of these guys have jobs and families, but they’re doing what they can.