9 votes

Declaration reference to civil power, why is it never brought up?

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

Why is this never brought up in discussions of the 2nd Amendment as it pertains to debates over what "militia" means? I see the same tired arguments over and over these days, regardless of the SCOTUS opinion shoring up the modern meaning of the 2nd Amendment, about how the militia means the military or National Guard. I've been trying to frame a response in the terms of this grievance from the Declaration, and I'm not sure how effective it would be.

I have a sinking feeling that not many people have read the Declaration of Independence as adults.

Does anyone have thoughts on this?

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Powers Not Delegated are Not Law and Are Void.

The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798:
In Full: http://www.americanpatriotparty.cc/candidates

Thomas Jefferson:

1. "Resolved, That the several States composing, the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but that, by a "compact" under the "style and title of a Constitution" for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a general (federal) government for "SPECIAL" purposes" — "delegated" to that government "CERTAIN DEFINITE" powers,

RESERVING, each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their OWN self-government;

and that WHENSOEVER the general (federal) government assumes UNDELEGATED powers, its acts are "UNAUTHORITATIVE", "VOID", and of "NO FORCE": that to this compact "each State" acceded as a State, and is an integral part, its co-States forming, as to itself, the other party:

that the (federal) government created by this COMPACT was "NOT" made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to "itself"

(APP: i.e. The Federal Supreme Court, Executive or Legislative are not the final judge);

since that would have made "its discretion", and "NOT THE CONSTITUTION", the "MEASURE" of its powers;

but that, as in all other cases of compact among powers having no common judge, each party has an EQUAL right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress.."


Pretense of Authority (Pretense of a Delegated Power which has not been Delegated), is Not Authority. Force used under a Pretense of Authority, Is Force Without Authority and an "ACT OF WAR" against the People:


John Locke, Second Treatise on Civil Government:
In Full: http://www.americanpatriotparty.cc/Locke_Civil_Government/lo...

John Locke #155. "It may be demanded here, what if the executive power, being possessed of the force of the commonwealth, shall make use of that force to hinder the meeting and acting of the legislative, when the original constitution or the public exigencies require it?

I say, using force upon the people, "WITHOUT AUTHORITY", and "CONTRARY TO THE TRUST" (ORIGINAL COMPACT THAT CREATED THE SOCIETY) put in him that does so, >>>is a "STATE OF WAR WITH THE PEOPLE", who (THE PEOPLE) have a right to reinstate their legislative in the "EXERCISE OF THEIR POWER".

For having erected a legislative with an intent they should exercise the power of making laws, either at certain set times, or when there is need of it, when they are hindered by any force from what is so necessary to the society, and wherein the safety and preservation of the people consists, "THE PEOPLE" have a "RIGHT TO REMOVE IT BY FORCE".


The use of force "WITHOUT AUTHORITY" always puts "him that uses it" into a STATE OF WAR AS THE AGGRESSOR", and renders him liable to be "TREATED ACCORDINGLY"."


Virginia Ratifying Convention 6-16-1788:
In Full: http://www.americanpatriotparty.cc/americanpatriotpartynewsl...

Citizens are Supreme to the Existing Power in a Free Country:

Patrick Henry: "for the power of a people in a free government is supposed to be "paramount" to the existing power."


Mr. GEORGE MASON. Mr. Chairman, a worthy member has asked who are the militia, if they be not the people of this country, and if we are not to be protected from the fate of the Germans, Prussians, by our representation? I ask, Who are the militia? They consist now of the "whole people", except a few public officers.


Militias are not Military, They are Armed Citizens "Officered by Men" Chosen "Among Themselves" (CITIZENS); not chosen by governments or military.

And as an OPPOSING FORCE to their OWN Standing Army (Military):


James Madison Federalist #46:
Citizen 25 to 1 Power Ratio Superiority of Military Required:

Federalist #46: James Madison - Complete Quote Text ( http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa46.htm ):

James Madison: "...The only refuge left for those who prophesy the downfall of the State governments is the visionary supposition that the federal government may previously accumulate a military force for the projects of ambition. The reasonings contained in these papers must have been employed to little purpose indeed, if it could be necessary now to disprove the reality of this danger.

That the people and the States should, for a sufficient period of time, elect an uninterrupted succession of men ready to betray both;

that THE "TRAITORS" should, throughout this period, uniformly and systematically pursue some fixed plan for the EXTENSION OF THE MILITARY ESTABLISHMENT;

that the governments and the people of the States should silently and patiently behold the gathering storm, and " continue to supply the materials", "until it should be prepared to burst on their own heads", must appear to every one more like the incoherent dreams of a delirious jealousy, or the misjudged exaggerations of a counterfeit zeal, than like the sober apprehensions of genuine patriotism. Extravagant as the supposition is, let it however be made.

Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger.

The "HIGHEST NUMBER" to which, according to the best computation, a standing army (US MILITARY) can be carried in any country, does NOT EXCEED one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number ABLE to bear arms.

This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men.

"TO THESE" (The United States Military) WOULD BE "OPPOSED" (MEANING THE MILITIA IS TO BE AN OPPOSING FORCE TO THE US MILITARY) A (CITIZEN) "MILITIA" amounting to near half a million of "CITIZENS" with "ARMS IN THEIR HANDS", OFFICERED BY MEN CHOSEN FROM "AMONG THEMSELVES" (CHOSEN BY THE LOCAL CITIZEN'S - NOT MILITARY OR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT), fighting for their (THE CITIZEN'S) common liberties, and united and conducted by government"S" (LOCAL) possessing their (THE CITIZEN MILITIA'S) affections and confidence.

It may well be doubted, whether a (CITIZEN) MILITIA "thus circumstanced" (25 to 1 ARMED POWER RATIO) could ever be conquered by such a (SMALL) proportion of "regular troops" (i.e. federal US ARMY, NAVY, AIR FORCE, MARINES).

Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it.

Besides the advantage of (THE CITIZENS) being armed, which the Americans (CITIZENS) possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of "subordinate governments", to which the people are attached, and by which the (CITIZEN) MILITIA officers are appointed (officered by men chosen among themselves), forms a barrier against the "enterprises of ambition", more insurmountable than any which a simple government of "any form" can admit of.

Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain, that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes.

But were the people to "possess" the additional advantages of "LOCAL" governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will and direct the national force, and of officers appointed out of the (CIVILIAN) militia, by these (LOCAL) governments, and attached both to them and to the (CITIZEN) MILITIA, it may be "affirmed with the greatest assurance", that the throne of "every tyranny in Europe" would be "speedily overturned" in spite of the legions which surround it.

Let us not insult the free and gallant citizens of America with the suspicion, that they would be less able to defend the rights of which they would be in "ACTUAL POSSESSION", than the "debased subjects of arbitrary power" would be to rescue theirs from the hands of their oppressors.

Let us rather no longer insult them with the supposition that they can ever reduce themselves to the necessity of making the experiment, by a blind and tame submission to the "long train of insidious measures which must precede and produce it"."

APP: This should alarm any US Citizen, as our present condition of Citizens NOT armed with a 25 to 1 superiority over our own standing army;

and the fact that our "Citizen Militias" officered by men "chosen among themselves" do NOT exist in any number near this in military capability or armament, is CLEAR EVIDENCE that the "long train of insidious measures which must precede and produce it" have "ALREADY OCCURRED".

Also read the Virginia Ratifying Convention 6-16-1788 for more on Citizen Militias and state powers that you may not know:

In Full: http://www.americanpatriotparty.cc/americanpatriotpartynewsl...

And the need for localized republics and representation for adequate representation: http://www.americanpatriotparty.cc/americanpatriotpartynewsl...

American Patriot Party.CC

Educate Yourself. Educate Others.

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RichardTaylorAPP - Chair - American Patriot Party.CC

John Locke #201, 202, 212 to 232; Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions 1798; Virginia Ratifying Convention 6-16-1788; Rights of the Colonists 1772.

The hidden words in the 2nd Amendment ...

... are "free state."

"A well-regulated militia being necessary to the SECURITY OF A FREE STATE ..."

It does not say, "... secure from foreign invasion," nor does it say, "... secure from your neighborhood burglar," nor does it say, "... to go hunt in the woods."

The PURPOSE of the 2nd Amendment is to secure a FREE STATE. What or who could threaten a FREE STATE?

The founders had been British just a few years before. Was it Russia or France or Switzerland that invaded the American colonies and threatened their freedom? Was it the neighborhood burglar? No, of course not. It was the British government itself -- THEIR OWN GOVERNMENT -- that violated their natural rights.

All discussions of the 2nd Amendment revolve around either (a) what a "militia" is, or (b) what "well-regulated" means, or (c) who the "people" are, or (d) what "bear arms" means.

What is left out of the discussion? What "free state" means and WHO might threaten a free state.

The 2nd Amendment is about the people protecting themselves through force of arms ... FROM THE GOVERNMENT ITSELF.

This is also what that passage in the Declaration of Independence was talking about, when it said the (British government's) military was trampling the (American colonists') civil authority.

The 2nd Amendment is about protection against government tyranny -- the exact thing the founders had been experiencing for several decades leading up to the revolution.

yes but

not to rain on your parade (whatever that might be) but,,,,,the words are not hidden. They are there, now, as they have been since 1789, for anyone to see and read.

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."-- Albert Einstein

Basement dweller, I thought your were 'big Hunking chicken'

You are the King Troll I've heard from previous comments with your status. The question I ask is, as your nation is falling apart all around you and the evils of tyranny increase more and more, how is that you turn a blind eye as helping the problem get worse? I am interested to know what the pay rate is for internet trolling though, that maybe to personal, anyways for anyone that comes across the user again, beware you are wasting your time with someone paid to waste your time. TROLL PATROL

kind people rock

get a life

I change my handle regularly as most here know.

I dont turn blind eyes to anything, including fake hoax legal theories that have been repeatedly disproven. I love truth too much for that,,,

oh, and my trolling is all pro bono. And I mean "real" pro bono. I don't even have a non profit foundation paying me while I pretend to troll for free. It's a real public service.

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."-- Albert Einstein

Thank you for making that so

Thank you for making that so clear.

It's difficult talking about that concept with most people though, because they do not see or are not educated enough to understand that the US government is doing the very things the British government did that caused the founders to separate from that government and found a government with these types of protections built into it.

It's all about status.

One must be an Article 4 State Citizen (a de Jure National of the state in which he was born) and not a subject federal citizen of the United States to claim the Natural Right to defend himself.

Slaves have no rights except those granted to them by their owners. US citizens are subjects of the federal government and have Civil Rights (see the 14th Amendment). State Nationals are members of the true bodies politic of the States who established the Union in the first place and are thus the ones who have the proper standing to exercise their Natural Rights to Life (and defense of life), Liberty and self government.

~ Engage in the war of attrition: http://pacalliance.us/redamendment/

How does this pertain

How does this pertain to the particular grievance I've noted from the Declaration? I'm not disagreeing with you, I simply don't see the connection.

Are you saying that the ordinary people in this country don't currently constitute a civil power and thus have no claim to being overwhelmed by the current military?

I can be clearer.

Who is the "Civil Authority?" The answer to that is the State National, not the US citizen.

It works like this:

Each State in the Union is a country with a nationality. (The Law of Nations)

The United States is not a state or a country for it lacks a true and natural body politic. It is merely the name of the Union of countries or the name of the agent for the Union's international affairs, otherwise known as the Federal Government: a government of the Federation or Union of American Republics with limited powers granted to it and enumerated in Article 1, Section 8.

Prior the the 14th Amendment there was no such thing as a United States citizen, only State Citizens. (Article 4, Section 2)

The 14th Amendment Created the US citizen and disenfranchised State Citizens. They cannot vote. "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."

A resident is an international term for someone who is not native to the territory in which he lives. A resident of California is not a Californian.

A US citizen is therefor a foreigner to the state in which he lives, as a matter of international law, and by voting is an insurgent in a foreign country. He is under direct control of Congress for as a US citizen his government is the United States regardless of where he resides.

Article 4, Section 3 state in part that ".. but no new states shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state; nor any state be formed by the junction of two or more states, or parts of states, without the consent of the legislatures of the states concerned as well as of the Congress" This means that each of the 50 States maintains its sole sovereignty over its territory. The United States' territory is the District of Columbia. The district is not a State of the Union.

The sovereignty of the United States therefore cannot extend beyond its own territory except to act upon its subjects: its citizens residing anywhere in the world. State sovereignty protects and insulates State Citizens from foreign intrusion by the United States on its people.

Black's Law Dictionary defines a "State" as a people, forming unified body politic, occupying a geographical territory, and administering it's sovereignty over all people and things within that territory through a government.

A State National is the status for a lawful body politic within a State. D.C. is not a State of the union. It is not guaranteed a republican form of government by the Constitution (Article 4 Section 4) D.C. is also not part of the Union so US citizens are nationals of a corporation which exists outside of the union and NOT party to the Constitution which exists and has meaning only WITHIN the Union.

Yes. I am saying that United States citizens will never constitute a lawful body politic within the Union and therefor never wield any civil power against being overwhelmed by the current military.

To learn the law. See below. Find the escape hatch, and earn your rightful lawful status.

~ Engage in the war of attrition: http://pacalliance.us/redamendment/

interesting but inaccurate

That argument has been tried before and has lost. We are all state and US citizens.

I understand that the founding fathers, pre-civil war amendments, did not intend the latter. But that was changed. You can change it back through the process for doing so, which has nothing to do with any sovcit nonsense.

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."-- Albert Einstein

Please illustrate for us the

Please illustrate for us the inaccuracies to which you refer.

~ Engage in the war of attrition: http://pacalliance.us/redamendment/

all the bad conclusions

one is not merely a US citizen and there is no present legal method to become a state citizen but not a US citizen. His link to a sov cit website tells it all. He's selling snake oil.

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."-- Albert Einstein


That was certainly an interesting post, thanks for sharing. :)

I wonder if the representatives in Congress have a similar understanding and make laws accordingly? It seems so, in a lot of ways.


I'm not trying to piss on anyone's parade. Just trying to expose the problems as I know them to be and share the remedy. Check out PAC (people's Awareness Coalition). You won't be disappointed.

Be well.

~ Engage in the war of attrition: http://pacalliance.us/redamendment/

to regulate means to keep in

to regulate means to keep in check or constrain or curb or inhibit. when the constitution was written, there was no "federal" army. the militia or militias were the military.

so, the first phrase of the constitution means...a military that is kept in check or constrained is necessary to a free state.

the second phrase of the second amendment...the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, is straight forward and needs no explanation.

Remember, the colonists had just fought a war to become free from a tyrannical king with a military that was running roughshod over the populace. they wanted to make sure the military of their new and limited government would not think it could run roughshod over it's citizens. thus, the second amendment.

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.

means that a military that is kept in check by the citizens is necessary to freedom and democracy. therefore the right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!!!!


That's how I read it, that's how SCOTUS interprets it, and I feel that the grievance about the civil power in the Declaration supports it. What I'm curious about is I never really see any debate using the very grievance that, among many others, led the Founders to declare independence from the British crown.

Have you? I mean... it's right there in the list. And I've never really heard it mentioned anywhere.

That's NOT what "regulate" meant at the time.

Make sure to look at dictionaries of the TIME.

"Regulate" meant to "make regular", what we would probably call "standardize".

In other words, promulgate STANDARDS that citizens should strive for in preparation in the event they were ever called up.

Correct. It also means to be Prepared.


RichardTaylorAPP - Chair - American Patriot Party.CC

John Locke #201, 202, 212 to 232; Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions 1798; Virginia Ratifying Convention 6-16-1788; Rights of the Colonists 1772.



What would the Founders do?


not even close

Awe, shucks! Really?

I had missed your reply, lon. (Sorry to let you languish for so long. I know you mean well, too, so all due respect... and I hope this helps.... :-) And I upvote you for your steadfastness.)

I must ask: were you exposed to etymology of any kind in your schooling? (I know some of us were and others not.) Dissect *the word* itself. And language is not static through time (Consider, for example, the words "gay" and "cool" and the meanings which have been added / changed in a relatively short span of time.).

First off, I totally agree with the notion that a federal army of any type should be kept in check by the People (And yes, had there been one, this detail would have surely been included in the Constitution.), but that is beside the point. You are working harder to pull that meaning from the 2nd Amendment than you actually need to; allow the etymological (period-specific) to do "the work" for you. If you are going to employ the technical in furthering your argument, make sure you do it correctly. Militia = the People armed = to be kept in a regular state of preparedness for defense. No restrictions are implied by / included in the 2nd Amendment. Hooray, right? Problem solved! No need for any further round-about extrapolations, etc.

Lotsa sources can be referenced (Heck, with some inconvenience I could scan a page from an actual period reference for you, but I'd rather you trust me here, as we're obviously on the same side.), but here's a quick one for ya:


The following are taken from the Oxford English Dictionary, and bracket in time the writing of the 2nd amendment:

1709: "If a liberal Education has formed in us well-regulated Appetites and worthy Inclinations."

1714: "The practice of all well-regulated courts of justice in the world."

1812: "The equation of time ... is the adjustment of the difference of time as shown by a well-regulated clock and a true sun dial."

1848: "A remissness for which I am sure every well-regulated person will blame the Mayor."

1862: "It appeared to her well-regulated mind, like a clandestine proceeding."

1894: "The newspaper, a never wanting adjunct to every well-regulated American embryo city."

[Author's summation:]
The phrase "well-regulated" was in common use long before 1789, and remained so for a century thereafter. It referred to the property of something being in proper working order. Something that was well-regulated was calibrated correctly, functioning as expected. Establishing government oversight of the people's arms was not only not the intent in using the phrase in the 2nd amendment, it was precisely to render the government powerless to do so that the founders wrote it.

What would the Founders do?

i agree

language is not static, though some words do have long, enduring, meanings. Words can even have many meanings at the same time. I also agree with the very last sentence of your author's summation.

try substituting "standardized" or "made ready in case needed" for "well-regulated" in the sentences you gave as examples. most don't really make sense even in the context of the time in which the sentences were written.

the sentences from 1709, 1848, and 1862, don't even have the same context. they would be examples of words or phrases having different meanings at the same time. those sentences have to do with individual well-being or mental acuity. the sentences from 1812 and 1894 also have different contextual meanings. they are related to something that runs in a controlled and efficient manner.

so, please remember, context is just as important as etymology.

In a political context (I will remind you that the constitution is a political document) we should use the political meaning. this is just as important as knowing the vernacular of the time. And, the vernacular of the time included the definition of well regulated being, "To control or direct according to rule, principle, or law."

For further context, the revolution was a direct response to the tyranny of the King. the constitution was an attempt to constrain government and it's appurtenances. thus the second amendment was meant to constrain the ability of the military to inflict its will on the citizens. the forefathers wanted the citizens to be free from the indignities that a tyrannical government and it's unchecked military could inflict upon it's citizens.

Also, you define well regulated as, "to be kept in a regular state of preparedness." But your example defines it as, " the property of something being in proper working order. Something that was well-regulated was calibrated correctly, functioning as expected." Two completely different meanings to be used in different contexts. We need to define it in the context of the second amendment at the time it was written.

If well regulated meant what you seem to think it means, then the uproar on DP about the changed wording of the second amendment in that textbook (that has been talked about on DP)would be based on false indignation. For the changed wording in that textbook would support your argument. you seem to think that a well regulated militia is one that is standardized and ready to be of service when called upon. that could be argued to mean that you only have the right to have and bear arms if you are in the, or a, militia. anybody with half a brain would know that that is not the case, hence the uproar. you sound more like someone that wants to take away the right to have and bear arms from any citizen that is not part of a militia. you sound like a gun grabber more than a liberty loving patriot.

I would also point out what beersnob stated in a reply to one of my earlier postings. the SCOTUS agrees with my interpretation. Not that I am much of a fan of the SCOTUS, but I do have that to support my argument.

Lastly, and with all due respect, I hope this helps you in your understanding of the second amendment in the proper context.

I think you both said the

I think you both said the same thing. :)


Lon Moore's definition is govern by restriction. The historical definition doesn't impose restrictions. It cannot for several reasons, the least of which being the founding fathers themselves who wrote the second amendment whose writings we have wherein we can clearly read EXACTLY what they intended to state which is NO government restrictions, but readiness, preparation and standardization.

Are you sure?

Are you sure? What it looks like he said is "a military that is kept in check or constrained is necessary to a free state". Not that a military is necessary, but that if one is there it must be kept in check, the check being we the people referenced in the second part of the 2nd Amendment.

I thought he made it clear with "they wanted to make sure the military of their new and limited government would not think it could run roughshod over it's citizens."

I really do think you two are on the same page. :)

There was no military of the new government.

At that time.

There were a handful of continentals that stayed on, but that's about it.

that's what i said in my original comment

there was no real federal army. there were the militias, which were the armed forces. you might try actually reading my posts before you comment on them.

the restriction is on the gov't.

not the other way around. the military, i.e., the gov't is restricted or regulated by a well armed citizenry. pretty simple really.

the historical meaning

the historical meaning of regulate is "to govern by restriction" or "to control or direct by a rule, principle, or method" or "To control or direct according to rule, principle, or law."

which is pretty much what I said in the first place. so I am not really interested in what you might "probably call" it.

I think you're both in

I think you're both in agreement, this is very minor semantics without changing the overall meaning of the 2nd Amendment, I'm more interested in why no one ever seems to mention the obvious grievance, especially in today's context.

Can it really be argued that we, in this county, currently have power enough to outdo our own military?