Your Duty to Bear Arms

“Let Mr. Madison tell me, when did Liberty ever exist when the sword and the purse were given up from the people? Unless a miracle shall interpose, no nation ever did, nor ever can retain its liberty after the loss of the sword and the purse.” -- Patrick Henry

The Hidden Meaning Of The Second Amendment

Montfort S. Ray, J.D

Bear Arms

Largely taken from Legal Dynamite, this article will reveal the original meaning of the Second Amendment, buried by 200 years of misinterpretation and obfuscation. The real meaning is in plain sight. Can you see it?

“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.”

Of course you can’t see it! You’ve been conditioned not to. If you’re willing, I can help with your deprogramming.

The explosive information herein is precious and timely because our government is either incapable or unwilling to protect us from terrorism (or even from crime generally, for that matter). Indeed, it seems more interested in disarming us.

Let us begin with a statement from a beloved patriot and founding father.


The Sword

“Let Mr. Madison tell me, when did Liberty ever exist when the sword and the purse were given up from the people? Unless a miracle shall interpose, no nation ever did, nor ever can retain its liberty after the loss of the sword and the purse.” -- Patrick Henry

There is no question that we have lost the purse. What about the sword?

A careful reading of the Second Amendment shows that the founders believed that the People and their states should bear primary responsibility for defending the nation and enforcing the Rule of Law.

I said a “careful” reading! Most of us truly believe that the Second Amendment says only that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”

It does not say that! That’s only half of the story. The right to bear arms cannot be legally interpreted and understood without reference to the other words in that amendment.

The Second Amendment really says that “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.”

Don’t you think it’s strange that the only attention ever paid to this amendment (by both gun rights and gun control advocates) focuses only on the right to bear arms?

In the Constitution “no word was unnecessarily used or needlessly added.”[i] However, nothing is ever said about the first part of the amendment regarding the militia.

The Militia Consists of the Entire Population

The concept of a militia has been demonized by the media, occasionally with justification. Give you an example.

Recently, four soldiers at Fort Stewart (near Savannah) were convicted of murdering two of their colleagues. The foursome was afraid that their plan to take over Fort Stewart by force of arms would be revealed by the victims.

These soldiers called themselves a “militia.” However, four dirtbags do not constitute a real militia.

A constitutional militia had to be chartered by one of the states. The militia were therefore a part of the state government. They were the predecessors of today’s “counties.” It is doubtful that our four terrorists would ever have received a state charter.

Private militia are not the kind of militia referred to in the Constitution as the “Militia of the several States.” I’m not knocking private militia -- at all. It is perfectly legal to form a private militia, and most members are responsible, patriotic and honorable.

However, private militia and gun-rights groups are greatly disempowered because they don’t have the force of state law behind them that they usually deserve.

More importantly, private militia are relatively small in numbers compared to the early American Militia which consisted of the entire population. Did you get that? All of the People were required by law to be militia members. Therefore, the government of the state of Georgia consisted of … everyone.

According to Thomas Jefferson, “Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state.”

The Supreme Law Requires State Militias

The state militia is a governmental office/department which still exists and is waiting to be revitalized and staffed. The militia enjoys the same permanent legal status as the other six players in the constitutional drama --- the States, the United States, Congress, the President, the Supreme Court and We the People --- none of whom has an expiration date or the legal right to alter or abolish any other player without violating the Constitution.

The state of Georgia could not abolish itself or its militia (absent the consent of three fourths of the states) because it would be in violation of its constitutional contract which requires that there be states and that each state have a militia.

The militia is by far the oldest constitutional player. When the Constitution was enacted in 1787, the militia had already been an essential and integral part of colonial and government for 150 years. That’s why the Supreme Law of the Land declares only the militia to be “necessary to the security of a free State.”

If we had somehow forgotten to elect a president for 200 years, could we hold a presidential election tomorrow and finally put a family in the White House? Of course! The Constitution requires that there be a President.

So is it with the “Militia of the Several States.” The Constitution requires their existence, and the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land. It would be unconstitutional to outlaw them or even to alter the form in which they existed in 1787. This is what really guarantees that the right to bear arms will not be infringed. That right is everyone’s right as a member of the militia.

The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, not because it is a right (constitutional rights are infringed all the time), but because, when the Constitution was enacted in 1787, all state citizens, all of the People, were required by law (the colonial and state militia statutes) to be armed members of their state militia.

The Right Is Actually A Duty

Therefore, the right to keep and bear arms was actually a duty to keep and bear arms. If the People are not armed, then the People cannot be the militia required by both their state constitutions and the Supreme Law of the Land.

“The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people [and] that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.” -Thomas Jefferson

In the eighteenth century, any form of gun control would be unthinkable and illegal because it would interfere with the functioning of the militia. Edwin Vieira, the nation’s foremost constitutional lawyer tells us (in his seminal work, The Sword and Sovereignty: The Constitutional Principles of the Militia of the Several States):

“From the settling of the first Colonies in the mid-1600s, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms was everywhere and always coincident with a duty of the people, as individuals, to keep and bear arms for service (actual or potential) in their Colonial and then State Militia. Indeed, it is impossible to read the dozens of Colonial and State Militia Acts of the pre-constitutional period -- in basic form and content strikingly similar to one another, from New Hampshire in the North to Georgia in the South -- without concluding that the right and the duty to keep and bear arms were then -- and, absent amendment of the Constitution, remain today -- two sides of the selfsame coin. Nowhere will a researcher find a body of Colonial or early State laws explicitly recognizing, protecting, and even enabling the right of individuals to keep and bear arms outside of the context of the duty of each individual to keep and bear arms.”

Clearly, the reason for the imposition of a universal duty to bear arms was to be able to resist invasion from without and rebellion/terrorism from within. If the Second Amendment is considered in its entirety, it can easily be seen that its primary purpose is not just to protect the rights of hunters or skeet shooters or even to protect one’s self, home or family. The real purpose of the Second Amendment is to preserve the military capacity of the American people.

Consider the other “militia clauses” of the Constitution. There’s nary a word about sport or personal self-defense.

Article I, Section 8, Clause 15 - - “[Congress shall have Power] to provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections, and repel invasions.”

Article I, Section 8, Clause 16 - -“[Congress shall have Power] to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.”

Article II, Section II, Clause 1 - - “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States.”

Weakness Invites Aggression

When government takes away citizens’

right to bear arms, it becomes citizens’ duty

to take away government’s right to govern.”

-- George Washington

Last year (2012) 8583 citizens were shot to death in the U.S. --- by their fellow citizens. 8583 is a big number.

One hundred million (100,000,000) is a much bigger number. That’s the approximate number of citizens of the world 1) who were killed by their own governments in the last century (56,000,000) plus the number of citizens 2) who were killed by foreign governments in wars (43,000,000). That’s the real reason the founders passed the Second Amendment – so we could defend ourselves against domestic tyranny and foreign invasion. This is why it is important for the American people to retain their military-style (“assault”) weapons, which, by the way, were responsible for less than 1% of the 8583 deaths referred to above.

America has never been invaded. Perhaps that’s because the People have been so heavily armed. Just after Pearl Harbor, Japan considered a land invasion of California until Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander of the Japanese Navy, told his Emperor “You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a man with a rifle behind every blade of grass.”

Also, Switzerland, one of the most heavily armed nations on earth, is the only European country Hitler never conquered. Because of the people’s militia, he never even tried.

An unarmed or passive populace is perceived as weak by predator nations, just as gun-free schools and shopping malls are perceived as soft targets by whackos. Even gun control advocates don’t dare to place “Gun Free Zone” signs on their front lawns.

Strength is the only virtue respected by the animal-dominated consciousness of the Irans, al-Qaedas and North Koreas of the world. The lion gets hungry every day, but he doesn’t attack the swiftest or strongest.

Tyranny By Your Own Government

However, the greatest concern of our founding fathers was the prevention of tyranny by their own government. Thomas Jefferson tells us:

“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is Liberty … The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

Tyranny in America may seem unlikely to you, but it can happen. It happened in the following cases:

In 1929 the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953 the Soviet government murdered about 20 million of its own people.

In 1911 Turkey forbade firearms, and from 1915 to 1917 its government killed approximately 1,500,000 Armenians.

In 1938 Germany outlawed guns. From 1939 to 1945 the Nazi government killed 13 million of its own people, including 6 million Jews.

In 1935 China instituted gun control, and from 1948 to 1953 the Chinese military killed about 20 million “dissidents.”

Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 defenseless Mayan Indians were rounded up and exterminated (for being Mayan, I suppose).

Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians were massacred.

In all, about 56,000,000 citizens were killed by their own governments in the last century. Almost all of them were unarmed.

You may think that our government would never treat us like that. You may be right, but we are a society in apparent decline, and our dear Constitution is treated like road kill. What if you’re wrong? What would you say to your children or your grandchildren?

Freedom Isn’t Free

Freedom must be fought for, and that fight is never won and never lost. That’s why Thomas Jefferson maintained that “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”

In any case, the Second Amendment is your best insurance against both foreign invasion and domestic tyranny because its primary purpose is to preserve the military capacity of the American people. Let’s read the Second Amendment again.

“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.”

Again, the real meaning of the Second Amendment lies in the word “Militia.” Historically the militia consists of the entire population of each and every state, armed and trained for military service with battlefield weapons and ammunition always in their permanent possession as a deterrent and response to invasion and tyranny.

The right to bear arms is guaranteed against infringement only because that right is possessed by militia members. Otherwise it can be limited and eroded just like any other natural right, e.g., free speech. Courts subject individual rights to the “balancing test.” The right may be infringed to the extent the interests of society require.

The Constitution requires that there be state militia. The founders regarded only the militia of the several states (not the army or the navy) as “necessary to the security of a free State” (meaning the states individually and collectively as America).

The definition of a militia is determined by the make-up of the colonial and state militia laws in effect when the Constitution was enacted in 1787. In every state the militia consisted of the entire population of each state, and each and every militia member was required by law to be armed.

[Note: The early militia consisted of all able-bodied males between 15 and 60. Women today are not only legally “emancipated,” they are fighting our wars, and they would certainly qualify for militia membership today. All that is needed is to redefine “militia” in the state constitutions.]


Brave New War, Brave New Enemy

“The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference; they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.” -- George Washington

It is unlikely that America will ever be invaded.

Indeed, war between nations has become less likely because of both the fear of nuclear retaliation and (more importantly) globalization --- our economies are too integrated. This is powerful evidence that capitalism is a pacifying force.

For example, if China were to invade the U.S., it would lose the primary market for its exports, and it would never receive a penny of interest on the two trillion dollars of U.S. treasury bonds it holds.

However, America has a new enemy. It has no government or borders, it doesn’t care about economic disruption and it will use every nuke it can get its hands on.

M.A.D. – mutually assured destruction – prevented nuclear conflict during the Cold War. M.A.D. won’t work with radical Islam because it values death over life, especially death during jihad, and nuclear annihilation would be the ultimate jihad. As Osama bin Laden used to say,

“We love death. The U.S. loves life.

That’s the difference between us two.”

You would never hear anything like that from Hitler or Stalin or Mao or even that punk Kim Jong-un. Radical Islam is a different breed of cat.

The new enemy is not a country but a militant civilization, largely Islamic, which is stateless and ever-changing, appearing in many countries as the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, the Islamic Brotherhood, ISIS, the PLO, Hezbollah, HAMAS, the mujahedin, al-Fatah, etc., etc.

We call our new enemy “terrorism.” These terrorists have declared war on us. They are dedicated to conquering America and killing all non-Muslim Americans.

Capitalism Has Created High Tech Terrorism

Capitalism is nothing but technological innovation by entrepreneurs.

The key to terrorism’s success is that it has become super-empowered by modern technology, enabling a very few to inflict enormous damage on society.

As time passes, the ability of more and more people to inflict greater damage on society is increasing.

A single terrorist with a cell phone can detonate a bomb miles away, and the purchase of a $200 Sony Play Station 2 will provide the core technology for a missile guidance system.

Consider the small group that flew airplanes into the World Trade Center towers. Osama bin Laden bragged that this caper cost $500,000.

The short-term cost to the U.S. was $500 billion.

That’s a low figure if you consider the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars ($ 1 trillion each) which wars probably would not have occurred without 9/11. Some say it was 9/11 which destroyed the federal budget and tripled the national debt.

As you are reading these words, terrorists are planning to hack into and disrupt oil and gas distribution, electrical grids, transportation, and communications and financial systems. We are told by our own DHS that this is “inevitable”!!

Without electricity, you have no water, refrigeration, sewage elimination, or communications. In other words, you have chaos and 19th century technology.

National Governments Cannot Protect Us

All of our systems are vulnerable because they are centralized and (therefore) inefficient. These systems are provided by cumbersome, pyramidal bureaucracies (like the FBI, CIA, FEMA, DHS, Secret Service, etc.) which are slow in discovering and responding to threats.

Like most nation states, America’s military and her domestic security is highly centralized. This is an asset when our enemy is another highly centralized nation/state but it is a liability when our adversary is a global guerilla network.

Our enemy is so potent because it is strong where we are weak – in its organizational structure. A centralized defense system is brittle because it is vulnerable to a decentralized attack by a network of small agile, complex groups which have no permanent structure, leadership or location.

For example, our Department of Homeland Security is pyramidal and ultra-bureaucratic. In other words, it is … slow.

There was almost no air force response to 9/11. It was up to the passengers to scuttle the aircraft whose destination was in fact the White House. Also, Katrina and Sandy have revealed the massive incompetence of federal and state governments even in responding to a natural disaster.

Additionally, our conventional top-down bureaucratic security apparatus has become increasingly intrusive. Warrantless searches, surveillance, seizures and detention increase the risk of a gradual emergence of a police state, with little added security benefits.

In 1776 all of the People were required by law to be members of the militia of the several states and to be armed, trained and organized. Back then the right to bear arms was a duty.

Consider the value of having a militia [which the Second Amendment of U.S. Constitution requires as being “necessary to the security of a free State”] consisting of the entire population of each state, which would perform homeland security functions on the county level. Indeed, the militia units were the basic units of government which evolved into today’s counties.

America was meant to be self-defending and self-governing – by the militia.

Let me give you a few examples of how the militia could help us solve our crime and terrorism problem.

How to Prevent Mass Shootings

The recent slaughter in American schools and malls can be regarded as a form of domestic terrorism. Let’s examine this in a global context.

In 2010 there were approximately 468,000 intentional homicides in the world, a rate of 6.9 per 100,000 people. The most murderous regions of the world are southern Africa (30.5 homicides per 100,000) and Central America (28.5).

The world’s most murderous country is Honduras – 91.6 homicides per 100,000, half by firearms.

The body count in the U.S. in 2011 was 14,748, a rate of 4.7 per 100,000, about two-thirds the global average. 11,610 of the U.S. deaths were caused by firearms (3.7 per 100,000).

Gun control advocates compare the U.S. to the U.K., where guns are illegal. In the U.K., there were 722 deaths in 2010, 1.2 per 100,000 (.04 by firearms). These advocates argue that unlimited access to guns always leads to more homicide and violent crime.

That’s not true. Consider Switzerland.

Instead of a standing army, Switzerland has a people’s militia for its national defense. As a result Switzerland has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the world.

Switzerland also has an extremely low crime rate. In fact, it is one of the safest countries in the world. In 2010, there were 52 intentional homicides, less than 0.7 per 100,000 (.52 per 100,000 by firearms).

Gun Control Increases Crime

Moreover, if you focus on the homicide rate, you miss the big picture. The big picture is that, historically, gun control usually increases the overall crime rate, particularly violent crimes. Consider what happened in Great Britain, the poster child for gun control.

The U.K. is actually the most violent country in Europe, even more violent than the U.S. in number of violent crimes per person (2034 per 100,000 people versus America’s 466). Some argue that it is therefore four times safer to live in the U.S. than in the U.K.

In Australia, semi-automatic pistols/rifles and pump-action shotguns were banned in 1997. Handguns in the home have to be unloaded and locked up. Armed robberies increased by 69%, assaults with firearms increased by 28% and home invasions by 21%. Even gun murder increased by 19%.

When guns were completely banned in Washington, D.C. the crime rate soared, including the murder rate. Since banning handguns in 1980, the number of murders in Chicago committed using handguns has increased 40%.

Why do gun bans almost always result in an increase in crime, especially violent crime? Because criminals, by definition, do not obey laws – specifically, they do not turn in their guns, and they are emboldened to target law-abiding citizens, who cannot defend themselves or their property against an armed invasion. According to Thomas Jefferson,

“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”

Gun control has clearly not worked in the world’s most homicidal nations - - - Honduras, El Salvador, Ivory Coast, Guatemala, Mexico, South Africa, Sudan and Colombia, where firearm homicide is astronomical, and where a major criminal element, like a drug cartel, which has absolutely no intention of honoring gun laws, can generate a level of violence which seems to threaten the very survival of the nation

Gun Free Zones Are Killing Zones

According to the FBI, in 2011 there were 12,664 “weapons related” homicides in the United States, 8,583 by firearms, 1,694 by knives, 728 by hands/feet/fists and 496 by blunt objects.

While only 323 deaths were caused by rifles (of all kinds), the main thrust of Barack Obama’s proposed legislation is to ban the use of “assault” rifles, which are probably responsible for only about 1% of firearms-related deaths.

It would be more logical to ban knives, sticks and fists. The use of assault rifles to commit homicides should be the least of any gun-control advocate’s concern.

A higher priority should be assigned to repealing the “Gun Free Schools Act of 1994.” This statute made it a federal crime to possess a firearm on any school property. Let’s see how that worked out.

Before 1994 there wasn’t a single “mass school shooting” [one in which 3 or more people were killed] in the U.S. However, between 1997 and the Sandy Hook tragedy, there were 14 such incidents.

The Gun Free Schools Act has created magnets for psychos who now know that “gun free zones” are really “helpless victim zones,” also known “self-defense prohibited zones.” Many have argued that the Act has therefore aided and abetted criminal activity.

The police cannot protect our children. I mean no disrespect, but law enforcement simply can’t respond fast enough. The average response time is pretty damn good (8 minutes), but the carnage is usually over by the time they arrive. Only people on the scene are able to make a difference.

We should consider arming teachers, staff, bus drivers and parents taking children to and from the school.

Let us further consider the many state laws which prevent all firearms in shopping malls.

Malls are therefore another “soft” target for CDB’s (cowardly dirt bags) who know it is extremely unlikely that shoppers will be armed.

However, sometimes they are. A shooter in an Oregon mall had a high capacity semi-automatic rifle, but he was able to kill only two people (I know – that’s two too many) before a shopper wearing a legal concealed-carry handgun apprehended the shooter, who suddenly decided to take his own life.

It is so obvious that malls would be safer if more shoppers are armed and/or if there is a lot more armed security personnel.

Some argue that banning assault weapons would prevent shootings in schools and malls. No way!! Whackos and criminals don’t obey the law. They won’t turn in their assault rifles and they can get any firearm they want on the black market.

America Was Meant To Be Self-Governing

One argument against the militia in its original form is that it would be inhumane to force those Americans who are terrified of firearms to bear them. Clearly, exceptions would have to be made, just as they were back in the day.

However, the greatest benefit of reviving the militia is not universal armament. Forget about guns for a minute. The greatest benefit that would accrue from the return of the militia would be the return of local government, local meaning state and county.

It’s time for a return to self-governance. The founding fathers meant for the militia to be a mechanism whereby the skills, experience and intelligence of the entire population were involved in the governing process. The primary function of the militia was governmental, and not everyone needs to be armed in order to make a contribution.

Also, the militia would provide the means of keeping guns out of the hands of those who are inclined to steal or kill, thereby satisfying today’s advocates for gun control. Local citizens would be much more effective than national legislation in detecting potential whackos and terrorists in their neighborhoods and in denying them the ability to create mayhem.

An armed citizenry would be a useful partner with local government and law enforcement (there are 800,000 cops nationwide) in detecting those who are not worthy of possessing firearms. Local eyes and ears a much more effective form of gun control and homeland security than a remote and ponderous Central Authority.

So, the best case for a militia is that our Founding Fathers intended for America to be locally self-governing, and the militia was the centerpiece of that strategy. Consider the value of having a militia consisting of the entire population of the State of Georgia, which would perform any and all government functions on the county level. Government would be tremendously enriched by the infusion of skills, experience and intelligence of the entire community.­ Again, the militia units were the basic units of society which evolved into today’s counties.

Governing was not intended to be a spectator sport. The Second Amendment was enacted not only for security but also for political purposes -- to assure the People’s control over the entire state and federal systems.

One ongoing responsibility of self-governance would be to create a wall between firearms and potential criminals. This can only be accomplished with the cooperation and active involvement of those who are familiar with their neighbors and can make the best assessment as to what constitutes a threat.

After a while the expression “Not bad for government work!” would go out of fashion. You could really believe people who say “We’re from the government; we’re here to help.”


How Can The Second Amendment Be Enforced?

[T]he several states who formed that instrument [the Constitution], being sovereign and independent, have the unquestionable right to judge of its infraction; and that a nullification, by those sovereignties, of all unauthorized acts done under colour of that instrument, is the rightful remedy.2

-- Thomas Jefferson

Nullification is the act of a state preventing the enforcement of an unconstitutional federal law within its borders.

Nullification also includes state inaction. State cooperation is necessary for the enforcement of most federal laws. When states refuse to cooperate, there usually is no enforcement.

But what if the Supreme Court says the law in question is constitutional? Can a state override an opinion of the High Court? That depends on the contract.

What contract?

The Constitution is an Employment Contract

The Constitution is an employment contract. The federal government was hired by the 13 states to provide national security, conduct foreign relations and regulate interstate commerce. Period!

The contract is very specific in its grants of powers to the federal government, which is therefore a limited government, a government of limited powers. The power of the states with regard to the federal government is otherwise unlimited. According to James Madison,

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”[1]

Mr. Madison’s meaning is reflected in the Tenth Amendment (which merely restates what is already implicit in the Constitution).

“The powers not delegated to the United States [the federal government] by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people.”

Once they decided to hire/create a federal government, the primary purpose of the 13 states at the Constitutional Convention was to prevent it from becoming too powerful. If the Supreme Court had the final say on what is constitutional, the feds would have unlimited power. The Court would be able to sprinkle legal holy water on a federal dictatorship.

The federal government cannot be expected to limit itself. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely (sooner or later). History has shown that the federal government will not limit/police itself. Some outside agency must do that job.

A dispute between a state and the federal government is a dispute between employer and employee, a dispute between principal and agent. It would be absurd to allow a department of the employee/agent/subject (the Supreme Court) to adjudicate the dispute with no recourse by the employer/principal/sovereign.

Let’s say I hire someone to mow, edge and rake my lawn, and he wants to invite himself in for lunch, sleep with my wife and become a signatory on my bank account.

He can’t do that. Why? Because that’s not the deal we struck. It’s not in the contract.

Let’s say the lawn guy won’t ease off. He gets real huffy. He goes on and on about how I’m violating his “rights.”

One day he shows up and says, “Hey, Monte. I know how we can work this out. Let my nine lawyers decide the case. What do you say?”

“Hell, why don’t I just let your let your mother settle it, you little dweeb! She’d be fair and impartial, right?”

Dweeb: “Yeah. Why didn’t I think of that?”

The Supreme Court is a Lapdog,

Not a Watchdog

The founders never intended for the Supreme Court to be the Great Nullifier by striking down/voiding/nullifying the acts of state and federal officers who took the very same oath to uphold the very same Constitution and who are fully capable of assessing the constitutionality of said actions.

Nonetheless, the Supreme Court, ascending to the throne formerly graced by the royal butt of King George III of England, preposterously declared in the cases of Marbury v. Madison [5 U.S. 137 (1803)] and Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee [14 U.S. 304 (1816)] that it had the final say in all matters of constitutionality, and could declare void any act of the federal or state governments.

Thomas Jefferson, who rarely wasted an opportunity to trash the Supreme Court, once said:

“I have long wished for a proper occasion to have the gratuitous opinion in Marbury vs. Madison brought before the public, and denounced as not law.”

Nonetheless, America has kowtowed to the Supremes ever since these decisions were handed down. Recently, Supreme Court Justice Antonio Scalia spoke at my alma mater (Princeton University) and said “Wringing your hands about States’ rights, forget it. They’re gone. Basically the federal government can do whatever it wants. Who’s going to protect the states? My Court? Ha – we’re feds!”

Between 1937 and 1995, not a single federal law was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Why should it? It’s a fed! The Court is a rubber stamp of approval for Congress.

The Supreme Court is not a constitutional watchdog; it’s a lapdog for the Animal Left.

All of our lives we have been told that the Supreme Court has the final say on constitutionality. That’s why they call it supreme, you say.

This is the purest and sheerest slave talk! The Supreme Court was created to give its opinion, and that’s it! Whether that opinion is honored depends on whether it’s any good.

Each branch of the federal government -- Legislative (Congress), Executive (President) and Judicial (the Supreme Court) -- was meant to decide constitutionality for itself.

Think about it. The founding fathers’ greatest fear was a central government of unlimited power. That’s why they created three federal departments as “checks and balances” against each other.

President Andrew Jackson once said, “Mr. Marshall [then the Chief Justice] has given his opinion -- now let him enforce it.” Jackson believed that the opinion in question was erroneous, and he was, in effect, nullifying it by refusing to enforce it (enforcement being the function of the Executive department).

Governing Was Meant To Be Inefficient

“But this is so inefficient,” you say. “How can anything get done if there’s no one who has the final say?”

As to constitutionality, the business of governing in Washington, D.C. was never meant to be efficient. It was meant to be inefficient.

The most “efficient” way of getting things done is to create a federal pyramid ruled by six alpha-males and three alpha-females, which is what Justice Scalia thought that we have today. In Oberrgfell v. Hodges, in which the Supreme court held in a 5–4 decision that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Scalia said that,

[i]t is of overwhelming importance, however, who it is that rules me. Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court … This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine … robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.[2]

The framers of the Constitution never intended for there to be horizontal judicial infallibility (between the three branches of the federal government) or vertical judicial infallibility (between the federal government and the states).

Indeed, it was the states which created the federal government. Why would the states give nine lawyers for their hired help the power to have the final say in all legal disputes?

Collectivists See Things Differently

Collectivists contend that it was not the states but the people themselves who created the federal government (i.e., the people and not the states were the party to the employment contract, and the states have no say). Thomas Woods, author of Nullification, How To Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century, calls this the nationalist theory of the Union.

“This version of American history and constitutionalism conceives of the United States as deriving from a single sovereign people rather than from an agreement among the states and the various peoples thereof. In this view, the United States is just another modern unitary state, in which a monopolistic central authority is the source of all power, and any lesser bodies (in this case, the states) derive their own powers and privileges from this central authority.

The compact theory, which Upshur sought to uphold against the nationalist version put forth by Story, held that the United States had been formed when the peoples of each of the thirteen states, each acting in its sovereign capacity, ratified the Constitution in the months and years following its drafting in 1787.”

The Nationalist and Compact Theories

1) The Constitution was ratified by each state, rather than through a national vote by a unified/amalgamated/consolidated population, suggesting the United States is a federal compact between the states.

Nationalists point out that the Constitution begins with the words “We, the People.” However, the original draft of the Constitution began with “We the States,” but it was changed to “We the People,” not by the convention itself, but by the Committee on Style which believed that such wording might offend some states which had not yet decided to join the Union.

2) The federal government was granted a few very limited powers, and the remainder of authority and sovereignty was reserved to the states, as was later made clearer by the Tenth Amendment. If all legal authority springs from the federal government, why was most authority explicitly reserved to the states?

3) The nationalists’ argument that Americans had become a single people well before 1776 is destroyed by the following words in the Declaration of Independence:

“We, therefore, the Representatives of the united [not “United”] States of America ... solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States . . . and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.” (emphasis added)

Notice the use of the lower case “u” in “united.” Treaties with France (1778), the Netherlands (1782) and Sweden (1783), listed each and every State as being the party known as “the United States,” and the word “united” was rarely capitalized.

Even as late as the Civil War most knowledgeable Americans regarded themselves as state citizens first and Americans second.

When Robert E. Lee was offered command of the Union Army in 1961, he declined, stating that he could not go to war against his own “country,” Virginia.

The peace treaty (1783) between the United States and England was (at the insistence of the Brits) signed by each and every state.

As a country our beloved America is much more than the sum of its parts. However, her legal system was based on the sovereignty of thirteen individual nation states, and, as a matter of law, the states continue to be the employer/principal/parent and the federal government is their employee/agent/subsidiary.

Legally speaking, the United States continues to be a “confederacy” of fifty nations.

4) Nationalists are fond of citing three clauses in the Constitution as support for a central government of unlimited power.

The General Welfare Clause

This clause (in Article I, Section 8) provides that Congress shall have Power to tax, pay debts and “provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States.”

If Congress is authorized to take any action to further the “general welfare,” why does the Constitution (in the same Article and Section) bother to grant a limited number of carefully limited powers to Congress?

If federal power is unlimited, why doesn’t the Constitution just say so?

The founders greatest fear was unlimited federal power, so they enacted the Tenth Amendment which states as follows: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited to it by the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

The Necessary and Proper Clause

This clause (in the very same Article and Section) further provides that the federal government shall have the power “To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Office thereof.” Thomas Woods explains:

“Of course, it was not designed as an “elastic clause,” an invitation to tyranny that would have horrified just about everyone. It was intended as a note of clarification only. It meant not that the federal government was thereby granted an array of unspecified powers, but that the government could perform simple tasks that were clearly incidental to carrying out its enumerated powers. Thus the powers to erect “needful Buildings” would, by direct (rather than fanciful) implication, involve a power to purchase lumber for this purpose.”

The Supremacy Clause

The supremacy clause (in Article VI) states that “This Constitution and the Laws of the United States, which shall be made in Pursuance thereof … shall be the supreme Law of the Land.”

Wow! What better proof could there be that the founders had created a federal government of unlimited power?

The fly in the ointment, however, is that, in order to attain supremacy status, the law in question must be made “in pursuance of the Constitution.” That is, the law has to be constitutional, and if it’s not, a state can nullify it.

Thus, we see in the strained, overreaching and convoluted arguments of the nationalists, an attempt to turn America into what Woods calls just another “modern” centralized state, “an undifferentiated aggregate of isolated individuals” who “endow a central government with the power to rule over them.”

The Supreme Court was never intended to have the final say on what is or what is not constitutional. The People and their States were meant to decide that for themselves. This system (called “federalism”) was not set up not to maximize efficiency. The most efficient system would be a police state.

With the exception of the specific powers granted to their federal agents, the States remained sovereign, limited only by their own constitutions, and the federal government was meant to be subject to their sovereignty. This was a problem for one politician who promised that he

“would totally eliminate states’ rights altogether. For us the state as such is only a form, but the essential is its content, the nation, the people; it is clear that everything else must be subordinated to its sovereign interests. In particular we cannot grant to any individual state within the nation … state sovereignty and sovereignty in point of political power.

The mischief of individual federated states . . . must cease and will some day cease . . . National Socialism as a matter of principle must lay claim to the right to force its principles on the whole German nation without consideration of previous federated state boundaries.”

The politician’s name was Adolph Hitler.

In The Gravest Extreme

In summation, the creators of the United States are the states themselves, and it is their responsibility to defend their sovereign citizens against unconstitutional federal laws and actions by nullifying them.

The advice of our founding fathers, who foresaw our predicament, was to resist tyranny in whatever form it appears.

James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, suggested the following in Federalist #46:

“Should an unwarrantable [unconstitutional] measure of the federal government be unpopular in particular States, which would seldom fail to be the case, or even a warrantable [constitutional] measure be so, which may sometimes be the case, the means of opposition to it are powerful and at hand. The disquietude of the people; their repugnance and, perhaps refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union, the frowns of the executive magistracy of the State; the embarrassment created by legislative devices, which would often be added on such occasions, would oppose, in any State, very serious impediments; and were the sentiments of several adjoining States happen to be in Union, would present obstructions which the federal government would hardly be willing to encounter.”

The eighteenth century definition of “repugnance” was “disobedience.” Madison was saying that when enough people disobey and refuse to cooperate with the federal government, it would not be able to enforce its laws.

The book between these covers is a call for a return to the rule of law, because the laws in question – the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution – are in such harmony with higher law. However, it is impossible for positive law (the law of man) always to be in accordance with higher law, and extralegal measures should not always be ruled out.

I am reminded of Massad Ayoob’s classic book on firearms entitled In the Gravest Extreme.

The First and Supreme Law

America may be approaching her gravest extreme, a moment in which the danger to the Republic is so great that extraordinary actions must be contemplated.

The Declaration of Independence imposes a duty to “alter and abolish” a government that is destructive of the people’s natural rights, but it insists that such action shall not be taken for “light and transient” causes.

I believe that our cause is neither light nor transient, and we may be approaching a very grave challenge to our way of life. Our enemies within and outside our gates are formidable and have no regard whatsoever for the rule of law except its use as a weapon of war. All the while we, in our decency (and often in our weakness) quibble over legal niceties.

Most tyrants are very law abiding because they create laws which legalize their otherwise criminal behavior. They move within legislative cocoons. Everything that Hitler and Stalin did was perfectly legal during the Third Reich and the Soviet Union.

Moreover, most of what George Washington, Gandhi and Jesus did was illegal as hell. Indeed, their obedience to law would have been obedience to tyranny.

However, in disobeying and resisting law, you sometimes find yourself out on a limb, and you proceed at your peril. According to Andrew M. Allison, Thomas Jefferson once said:

“The question you propose, whether circumstances do not sometimes occur which make it a duty in officers of high trust to assume authorities beyond the law, is easy of solution in principle, but sometimes embarrassing in practice. A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to written law would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property, and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the end to the means. . . .

It is incumbent on those only who accept of great charges to risk themselves on great occasions, when the safety of the nation or some of its very high interests are at stake. An officer is bound to obey orders; yet he would be a bad one who should do it in cases for which they were not intended, and which involved the most important consequences. The line of discrimination between cases may be difficult; but the good officer is bound to draw it at his own peril, and throw himself on the justice of his country and the rectitude of his motives.

[To save] the Republic . . . is the first and supreme law.”


How To Legally Say No To Federal Gun Control Laws

Hundreds of Sheriffs Are Doing Just That

Christopher M. Clinton is the Sheriff of Towns County, Georgia. He recently announced his intention regarding President Obama’s proposed gun laws:

“I will, as my oath requires, aggressively oppose any state or federal legislation that attempts to take away any of the natural rights guaranteed under the Constitution to the law-abiding citizens I serve. I will exercise the full authority of the office of Sheriff in defending all of the constitutional rights of each and every citizen of Towns County, Georgia, so help me God!”

Sheriff Clinton is not alone. 269 county sheriffs across the country have made similar stands against gun control, including the sheriffs of these counties in Georgia: Gilmer, Oconee, Cherokee, Cobb, Gwinnett, Paulding, Walton and Twiggs. Note that a large portion of metropolitan Atlanta is included (Cherokee, Cobb and Gwinnet).

Also, eight sheriffs associations have made public commitments to protect their citizens’ Second Amendment rights against proposed federal gun legislation.

The Georgia Sheriffs Association, for example, pledges to “stand by the Second Amendment. The sheriffs will aggressively oppose federal or state legislation which infringes upon law-abiding citizens’ right to bear arms.”

Also, sheriffs associations in eight other states have made public commitments to protect their citizens’ Second Amendment rights against proposed federal gun legislation.

Law enforcement is increasingly becoming aware that it is settled law in this country that an unconstitutional law is not a law at all. It is void. It does not exist. They maintain it would be absurd to enforce . . . nothing … in this case, the unconstitutional-and-therefore-void gun control laws.

These sheriffs maintain that they took an oath to support and defend the Constitution. In order to honor their oaths they must know what the Constitution says and means.

The Military, Too

This movement is not confined to sheriffs. It includes members of the Army, Navy, National Guard, reserves, peace officers of all kinds and fire-fighters. Many of them have created a national organization called Oathkeepers. They feel it is important that they determine for themselves whether the orders they are given conform to the Constitution which they have sworn an oath to uphold.

Accordingly, the Oathkeepers have posted a list of orders they will not obey because they “consider them unconstitutional (and thus unlawful) and immoral violations of the natural rights of the people.” First and foremost they declare that “We will NOT obey any order to disarm the American people … In particular we oppose a renewal of the misnamed “assault weapons” ban.” According to Stewart Rhodes, the President of Oathkeepers,




Mr. Rhodes’ remarks remind me of the Battle of Thermopylae which took place in the summer of 480 B.C. Outnumbered 40 to 1, the Greeks were commanded by the invading Persians to throw down their weapons, to which the Greek king Leonidas replied, “Molon labe!” (“Come and take them.”)

The Greek historian Herodotus tells us: "Here they defended themselves to the last, those who still had swords using them, and the others resisting with their hands and teeth."

The battle of Thermopylae is remembered as one of the most courageous last stands in history. It was the Greek “Alamo.”

The Second Amendment Preservation Act

This Act, drafted by the Tenth Amendment Center, is another example of state nullification of federal firearm legislation/regulation/control. Created by the Tenth Amendment Center, the Act’s more important provisions are listed below.

“(1) The Legislature of this State finds that the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental individual right that shall not be infringed;

(2) that it is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this act to protect state employees, including law enforcement officers, from being directed, through federal executive orders, agency orders, statutes, laws, rules, or regulations enacted or promulgated on or after the effective date of this act, to violate their oath of office and individual rights affirmed under the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution for the United States and under the Constitution of this state;

(3) that pursuant to and in furtherance of the principles of federalism enshrined in the Constitution of the United States, the federal government may not commandeer this State’s officers, agents, or employees to participate in the enforcement or facilitation of any federal program not expressly required by the Constitution of the United States;

(4) that this right to be free from the commandeering hand of the federal government has been most notably recognized by the United States Supreme Court in Printz v.United States [521 U.S. 898 (1997] when the Court held: ‘The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program’; and

(5) that the anti-commandeering principles recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court in Printz v. United States are predicated upon the advice of James Madison, who in Federalist #46 advised “a refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” in response to either unconstitutional federal measures or constitutional but unpopular federal measures.

Other than compliance with an order of the court, notwithstanding any law, regulation, rule or order to the contrary, no agency of this state, political subdivision of this state, or employee of an agency or political subdivision of this state acting in his or her official capacity shall:

(1) Knowingly and willingly participate in any way in the enforcement of any federal act, law, order, rule, or regulation issued, enacted or promulgated on or after the effective date of this act regarding a personal firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition.

(2) Utilize any assets, state funds, or funds allocated by the state to local entities on or after the effective date of this act, in whole or in part, to engage in any activity that aids a federal agency, federal agent, or corporation providing services to the federal government in the enforcement or any investigation pursuant to the enforcement of any federal act, law, order, rule, or regulation issued, enacted or promulgated on or after the effective date of this act regarding a personal firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition.”


The federal government is not going to help the states to revive the militia. Indeed, the feds are trying to bury/bypass the militia of the states by calling them the “National Guard.” The Guard was created under Article One, Section Eight, which grants Congress the power “to raise and support Armies,” and not under its power “to provide for organizing, arming and disciplining the Militia.”

Therefore, the National Guard is federal, and Congress or the President (via an executive order as Commander-in-Chief) can eliminate the role of the states in the Guard altogether.

The militias are required by the Constitution to remain as integral departments of the state governments, and the feds have no power to remove them from state control. Unfortunately, the feds are increasingly unrestrained by such niceties as law.

Congress tried to drive the final nail in the militia coffin by declaring in 32 U.S.C.109 that “a state … may maintain no troops other than those of its National Guard and defense forces,” thereby attempting to disqualify the People from militia participation. This statute is so unconstitutional that it has the legal authority of a fart in a windstorm.

Also, in Article One, Section 8, Clause 15 the Constitution gives Congress the power to “call forth” the militia in three situations - to suppress insurrection, repel invasions and to “execute the laws of the Union [i.e., federal law].” The same wording deceptively appears in the National Guard Act to give the impression that the Guard is really the militia.

However, no matter which law the Leftist orcs decide to enforce – the Constitution or the Guard Act -- the laws to be “executed” must be constitutional or they will be subject to nullification by the state governor who may then refuse to transfer the Guard to federal control.


The Constitution is not self-enforcing, and it is clear that our elected representatives are too ambitious, greedy and/or incompetent to get the job done.

America was meant to be self-governing at the state and local level. It is time to declare our personal independence from the increasing centralization of power in the hands of a few. Let us take our power back by restoring the decentralized society given to us by our founding fathers.

I pray there will be no need for violence. This is not a book about rebellion or revolution. Indeed, ours is a movement based on a single strategy: Obey the law! We will restore America by restoring the rule of law. However, to do that we must know what the law is. That is why I have written this book.

The average life of a democracy is about 200 years. Eventually, ignorant and self-centered voters, the professional politicians and special interest groups will eat out its substance. Our votes don’t make a difference anymore because the corruption is so advanced that candidates who are a threat to the Legal Matrix are screened out of the political process.

Our elected officials’ ignorance of the law is almost as widespread as their corruption. When asked about the constitutionality of Obamacare, a U.S. Senator deferred by saying “I’m not a lawyer.” For me this was a truly sick moment. The Senator had sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution. That requires that he knows what the Constitution says.

It is up to us to interpret and enforce the Constitution. That document begins with the words “We the People,” not “we the politicians” or “we the judges.” We are the principals and all government officials are our agents. We are not their subjects.


The author is grateful to Edwin Vieira, Jr. (probably the nation’s foremost constitutional lawyer) for his explosive and groundbreaking research on the militia. Much of this chapter is based on his book, The Sword and Sovereignty: The Constitutional Principles of the Militia of the Several States).

Merriam-Webster defines nullification as “the act of a state impeding or attempting to prevent the operation and enactment within its territory a law of the United States.” The Tenth Amendment Center defines nullification as “any act or set of acts which has as its result a particular law being rendered legally null and void or unenforceable in practice.”

The author acknowledges the tremendous contribution of Thomas E. Woods, author of Nullification, How to Resist Tyranny in the 21st Century, ( and Michael Boldin, founder of the Tenth Amendment Center, the clearinghouse and primary resource for the nullification movement, regarded by Woods as “far and away the best and most thorough website [] for the spread of nullification and other localist initiatives.”

Copyright © 2017 by Montfort S. Ray