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Militia Idea

I was writing a long anno to another Idea on this topic when it was deleted
  [vote for,

I think the definition of "militia" may have changed a bit in 200+ years. Back then they were very grass-roots. The USA may have had a semi-official army, but because communications were so slow in those days, it was necessary for each region to be able to defend itself.

Later, a militia was not unlike a "posse" that might be deputized in Western America of the 1800s, to chase down bad guys. And communications were getting better (per the telegraph and railroad).

Nowadays militias are largely top-down, like the National Guard. And communications are such that very little happens that vast numbers of people, located all over, don't quickly find out about it.

But the system is vulnerable in a way that means it is necessary for grass-roots style militias to still be ABLE to exist, just in case. See any post-apocalypse story.

Perhaps what is needed, instead of something formal, is a kind of "cell system" where gun owners communicate with each other regularly, up-close-and-personal. Bad guys need secrecy, not communications, to do their bad deeds, see? The goal of such a system is only partly to prevent bad-guy acts; the main goal is to simplify grass-roots militia formation.

The Government need not fear such a cell system if all armed employees of the Government were members of that system during their off-duty time.

Vernon, Feb 27 2013


       // Nowadays militias are largely top-down, like the National Guard. //   

       The National Guard is not a militia. It is a revervist branch of the Armed Forces.   

       A militia is a private endeavor, established, manned, and maintained entirely by non-military citizens. In fact, that's the whole essence of the militia part of of the 2nd. It's supposed to be a sort of potential check to an out-of- control government.
Alterother, Feb 27 2013

       Militias like this do exist. The members are creepy people and I think I would take the Russian invasion force over most militias. I will give them some credit for being safe with their (many) firearms, when they aren't using them to murder their wives.
DIYMatt, Feb 27 2013

       In about 10 years it will be possible to manufacture antitank rockets from plans freely available on the Internet. In about 10 years the government will also have thousands of autonomous surveillance helicopters that cost less than a laptop does today. Who this is a net win for, I don't know.   

       Governments are a natural monopoly. True freedom would require space travel beyond effective reach of foreign governments.   

       In the short run, I would suggest making arguments for socially very liberal, fiscally data- driven policies with maximum mimetic impact.
sninctown, Feb 27 2013

       //beyond effective reach of foreign governments.// You don't need space travel to move to ND.
DIYMatt, Feb 27 2013

       Ten years? You can find plenty of home-cooked heavy ordnance on the internet today. Most of the recipes are crap, but some of them are frighteningly real.
Alterother, Feb 27 2013

       Would Jesus own guns?
sninctown, Feb 27 2013

       It only makes sense to protect yourself against any threat to you and yours. To trust our safety to an organization that is so poorly run that it can't even break even as a monopoly is foolhardy.
cudgel, Feb 27 2013

       Jesus is sometimes called the "Prince of Peace", so the idea of him owning a gun might not make a lot of sense. On the other hand, at least one gun was known as "the Peacekeeper", which implies that owning a gun doesn't mean having to use it. Remember "Mutual Assured Destruction"? It's been proven able to work to assist peace....   

       Then there is the fact that guns make it extra-easy to kill people, and one of those Ten Commandments is against killing people. On the other hand, guns also make it extra-easy to kill all sorts of creatures besides people, so here it is obvious that the gun is not the problem, the choice of targets is the problem.   

       Finally, Jesus was more into fishing than hunting. "I will make you fishers of men," he allegedly told certain fellows. This leads me to think that Jesus might be comfortable owning a gun, provided it was a spear-gun.
Vernon, Feb 28 2013

       [Vernon], The reason I had to delete that earlier idea you refer to (mandatory militia membership for gun owners) is that [Alterother] informed us that it was beneath the dignity of the HB to post such a stupid idea. Since I didn't want to argue the point, and I respect his opinion, I just deleted it.
sqeaketh the wheel, Feb 28 2013

       //In fact, that's the whole essence of the militia part of of the 2nd. It's supposed to be a sort of potential check to an out-of- control government.//
I read that the real reason the militia idea was put into the Constitution was that slave owners needed to have the right to form militias to capture runaway slaves. That sounds far fetched to us nowadays, but then so does the idea of owning another person. Does anyone know if this is true?
sqeaketh the wheel, Feb 28 2013

       sqeaketh, that sounds like it could be a factor, although I doubt the only one.   

       The problem is that people don't always behave logically or rationally, and that includes gun owners.
RayfordSteele, Feb 28 2013

       Thanks, [squeaky]! I actually just meant that it is, as you said so well, beneath the dignity of the Halfbakery to have the same stupid, useless argument that so many others are dragging out right now. All the same, I appreciate the compliment and I'm glad others agree.   

       // I submit that gun owners as a whole (the NRA) or as a local community have a duty to protect their own by taking all necessary measures <etc.> //   

       I think [bigs] is really onto something here. I've long thought that firearm regulation should be fully shifted over to state jurisdiction, so that states with gun violence problems can take strong measures without residents of other states having to suffer for it. This idea takes it another step further. Sanctioning volunteer municipal organizations for observing and advocating responsible gun ownership could make a big difference.
Alterother, Feb 28 2013

       //Jesus is sometimes called the "Prince of Peace"//   

       Yet he also said, allegedly and ungrammatically, "I come not to bring peace but the sword".   

       //one of those Ten Commandments is against killing people//   

       and several other passages actually mandate killing people.   

       //"I will make you fishers of men," he allegedly told certain fellows.//   

       He was allegedly speaking to fishermen. Had he been speaking to shepherds, he would have said "I will make you shepherds of men". Had he been speaking to weavers, he would have said "I will make you weavers of men". Like any good rabble- rouser, real or imaginary, he would address his audience in terms that would be familiar to them.   

       My own reading, for what it may be worth, agrees with [Alterother] and [lurch], namely that the function of Second Amendment, in common with the rest of the Constitution, is to protect the people from the government; or, more specifically, to enable the people to protect themselves from agents of the government.
angel, Mar 01 2013

       //"I will make you fishers of men," he allegedly told certain fellows.//   

       That sounds pretty creepy to me.   

       "Fisher of Men"
"The shepherd of men"
"The man weaver"

       All great titles for horror films:   

       (Warning - nightmare fuel follows)   

       In the first, nubile teens are picked off one by one or in groups, gutted, hung up then eaten.
In the second, a charismatic leader has a dark side, ritually humiliating people by stripping their clothes in public, every year. Children and old people disappear with no explanation.
In the third, a psychopath has a fantasy about owning a living coat, which he attempts to bring to reality by kidnapping people then bringing to bear his skills as a surgeon.
Loris, Mar 01 2013

       [angel] and [Alterother], I completely agree that many people (including me) think that one of the reasons for the 2nd Amendment is to make sure the Government knows that the People are the real Boss of the Country.   

       Unfortunately, the precise wording of the 2nd Amendment doesn't say it; it only implies 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."   

       Consider somebody like King John of England, who could say such things as "I AM England", and mean it. But this also means that so long as HE was free, then England could qualify as a "free state" --even if everyone else in it was just a slave.   

       Well, we all know that the Magna Carta put some limits on the power of the King of England, and the U.S. Constitution tries to also prevent too much power from being in one place (main reason for separate Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches).   

       Nevertheless, the term "free state" is not properly defined. As indicated above, the phrase could qualify for any nation comprised of dictator-and-slaves.   

       So, in my opinion, a better way to word the 2nd Amendment is this: "The ability to defeat would-be conquerers being necessary to the security of the would-be conquered, the right of the people, to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."
Vernon, Mar 01 2013

       /Would Jesus own guns?/   

       Probably no, but he might keep an antitank rocket handy to use on fig trees.
bungston, Mar 01 2013

       [21Quest] I think you are being redundant, in that "oppressed" has some equivalence to "conquered". So, only the one word need be used. Also, my proposed "better wording" doesn't specify whether the would-be conquerers are foreign or domestic, which also should be a Good Thing.
Vernon, Mar 01 2013

       It occurs to me that if we ever have to form private militia in order to overthrow a totalitarian government, we actually _will_ need high-capacity assault rifles. Those* who quote the 2nd under the anti-gun flag should probably re-evaluate their argument.   

       * I'm not referring to anyone here
Alterother, Mar 01 2013

       //nuclear weapons// personally I'd draw the line short of anything with the words "nuclear","biological" or "chemical" in it: salting the earth isn't defending it.   

       It could be argued that modern weaponry is intrinsically safer. For instance I don't think muskets can be unloaded except by being fired. And black powder is _much_ more dangerous than modern blends.   

       As a matter of pedantry "high-capacity(magazine) assault rifle" is a redundancy.
FlyingToaster, Mar 01 2013

       //        [Alter] Annoying validish point. //   

       Thank you, sir!   

       // Does that mean they need nuclear weapons as well ?    //   

       Probably not, but I wouldn't say no to a STRYKER in my garage. I could do some serious community policing with one of those.   

       // "high capacity (magazine) assault rifle" is a redundancy //   

       As a matter of pedantry, no it isn't. I have 5-rd. mags for my AR-15s which I use when hunting in compliance with capacity restrictions. If high-cap mags are banned (as many reactionistas are currently proposing at the top of their ragged little lungs), those are what we'll be left with and all so-called 'assault-style' firearms will be low- capacity assault rifles.
Alterother, Mar 01 2013

       yes but your AR-15 isn't an "assault rifle" per se, despite being in the same design tree as the M16 and M4 which are.   

       This far removed from the original design date, even saying it's a military rifle is almost the same as saying a .30-06 shell is a "military rifle cartridge".
FlyingToaster, Mar 01 2013

       That's what you and I say. To the reactionistas, all AR-15s are military-style assault weapons that have no business in the hands of civilians and are the deadliest threat to the safety of honest, hard-working Americans since Castro. Thanks to a couple of unbalanced shitheads with delusions of nilistic glory, the AR-15 is the new pit bull, the latest scary thing from which you must protect your children at all costs.   

       Oh, crap, I'm now engaging in the argument I tried to prevent...
Alterother, Mar 01 2013

       Well, as long as they're not black...
normzone, Mar 01 2013

       yeah, I slipped on the same banana mag peel.   

       I think it's a catch-22 thing: people who like to wield power for its own sake realize that a gun afficianado wouldn't actually shoot them because then he/she would be losing the argument, so "hey look at me while I taunt this guy with a gun".
FlyingToaster, Mar 01 2013

       If Jesus would have had a gun, he would have shot his tormenters rather than died for the sins of AD Christians. Owning a gun is what Jesus would not have done.
Sunstone, Mar 02 2013

       //Oh, crap, I'm now engaging in the argument I tried to prevent... — Alterother, Mar 01 2013//First rule of the Halfbakery.
blissmiss, Mar 02 2013

       // When the US and other modern lands were created, the populations were mentally capable of owning guns. Now that we have improved welfare states in global villages, the new deal and great societies we no longer need to and are rightly unable to defend ourselves as we can trust the government to do it for us. //   


       // @ Alter, there's not a minimum legal hunting caliber in Maine? //   

       There is, but 5.56mm (223) is right on the fence for deer. There's a lot of understandable controversy over its penetration and unpredictable terminal ballistics. I only know a couple of hunters who use it, both comp shooters easily capable of a guaranteed neck- or head-shot kill at 100yds. The AR I use to hunt deer is chambered for 6.8mm SPC.
Alterother, Mar 02 2013

       It varies from state to state. When we teach the WSC, we definitely try to steer people torward the 30-cal range. Well, I say 'we' even though I teach the survival and first aid part of the course. Still, I wouldn't recommend hunting deer with 5.56mm, even if it is technically legal here.   

       Maine's minimum load for whitetails is the .22 WMR, which is a tail-heavy hotshot magnum; compared to the .223 it is a narrower but slightly longer and heavier round. It has similar muzzle velocity but more stable terminal behavior. Personally, I think it's way too small.   

       My 6.8 SPC is on the small side for deer, but it packs nearly the same punch as the 7.62 NATO (.308) and has incredible ballistics for a medium round. It's great for extreme depressed shots, which is handy up here in the mountains. Obviously, I wouldn't use it if I weren't absolutely confident in my shooting. For average hunters I advise .30-06, 30-30, or .303 magnum.
Alterother, Mar 02 2013

       //Personally, I think it's way too small.//   

       Given what I know about how you feel about deer, I assumed you would use a Boys .55in antitank rifle, or perhaps a LAW.
Loris, Mar 02 2013

       Regular deer are fine. I love them. They are beautiful, majestic, and tasty. Blink Deer (cervus displacia), on the other hand, are right bastards.
Alterother, Mar 02 2013


       What's a .303 magnum?   


       //as we can trust the government to do it for us. //   

       I second the "bullshit" and move to strike "what the hell are you on about?".
Custardguts, Mar 03 2013

       .303 British, sorry. My uncle hunts with an Enfield.
Alterother, Mar 03 2013

       Jeez - i mean the SMLE was fairly ideal for lobbing pinkie-finger sized lumps of lead at massed formations up to a mile or so distant, but I'd absolutely choose a different calibre these days what with modern advances and all.   

       That said, here in Australia for many years there was an unhealthy obsession with "sporterising" smle's and re-chambering in all sorts of weird and wonderful wildcats like .303-25 or .303-22. I mean they're just as handy for bludgeoning the game to death as they are for shooting it, but I suppose they were cheap, and roused some kind of nationalistic spirit which is a good thing I suppose.   

       I've not found anyhing on this wide brown continent that a moderately-placed 130 gn .300 calibre barnes TSX bullet out of the muzzle of my .308 can't take care of quick-smart. Your results may vary.
Custardguts, Mar 04 2013

       The .308 is obviously an excellent round. I was just throwing examples off the top of my head and needed something to round out the list.
Alterother, Mar 04 2013


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