Con Law

Senator/Presidential Candidate Barack Hussein Obama wants to create a civilian National Security force. I'm not sure the Senator, who is a constitutional law scholar, understands the US Constitution. We already have a civilian National Security force. He can read all about it in the amendments to the US Constitution. Specifically 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.
The Militia is the US National Security force and it consists of all the able bodied persons who are armed and of a certain age group (I think it is all those people between the ages of 18 to 45 - but I need to look it up) by act of Congress. The people of the US are already empowered to defend their country. All that is required is that they visit their local gun store (except in Washington DC and a few other major cities - Chicago, the Senator's home town comes to mind) and get armed.

Don't get me wrong. I think this is a good idea. It is just that the Senator is 200+ years late to the party. I wonder if he slept through his Constitutional Law classes.

H/T Instapundit

Cross Posted at Power and Control

Welcome Instapundit readers. May I suggest for more fun a look at We Can't Drill Our Way Out.

posted by Simon on 07.19.08 at 07:52 PM


Constitution, schmonstitution. He wants people to do something for the world! What, you don't approve of public service, comr.. I mean, sir?

Assistant Village Idiot   ·  July 19, 2008 10:06 PM

But if he is talking about spending $400 billion per year, and we have roughly 4 million new members of the militia each year (can't be sexist here), that would be $100,000 per 18-year-old.

That could pay for quite a bit of training, and still allow for an interesting shopping spree in the local gun shop.

GaryC   ·  July 20, 2008 12:26 AM

Doesn't it seem kind of immature to keep highlighting Obama's middle name? It seems like a rhetorical flourish compensating for a lack of rhetorical substance.

God I'm a bastard.

Beck   ·  July 20, 2008 2:34 AM

God I'm a bastard.

Me too.

BTW what about his first name? We should call him Barry. Just as his friends in Hawaii did.

M. Simon   ·  July 20, 2008 2:42 AM

It is brought into place in the creation of America's Secret Army under the Militia Act of 1903 commonly known as the Dick Act. If you are between the ages of 18 and 45 you are in it. It is called the 'unorganized militia' and is given explicit statement via the exception clause in Article I, Section 10 where the States may create regular forces in cases of invasion or Danger which will not brook delay... that is the federal government unwilling or unable to respond to a true catastrophic emergency or invasion. The States actually could do much more for themselves without creating standing forces, just by giving means to implement interested citizens gathering to form local militias by recognizing the citizen's right to defend the State and ensuring that this is done in an orderly fashion without pay (although tax breaks for ammunition and awards for various skill contests would not be out of the question). Citizen self-organization is not a standing force, but an interested group of those willing to defend their States and is fully valid for the States to do outside of the regular militia (National Guard).

Of course that wouldn't be under federal control as it is purely a State's right to defend itself when the government doesn't see fit to do so...

ajacksonian   ·  July 20, 2008 2:18 PM

Democrats often used "Herbert Walker" to talk about Bush the elder, trying to highlight that he was, how did they put it, "born with a silver foot in his mouth".

It's certainly consistent with past conduct of presidential elections for opponents of Barack Hussein Obama to his middle name often, as a way of reminding voters of his "Muslim heritage" (as former Democrat senator Bob Kerry -- a Hillary supporter -- described it).

unitra   ·  July 20, 2008 2:21 PM

Isn't 'Barack' his Muslim name?

Jon   ·  July 20, 2008 2:26 PM

When you look it up, it is Title 10, Section 311.

Don't forget the part where people who have prior service as an officer retain memebership in the militia to age 65.

What kind of service is considered adequate? That isn't in the law, but rather would be in the judge written procedureal law which would be built if this had a history of litigation. For example, would service as a police officer count as prior service? Does "Officer" include Commissioned Officers only, or also warrant and non-commissioned officers? What if the person had service as an officer, but then got a bad conduct discharge (John Kerry, call your office!). Would militia status be restored if later review of the individual's records changed the discharge from bad conduct, as was routinely done at the direction of President Jimmy Carter?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Don Meaker   ·  July 20, 2008 2:26 PM

Actually, the first politican to use Barack Hussein Obama's middle name for political benefit was..... Barrak Hussein Obama.

He was trying to suggest that our Muslim overlords would be more merciful if our President had a Muslim name.

May he be eternally shamed for the foolish suggustion that the terrorist murderers would go easier on a muslim apostate than on the muslims that they routinely murder.

Don Meaker   ·  July 20, 2008 2:32 PM

10 USC 311 does define the militia as all able bodied males between 17 and 45 who are, or who have declared their intention to become, citizens and all females who are members of the National Guard.

However, this is more to do with who is subject to call up into formal military duty since the draft is founded on calling up the civilian militia.

Every free citizen is obligated to do their part in the security of the United States. The founders never intended the security of the nation to be the responsibility of the few but rather it is the responsibility of all citizens to defend the country to the extent of their capabilities. To that extent, those not subject to this obligation were historically not considered full citizens, i.e., women, children, the infirm, etc., since their obligations to society were less than that of able-bodied men. As we moved into the age of specialization, it stands to reason that the professional soldier or policeman would be more capable in taking actions but such specialists do not relieve the citizen of his obligation to society. The professional just provides the capability of a more finely honed response and an individual on call.

Posse comitatus is a longstanding common law principle that gives the sheriff the authority to call on all citizens to assist in preserving the peace. Failure to lend assistance when demanded by law enforcement acting in their official duties is prosecutable. It stands to reason that if a citizen can be called into service for law enforcement purposes and can be prosecuted for not complying, all citizens have an obligation to and a right to protect the security of the society of which he is a part.

JKB   ·  July 20, 2008 2:45 PM

I like this idea. A comment I read for a different post at a different site (Sorry for lack of citing and hat tip) said that if the Dems looked at the 2A like the rest of the amendments they'd be screaming that the Federal Government is required to buy every citizen a firearm.

Throw that at Barry and see what he says.

David in San Diego   ·  July 20, 2008 2:54 PM

This security force will be Hussein's brown shirts and will function much as the Tonton Macoute did in Haiti for Papa Doc. I'm sure Idi Amin and Bobbie Mugabe had similar groups to help expedite their freedom agendas.
My bet would be that Hussein would use his Black Muslim friends to help recruit folks from Detroit, Newark, the south side of Chicago and Oakland to staff this force.

Anon   ·  July 20, 2008 2:55 PM

Most liberals wipe their a** with the Constiution... unless it supports their cause. Selective interpretation and ignorance of the Constitution's contents, not to mention denial, serve parties on both sides of the asile.

B. H. Obama is supposed to be a Constiutional scholar but strongly displays the selective interpretation type of liberal. Barry H. Obama may be proposing some military-like, 'Civilian National Security Force',based on the theory that 85% of Americans have never read the Constitution. He, Barack Obama, just blathers and the sheep from our educational system follow believing that he is informed and, therefore, it's the truth.

All of the names that I used to describe Mr. B. Hussein Obama, still talk about the same person and, he is JUST a politician in the end. I don't believe how one chooses to present Mr. Obama really matters. His political philosophy is what does matter.

Remember: No matter how thich you slice it... it's still bologna.

Roger.45   ·  July 20, 2008 3:24 PM

311. Militia: composition and classes

(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
(b) The classes of the militia are--
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

N.B. (b)(2)

Don   ·  July 20, 2008 3:28 PM

This seems to me to be an obvious end around Heller.

So the right to bear arms is considered an individual right? Well, let's create a militia and THEN we can arguably say that only members of said militia can bear arms. It's all voluntary and btw the militia will have all sorts of convenient rules that will prevent you from ever putting your hands on a gun.

You want a well regulated militia? Barry just gave you one. Now sign up or turn in your guns. And don't forget to pay attention to all the new regulations...

jim   ·  July 20, 2008 3:53 PM

Even if you don't use the 17 to 45 age group, you could do what the Swiss do (and I'm going from memory, so please feel free to correct me). I think their adult males, defined roughly as we do, are giving some quick training, and are sent home with military quality weapons and ammo that they keep at home. We could organize a "civilian National Security force" by utilizing our retired veterans and giving them old M-1s and M-14s and some light machine guns and captured RPG launchers, and paying them $100 per month to be ready. If you can hit your grouping at 400 meters, every year, you do your 4 day traing and drill, you get paid. Commit a felony and you lose your weapons, and lose your pay. The end result is you have an ultra cheap "civilian National Security force" composed of veterans who can still hit the target, and like the Swiss, are ready on a few hours notice, like the good citizens at Lexington green and Concord.

Jim   ·  July 20, 2008 3:58 PM

jim, As has been said many times elsewhere, it's a "right of the people," not a right of the militia, or of the government (state or federal). Heller is pretty clear on who the people are"What is more, in all six other provisions of the Constitution
that mention “the people,” the term unambiguously
refers to all members of the political community, not an
unspecified subset."
And then there is this part Article 1 Section 8 describing the missions of the militia (and the militia can't be said to be well regulated unless it is equipped to perform it's Constitutional missions.
"To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions." Kind of impossible to perform those missions with single shot .22LR rifles, etc.

RKV   ·  July 20, 2008 4:34 PM

Everyone who owns a deer rifle can draw a circle around his/her home in a diameter that marks the ability to hit a given target. Those who own handguns and/or shotguns would draw a smaller circle. My target/varmint rifle gives me six hundred yards, further than I can see, given the terrain. This being rural Texas well over half of my neighbors will draw similar circles. This at no cost to the government.

Somehow I do not believe this is what Obambi has in mind. It may cause problems for him if his ideas are too big, though.

Peter   ·  July 20, 2008 5:01 PM

This already exists under Title 32. The National Guard has a dual Title 10 (federal) and Title 32 (state) mission. About half the states (and Puerto Rico) have stood up regular "State Defense Forces" as adjuncts to the National Guard. All states can do it. A couple even have state naval militias. These formations have commissioned officers who are answerable to the Governor, usually thru the State Adjutant General who also commands the Guard.

Granted, hardly anyone knows about them (I didn't and I was in the Guard) but that's not enough reason to create yet another alphabet agency. Just build on what you already have. Between the State Defense Forces (SDF), the Civil Air Patrol (USAF-CAP), the Coast Guard Auxiliary (USCG-AUX), Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT), and the various chapters of the National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR) why re-invent yet another wheel? I'm given to understand most police and fire departments have auxiliaries too.

If uniforms and "harm's way" aren't your thing there is the American Red Cross, Citizen's Corps, and a couple of zillion hands-on charitable organizations where you can break an honest and honorable sweat. There are plenty of ways to serve your country without leaving your state.

Please not another agency and please don't make it mandatory.

Falstaff   ·  July 20, 2008 5:01 PM

For a long time, I've been saying that Obama does not seem to know the Constitution. Some of my buds have slapped me down asking if I, no lawyer, know the Constitution better than a lawyer and Const. law "prof." Obama's level of ignorance about all things American is astonishing. It's as though he slept through classes at Columbia and Harvard. It's as though he taught alternative radical interpretations of constitutional law, rather than the thing itself. I'm not American born, yet I know a great deal of U.S. history and constitutional matters. So, I wonder why it is that he seems to know nothing at all. What did he learn when he should have been internalizing this stuff?

Helen   ·  July 20, 2008 5:33 PM

I should go and read what Obama said exactly about this matter but at first blush given the propensity of liberal mission creep (and using ACORN as a model) I think the effort will devolve into a scandal-ridden politicized radicalizing organization that will eventually be used to intimidate voters who don't do what they are told. Give it a few years.

fg   ·  July 20, 2008 5:53 PM

For a long time, I've been saying that Obama does not seem to know the Constitution. Some of my buds have slapped me down asking if I, no lawyer, know the Constitution better than a lawyer and Const. law "prof." Obama's level of ignorance about all things American is astonishing. It's as though he slept through classes at Columbia and Harvard. It's as though he taught alternative radical interpretations of constitutional law, rather than the thing itself. I'm not American born, yet I know a great deal of U.S. history and constitutional matters. So, I wonder why it is that he seems to know nothing at all. What did he learn when he should have been internalizing this stuff?

Here is a classic picture of Barack Obama teaching Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals.

I'm not certain whether this from one of his classes at the University of Chicago Law School.

Anonymous   ·  July 20, 2008 5:56 PM

Jim · July 20, 2008 03:58 PM,

I hope they make some exemption re: Naval Militia. We Navy folk were never trained in accurate aimed fire. Suppressive fire was all it took to qualify. (Point your weapon in that direction and keep pulling the trigger until the magazine/clip is empty. Try to get your rounds near the target.)

M. Simon   ·  July 20, 2008 6:10 PM

I don't think that Obama is referring to an armed National Security service with this suggestion. IIRC he referred as an example to Americorps. I think he is thinking about raising a large group of leftist activists to go around being busybodies and stimulating people to invent legal cases and demonstrate for something, anything, against various governments. In other words he wants Federally organized and financed community activists like he was, and racist extortionists like Jesse Jackson's PUSH. And yes, I expect he'll get ACORN and other leftist outfits helping.

As for the militia, the last thing Obama will concern himself with is national security in its true sense. He knows nothing about it and is so smugly complacent that he thinks we need not pay any attention to any such problems, they are all of our own making dontcherknow. Plus he has the attitude, usual in boomer and post-boomer leftist circles, of contempt for our own military, regular, reserve, or Guard. He would hardly advocate raising another band of armed citizens who might resist any fastening down of leftist tyranny on the country.

Michael Lonie   ·  July 20, 2008 8:01 PM

TO: Simon, et al.
RE: Guns? We Donn Need... stenking guns.

In Santa Fe, New Mexico, it is known that if there is a forest fire approaching the city, the City Fathers will 'activate' the militia; turning out every able-bodied male to man the fire lines.

That's the militia for you....



Chuck Pelto   ·  July 20, 2008 8:33 PM

TO: Helen, et al.
RE: Lawyers & the Constitution

"For a long time, I've been saying that Obama does not seem to know the Constitution. Some of my buds have slapped me down asking if I, no lawyer, know the Constitution better than a lawyer and Const. law "prof."" -- Helen

Back in the late 80s, I attended the monthly General Meeting of Denver Mensa. The guest speaker was a professor of Constitutional Law from Denver University.

During her presentation, she said there are no such thinks as Constitutional Rights. That all rights in the Constitution are 'textual' rights. Change the text and you change the right.

There was something of an uproar from the attendees over that thought.

Therefore, vis-a-vis your 'friends', I suggest THEY learn more about what lawyers are thinking regarding the Constitution and THEIR 'rights'. Might put the fear-o-God in them.


[Lawyer, n., One skilled at circumventing the law.]

Chuck Pelto   ·  July 20, 2008 8:40 PM

Emphasizing the absurdity of electing to the highest office in the land a man named similarly to our enemies is not immature.

How far would a candidate named Barack Hirohito Shitler have gotten in 1944?

The immature don't see the irony in the above question.

Cannoneer No. 4   ·  July 20, 2008 9:25 PM

For the Founders' view about this, read The Founders' View of the Right to Bear Arms. This almost unknown book was cited to the Supreme Court seventeen times in various briefs supporting Mr. Heller against Washington DC.

The Founders' View was cited several times in the Heller amicus from the President ProTem of the Pennsylvania Senate. It dealt extensively with frontier self defense against indians and wild animals on the Pennsyvlania frontier. Those particular subjects seem to have been very influential with Justice Kennedy who's swing vote made Heller's win possible.

If you are interested in conlaw, you will never regret studying the Founders' views.

David E. Young   ·  July 21, 2008 10:31 PM

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