The American Militia
If You Want Something Done Right . . .
You know that saying, or at least you should. Your Father or perhaps your Grandfather used it
a lot, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” Now think hard, when was the last time
someone used this short comment in public? Perhaps it was as a statement about some problem
recently being discussed. Not very recently was it?
Now try another one, “There ought’a be a law”. OK, you may not have heard those precise words
lately either, but you have, almost constantly, seen that mind set in practice. If someone thinks
something is being done that negatively affects them PERSONALLY, they clamber for some
“LAW” to control the action. We are not talking about laws against things like murder, rape or
robbery, those are acts that are “Malum in se” or bad in itself. Such acts violate moral standards
or common laws. Instead we are talking about things that are “Malum prohibitum” or wrong
because prohibited, or in translation, “bad because we say so”.
The difference here is that this second class of acts includes things like painting your house green
in violation of some “fine arts committee” or a local condo association regulation. Perhaps the rule
is about having a shotgun barrel that is 1/4 inch too short. You get the picture.
We have been thoroughly constrained in our actions by Malum Prohibitum laws or rules or
regulations. Often they come from un-elected boards or agencies, which can write rules that have
the force of law and can have punitive consequences. We have been trained to not act on our
own, but to seek the help of others, to complain to courts or agencies, to turn to laws and
regulations that may have been designed to counter some perceived evil. How many of these
micro managing rules are counter productive to general human creativity or even with serious or
deadly Unintended Consequences?
That also is a good book, “Unintended Consequences” by John Ross, but I digress.
How many laws are there today and how many fall into these two classes? Clearly there are tens
of thousands of federal, state and local laws. There are many more “regulations” which, though
not laws in themselves, carry punitive consequences. If some un-elected regulator thinks you are
not doing the right thing, your life can become interesting. If I had to guess I would say that 80%
or 90% of laws fall into the “Malum prohibitum” or “bad because we say so” class. There are so
many laws the almost anything that can be done can be considered illegal in some circumstance
and therefore civilians should not do them.
Stay tuned, there is much more along this line, just around the corner. But back to this essay.
There are so many opportunities for civilians to seek protection from someone violating these
many laws that it is easy and convenient for them to call on state agents to come and stop the
acts. There is so much conditioning to call on others for help that the calls and the demand
constantly grow. The load on protection and civil service explodes while self reliance dwindles.
It would be beneficial to society if self reliant Citizens were to take care of some of their local and
personal problems directly with those causing the problems, instead of being disabled in self
defense by local regulations. A home invader would be stopped and rather than calling for help
the Citizen would call to say, “No hurry, just come and pick up this piece of trash”.
Ok, here is another common phrase that I bet you HAVE heard in the last little while; “So Sue Me!”
Being conditioned to call on others for help, the 911 emergency call system finds increasing use.
Emergency calls for medical or fire services are expedited and usually get quick help where
needed. However, “quick” is a relative term, especially where loss of life in concerned.
What follows is an effective discussion of the 911 emergency call system as a personal protection
service. It’s dated but still relevant. As you read this keep the following in mind; “When seconds
count, 911 help is only minutes away”. Lets start this lesson with this simple motto; “Personal
Safety is a Personal Responsibility”. Where else have you seen this motto?
The 9-1-1 Gamble [From The Blue Press, October 1998]
by Dave Kopel
"Guns might have been alright when people lived on the frontier," anti-gunners will tell you, "But
today, nobody needs a gun. All you need for protection is a telephone, so you can dial 9-1-1 for
the police." The assertion that the government, through the 9-1-1 emergency phone system, can
and will protect everyone from criminals is not just (in)correct: it's unlawful and immoral.
"Women Raped after Response to 9-1-1 Slow," is a poignant but not uncommon type of headline
(Tampa Tribune, March 24, 1997). The women in this particular story was walking home along
a deserted highway, when a van full of young thugs began following her. She went to a pay
phone, and called 9-1-1. By the time a police-car arrived, thirty-five minutes later, she had been
gang-raped by the men in the van.
The Tampa story never made the national news, since stories like it are so common as not to be
newsworthy beyond the town where they happen. (In contrast, fatal gun accidents involving
children are rare, and are therefore played up nationally when they occur.) Wherever you go in
the United States, you may encounter local 9-1-1 horror stories. In Chicago, handguns are against
the law for law-abiding citizens, so only the criminals and the government have them. So what if
a Chicagoan sees somebody being violently attacked by a criminal, and tries to call 9-1-1 to
summon the police?
The crime victim better hope that he 9-1-1 system isn't inoperative, like it was for two-and-a-half
hours one day. Or, that he doesn't get a busy signal, as is common in 9-1-1 systems all over the
country. Or, that the phone doesn't just ring unanswered, as it has in Buffalo, among other places,
due to under staffing. Or, that he doesn't reach a recording, as in Los Angeles. In one notorious
Los Angeles case, a two-year-old boy lay wounded from a drive-by shooting while it took 20
minutes and the intervention of a telephone company operator to reach 9-1-1, according to a
Newsweek article aptly entitled, "The Curse of 9-1-1."
If you do get through to 9-1-1, hope that you have better luck than the late Kyle Meriwether. When
an armed robber entered her New York City business, "Avon Products," she pressed a silent
alarm; her alarm company immediately called 9-1-1. The police responded within six minutes, but
the 9-1-1 operator gave the police the wrong company name, "Eva Productions."
In the meantime, Ms. Meriwether had been shot, and was bleeding to death in a bathroom.
Although the police were within a few feet of the murderer, they didn't find any company called
"Eva Productions." So they called 9-1-1 back. And although 9-1-1 had been given the correct
name, "Avon Products," the 9-1-1 operator insisted, "All I have is Eva Productions." The police
explained that there was an "Avon" store at the address. "I don't know what that is supposed to
be," the 9-1-1 operator replied. The police and operator agreed to file a "90x" form, meaning that
the alarm had been unfounded.
After the police left, two Avon representatives went to Ms. Meriwether's Avon Products office.
They found a man, the murderer (although they didn't know this at the time), sitting at the front
desk. He said that Ms. Meriwether had stepped out, and would be back in a little bit.
Ms. Meriwether was bleeding so profusely that her blood traveled through the walls, and dripped
downstairs into Karen Smith's apartment. Ms. Smith promptly called 9-1-1. In fact, she had to call
three separate times. On the third call, the 9-1-1 operator told her, "Stop screaming in my ear,"
and then added, "We all have to go one day, right?"
Karen Smith later filed a complaint with the New York City Police Department, which at the time
was headed by the vehemently anti-gun Lee Brown (who later became President Clinton's first
"Drug Czar," and is now Mayor of Houston). The Department ignored her complaint, and sent over
a police officer who, in her words, spent an hour "harassing" Ms. Smith for filing the complaint.
A little while after Kyle Meriwether's funeral, the Police Department sent a letter to her business
addressed to "Eva N. Products." The letter stated that the Police Department responded to an
alarm at the company, and "the alarm was determined to be UNNECESSARY." The letter warned
that receipt of additional "unnecessary" alarms "will result in NO RESPONSE by the police to
Ironically, the failure of the government 9-1-1 system is sometimes the basis for additional
infringements on the right to self-defense. For example, in 1989, a gunman named Marc Lépine
walked into the École Polytechnique college in Montreal, Canada, and began methodically
shooting female students; he murdered 14 and wounded 12 more.
During the shooting, police and 9-1-1 operators argued over whether the emergency call should
be transmitted to the police directly; police dispatchers provided police officers with only the
school's address, and not the building where the murders were taking place; and the police did
not enter the building until eight minutes after Lépine had taken his own life. This outrageous
display of governmental incompetence was promptly used by the Canadian government as a
pretext for drastic gun restrictions, including storage requirements making it impossible to keep
any type of firearm available for defense in one's home.
Of course, there are many other times when the 9-1-1 system works fine, and most of the people
who staff 9-1-1 offices are competent and hard-working. But relying on the 9-1-1 system to save
your life is a gamble at best. However, let's imagine that the world were different; if you were
attacked in your home or on the street, you could be certain that he government would
immediately send a police officer to protect you. Would it then be appropriate to rely exclusively
on the government for protection?
"No," writes Jeffrey Snyder in his brilliant article, "A Nation of Cowards" [The Public Interest, Fall
1993]. "How can you rightfully ask another human being to risk his life to protect yours, when you
will assume no responsibility yourself? Because that is his job and we pay him to do it? Because
your life is of incalculable value, but his is only worth the $30,000 salary we pay him? If you
believe it is reprehensible to possess the means and will to use lethal force to repel a criminal
assault, how can you call upon another to do so for you?"
Your life, and the lives of your family, are not government benefits which you can demand that the
government preserve inviolate. Those lives are gifts from God, and it is the moral and legal
responsibility of every capable adult to protect those lives. One step in meeting that responsibility
is to own a firearm and learn how to use it effectively for defense. That responsibility cannot be
met -practically, legally or morally -through hoping that a telephone call might result in the government sending someone else who will arrive in time to do for you what you should do for
End; The 9-1-1 Gamble
The American Militia knows that self defense is just the start of community or county defense.
The militia protects from foreign invasion, tyranny, and enforces the law. Enforces the law?
Whoa’ guy, what do you mean enforces the law?
Do you remember hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters, where public services and law
enforcement broke down and lawless gangs emerged? It was up to The American Militia to stand
up to defend houses and neighborhoods from looters and worse. They were enforcing the law
where normal law enforcement was overcome. The American Militia would just as well enforce
the law if local law enforcement or the courts Refused to act. They should investigate and report
on any violation of election or other law. They would just as well enforce the law AGAINST the
normal law enforcement personnel if they acted improperly. The American Militia should come
to the aid of their community when, in time of need, the usual “first responders” or law
enforcement could not or would not act. You, as part of The American Militia, are the first
responders. But we have already discussed this.
Re-read those 9-1-1 horror stories above. These, and many more, are cases where emergency
services were unable or REFUSED to properly respond. This is a classic case where the
American Militia part of law enforcement should act. Note too how in these cases the civilians
who were watching and calling and yelling, were NOT ACTING. How many more, even worse
than that, watch a crime in the street from behind shaded windows and KNOW NOTHING when
investigators come calling? We already heard about A Nation of Cowards in the last American
Militia essay; go back and re-read that one too.
The American Militia may act to stop lawlessness and restrain those violating the law, but not act
to deliver punishment. The latter is “Vigilantism” and that is not the role of the Militia. They can
bring criminals before a court of judgement, but not act as that court. The court is made of other
Citizens of the community. They can even act with force to stop the lawless, even deadly force
in coming to the aid of another under felonious assault.
The Militia should also educate their members and the public that when at trial by jury, the Law
as well as the individual is on trial. If the law is just and the violation is clear, then the accused
can be found guilty. But if the law is Not just, regardless of the acts of the accused, the jury can
nullify that law. If a righteous defender is accused by the law, despite his heroic and totally
justified acts, the law must be put at trial.
Do not let anyone tell you that if you act on your own or in a small group to stop lawless attack that
your are acting as “judge and jury”, because you are not. We’ll get back on track in a bit, perhaps
the next essay or the one after that, discussing the makeup of the American Militia. Until then...
The American Militia – Keeps learning. This duty is not as simple or as free from possible harm
as you thought, but you can stand ready today to act tomorrow.
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