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 similar calls."

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 yourself.

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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Most recent revision September 2007