IFAS | Militia Manual | Section 1.4

1.4 The reasons to arm and organize

Memorize: "That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new Government." Declaration of Independence

1.4.1 Our civil rights are threatened

The Bible says that you are morally justified to arm yourself and band with others who love liberty. American history shows that you stand in a great tradition if you arm and organize yourself. The Constitution clearly recognizes your legal right to possess firearms and join a militia. But should you want to?

The U.S. Army field manual on Guerrilla Warfare (FM 31-21, September, 1961, page 5) says: "Resistance movements begin to form when dissatisfaction occurs among strongly motivated individuals who cannot further their cause by peaceful or legal means."

So we must ask ourselves: Is there any reason to suspect that my personal liberties are in jeopardy? Is there any indication that the government is systematically threatening my rights? Is there any possibility that a tyranny could be established in the United States?

Affirmative answers to any of these questions should arouse our fervor for liberty and motivate us to spring immediately and effectively to arms.

It will now be demonstrated that our liberties are in jeopardy, that our rights are systematically threatened, and that tyranny can happen in the United States. (I am not saying it will, I'm saying it could happen.) We will demonstrate this by examining the status of our civil, gun, property, and state rights. First, here are some examples of violated civil rights:

The right to life (Fifth Amendment):

Freedom of religion (First Amendment):

Freedom of the press (First Amendment)

Searches and seizures (Fourth Amendment)

1.4.2 Our gun rights are threatened

In case you think your right to keep and bear arms is secure, just consider the following (much of this happened just in 1993- 1994).

Historical gun control

Gun regulation

Gun licensing

Gun registration

Gun taxation

Gun prohibition

Gun law enforcement abuses

New anti-gun developments as of 3/26/94

In the couple of weeks since printing this material several attacks on gun rights have come to my attention which deserve being mentioned.

First, the Senate-approved ban on semi-automatic weapons which is now pending in the House (a vote is expected around April 1, 1994) actually would ban much more than politicians admit. Supposedly, it would ban only specific models such as the TEC-22, TEC-9, AK-475, Uzi, Galil, AR-70, MAC-10, MAC-11, MAC-12, AR-15, and Steyr AUG to name just a few. However....

Second, as if this is not bad enough, on February 28, 1994, Congressman Schumer and Senator Metzenbaum introduced legislation which advocates:

The really subversive thing about these two bills is that they are aimed at limiting militias more than at limiting crime. Military features on rifles like folding stocks, pistol grips, and flash suppressors are useful on a battlefield but immaterial in committing a murder or bank robbery. How many criminals bayonet someone? Moreover, limiting the amount of ammunition we can own to 1000 rounds does not do anything for violent crime. It only takes one loaded magazine holding a few rounds to knock over a bank or blow someone's brains out. But it takes an "arsenal" of thousands of rounds of ammunition to be ready to oppose the government.

1.4.3 Our property rights are threatened

Your property rights are also under attack. Virtually everything possible is being done to take away whatever wealth you have.

Taking property without a trial (Fifth Amendment)

Taking property for public use (Fifth Amendment)

Income taxes are unconstitutional

Progressive taxes are unconstitutional

Excessive taxes are unconstitutional

Hotel taxes are unAmerican

1.4.4 State rights are non-existent

The state rights guarantied by the Tenth Amendment are universally ignored by every branch of the federal government.

The way things should be

Article X of the Bill of Rights states: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Unless the Constitution specifically grants a power to a branch of the federal government, or says that states cannot do something, it is presumed that the authority and power rests with the states. In other words,

Whenever there is a conflict between the laws of federal and state governments, the state law which should take precedent and prevail over the federal law, not vise versa, unless the Constitution says otherwise.

As we saw previously, the whole Bill of Rights is designed as a limitation on federal powers. The Tenth Amendment serves this purpose by dividing and diluting power among the several states. Indeed, it was state governments that ratified the Constitution and delegated authority to the federal government. This being the case, they only handed over authority to the federal government to do what is specified in the Constitution and nothing more.

The way things really are

Obviously, the Tenth Amendment is routinely ignored by the president, the Congress, and the courts. In extra-constitutional matters, state laws should override federal laws. But in fact, federal laws always override state laws. National speed limits supersede state speed limits. Federal environmental rules outweigh similar state rules. In every governmental matter, the only state laws that exist are those compatible with federal laws or which the federal government has seen fit not to address at all.

One of the best examples of the total disregard for state rights is federal mandates. The federal government frequently mandates that states enact certain laws, provide certain services, or fund specific programs that cost millions or billions of dollars without one cent of federal funding to support the mandate.

Don't be fooled by the fact that states are permitted to do things that Washington does not do. Remember, permission and rights are incompatible. In some matters, Congress et al. simply do not want to flex their muscles. For instance, during the Reagan administration, a major shift in power took place away from federal agencies to state agencies. But this was because liberals in Washington recognized that Ronald Reagan sought deregulation. Since state agencies were more active regulators than their federal counterparts, responsibilities were conveniently transferred to the states to sustain strong industry regulation. But this whole scheme is Washington's doing and not the result of any state's right to govern.

The point here is not that state governments are any more noble or benevolent than the federal government. They are not because they consist of the same frail human beings that are susceptible to corruption by power. The point is something that is spelled out clear as day in the Constitution is always and everywhere totally and completely turned on its head!

A call to arms!

From every legitimate angle, we are justified in keeping and bearing arms as well as forming or joining a militia independent of government control. The Bible tells us we are morally right. The American Revolution shows we have the historical right. The Constitution protects our legal right. Moreover, our Constitutional liberties are systematically being eroded and denied. The fact that officials are infringing gun rights on every front is simply a manifestation of their inner tendency to empower themselves. Left unchecked, this tendency will lead to genuine tyranny. Remember, "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

So this is a pivotal point in American history. If the government is successful in banning semi-automatic paramilitary weapons, then they will be emboldened not only to further infringe gun rights, but to infringe all rights. This is because the Second Amendment is the teeth of the Bill of Rights, and assault rifles are the teeth of the Second Amendment. Without their bite, there is nothing to prevent a draconian state from devouring all of our precious liberties.

Your right and duty is to arm and organize yourself against further federal and state encroachments on your liberties. As a minimum, you should purchase and learn how to effectively use a firearm, preferably a so-called assault rifle. The more citizens that own guns, the less willing the government will be to threaten us. Ideally, you should also join a local militia, committed to constitutional principles. You need to be organized, equipped, trained, and coordinated with other like-minded men to effectively stand up to the growing arrogance of the federal government. It was said during the American Revolution that "united we stand, divided we fall." This is still true today. So arm yourself. Organize yourselves. And prepare to fight if you have to.

We could learn a lot from the Swiss. They are zealously neutral and refuse to meddle in foreign affairs. Neither should we be aggressors or wish to start bloodshed. But Switzerland is also a virtual armed camp of citizen soldiers prepared to fight to the last man for their freedom. Major H. von Dach of the Swiss army put it this way:

"If two enemies fight each other to the last and this is always the case when an ideology is involved (religion is part of it) guerrilla warfare and civilian resistance will inevitably break out in the final phase.

"The military expert who undervalues or even disregards guerrilla warfare makes a mistake since he does not take into consideration the strength of the heart.

"The last, and admittedly, most cruel battle will be fought by civilians. It will be conducted under the fear of deportation, of execution, and concentration camps.

"We must and will win this battle since each Swiss [in our case American] male and female in particular believe in the innermost part of their hearts even if they are too shy and sober in everyday life to admit or even speak about it in the old and yet very up-to-date saying: 'Death rather than slavery!'"

Major H. von Dach, Total Resistance: Swiss Army Guide to Guerrilla Warfare and Underground Resistance, Paladin Press, Boulder, Colorado, 1958/1963, p. 173, emphasis added.

1.4.5 Discussion questions

Are you convinced that the cases cited are factual infringements of our rights by the government? If not, which ones are you skeptical of? Are you skeptical that these things actually occur or that they are really unconstitutional? Do you need more substantiation?

Have you ever personally experienced any of these improprieties? Which ones? Do you think you might experience them in the future?

Which of these violations of personal liberties is (are) most alarming, shocking, or ominous to you? Why?

Would you classify the attack on your rights as insignificant or dangerous? As isolated or systematic? As careless or intentional?

On a scale of 1 to 10, how alarmed are you at the present status of your liberty? What else would have to happen to make you alarmed?

Do you believe the present attack on personal liberties is more or less widespread and serious than during the days leading up to the American Revolution? How are things worse? How are they better?

Does it reassure you that these improprieties are done by or with the knowledge of elected officials instead of a military dictator? How is this similar to 1775-1776 when the British Parliament suppressed American liberties? How is it different?

What are your thoughts on joining a militia in your community? What are your reservations?

At this point it would be premature to ask you for your commitment to the Free Militia. You do not yet know who we are, what we stand for, why we exist, when we are willing to fight, or how we are organized. Section 2 of this field manual addresses these issues by explaining:

Would you like to read this section and consider joining us? Yes___ No___

Main ideas of this section

Your civil rights to life, free religion, free press, and security from unreasonable searches and seizures are systematically being threatened.

Your right to keep and bear arms is systematically infringed by regulation, licensing, registration, taxation, and prohibition of all kinds of firearms.

Your property rights are systematically violated by having property taken without trial, without compensation, and through confiscatory taxation.

State rights are universally denied since, in principle, state laws should prevail over federal laws while, in practice, the opposite always happens.

Further study

The best way to follow developments related to your Constitutional liberties is to pay attention to newspapers and news magazines (television news is too surface and sensational to give any reliable information).

I might also suggest a couple of video tapes. The video on the massacre in Waco, Texas is very chilling since it presents actual visual images of BATF abuses of power.

America in Peril

Thompson, Linda D. Waco: The Big Lie, American Justice Federation, 3850 S. Emerson Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana 46203, 1993.