A few months ago, I stood on the State House steps during the Guns Across America rally in Boston when a Marine Combat Veteran recited the following:
Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? It is feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American . . . . [T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.
When I reflect upon the words of Tench Coxe, I can't help but wonder how he’d react to what’s going on today. Nowadays, when the word militia is used, it conjures in the minds of the uneducated, images of overweight men playing Army in the woods, of paranoid folks espousing anti government beliefs or worse, of domestic terrorists.
The venerable Mr. Coxe would no doubt be ashamed of the media treatment of the word militia, but I have a feeling he’d take heart in the crowd assembled today. Today, we come together as citizens, as friends, as family, as neighbors and yes, as militia.
See, for all the bluster about the use of the word militia in the media and in political circles, there is no doubt as to the definition of the word –
Nowhere else in the constitution, does “the people” mean “the government.” Nowhere else in the constitution, does “the people” mean “the police!” Nowhere else in the constitution, does “the people” mean the “National Guard.”
Militia is YOU. Militia is ME.
Militia is every time we see an Amber Alert and actually keep an eye out for that license plate or child gone missing.
Militia is every time we help our neighbors during a hurricane or snowstorm.
Militia is every time we check in on our elderly neighbors during a heat wave, when nobody else goes to do it.
Militia is strong communities of like minded men, women and children, taking a STAND against unjust laws written by unjust politicians.
So I call upon you today, I call upon the true spirit of the militia to band together, go back to your communities, go back to your families, your friends and mobilize.
Take action now, as a community and yes, as militia, as a force for good and fight.
Fight these laws with your words, your letters, your phone calls and your visits to local senators and representatives. Fight these laws with letters to the editor, with blogs, and with your friends at GOAL, the NRA, and other organizations dedicated to the second amendment.
Fight hard, but above all, fight now with your actions – show those in the media and in politics that we are not the sum of their stereotypes.
Tenche Coxe was every bit the Patriot as the Marine Corps Captain who repeated his words at the rally in Boston. Neither relished the thought of war or bloodshed, but both knew the price of protecting our freedoms.
We have an opportunity today at this critical juncture in time to stem the tide of tyranny peacefully.
We can do this now so that we may never again have to take the actions our forefathers took later.