Thursday, June 23, 2016

America's Second Amendment to the Constitution - Part IV

The exact language of the second amendment is:  "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."  I've discussed arms and ammunition in the previous two blogs regarding the Second Amendment.  What is a militia?
  The word "militia" itself, is from the Old English milite meaning soldiers (plural), from militisc meaning military, and also from Classical Latin milit- and miles meaning soldier.
   The Modern English term militia dates to the year 1590, with the original meaning now obsolete: "the body of soldiers in the service of a sovereign or a state."  Subsequently, since approximately 1665, militia has taken the meaning "a military force raised from the civilian population of a country or region, especially to supplement a regular army in an emergency, frequently as distinguished from mercenaries or professional soldiers."
   The early colonists of America considered the militia an important social institution, necessary to provide defense and public safety.
  The term militia in the United States has been defined and modified by Congress several times throughout our history.  As a result, the meaning of "the militia" is complex and has transformed over time.  It has historically been used to describe all able-bodied men who are not members of the Army or Navy (the Uniformed Services).  From the United States Constitution, Article II (The Executive Branch), Section 2, Clause 1: "The President shall be the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States when called into the actual service of the United States."
   Today, the term militia is used to describe a number of groups within the United States.  Primarily, these are:
1 - The organized militia defined by the Militia Act of 1903, which repealed section 232 and sections 1625 through 1660 of Title Sixteen of the Revised Statutes, consists of State militia forces, notably the National Guard and the Naval Militia.  The National Guard, however, is not to be confused with the National Guard of the United States, which is a federally recognized reserve military force of the U. S. Army and the U. S. Air Force, although the two are linked.
2 - The reserve militia are a part of the unorganized militia defined by the Military Act of 1903 as consisting of every able-bodied man of at least 17 and under 45 years of age who is not a member of the National Guard or Naval Militia.
3 - Former members of the armed forces are also considered part of the "unorganized militia" per Section 313 Title 32 of the U.S. Code.

The following numbers come from the author James R. Jacobs research for his book, The Beginnings of the U. S. Army  1783 - 1812:
    In January of 1791, there were about 820 soldiers and officers in service in the United States Army.
    In March 1791, it was decided by Congress to increase the number of enlisted men by 912.
    In the Spring of 1791, it was decided the total force of regulars and militia should be around 3,000 men.
    In August 1791, General St. Clair's force consisted of 2,300 men, excluding the militia.
   On 5 March 1792 the regular army expanded from one artillery battalion and two infantry regiments, to include for three years, three more infantry regiments and four troops of light dragoons (cavalry).   That makes 5,120 men.
    On 9 May 1794, 764 artillery men and engineers were added, bringing the total to 1,048.
    On 3 March 1795, the force was reauthorized as above, on 9 May 1794.
   On 30 May 1796, the legion of cavalry was abolished.  The army now consisted of 4 regiments, two companies, and the artillery/engineers.
      On 27 April 1798, an additional regiment of artillery/engineers was added.  Congress authorized a temporary army of 10,000 men, but it was never raised.
    On 2 March 1799, the President authorized the raising of 28 regiments and 2 battalions.  This never happened.
    On 3 March 1799, Congress set the size of the infantry and renewed cavalry regiments at 1,065.  The artillery size was set at 1,134.
    From 1785 until 1794, the United States had no navy.  In August 1785, after the Revolutionary War drew to a close, Congress had sold the Alliance, the last ship remaining in the Continental Navy due to a lack of funds to either maintain the single ship, or to support a navy.  Only in 1793, when Muslim pirates from Algiers had captured multiple American merchant ships, was the proposal for a working navy considered.  This resulted in the Naval Act of 1794, which established the U. S. Navy.

Why am I writing about the 1790s?  Because that is when the Second Amendment was written and passed into law...

The following numbers are from 2010, which was 6 years ago - but they are the only numbers available to me at the moment.    The following are numbers of active military personnel:
  US Army                   541,291
  US  Air Force          333,772
  US Coast Guard       42,357
  US Marine Corps   195,338
  US Navy                   317,237

Total active duty:  1,429,995
Civilian support personnel:   681,232

Serving in our National Guard programs and Reserves:
Air National Guard of the US            105,500
Army National Guard of the US       342,000
US  Air Force Reserves                          69,200
US Army Reserves                                198,000
US Coast Guard Reserves                       7,000
US Marine Corps Force Reserves      38,900
US Navy Reserves                                  57,400

Total National Guard and Reserves on call:  818,000

These numbers do not include any private military organizations, and no private security companies.

These numbers can be easily found doing a quick Google search, so, please, don't call me names for "exposing" our military might in 1791 and in 2010.

     More to follow....

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