Constitutional Defense

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.
— Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to William Smith, Nov. 13, 1787

We must realize that today's Establishment is the new George III. Whether it will continue to adhere to his tactics, we do not know. If it does, the redress, honored in tradition, is also revolution.
— Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, Points of Rebellion, New York: Random House, 1970

I decided history needed a course correction, so I reached for my keyboard.
— Jon Roland, March, 1994, before issuing a nationwide militia call-up
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Statements of the Founders

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            Version Virginia Ratification Convention Debates
    • HTML Version Text Version June 14, 1788 — Debate on the powers delegated in Art. I Sec. 8, first day.
    • HTML Version Text Version June 16, 1788 — Debate on the powers delegated in Art. I Sec. 8, second day, especially the militia clauses.
The right of the citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against the tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible. — Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey (1911-1978)

RAIM — Right to Assemble as an Independent Militia

  1. Militia — Defense activity, and those who engage in it. This is the central page for information about the modern constitutional militia movement.
  2. HTML Version Militia Treatises, James B. Whisker — Standard references on the subject. Includes The Militia (1992) and The American Colonial Militia (1997).
  3. HTML Version or Menu Text Version First Congress Debate On Arms And Militia 1789 — Including debate on wording of Second Amendment.
  4. HTML Version Military Affairs. Reports to the U.S. Congress on military and militia matters. Volume 1 contains reports from Mar. 3, 1789, through Mar. 3, 1819. See particularly the reports on militia organization and militia returns showing organization and strength. Provides insight into original thinking on militia and the right to keep and bear arms.
  5. HTML Version or Menu The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms: The Common Law Tradition, by Joyce Lee Malcolm — Explains how it is connected to militia duty.
  6. HTML Version or Menu Text Version The Role of the Militia in the Development of the Englishman's Right to be Armed — Clarifying the Legacy, by Joyce Lee Malcolm.
  7. HTML Version A Dialogue Between X, Y, and Z, Concerning the Present State of Affairs in Pennsylvania, by Benjamin Franklin — Discussion in a fictional dialogue of the first colonial militia law, from the The Pennsylvania Gazette, December 18, 1755.
  8. HTML Version or Menu Text Version  Militia v. Inimicitia, Jon Roland — Article: Jun. 24, 2000
  9. HTML Version or Menu The meaning of the phrase "well-regulated" in the 2nd amendment — From Brian T. Halonen.
  10. HTML Version or Menu  HTML Version or Menu Youtube video Youtube video The Battle of Athens — On August 2, 1946, the militia of Athens, Tennessee, resorted to arms against corrupt officials to restore the rule of law in McMinn County. This is their story.
  11. HTML Version or Menu Press reports and chronology on the Battle of Athens — From contemporary sources.
  12. HTML Version or Menu PDF Version The Swiss Report: A special study for Western Goals Foundation, by General George S. Patton, U.S.A. (Ret.) and General Lewis W. Walt, U.S.M.C. (Ret.), introduction by Congressman Lawrence Patton McDonald, 1983 — Analysis of Swiss militia system.
  13. HTML Version or Menu Text Version Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) — Local copy as of 1997 June 15.
  14. HTML Version or Menu Text Version Your Right of Defense Against Unlawful Arrest — Quotes from court decisions.
  15. HTML Version or Menu Text Version Notable Quotes — Guidance on interpreting the Constitution, especially regarding firearms and the militia.
  16. HTML Version or Menu PDF Version Word Version Militia Reading — Published works that discuss matters related to the constitutional militia and the constitutional militia movement.
  17. Blogger What to do in a mass shooting situation — Practical methods.
  18. Submenu Letters of Marque and Reprisal — Collection of historical examples with analysis.
Our safety, our liberty, depends upon preserving the Constitution of the United States as our fathers made it inviolate. The people of the United States are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution. — Abraham Lincoln

RKBA — Right to Keep and Bear Arms

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            Version or Menu Second Amendment Law Library — Scholarly articles, federal and supreme court decisions, and legal briefs.
  2. HTML Version or Menu Text Version The Unabridged Second Amendment — Grammatical analysis by an expert on English grammar and usage.
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            Version or Menu PDF Version Text
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            Version The Right to Keep and Bear Arms — Report of the Senate Subcommitee on the Constitution, 1982. Contains argument that gun-control laws and enforcement of them are unconstitutional.
  4. PDF Version District of Columbia v. Heller, No. 07-290 (2008)
  5. HTML Version or Menu Text Version The Right of the People or the Power of the State, by Stephen Halbrook.
  6. HTML Version or Menu Text Version The Right to Keep and Bear Arms under the Second and Fourteenth Amendments, by Stephen Halbrook.
  7. HTML Version or Menu Text Version Can the Simple Cite Be Trusted?: Lower Court Interpretations of United States v. Miller and the Second Amendment, Brannon P. Denning.
  8. HTML Version or Menu Text Version The Embarrassing Second Amendment, by Sanford Levinson, Prof. of Law, U. of Texas. Civil libertarians might not want to admit it, but the Constitution really does protect the individual right to keep and bear arms, and there are good reasons for that.
  9. HTML Version or Menu Text Version Testimony of Eugene Volokh on the Second Amendment, Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, Sept. 23, 1998 — Reprinted as A Right of the People, California Political Review, Nov./Dec. 1998, p. 23. Reprinted here with permission of the author.
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            Version or Menu Text Version Zipped
            WordPerfect MS Word Version Public Safety or Bills of Attainder?, Jon Roland — Law review article written Jun. 14, 2000, published UWLA LR vol. 34, 2002. Argues constitutional issues of current federal firearms legislation.
  11. HTML Version Text Version Intent of the Fourteenth Amendment was to Protect All Rights, Jon Roland.
  12. HTML Version The Second Amendment and the Personal Right to Arms, William W. Van Alstyne.
  13. HTML Version Text Version Remote Link - HTML The Racist Roots of Gun Control, Clayton E. Cramer. Kan. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y, Winter 1995, at 17.
  14. HTML Version Remote Link - HTML The Second Amendment and States' Rights: A Thought Experiment, Glenn Harlan Reynolds & Don Kates, 36 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1737-1768 (1995).
  15. HTML Version Remote Link - HTML The Second Amendment: A Guard for Our Future Security, Andrew M. Wayment, Idaho Law Review, Comments 37 (2000): 203.
  16. HTML Version Summary: U.S. Supreme Court on the Right to Arms, Fielding Lewis Greaves.
  17. HTML Version Statement of the U.S. department of Justice on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, August 24, 2004, Steven G. Bradbury, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, and others.
  18. Remote Link - HTML A Primer on the Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Nelson Lund, professor of law at the George Mason University School of Law.
  19. Remote Link - HTML GunCite — Extensive collection of court decisions, articles, and commentary.
  20. Remote Link - HTML Fort Liberty — Using the First Amendment to protect the Second.
  21. Remote Link - HTML GunTruths.Com — Public education about firearm issues.
  22. Remote Link - HTML Sources on the Second Amendment and Rights to Keep and Bear Arms in State Constitutions, compiled by Eugene Volokh, UCLA Law School.
  23. Remote Link - HTML  Dave Kopel's Home Page — News, articles, and links on the RKBA and other constitutional issues.
  24. Remote Link - HTML Jeff Chan's Archive — News, articles, and links on the RKBA.
  25. Remote Link - HTML Jeffersonian's Home Page — Focus on the RKBA.
  26. Remote Link - HTML NFA and other gun law related info and cases (Bardwell collection) — News, articles, and links on the RKBA.
  27. Remote Link - HTML Concealed Carry — News, articles, and links on the RKBA.
  28. Remote Link - HTML 2nd Amendment/Firearms File Library — News, articles, and links on the RKBA.
  29. Remote Link - HTML Eclipse RKBA Archive — News, articles, and links on the RKBA.
  30. Remote Link - HTML Lott/Mustard Gun Control Study — Supports proposition that firearm carry permits deter crime.
  31. Remote Link - HTML Gun Laws, Bloomfield Press — Publish firearm laws of every state and the federal government, online and in print.
    1. Remote Link - HTML Gun-Free-Zone Liability — Proposed statutes making the creators of gun-free zones liable for any harm resulting from persons being unable to defend themselves.
  32. Remote Link - HTML Gun Laws, Gun Control & Gun Rights — Presented by JURIST: The Legal Education Network.
  33. Articles by Miguel A. Faria Jr., M.D.:
    1. Remote Link - HTML Statistical Malpractice — 'Firearm Availability' and Violence, Part 1.
    2. Remote Link - HTML Statistical Malpractice — 'Firearm Availability' and Violence, Part 2.
  34. Remote Link - HTML Original Intent of the Second Amendment, by Nancy Ward — Collection of quotes.
  35. Remote Link - HTML Second Amendment Network — Maintained by Garry E. Harvey.
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            Word Version Project Megiddo — Report of FBI analysis and recommendations for response to possible disorders.
    I was born an American. I live as an American; I shall die an American; and I intend to perform the duties incumbent upon me in that character to the end of my career. I mean to do this with absolute disregard to personal consequences. What are the personal consequences? What is the individual man with all the good or evil that may betide him, in comparison with the good and evil which may befall a great country, and in the midst of great transactions which concern that country's fate? Let the consequences be what they will, I am careless, No man can suffer too much, and no man can fall too soon, if he suffer or if he fall, in the defense of the liberties and Constitution of his country. — Daniel Webster


  • Remote Link - HTML Gun Owners of America — "The only no-compromise gun lobby in Washington." — Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX)
  • Remote Link - HTML Jews For The Preservation Of Firearms Ownership — "America's Most Aggressive Defender of Firearms Ownership."
  • Remote Link - HTML The National Rifle Association of America — Largest organization of gun rights advocates, but some say too willing to compromise on constitutional principles.
    1. NRA/ILA — Institute for Legislation Action, political action arm of the NRA
    2. Remote Link - HTML California NRA — Takes positions independent of national HQ.
    3. Remote Link - HTML Golden Gate United NRA Members Council.
  • Remote Link - HTML Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) — Another strong force for the RKBA.
  • Remote Link - HTML Second Amendment Foundation(SAF) — Tax-deductible adjunct to the CCRKBA.
  • Remote Link - HTML Firearms Coalition — Neal Knox's group.
  • Remote Link - HTML Texas State Rifle Association — Firearm Rights for the Lone Star State.
    • Remote Link - HTML Texas State Rifle Association/Political Action Committee — Political arm.
  • Remote Link - HTML Opencarry.org — Promotes open carry legislation.
  • Remote Link - HTML The Lawyer's Second Amendment Society — Unites constitutionalist lawyers.
  • Remote Link - HTML The Law Enforcement Alliance of America — Unites law enforcement professionals, opposes gun control.
  • Remote Link - HTML Law Enforcement for the Preservation of the Second Amendment — Unites law enforcement professionals against gun control.
  • Remote Link - HTML Second Amendment Police Department— For police officers.
  • Remote Link - HTML PoliceGuide.com — Your guide to cop culture. Favors 2nd Amendment rights.
  • Remote Link - HTML Tyranny Response Team (TRT) — Being organized all over the country. Activate one in your state or county.
    1. Remote Link - HTML TRT Florida
    2. Remote Link - HTML TRT Illinois
    3. Remote Link - HTML TRT Massachusetts
    4. Remote Link - HTML TRT Maryland
    5. Remote Link - HTML TRT New York
    6. Remote Link - HTML TRT New York (Orange County)
    7. Remote Link - HTML TRT Oregon
    8. Remote Link - HTML TRT Pennsylvania
    9. Remote Link - HTML TRT Texas
    10. Remote Link - HTML TRT Washington State
    11. Remote Link - HTML TRT Wyoming
  • Remote Link - HTML Citizens Of America — Oppose compromise on firearm rights.
  • Remote Link - HTML Citizens Against Corruption — Fight corruption and abuse, especially by police and prosecutors.
  • Remote Link - HTML Madison Society — Focus on Second Amendment compliance through litigation.
  • Remote Link - HTML Women Against Gun Control — Unites women who refuse to be helpless victims.
  • Remote Link - HTML Second Amendment Sisters — Organizing demonstration in Washington, DC, May 14, 2000.
  • Remote Link - HTML Armed Females of America — Pro-gun women on "full auto".
  • Remote Link - HTML Seniors United Supporting the Second Amendment (SUSSA) — The elderly need the RKBA as well.
  • Remote Link - HTML Doctors for Sensible Gun Laws— Actually, for almost no gun laws.
  • Remote Link - HTML Academics for the Second Amendment — Until they put up a web site of their own, this will have to do.
  • Remote Link - HTML Democrats for the 2nd Amendment — Some don't agree with their party's leadership on this issue.
  • Remote Link - HTML Students For The Second Amendment — The next generation cometh.
  • Remote Link - HTML Firearms.org — Sponsor rallies.
  • Remote Link - HTML Keep And Bear Arms — News, articles, and links on the RKBA.
  • Remote Link - HTML 2nd Amendment Home Page — News, articles, and links on the RKBA.
  • Remote Link - HTML Second Amendment Committee — News, articles, and links on the RKBA.
  • Remote Link - HTML Second Amendment Research Center — Affiliated with Ohio State University, headed by Saul Cornell. Get some things wrong, but some good material.
  • Remote Link - HTML National Shooting Sports Foundation — Support RKBA, but focus more on hunting and shooting competitions.
  • Remote Link - HTML SaveOurGuns — Focus on defense against government tyranny.
  • Remote Link - HTML 2ndAmendment.com — Fundraising for pro-RKBA organizations.
  • Remote Link - HTML 1911 Society — Conduct shooting tournaments.
  • Remote Link - HTML International Defensive Pistol Association — Promote firearm rights everywhere.
  • Remote Link - HTML International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) — Unites shooting organizations in many countries.
  • Remote Link - HTML The United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) — U.S. affiliate of the IPSC.
  • Remote Link - HTML Sportsmen's Association for Firearms Education (SAFE.) — Training in the safe use of firearms.
  • Remote Link - HTML Knife Rights — Defend right to keep and bear knives and other non-firearm weapons.
  • Remote Link - HTML Canadian Institute for Legislative Action— Defend RKBA in Canada.
  • Remote Link - HTML Law-abiding Unregistered Firearms Association— Canadian RKBA organization that promotes civil disobedience.
  • Remote Link - HTML National Firearms Association — Canadian RKBA organization that is not as militant.
  • Remote Link - HTML Lock Stock and Barrel — Site of the Firearm Owners Association of Australia.
  • Remote Link - HTML Pro Tell — Swiss RKBA/Militia organization. Mainly in German, French, and Italian.
  • Remote Link - HTML International Shooters Forum — British RKBA organization.
  • Remote Link - HTML Forum Waffenrecht — German RKBA organization. In German.
  • Remote Link - HTML Interessengemeinschaft Liberales Waffenrecht in Φsterreich (IWΦ) — Austrian RKBA organization. In German.
  • Remote Link - HTML Indians for Guns — Indian RKBA organization.
  • Remote Link - HTML Commemorative Air Force. Formerly named the Confederate Air Force — The Militia needs an air force, too. This is mainly recreational, but in a crisis....
  • Remote Link - HTML Civil Air Patrol — Government-sponsored, but actually a kind of militia activity.
  • Remote Link - HTML American Red Cross — Relief for victims of disasters. Disaster response is militia also.
Liberty is defended in three stages: The ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box. — Ambrose Bierce


  • Remote Link - HTML FirearmNews.com — Good source for news and information on firearms issues.
Let us remember, that 'if we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our liberty, we encourage it, and involve others in our doom.' It is a very serious consideration, which should deeply impress our minds, that millions yet unborn may be the miserable sharers in the event. — Samuel Adams

Scholars, lawyers, and Useful Resources

  • Remote Link - HTML Gunscholar — Eugene Volokh's compilation of links to scholars on gun rights and the Second Amendment.
  • Remote Link - HTML Second Amendment supreme Court Cases Guide — Second Amendment supreme Court Cases Guide.
  • Remote Link - HTML Stephen P. Halbrook — Attorney specializing in constitutional cases, especially involving the Second Amendment.
  • Remote Link - HTML David Grossack — Constitutional attorney based in Massachusetts.
  • Remote Link - HTML David T. Hardy — Attorney specializing in constitutional cases, especially involving the Second Amendment. Author of the Report of the Senate Subcommitee on the Constitution, 1982, above.
  • Remote Link - HTML Sean Healy's Second Amendment Brief — Most noted for the Emerson case.
  • Remote Link - HTML John Lott — Researcher and author on firearms issues.
  • Remote Link - HTML Clayton Cramer — Second Amendment historian.
  • Remote Link - HTML Sites on 20th Century American Military History — Compilation of links.
When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty — Attributed to Thomas Jefferson (and others), and something he might have said, but there is no evidence of it in his writings.

Military Classics

  1. HTML Version Text Version Art of War, Sun Tzu (475-221 BC) — Maxims for military strategists.
  2. HTML Version Text Version Art of War, Niccolς Machiavelli (1520) — Argues for a strong militia system.

Military Issues

  1. Remote Link - HTML The War on Terrorism and the Commander in Chief Clause: Delegation of the President's Command Authority, by Allison R. Hayward, Daniel Kelly, and Michael F. Williams.
  2. Remote Link - HTML HTML Version Text Version Is Registration for Selective Service Mandatory?, Brad L. Barnhill, 1999 Feb 25 — Raises legal issues concerning the draft.
No one is truly free until one has said goodbye to life. — Jon Roland, 1958
Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past. — 1984, George Orwell.
Know everything; believe nothing; be prepared for anything. — Old militia saying.

Civil Defense

  1. Civil Defense — Our subsite on the subject.


We have broken out this section into a separate subsite.

Search militia subsite

Original URL: //www.constitution.org/cs_defen.htm
Jon Roland of the Constitution Society
Original date: 1995/09/25 —