Rahm Emmanuel, the mayor of Chicago, Illinois, is credited with the words of the title. The idea is that what would not be acceptable by the people during normal times will be accepted during a crisis. Edwin Vieira has written extensively about this challenge to our liberty.
Edwin Vieira is an attorney, constitutional scholar and writer whose magnum opus to date is Tyranny Out of Necessity. The “powers that be” like to argue that in the face of an emergency, martial law could legitimately be invoked. Not so, says Vieira.
Concern about this is heightened in the face of the militarization of law enforcement at all levels. A recent example of a declaration of martial law took place in Watertown, Massachusetts following the Boston Marathon bombing. The whole city was locked down for an entire day.
Vieira argues that no threat of martial law would exist if we were to properly organized the “the Militia of the several States.” That militia would then enforce the civil laws of the Union and of the several states. Legislation in the various states should be promoted to reinstitute State militias.
The “free state” of the Second Amendment could be expressed in contemporary language as a free society unencumbered by intrusive government. The ruling class does not want such information taught and does everything possible to squelch awareness of this particularly troublesome (for them) part of the Constitution.
Kansas has recently enacted a state law nullifying enforcement of any unconstitutional federal gun laws. Vieira would argue that the most constitutional mechanism for interposing the state between the people and the federal government is a militia organized under Kansas state law.
The militia that came to Cliven Bundy’s rescue in Bunkerville, Nevada is something that Vieira would term a “private militia.” While not a militia as defined by Vieira, the men and women who came to Bundy’s defense accomplished the same purpose that a Nevada State Militia might have. And hopefully, those galvanizing days of standoff will give rise to more legislative interest in resuscitating the Militia of the Several States.
As this is being written, there are reports that the Forest Service is threatening to impound cattle grazing on federal lands in New Mexico. Ranchers contend that they have valid contracts for that, and their families have been using these lands since 1883 – long before there was a Forest Service. Reports from Otero County, New Mexico tell of preparations underway to launch a Bunkerville II if the feds grab any cattle on those lands.
While technically such a resistance would not be part of the Militia of the Several States, it will have to do. Chances are, it will do fine.