Bill Roberts has submitted another address to militias from his point of view over at Western Rifle Shooters Assn. entitled Current Militia Movement Ver. 2.0. Go there and read and you will see that my refutation derives from his actual text, not made up paraphrasing on my own.
To begin with, I do not agree with Mr. Roberts' assertions, however I do applaud his willingness to engage in the discourse. As he has refrained from the condescension he feels for militias, or anyone who would act to retain their liberty, I, likewise, will refrain, as much as possible, from belittling his point of view.
Roberts gives the etymology of "militia" as miles meaning soldier and itia as the state, or soldier of the state. Government forces.
He goes on to describe the First Continental Congress as taking place on September of 1774, sort of brushing off the fact that, by his reasoning, the governors and/or representatives of the colonies attending the First Continental Congress, along with the militias they controlled, were the first traitors to British rule.
Roberts' take is and has been since the beginning of his dispatches to the militias that they have no business forming into groups or making preparations to resist government aggression on the grounds that they operate under no governmental authority, without recognizing the irony of his legitimizing the First Continental Congress.
It was a more amenable political structure at that time, there were governors of the colonies who did not agree with the Crown. There were militias available to those governors for mutual protection that were closely associated with those colonies and consisted somewhat of citizens of those colonies, but they were, as Roberts so eloquently points out, illegally operating as militias since they were not sanctioned by the British government in that role.
I am the first to agree that one epoch in history cannot be on a level with another. There is no way to compare exactly what the militia movement and the patriot/liberty community of today would equate to in the 18th Century, but it is easy to know the principles upon which the forefathers of this nation decided that their condition was intolerable.
Yes, their political organizations were more solidly established against a foreign nation, with a foreign army as an extension of that political reality. It was much easier to make the distinction between friend and foe, but the issues were largely the same, the violations similar to what we endure from our own government. It is not hard to imagine a person raised under British rule to feel that they were being attacked by their own government for little else than protesting against taxes.
I do not want to go too far into Roberts' instructive dissertation, because I find the very basis for it rationally flawed. Just as it would be useless to quote our forefathers to him about the dangers of a standing army, it is useless for him to describe exactly why the people are not allowed to arm themselves and prepare for the aggression of our government forces against its citizens.
What Roberts has missed is the proper discourse, which must include: What level of oppression is to be tolerated before armed resistance is acceptable to government authority? (there would never be that point, would there?)
There are no laws that allow us to engage in resistance at a certain point of suffering, so using the Constitution as legitimacy for oppression is ridiculous. Using the Constitution to prove that we have no right to oppose those who have rejected it is likewise irrational.
I do agree with Roberts on one issue: there are a lot of societies who suffer under much more aggressive and complete oppression than the citizens of the United States. To expect us to suffer that much and more in order receive his (and others of his ilk) blessing for resistance is very telling indeed. We are jealous of our liberty, entitled to our rights and fully within the blessings of our founders to resist the oppression we now feel.
That sort of statement is laughable to Roberts, a person standing on the other side of the line, dispensing oppression, enforcing tyranny. I would expect no less.