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Support Grows for West Virginia Bill to Block Unconstitutional National Guard Deployments | | Tenth Amendment Center Blog

Posted by M. C. on February 12, 2020


CHARLESTON, W. Va. (Feb. 10, 2020) – There was political drama in West Virginia last week as the sponsor of a bill that would prohibit unconstitutional foreign combat deployments of the state’s national guard troops narrowly failed in a parliamentary move to get it discharged from committee. Even so, support for the legislation is growing.

**If you live in West Virginia, scroll to the bottom of the report for important action steps.

House Bill 2732 (HB2732) would prohibit the deployment of West Virginia Guard troops in “active duty combat” unless there is a declaration of war from Congress, as required by the Constitution.

Last Thursday, bill sponsor Del. Pat McGeehan (R-Hancock) used a parliamentary maneuver to try to discharge the bill from the House Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security Committee. Sources close to the Tenth Amendment Center say that committee chair Del. Tom Bibby (R-Berkeley) put the bill on the committee schedule but then withdrew it due to pressure from Speaker of the House Del. Roger Hanshaw (R-Clay).

McGeehan’s attempt to bypass the committee process and bring the bill directly to the House floor failed by a tie 50-50 vote.

But the effort was not a complete loss. It sparked a 30-minute debate on the House floor that drew significant media attention in the state.

McGeehan served as an Air Force intelligence officer with tours in Afghanistan and the Middle East. He said war is the most serious operation, most serious enterprise a government could engage in.

“It’s near and dear to my heart, because it’s been clear to me that over the last two decades we’ve had this sort of status quo where it is somehow acceptable for unilateral action to be taken not by just the executive, but also the Pentagon to send our men and women in the Armed Forces overseas into undeclared wars and unending wars,” McGeehan said.

Several veterans spoke in favor of the bill, including Bibby.

“Any discussions when it comes to war and peace, those are important things we need to talk about — where we are headed,” Bibby said. “We’ve gone far from where our Founding Fathers wanted us to be. It’s important we take a stand. We want our nation to be strong, but we’ve got to stop the endless wars we’ve had in the last 50 years.”

Bibby committed to bringing the bill up in committee.

Del. S. Marshall Wilson, (I-Berkeley) also spoke in support of the bill. Wilson served in the Army and said his daughter is currently deployed overseas with the Guard. His son plans to apply to a military academy.

“They are going to take my kids,” he said. “They have to answer for it.”

In an op-ed, the Morgantown Dominion Post wrote, “”For the record, our newspaper supports HB2732.”

“It’s obvious that Congress has abdicated its duty to declare war, ceding absolute power to the president, who in turn has abused his authority over Guard units. That thought is not just directed at President Trump, but every Democratic and Republican administration since at least the 1950s, that have all engaged in this abuse of the Guard’s members and their families for too long.”

It appears that public support is also behind the measure. In an online poll hosted by the Huntington West Virginia Herald-Dispatch, support was almost 2-1 in favor of the bill.


Guard troops have played significant roles in all modern overseas conflicts, with over 650,000 deployed since 2001. reports that “Guard and Reserve units made up about 45 percent of the total force sent to Iraq and Afghanistan, and received about 18.4 percent of the casualties.” More specifically, West Virginia National Guard troops have participated in missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Kosovo and elsewhere.

Since none of these missions have been accompanied by a Constitutional declaration of war, the Defend the Guard Act would have prohibited those deployments. Such declarations have only happened five times in U.S. history, with the last being at the onset of World War II.


Article I, Section 8, Clauses 15 and 16 make up the “militia clauses” of the Constitution. Clause 16 authorizes Congress to “provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia.” In the Dick Act of 1903, Congress organized the militia into today’s National Guard, limiting the part of the militia that could be called into federal service rather than the “entire body of people,” which makes up the totality of the “militia.” Thus, today’s National Guard is governed by the “militia clauses” of the Constitution, and this view is confirmed by the National Guard itself.

Clause 15 delegates to the Congress the power to provide for “calling forth the militia” in three situations only: 1) to execute the laws of the union, 2) to suppress insurrections, and 3) to repel invasions.

During state ratifying conventions, proponents of the Constitution, including James Madison and Edmund Randolph, repeatedly assured the people that this power to call forth the militia into federal service would be limited to those very specific situations, and not for general purposes, like helping victims of a disease outbreak or engaging in “kinetic military actions.”

It is this limited Constitutional structure that advocates of the Defend the Guard Act seek to restore. That is, use of the Guard for the three expressly-delegated purposes in the Constitution, and at other times to remain where the Guard belongs, at home, supporting and protecting their home state.


HB2732 is scheduled for a hearing in House Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security Committee. on Feb. 11, at 2 p.m.

  1. W. Va. residents who support the bill should call every member of the committee. Be firm, but professional and urge them to vote YES on HB2732. A phone call is more effective than an email. You will find contact info for committee members HERE.
  2. Contact Speaker of the House Hanshaw. Politely but firmly let them know you support HB2732 and ask them to advance it through the House.

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Nate's Nonsense: Daniel Chester French

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Virginia Lawmakers Threaten 2-A Sanctuaries with National Guard

Posted by M. C. on December 14, 2019

Will Jefferson recognize Virginia…or not?

by Daisy Luther

Virginia is the new battleground of the Second Amendment. After the most recent election, the state’s House and Senate are both Democrat majorities and they haven’t wasted a moment in attempting to gut the gun laws in what has historically been a permissive state.

What are these new gun laws?

The so-called “assault weapon ban” is SB16 and has that perilously vague wording we all know to be incredibly dangerous. In some interpretations, this law, if it passes, could make illegal the ownership or transportation of any semi-automatic gun because extendable magazines are available for it – and you don’t even have to have the extendable mags.

The Virginia Mercury reports:

The new Democratic majorities are expected to pass a variety of gun restrictions, including universal background checks, red flag laws that would allow authorities to take guns from people deemed dangerous and reinstatement of a one-handgun-a-month law…

…But the proposed ban on particular types of firearms — and the prospect of criminal charges for gun owners who didn’t give them up — seemed to stoke the strongest outrage in the 40-plus rural localities that have declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries within the past few weeks. Of the dozens of bills already filed for the session that begins in January, Saslaw’s assault weapon bill was the most-read, according to the state’s online legislative system. (source)

Since the above article was written, it should be noted that 2nd Amendment Sanctuary Counties are at 80 and counting. One sheriff has even vowed to deputize citizens should these unconstitutional laws pass.

After the public outcry, Governor Northam has said a provision will be added for current gun owners.

“In this case, the governor’s assault weapons ban will include a grandfather clause for individuals who already own assault weapons, with the requirement they register their weapons before the end of a designated grace period,” Northam spokeswoman Alena Yarmosky said in a statement Monday evening. (source)

Good try, but no cigar.

Gun owners aren’t going to take this lying down.

We’ve written before about Second Amendment sanctuaries popping up across the nation, and now Virginia is joining the fight. According to Gun Rights Watch, practically the entire state is saying NO.

Check out this map.

Map from Gun Rights Watch as of 12/11/19

Watch this article which is being updated regularly with the sanctuary movement.

These counties have passed resolutions vowing not to enforce unconstitutional gun laws. USA Today’s report refers to them as “publicity stunts” and “political statements.”

Richard Schragger, a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, who focuses on the intersection of the Constitution and local law, told USA Today:

Rather than challenging an existing statute, the resolutions are “mostly expressive and symbolic” declarations, he said.

“In Virginia, state law supersedes local law. Citizens and local officials have to comply with state law even if a county declares itself to be a Second Amendment sanctuary,” Schragger added. (source)

It seems they may be underestimating the force of thousands of clearly well-armed and outraged Virginians if they think it’s just a publicity stunt. I’m pretty sure that the Virginians I know mean business.

Now the state legislature is threatening the sanctuary counties and officials.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring says that the gun owners are “being ginned up by the gun lobby” and had a few words to say about the rebellion.

“The resolutions that are being passed are being ginned up by the gun lobby to try to scare people. What we’re talking about here are laws that will make our communities and our streets safer. We’re talking about universal background checks, finally, maybe, Virginia will pass universal background checks to make sure that people who are dangerous, who are criminals and who aren’t permitted to buy guns, won’t be able to buy guns,” said Herring. “So, when Virginia passes these gun safety laws that they will be followed, they will be enforced.” (source)

How exactly do they plan to enforce those laws?

One representative hopes that the law enforcement officers will just resign.

“I would hope they either resign in good conscience, because they cannot uphold the law which they are sworn to uphold, or they’re prosecuted for failure to fulfill their oath,” Democratic Virginia Rep. Gerry Connolly told the Washington Examiner of local county police who may refuse to enforce future gun control measures. “The law is the law. If that becomes the law, you don’t have a choice, not if you’re a sworn officer of the law.” (source)

I’m 99.9% sure that any sheriff who has supported such a motion is not going to say, “Oh, it’s the law. My bad, Gerry.”

Rep. Donald McEachin believes cutting off state funds would do the trick, and if that doesn’t work he has another suggestion that is far more drastic.

McEachin also noted that Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam could call the National Guard, if necessary.

“And ultimately, I’m not the governor, but the governor may have to nationalize the National Guard to enforce the law,” he said. “That’s his call, because I don’t know how serious these counties are and how severe the violations of law will be. But that’s obviously an option he has.” (source)

Bringing in the National Guard to confiscate guns or override sanctuaries could only end one way: in bloodshed. Although, one must wonder whether the National Guard members would comply with the governor over their friends, families, and neighbors.

It’s going to get ugly fast. As serious as these legislators are about “getting guns off the street,” Virginians are equally serious about defending their right to bear arms.

It’s the ultimate game of chicken. It looks like we really have reached the point of “out of my cold, dead hands.”

Virginia gun owners, myself included, have no intention whatsoever of complying with this gun grab, and no conciliatory “you can keep them but you have to register them” gesture is going to suffice.

The only question remaining is, who’s ready to die on this hill?

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Appomattox Virginia now a 2A Sanctuary, Protecting Your ...


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Why I Am a Veteran for Peace – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on November 11, 2019

By Eric Morris

I should have known better, or at least more.  My grandfather was a supporter of Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan, and passed that down to me.  However, in 2002, in my first fall of law school in Wyoming, I realized I probably wasn’t going to be the next great lawyer.  I saw a sign that said “Join the Wyoming National Guard and we’ll pay for the rest of your schooling”.  I thought about it, but that was during the run-up to a war of which I was highly skeptical.   After the “easy” win for the US in March 2003, I figured the debt avoidance scheme of joining the National Guard probably wasn’t that bad of an idea, even if my more natural instincts said don’t trust US foreign policy.  But hey, in the Wyoming Guard, I would be protecting the Cowboy State from the heathens in Colorado, right?

Money won over morals, and I joined three weeks after Bush announced “Mission Accomplished”.  The next summer I was in Officer Candidate School, where we learned a little about Sun Tzu and the idea that you must know your enemies.  Eventually in June 2009 I was deployed (military vernacular) to Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  The Orwellian irony is too great here.  I felt lucky that the paying off of the Sunni tribes (the “surge”) had worked (temporarily) in Iraq, and I was going to the place the US “liberated” in 1991.  Plus, my personal balance sheet was much better off by joining the Guard–like the Sunni tribes of Anbar.  I assumed I’d be able to mix with the people of Kuwait and enjoy the local culture; after all, at least there we were the great liberators and not the ‘Great Satan’.  However, after the long flight, we received our country in-brief by military intelligence (insert joke here) about Kuwait.   We were told we were not to leave post in Kuwait, unless for a military mission.  Specifically, the lieutenant said:  “After so many years here in Kuwait, the local populace is tired of our presence. Therefore, we do not want to further antagonize our ‘hosts’.”   Like the scales falling from the eyes of St. Paul, everything I had ever read by Buchanan or Ron Paul suddenly actually made sense.   Why did it take me that long to really figure out?  They don’t hate “us” for our freedoms, but for our mere presence.  I became a daily reader of while deployed; interestingly, it wasn’t banned.  I read a book at the post library that actually said many of the grievances of Saddam Hussein against Kuwait in 1990 were not that far-fetched.

Finally, I did learn from Sun Tzu, and actually read about Osama bin Laden.  Despite many years of officer training, I had never read what specifically motivated him to desire people to attack the US.  It’s almost like the military doesn’t want officers to know the truth, until you have already landed in-country.   As readers of this site know, bin Laden had declared war TWICE against the US in the late 1990s because the US stayed in Saudi Arabia after “liberating” my “host” country, continued bombing Iraq, and supported Israel over the Palestinians.  The more I learned, I learned who the enemy is, and the enemy was me in a place that no longer wanted me, Kuwait, much less Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, South Korea, Germany, England …

When my eight years were up, I resigned and became a Veteran for Peace.  Now I do my small part trying to celebrate the actual purpose of Armistice Day, “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace”.  If people are actually willing to listen to me, I let them know the easiest analogy of why US foreign policy reduces your freedom and safety is if the French stayed in America after the war of secession, the Marquis de Lafayette wouldn’t have enjoyed such a Grand Tour in America in 1824.  Peace through strength is state propaganda.  Peace through trade is real.  “Don’t tread on me” is a favorite saying; the shoes I am wearing say Made in Vietnam.  I think treading on rubber shoes made there is much better than unloading rubber body bags over here.  We’re trading with them there, so we don’t have to fight them anywhere.

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When State Governors Tried To Take Back Control of the National Guard | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on August 22, 2019

The National Guard actually being used to guard the nation instead of Exxon, Mobil and Boeing.

Not when the pentagram has it’s way.

A West Virginia state lawmaker plans to re-introduce a bill next session that would require Congress declare war or call forth the state militia before the West Virginia National Guard could be released from state control and sent into combat. Currently, as The Intelligencer (of Wheeling) puts it: “the authority to activate the Guard rests with West Virginia’s governor.”

But this doesn’t quite describe the reality. State governors are expected to send state National Guard troops wherever and whenever the Pentagon orders.

So, in recent decades, whenever states or governors have attempted to have some say over what the Pentagon does with state troops, the Department of Defense has responded with threats.

For example, in the case of McGeehan’s bill:

Leaders with the West Virginia National Guard opposed the “Protect the Guard” measure, and said it could have cost the state millions as military missions would have been deferred to other states if the measure had been enacted.

According to McGeehan, “After the success on Monday, the Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard (James Hoyer) — along with the military brass at the Pentagon — aggressively worked behind the scenes to kill the bill,”

The Pentagon threatened to withdraw both federal military spending and materiel from the state, with a National Guard spokesman saying:

If enacted, the (U.S. Department of Defense) couldn’t count on us to be deployable … Missions and projects would go to other states, and there would be a loss of millions of dollars to West Virginia.

This isn’t the first time the Department of Defense has essentially bribed state politicians into buckling under demands for total state acquiescence to Pentagon demands.

The Governors’ Revolt of 1986

In the mid-1980s, the Reagan administration’s use of American troops in Central America had become increasingly controversial. The administration’s policy was being criticized for favoring brutal regimes in the region’s civil wars. Moreover, at barely more than a decade since the end of the Vietnam War, many Americans were less than enthusiastic about another round of US military intervention.

Consequently, many within the Democratic Party were both ideologically and politically motivated to find new ways to oppose the Pentagon’s use of National Guard troops in Central America.

In a report for the US Army War College, Historian Col. James Burgess, Col. Reid K. Beveridge, and Lt. Col. George Hargrove write:

Governor Joseph Brennan of Maine was the first to act. That year, he prohibited the deployment of 48 Maine Army Guardsmen to Honduras. … Brennan’s statement was immediately picked up by a number of other Democratic governors, who either stated they would refuse deployments of their troops or would refuse if tasked for a deployment. Principal among these were Governors Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts, Madeline Kunin of Vermont, Rudy Perpich of Minnesota, Bruce Babbitt of Arizona (although Arizona Guardsmen ultimately deployed), Richard Celeste of Ohio, Richard Lamm of Colorado and [Toney] Anaya of New Mexico. Expressing some reservations at the time also were governors Mario Cuomo of New York and Mark White of Texas.

Needless to say, this was inconvenient for the Pentagon which was used to using state troops to supplement deployments with a minimum of fuss, or any of the checks and balances that are supposed to be used in a federal system…

Moreover, James Webb, the assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs warned: “the governors’ authority has become a vehicle to debate or influence foreign policy.” Webb also noted that there are historical precedents for governors refusing to send troops when called up, even in times of war.1

The response in Congress consisted of passing what is now known as the Montgomery Amendment.

Congress was reluctant to totally void a governor’s authority over deployment of state troops, as such powers had been recognized since the earliest days of the republic. But in an effort to further limit these powers, the Amendment stated that no governor could withhold a unit from deployment on account of “location, purpose, type or schedule of such deployment.”

Governors did retain powers to deny deployment if that deployment would interfere with state needs for troops, such as quelling civil unrest or providing disaster-relief activities.

But this didn’t end the debate. On January 22, 1987, Governor Rudy Perpich of Minnesota filed suit in US District Court of St. Paul challenging the constitutionality of the Montgomery Amendment, asserting it violates the Militia Clause of the Constitution.

Events Escalate in Ohio

While Perpich v. Department of Defense was working its way toward the US Supreme Court, the controversy between the Pentagon and the governors reached its most tense point in Ohio.

In 1987, the Pentagon ordered the Ohio National Guard adjutant general to deploy survey and engineering teams to Honduras in early 1988. Governor Richard Celeste then intervened and ordered the Guard to not deploy. Given that the state’s adjutant general answers to the governor as his commander-in-chief, the Guard declined the Pentagon’s order.

The Defense Department responded by playing hard ball.

Defense Department personnel began to develop a plan to remove all but a single unit of the National Guard form Ohio. Specifically:

the Ohio Guard grossly underestimated what [National Guard Bureau Chief Lieutenant General Herbert R.] Temple had in mind for them. Most of them apparently believed they stood to lose the engineer brigade headquarters (including one general officer as the commander) and perhaps the subordinate engineer battalions. None, however, dreamed — it seems — that the Ohio National Guard could be made to disappear over a period of a very few months except for only the 73rd Infantry Brigade. And. in particular, that the Ohio Air National Guard could be made to cease to exist.

The primary purpose of all of this was to use the Pentagon’s financial power to take resources out of the state, thus reducing state revenue and economic activity generated by federal spending inside the state. The local media began running stories about how the move would lead to lost jobs.

Moreover, the Pentagon’s move would have forced the state to fund all of its own remaining National Guard units. The bill would have been $256 million.

Eventually, the governor caved, and the Ohio National Guard deployed as the Defense Department wished.

In 1990, the US Supreme Court sided with the Department of Defense, and ruled the Montgomery Amendment was binding.

For the moment, the matter was settled.

Why the Pentagon Has so Much Power Over State Troops

Today, when the militia clause of the Second Amendment is mentioned, it is not uncommon to hear the claim that “the National Guard is the militia.”

This stretches the truth, to say the least.

Today’s National Guard is nothing like the independent state militias that existed throughout the nineteenth century up until the adoption of the Militia Act of 1903. Prior to the 1903 act, state militias were primarily state funded, and were not integrated into the federal government’s military structure except in times of declared war.

The Militia Act created a new type of “militia” which replaced the old decentralized model with a new system in which state National Guard units were to receive federal funding and were to be integrated into the national military as a permanent reserve force.

But even after 1903, the state National Guards retained a high degree of independence compared to today. That was further eroded with the National Defense Act of 1916 which allowed National Guard United to be deployed outside their own states — and even outside the country — for much longer periods of time than had been previously allowed. The 1916 Act further increased federal funding — and thus federal control — over National Guard units.

Another major change came in 1933. At that time, new amendments to the National Defense Act were passed which made members of the National Guard units members of both their state’s National Guard, and the federal military.

Further integration occurred throughout the following decades, culminating with the adoption of the “Total Force Policy” in 1970. According to Burgess, et al., this meant National Guard units became fully “woven into the fabric of the Defense establishment.”…

The Pentagon is used to state governors asking “how high?” whenever being told to jump. But the Pentagon keeps an ace up its sleeve in case any state politicians get uppity. The Pentagon will simply threaten to remove millions of dollars worth of spending from any state which refuses to immediately comply.

So long as most Americans blithely accept whatever new wars and invasions the Pentagon plans, this strategy will probably keep working.

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deep state media

It’s Always About Control



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National Guard Authorized to Seize Guns Ahead of Hurricane Irma | The Daily Bell

Posted by M. C. on September 9, 2017

The perfect place to practice gun confiscation and martial law. Few know where the Virgin Islands are let alone care what happen there. That includes the MSM.

What other kinds of looters are there, you may ask? In many places, you can protect yourself and your property without fear of prosecution.

But sometimes the gang of looters gets too big to defend yourself against. Like when it is the United States National Guard. Read the rest of this entry »

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