With the Heller decision in the news (Michael Dorf has a good summary, while Radley Balko thinks Heller really isn't all that), lots of people are wondering about the militia. After all, in the 21st century, with the National Guard and Reserves around, the militia just doesn't exist anymore right? Well, not quite. And guess who is in the militia? To quoth Zappa, "one may be is you - and you don't even know it!"
If you don't believe me, check out section 311 of Title 10 of the United States Code:
(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.See? All us guys of a certain age are part of the unorganized United States militia. But the ladies appear to be off the hook. Well, not entirely, if you live in West Virginia:
(b) The classes of the militia are--
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.
The unorganized militia shall, at the call of the governor, be available for duty with the emergency service forces of this State. For purposes of this article, the unorganized militia shall consist of all able-bodied men and women between the ages of sixteen and fifty.That's W.Va. Code 15-5-19, if you're keeping score at home.
So it appears I'm on duty for another decade or more. I wonder when the next meeting is?