Does Page County need an unorganized militia?

Letter

On June 20, a group of people met at the VFW in Luray to “muster” in formation of an “unorganized militia” for Page County. A friend gave me the flyer which invited people to bring their handguns and AR-15s and to meet at 11 a.m. at the VFW.

My question is: why?

Is this to protect their Second Amendment rights? Are they afraid someone is coming for their guns? We have seen no evidence of this.

Is a militia needed to protect our Confederate statues from further vandalism? Wouldn’t this just intimidate people going to the post office or picking up pizzas at Dominos?

I have no idea who these militia members are and do not wish to see them standing around with AR-15s disrupting our daily lives.

Historically, unorganized militias in Virginia were used to supplement the official militia, what we would now call the National Guard. In colonial times, unorganized militias fought with Native American tribes over their land, and chased after runaway slaves.

The law is clear that all militias — organized and unorganized — are under the direction of the governor, not the county sheriff, not the director of VMI or any other official. The governor has not called out any militia in Page County.

The subject of “unorganized militias” has been raised with both the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors and the Augusta County Board of Supervisors in recent months. Both groups voted down the idea, citing Virginia law which gives the governor authority over state militias. Both agreed that the fire and rescue services of their respective counties were quite able to handle any emergencies that occur. We should have the same faith in our services in Page County.

Additionally, we should remember that a group of people who attempt to form a militia without the governor’s approval can be guilty of unlawful paramilitary activity, which is a class 5 felony in Virginia (VA Code 18.2.433-2).

This is not the way for Page County to proceed.

No good can come of this.

Sources:

www.whsv.com: Rockingham County Supervisors reject unorganized militia proposal, 2/27/20

www.History.com: Virginia Defense Force

www.Institute for Constitutional Advocacy & Protection

Sally Edwards ~ Luray, Va.

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