What is Martial Law?
According to encyclopedia.com, martial law is the exercise of government and control by military authorities over the civilian population of a designated territory. In essence, it means using state or national military force to enforce the will of the government on the people.
Martial law in the US would mean the Bill of Rights would be suspended. The government, or a dictator would be able to do away with the inconvenience of having to follow the Constitution in any form. The will of the government would be imposed using military force.
Historically, the first martial law in America occurred in the American Colonies. The colonies were under a form of martial law, as British troops were used to enforce everyday law, and most assuredly contributed to the colonists’ revolt. Officially, however, it was President Abraham Lincoln who initiated the first and only nationwide martial law in the US.
At that time, Lincoln suspended the writ of Habeas Corpus. This means that anybody could be arrested and held indefinitely without charge. Lincoln also shut down newspapers who published articles unfavorable to the Union policy or to the President himself.
Lincoln also raised an army without consulting Congress, and closed some courts by force. As a result of the suspension of Habeas Corpus, Lincoln imprisoned private citizens, newspaper owners, and even some elected officials without cause. There is no reason to believe martial law in America would look much different today.
What Happens During Martial Law?
First of all, the Constitution and the founders themselves were strictly against any national military force used for policing American citizens, so there are no historical guidelines to follow, save that of Lincoln. To learn what would happen if there was martial law in the US, we need to look at past events.
Martial law in America would more than likely be called a State of Emergency. This State of Emergency can be declared either nationally or locally. To give some idea about how this will look, we need to look no further than the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, in which the New Orleans Police Department, US Marshals, and the National Guard confiscated more than 1,000 legal firearms from law-abiding citizens.
In addition to 2nd Amendment rights being taken away, martial law in America would mean your 1st Amendment rights disappeared also. Martial law and free speech don’t go well together. One of the most dangerous aspects of martial law, however, is the suspension of Habeas Corpus, which means the authorities can arrest you or any member of your family without reason, imprisoning them for an indefinite period of time, all without a trial.
If you’re thinking about leaving, you’d better do so early. Severe travel restrictions almost always accompany this magnitude of State of Emergency, and you can expect road closures and even quarantine zones. Along these same lines, martial law in the US will definitely mean mandatory, enforced curfews and identification checkpoints, as well as automatic, unwarranted search and seizures.
Martial Law in America – Could it Happen?
There are different schools of thought on this subject. Those who believe martial law in the US will happen point to the militarization of local police forces.
Who could forget Ferguson, Missouri in 2014? When the police rolled up in their armored vehicles due to the “state of emergency” that had been declared, they could have easily been mistaken for a military invasion force.
When we think of the technologies that are already being used against us, the possibility of a declaration of martial law in the US doesn’t seem farfetched at all. Think of drones, military-type vehicles, such as tanks, with high-powered weapons, and battlefield helicopters.
These are standard issue for many police forces today. Who do you think they’re planning to use these weapons against? This means the US now has a domestic military force which is a standing army to enforce federal law in the case of a state of emergency.
Bush Makes Declaration of Martial Law a Simple Matter
In 2006, President George W. Bush signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This act greatly expanded the President’s authority to declare martial law whenever he deemed it fit to do so.
NDAA also empowered the President to take charge of National Guard troops, overriding any mandate of authorization of the state governor. With the stroke of a pen, martial law in America can become a reality.
When Bush signed this in 2006, the Internet lit up with alerts that the Republican Party was planning an overthrow of the government, that Bush would declare martial law and remain dictator until his death.
In 2012, however, Obama renewed the NDAA, which by this time had been expanded to provide the President even more power when it came to declaring martial law. This version allows the military to detain US citizens without just cause or a trial.
Obama’s Task Force on 21st century policing report outlines the formation of a National Policing Practices and Accountability Division within the federal government. This includes using the Department of Homeland Security to oversee state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies, making certain their police forces are compliant with the role assigned to them.
When Might Martial Law in America be Declared?
To answer this question, we first need to ask, “Why would the government declare martial law?” Depending on who you ask, there are a variety of answers to that question.
Some argue that a declaration of martial law is meant to destroy America. They believe martial law is not imposed to maintain law and order, and that a crisis of some sort is not needed for the government to declare martial law.
According to this line of thought, a declaration of martial law means the government plans to “suppress resistance and take control of a country,” and it should be thought of as an act of aggression.
Many subscribe to the notion that the goal of martial law in America would be the implementation of Agenda 21.
Agenda 21, you may remember, is a document signed by 178 world leaders at the UN’s Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. On its face, this nonbinding document appears innocuous, outlining a plan these leaders can implement, should they choose to do so, to reduce the world’s population, pollution, poverty, and to conserve resources.
Agenda 21’s opponents, and there are many, argue the act is:
“A totalitarian scheme with a green environmental mask, lying in wait to destroy America as we know it.”
The anti-Agenda 21 movement has gained traction, and include notable individuals such as talk show host Glenn Beck, head of the American Policy Center Tom DeWeese, and Phyllis Schlafly, founder of the anti-feminist Eagle Forum.
Many say Agenda 21 implementation would mean the end of the American dream of owning private property, we would all be crammed into tiny apartments, and have to rely on public transit.
Some go a step further and say it’s a plan for depopulation, or for putting strict controls on the existing population. Controls such as:
- Total control of food, water and gasoline supply
- Criminalization of prepping or hoarding supplies
- Enforcement of a national ID, including a surgically implanted chip
- All monetary transactions will be strictly monitored. Precious metals will be confiscated, and bartering will be illegal
Many believe that martial law in America will be permanent, as opposed to a temporary condition until order is restored, and that the above controls will not go away.
Historically, however, a declaration of martial law has almost always been temporary, and is almost always attributed to an identifiable cause.
Reasons for Declaring Martial Law
Martial Law Declared Due to Civilian Government Being Rendered Incapacitated
This includes any reason why your local or state government could no longer function in a manner conducive to the dictates of the federal government. This might be anything from a natural disaster to a terrorist attack.
It might also include the local or state government refusing to follow the directions of the federal government. For example, in 1954, the Supreme Court of the United States declared all laws establishing segregated schools to be unconstitutional.
The NAACP immediately set forth on registering black students with excellent grades and attendance in previously all white schools in the South. In 1957, nine black students were registered to attend Little Rock Central High.
Despite the fact that the school board voted unanimously to allow the students to attend, the state’s governor sided with the segregationists and deployed the Arkansas National Guard to prevent the students from entering.
Within a few weeks, President Eisenhower sent federal troops to Little Rock, assumed control of the Arkansas National Guard, and had the nine black students escorted into the school.
Unless you live in a cave without access to electronics, you’ve heard about black males being shot and killed by white police officers. And yes, you can argue, as Mike Huckabee did that “More white people are killed by police than black people,” but when you adjust the percentages, black people are 2.5 times as likely to be killed by police than are white people.
It has been argued this is because black people, particularly young black males, commit more crimes. It is true that crime rates are higher in black neighborhoods.
Without looking at the specific numbers, what does this mean? Does it boil down to racism? Should we blame poverty?
The answer depends on who you’re talking to. Concerning martial law in America, however, it doesn’t really matter. Why?
Many people blame the media for enflaming the situation, creating a hostile situation, and one which places both police officers and African Americans in positions of increased danger.
These same people believe the government is behind the media campaigns, and desires a split among racial lines – a divide and conquer approach. Is the government truly capable of such actions? The evidence would say yes.
What evidence? This is the same government that secretly gave its own citizens lethal doses of radiation, and then emphatically denied it. The same government that sent more than 55,000 young men and women to their deaths in Vietnam based on a lie. The same government that invaded Iraq because Saddam Hussein wouldn’t get rid of his weapons of mass destruction. Need I go on?
A race war, or even a series of racially-motivated riots could be reason enough for the government to declare martial law.
Martial Law Declared Due to Pandemic
According to Wikipedia.org, a pandemic is an epidemic of infectious disease that has spread through human populations across a large region; for instance multiple continents, or even worldwide.
Historically, there have been multiple pandemics. Smallpox, tuberculosis, and Spanish Flu, just to name a few, have killed millions of people. Maybe the most infamous of these was the Bubonic Plague, also known as the Black Death, which killed tens of millions of people in 1350 AD.
Now, before you comfort yourself into thinking that it can’t happen here because we have the most advanced medicine in history, go back and read my article about antibiotic resistant bacteria.
There are bacteria out there, highly infectious bacteria, that are immune to anything modern medicine can throw at them. One particularly scary one, known as CRE, kills about half of the people it infects.
CRE only made it to the US a few months ago, in May, 2016. As of this writing, CRE has been reported in New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and South Carolina.
Martial law declared because of a pandemic creates a truly nightmare scenario. Not only do we have to deal with troops and high-powered weapons, but also have to watch our backs so we do not become infected.
If, as many believe, martial law in America is declared for the purpose of depopulation, a pandemic would be ideal. The troops wouldn’t even have to waste bullets.
Survive Martial Law – 1. Get Out of Dodge
My first piece of advice on surviving martial law is to get out – escape. To do this, you will have to move fast and early. Why?
How does life in a concentration camp, away from your family sound to you? That’s exactly what you might be facing if martial law is declared. Don’t think it could happen here?
That’s exactly what many German and Polish Jews thought. We suffer from a mindset of normalcy. This means we think, “It’s never happened, that means it probably never will happen.”
This mindset can be fatal to you and your family. Martial law in the US will not be pretty. Contrary to what propaganda you hear, the troops are not there to restore law and order. Things will never be the way they were before.
Survive Martial Law – 2. Disappear
Getting out means heading for the hills. Stay away from open areas, and find a lot of trees. Hopefully, you will have thought this out ahead of time and will already have a bug out location with supplies hidden there.
Disappearing doesn’t mean pitching a fluorescent orange tent that can be spotted from a helicopter. Learn about building a survival shelter that can be constructed with natural materials from the area. A wikiup or a simple debris hut would be ideal.
If you have indeed thought about this ahead of time and you have supplies, then stay put. If you’re deep enough in the woods, you might be safe for a while. Hopefully, you’ve got a wind up radio to listen to the news.
Beware, however, of propaganda, which will be everywhere. Just because the radio says the cities are paradise, don’t believe them.
Survive Martial Law – 3. Be a Ghost
If you don’t have a bug out location, you will need to stay on the run for a while. Hopefully you at least have a bug out bag of some sort. If you don’t, here’s an awesome premade bug out bag.
You will need to think the opposite of how you would normally think. For example, most people, when hiking, take the trail. In a state of emergency, taking the trail will get you killed. You want to take not only the road less traveled, you have to take the road that has probably never been traveled.
This means finding the thickest brush you can find and walking through it. It means finding a spot far away from any trail and setting up camp.
You might feel as if the odds are against you, but keep this in mind: You have a lot more to lose than the soldiers who might be trying to find you. Are they willing to walk through briars up steep terrain just to track you down?
Probably not. But you had better be willing to do those things. Your life depends on it.
Obviously having a family puts a different spin on this scenario. Only you can decide which course action is best.
Survive Martial Law – 4. Prepare
This is what you do now. If you look around you, the odds of martial law declared in America are pretty high. You need to educate yourself and supply yourself.
Begin taking survival courses. It’s essential you learn primitive survival skills. You also need gear. The first piece of equipment you will need is a durable hunting knife. Here is an excellent one.
Some other items to help you prepare for martial law in America: