There are numerous rumors going around fueling our fear for the current situation, economic downturn, potential recession, and MARTIAL LAW.
In this post, I will explain martial law, who has the power to issue martial law and activate the guard, what authorities the national guard has during a state of emergency, and how the Tenth Amendment applies. I will also explain what we — as citizens— can do to prevent martial law.
Martial law is when direct military action takes over normal civilian functions typically in times of a state of emergency to include a public health pandemic. Many governors are declaring a state of emergency and President Trump has issued a national emergency. The president and Congress can activate the national guard in all states. The governor has the authority to activate the guard within their state only. Martial law is only used as a last resort.
It’s worth noting, former VP Biden mentioned that he would have already activated the national guard on a national level.
The national guard protects law-abiding citizens from harm and all businesses from looters. The national guard can also construct makeshift shelters to serve as hospitals to save the regular hospitals for the acutely ill. They also can enforce any curfews. The national guard has the authority to arrest those breaking the law and may be subject to court martial.
The Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution gives states enumerated powers. This means that powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved to the state.
As citizens, we have the power within our selves to control our urges to loot, take the law into our own hand, and to obey those laws put into place to protect us and our businesses. Civil unrest will force a governor’s hand to activate the guard. If the disorder is on a large scale across many states, we will force the president’s or Congress hand to activate the guard in all states.
Based on our actions thus far, by going into survival mode and hoarding paper goods and medical supplies, we place those not able to purchase those items at risk of contracting the virus. This will put the hoarders at risk of contracting COVID-19, because the others have no way to combat the virus. With that said, as the death toll continues to rise, we will be in an enhanced state of survival, I see no alternative but to activate the national guard.
My viewpoint on martial law is that the lawmakers should only use this power as a last resort. We cannot blame our politicians for protecting us and our property by taking this action. We only have each other to blame.