Victor Sharpe
Time for America to have its own Home Guard
Submitted by Victor Sharpe and written by Robert Vincent
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By Victor Sharpe
September 5, 2018

A recent news story highlighted an Iranian threat to deploy "sleeper cells" in the U.S. to create mayhem if the U.S. attacked Iran. A friend who forwarded said story to me cynically commented that this would serve as an "excuse" for more draconian gun control laws here. My reaction was that it could well have a completely opposite effect. Or at least, it should.

Enemy sleeper cells bent on sabotage and terrorism would presently be faced with a very lucrative, vulnerable target environment. We have untold miles of pipelines, any number of infrastructure installations (e.g., water treatment plants), and so on, that are minimally defended or utterly undefended. We simply do not have the trained, uniformed resources in the form of civilian law enforcement, military reserves, or active military, to defend even a fraction of these targets. Thus, enemy saboteurs or terrorists would have many opportunities to make life miserable for a lot of Americans, very quickly, and largely unopposed, as things stand presently.

We have a tradition of citizen soldiers that dates to the earliest days of the Republic. The "Minuteman" – an armed private civilian ready to resist colonial British troops on short notice – was an important feature of the opening stages of our revolution. The Minuteman concept was codified into law via the Militia Act of 1792, which required that all able-bodied white males aged 18-45 maintain their own weapons, a stock of ammo, and be ready to come to the defense of the country if called upon to do so. This law was updated in 1862 to include able-bodied male citizens of any race, and the age range was expanded to 18-54. It is the concept of the individual armed citizen – not a state-level National Guard – that formed the basis of the rationale for the 2nd Amendment, that the right of citizens to keep and bear arms as part of a "well-regulated militia" could not be infringed.

Those who lobby against private gun ownership in general and "assault weapons" (a misnomer) in particular argue that the idea of a citizen militia is outdated. They contend that our modern military forces are so powerful that there is no objective military utility for an armed citizenry, especially as this relates to individual weapons that approach military capability.

Yet the threat posed by actors such as the Islamic Republic of Iran, who have had years to install such "sleeper cells," calls into question the arguments of those who dismiss the utility of an armed citizenry. With our military resources spread as thin as they are today, among the millions of American citizens who have military-style semiautomatic rifles, there are undoubtedly many who would be happy and proud to volunteer to use their arms in the service of protecting the homeland against the kind of threat leveled by Iran, and other contingencies as well (e.g., securing our schools). We have millions of veterans who would not only be willing to do this, but who also could take part in training and leading such formations at the local level. The potential security, social, and political benefits of such an undertaking are considerable.

Now somewhat marginalized and put on the defensive in our popular discourse as people bordering on "crackpots," the millions of paramilitary rifle owners (a more accurate term than "assault rifle"; e.g., a weapon that approximates but does not duplicate the capabilities of an actual military issue assault rifle) would now be transformed into a segment of patriotic Americans prepared to come to the defense of their fellow citizens. Instead of being portrayed – and even thinking of themselves – as potential combatants in a coming "civil war" or revolt against a "tyrannical" central government, they are now offered the chance to be volunteers playing a very positive role in protecting the welfare of us all. They could be fielded at minimal cost and locally mobilized to fortify defenses of potential "soft" targets as needed based on intelligence gathered by domestic law enforcement agencies acting in concert with DHS.

Such a program, if properly developed, would also provide a very solid defense against efforts by anti-gun elements who seek to ban paramilitary rifles; not only can the argument now be made on the basis of such a program that they shouldn't be banned, indeed, they absolutely mustn't be banned due to the role they play in our national defense.

What is more, such a program could also have the potential of addressing a major weakness of the conservative segment vis-a-vis the progressive left: lack of leadership and organization.

Those of us on the conservative right know very well that we are representative of the "silent majority." A look at the election map of 2016 brings this into sharp relief: we carried five out of six counties in the United States. Most people, in most parts of the country – i.e., what the Electoral College tabulates – are in the conservative versus the liberal/progressive camp. Yet in the public domain, the progressive left dominates the national narrative, and a major reason for this is that we on the right are diffuse. To be perfectly blunt, while they organize, while they disrupt, while they make it all but impossible for conservative politicians to even hold a civil, open, public town hall meeting, we sit as individuals or in small groups in our living rooms, in our basements, etc., feeling isolated and without any public validation or coherent leadership with which to oppose the left. This modern "Minuteman" initiative I propose here – which I would dub the "Home Guard," under the administrative control of DHS – could be used to leverage leadership and organization for those of us who are committed to maintaining and defending our Republic.

That is my idea. I would contend that it is as timely as ever, and matches very well with the current administration's intention to "Make America Great Again." Most important of all, if successfully implemented, the political impact and strength of such an initiative in an ongoing sense would outlive the current administration, and make it that much more difficult for the progressive left to regain power.

Robert Vincent

Perrysburg, Ohio

© Victor Sharpe

 

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Victor Sharpe

Victor Sharpe is a freelance writer with many published articles and essays in leading national and international conservative websites and magazines... (more)

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