Every citizen should be a soldier

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

When Thomas Jefferson said: “Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state”, he did not, as some people claim, refer to all Americans being responsible for upholding and defending the original vision, values, and fabric of the United States – and being ever-vigilant against those who might try to co-opt it for their own advantage over the will of the people. And neither to everyone being soldiers in the day by day struggle to keep our country free and strong and uncorrupted by special interests or the powerful elite.

What he was referring to was about not having a national military, but local militias and that is what the Second Amendment to the US Constitution is all about, namely a citizen army. He knew the problems of having a large standing military. The latter is, in fact, outlawed by the very Constitution.

And not only was he talking about local militias, but he favored the government issuing a weapon to any man who couldn't afford one himself and we are here not talking about hunting guns but military firearms.

Switzerland works with a citizen army and is doing nicely, thanks, and if the task of the military, as in Switzerland, is only, as it also should be according to the US Constitution, the defense of the country in case of an attack, then a militia of minutemen could do the job much better than any (large) standing army.

Switzerland does have conscription of all young men age 18 and all (able) males remain citizen soldiers until age 55 and that too is compulsory. However, the way it was with the original militia it would simply mean that it will be the requirement for all citizens – and why should women be excluded – to be minutemen and -women.

The ancient militia law in Britain required, once upon a time, that every male above the age of 12 trained with a longbow every Sunday after church and while the requirements changed the law remained and in the end the requirement was for every male above 12 to keep and maintain a firearm and, in fact, all gun laws in the UK are, theoretically, not valid as the militia law was never repealed.

A militia of all citizens is all that is required for the defense of the realm. There is no need for a standing army to defend the country, though a coast guard may be something that might be required in order to ensure that the territorial waters of the country are safe.

A army of citizens would be a serious deterrent to any invading force as people who know their localities and who know how to use insurgent tactics, as the Swiss military would operate, would be a force that could not be conquered except by wiping, basically, everyone out in the country.

It would also save a lot of problems and money and would, if every country would work with a militia only, do away with wars and suffering around the world.

© 2012