Historically, it’s interesting to note that the founding fathers, who reviled the British standing army, would have remembered and probably romanticized the military system that came before professionalization.

At one time, England made its reputation as a formidable military force because of its legendary commoner longbow expertise.

Ordinary englishmen were required to own longbows and practice with them. When war called, these skilled amateurs made up the backbone of the response.

They won many celebrated English victories.

By the time the army professionalized and became firearm-centric, American colonialists began to experience them as heartless oppressors rather than brave citizen heroes.

No wonder the founders wanted to go back to a system where citizens maintained their own arms and responded only in time of great need.

Also, the founders took Republican Rome as inspiration. See Washington’s Society of Cincinnatus, for example. Republican Roman private citizens ALSO maintained their own weapons and responded when needed to protect the state.

All those spears that stopped Hannibal’s elephants? Privately owned.

The founders were raised on those tales and ideals. I think they’d be astonished to have to even explain them.

This is definitely a case where plain words don’t make sense outside of cultural context.

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

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