"Standing armies consist of professional soldiers who owe their livelihood and income to the government. Unlike civilians who render periodic service in local militia, professional soldiers do not own property and therefore do not have any source of income other than the government’s military paymaster. Thus, they are more likely to serve the government’s interests, regardless of whether its leaders are dishonest and corrupt or not. In fact, standing armies may even promote rapacious foreign or domestic policies if such policies enrich the army. In contrast, arms bearing, property owning citizen militiamen have a stake in the health of the republic as a whole and can be trusted to act in the republic’s best interests, whether those interests call for action in support of or against the political leadership of the nation."
Anthony J. Dennis
Officer and lawyer for Aetna Life and Casualty Company, author, B.A. cum laude from Tufts University; J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law
Article: Clearing the Smoke from the right to Bear Arms and the Second Amendment, 29 AKRON L. REV. 57, 76-77 (Fall 1995).
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Reader comments about this quote:
This should probably get less than 5 stars because there is a number of military that know what is really going on and will not support attacking civilians. On the other hand, those that are in the business of law enforcement (law enforcement is an oxymoron - law can not be enforced, only tyranny can be enforced) are a standing army that not only have no stake in the health of the republic but are uniquely financed to enforce tyranny. Early U.S. philosophy rightly believed that local police were nothing more than a standing army to enforce a foreign dictates will. It was not until shortly before the war between the States that 3 police departments were commenced (New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia) as a form of Fabian Socialism had become in vogue there. After the war of Northern Aggression, local police were established to support the Carpetbaggers and otherwise tyranny forced on the vanquished.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
    While the quote does seem to bear a modicum of logic, I would like to think it is not entirely true.
    The members of the armed forces come from families that may own property, and each was raised in a neighborhood where he learned about and hopefully came to respect the ideas of property, family and liberty. That said, I would rather think that the militart understand their role, which is to protect those ideas. Not blindly obey orders. Still, the right to keep and bear is based on the right to self defense, whether it's from a home invader or a tyrannical government (same thing?) I like the oxymoron example Mike.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    Great comment, Mike.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
     -- R Jones, Loveland      
    Having served in uniform for over 24 years, I witnessed countless instances where career officers compromised their principles and convictions for the sake of their careers. They were not willing to stand up for what was right at the risk of their retirements or next promotion.

    Read more about the Founder's opinions on the 2nd Amendment in the book "Ratification - The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788" by Pauline Maier
     -- Skip, San Antonio     
  • 1
    I do not know where to begin. As well-meaning as most of those enlisting in the military may be, the US govt deploys armies around the world without a declaration of war by Congress. Additionally, the Constitution requires armies to be disbanded after 2 years. The citizen-soldier concept is a principle of republican government -- national armies are not the same thing.

    But what about all the armed government agencies that 'enforce' edicts from Washington in the several States? Aren't these surveillance and spying agencies a form of standing army? How about the legions of armed government employees that intimidate and coerce sovereign individuals to surrender their liberties and property in the name of 'security'? The founders never DREAMED that the federal government would be empowered to track our movements without cause, search our correspondence without warrant, check points for looking for 'contraband', seizure of property without due process, indefinite detention, kill lists of Americans, the arrest of farmers for selling raw milk, forcing untested vaccinations upon the populace, declaring normal human emotions as 'disorders', and of course all the alphabet agencies created to enforce all these statutory rules as 'criminal' with the use of armed force.

    The standing armies are the federal bureaucracies that arm their employees while disarming the populace in so many ways. The Department of Homeland Security is the standing army of today, and uses 'emergency' as the authorization to suspend the natural rights of the people. Thus, you will discover that the USA has been under a constant state of emergency, rendering void all constitutional protections.

    The Constitution is flawed enough to place the check upon government with itself -- the States were supposed to be the check on the federal government, but now the federal government has become a de facto national government, populist in nature, without the States having much to say about it. Succession was understood to be an option should the federal govt usurp more power than it was granted, but the Civil War put an end to that (maybe).
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 1
    We have 900? military bases in 130 some countries around the world without a declaration of war. Ike was right, beware the Military Industrial Complex. The Machine(s) have taken over the world.
     -- tim, Cadillac     
     -- Allen, DC      
    Mr. Dennis is largely correct, but it is also true that soldiers are drawn from civil society and sooner or later will return to that society.
     -- Nels, Panama City, FL     
    Loyalty within the ranks of leadership, there is no compromise allowed, check all little hitler complexes at the door, all who think the military is just a job and not a cause, should resign Now ! We approach a time of sacrifice, our lives and our fortunes at stake, the families and love ones at home we hold dear reside under the protection of our Liberty and Freedom and the ability to instill confidence in the ranks and at home. The Army , Navy, Air Force and Marines, check all attitudes of discontent,, or contempt for authority of the protection of the Sovereign State and Sovereign individuals, Restore and protect the rights of true sovereign citizens. Check all punk ass attitudes at the door ! Well said, Mike and Archer. Let God be with us, not against us, as we seek after that which good is, for our Declaration and Constitution, and all organic matter pertaining to the natural rights reserved for the bold and courageous Patriots who will take and stand upon our Rock. God does manifest himself in written Word.
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
    Perhaps why our forefathers frowned at the thought of a large standing army. Rand Paul filibustered to get the AG to agree not to use drone attacks against us here in America.
     -- cal, Lewisville, tx     
    The lines are being drawn in the sand, you ever play that game ? And for what stakes. Ladies and Gentile Men ?
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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