The article in question, Vermont's Right Not to Bear Arms by Joanna Mereth at the American Prospect comes from December 19, 2001. The article describes a proposed bill that would register non gun owners, and fine them $500 for failing to own and carry a gun. The logic is that every member of the civil society is also a member of the militia, who should be counted upon to defend the State against a variety of potential catastrophes including tyrannical government, a disaster forcing refugees into the State, or...well...something else unexpected that may require the State to call up its citizens. Against those who do carry, and are thus prepared, those who refuse to do their duty should pay a fine. It is a valid argument, as far as it goes. To be truly effective, every citizen should receive militia training as part of their high school requirements, and minimum requirements for serviceable weapons and ammunition should be established. At specified intervals, citizens between certain ages should be required to go to the range and shoot qualifying rounds.
Sometimes, the world around one turns savage, red in tooth and claw, and only a savage response will save your life. A person prays to never see those days, and the parents who have pray their children will never see such times. But let's not pretend there will never come such a time. To do so is to stick one's head in the sand. For citizens, as opposed to subjects, being prepared to defend your self and those around you is a civic duty, akin to voting. Indeed, it may be the more important of the two duties.
The Trajectory of Collectivism
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