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Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Should the United States military ever be used against United States citizens on American soil, even to restore civil order?

We’ve heard for years about plans to occupy cities, black helicopters, urban warfare, the Vigilant Guard 2010 drill, FEMA camps in the desert, and much more. Say it’s all true – is it okay? Should we care?

I suspect the Founders would have said “Not just No, but Hell No.” They were opposed to a standing army because they knew the politicians in charge of that army would be tempted to use it for political purposes.

But there also are times when civil order breaks down and ordinary people cannot fend for themselves, when they expect government to step in to restore order. George Washington led troops to break the Whiskey Rebellion when the nation was only a few years old.

Okay, but those were state militia, not regular federal troops, and states often call up the National Guard to restore order, so that’s different. Except the National Guard was federalized a while ago (that’s why the Minnesota Red Bulls were in Iraq). So there’s no meaningful difference between the part-time state militia and the regular standing army, when you’re the one being disarmed and told to report to a federal holding area “for your own safety.”

Add to that, the courts have totally ignored the stated reason for the Second Amendment as articulated in the Federalist Papers – to resist a tyrannical government – and the fact that civilians are forbidden to bear arms comparable to those of the standing army whose tyranny we’re supposed to resist, and it’s beginning to look as if the Founders were right to be concerned.

But I still want someone to help restore order, if we need it.

It’s a conundrum.

I’m a lot less worried about the military imposing tyranny (outside of epochal circumstances). Especially in re the classic 2nd Amendment red herring about “fighting tanks with AR15s”; the people who the feds will be trying to disarm will be the same class that are doing the dirty work – the children of rural and exurban blue-collar families of all races.

Federal law enforcement? I’m a lot more concerned about them.