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Mandatory militia service faded away after the Civil War in part due to the realization that as long as the American people remained armed, they could form militias if and when necessary. More importantly, the military-industrial complex realized that it could get higher congressional appropriations if the American people felt vulnerable to invasion from Mexico and/or Canada, with help from some Eurasian or East Asian power of course. Mandatory militia service remains alive and well, though, in Israel and Switzerland, and Kennesaw, Georgia has mandated gun ownership since 1982, though enforcement is lax.

How could the leaders of those democracies, as well as America’s Founders, justify forcing citizens to bear arms? Well, via the negative externality argument many use to justify mask and vaccine mandates. See, your not carrying a gun imposes at least five major negative externalities on me, and everyone else. 

      1. The unarmed cannot defend themselves, which might force others to do so out of some ingrained or involuntary Smithian empathetic impulse.
      2. The unarmed cannot defend themselves, so they attract attackers, who might kill innocent bystanders in the process.
      3. The unarmed cannot defend their communities, so all Americans have to pay higher taxes for a militarized police force, the overbearing tactics of which led to several waves of massive urban uprising riots in the 1960s, 1990s, and 2020.
      4. The unarmed cannot defend the country, so all Americans have to pay higher taxes to support standing armies and navies.
      5. The unarmed cannot defend the country, so all Americans have to suffer the existence of a military-industrial complex, which has been known to initiate attacks on “our democracy” by currying favor with politicians and rendering them more hawkish.

Obviously, those externalities are far more costly than the cost of mandating firearms for all, even if taxpayers have to pick up the tab for the guns and ammo. 

— Robert E. Wright in Mandate This!

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  1. There’s a big difference between “the right to” and “compulsion to”.

    This should not have to be pointed out.

    • Indeed. Although… the .gov could encourage firearms ownership through the tax code. Perhaps a tax credit on firearms and ammunition purchases similar to buying an electric car. After all they don’t tax your right to speach or to vote. Why tax your right to keep and bear arms?

      • Reducing DIS-incentives to arming oneself is a useful change; but, it might have a small effect. Imagine the conservation tax were reduced from 10% to 1%. It might have some impact. Reducing it further from 1% to 0% wouldn’t make much of a difference.

        The thrust of the OP is to apply a line of reasoning equally to COVID-19 vax and arms. If negative externalities are as we believe them to be, then it follows that government coercion ought to be used to adjust for these externalities. Are negative externalities a legitimate argument for COVID-19 vax? Are negative externalities a legitimate argument for compulsory militia preparation (arming oneself)? If all three of these propositions are true then we conclude that compulsory militia preparation is justified. (Incidentally, it’s perfectly clear that compulsory militia preparation IS Constitutional. Whereas, compulsory anything-else is on relatively weak ground at the Federal level.)

        This is a 2-pronged attack. One prong is to begin questioning the COVID-19 mandates. If gun-banners don’t find negative externalities for compulsory militia service then where do they find them for the COVID vax? The Democrat Party finds negative externalities apply to COVID mandates. Very well, they don’t they likewise apply to compulsory military service?
        Keep the argument simple and maybe some Progressives or on-the-fencers will get it. Don’t bring in reducing DIS-incentives.

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      • Gov. That is probably the best idea. Encouragement via a tax credit is better than forced ownership. Even if ownership is forced that does not guarantee they will use them when necessary much less learn how to use them.

      • IMO: No arm of government in the US should attempt to mandate the personal ownership of firearms, or training, storage, type that may/must be owned, or any other aspect related to the issue.

        The important part is for government agencies at all levels to just keep the hell out of the way of its citizens and allow them to make their own choices as they see fit for their own particular circumstances.

      • ‘Anyone old enough to spray Covid is old enough to spray bullets.’

      • “Read the linked article.”

        I was distracted by the woman in the article picture wearing an expensive coat, but her booger hook is on the bang-switch… 🙂

    • the existence of conscientious objectors also creates a right NOT to bear arms.

      Sort of like we have a right not to speak (4th/5th amendments as well as license plate case where citizen cannot be compelled to have religious language on their car).

  2. US firearm ownership will become compulsory enough after Ukraine gives up, China rolls into Taiwan with Russias support, sanctions quadruple fuel prices for us as China and Russia freely exchange semiconductors and oil with each other and their new allies and Chinese troops in Canada work their way south and Russian troops in Mexico work their way north.

    But thank God for no more mean tweets. I can die happy knowing an ethnically and culturally diverse force of cooperating nations will finally topple the terrible monolith of white supremacy and patriarchy that is the USA.

    • You forgot us Jews,the hidden subversives that will stop using our space lasers as vehicle seat warmers and put them to their real use. I recommend we aim everyone of them at Yellowstone when the wind is blowing west / southest. Sorry West coastal TTAGers but you would have to take a hit for the good of the country.

      I wish we did have them. How cool would it have been to pull a cigarette out back when I still smoked and hold it up and it light up. Or just move the grill out in the open and say flame on.

    • @Shire-man: History may prove you correct, but unfortunately there may not be too many left to bandy it back and forth. Keep your powder dry, we may need it, but it’s not the outside forces I worry about, we have too many traitors in the country, lots of them in high places, thanks to Obama.

  3. Sadly we can see the effects of all the anti gun rhetoric taking place in this country while the people of Ukraine are dying to keep their country from being occupied by a savage invasion force from Russia.I want to ask would these people in our country feel the same if we were going to be invaded and occupied by a communist power where we had no firearms to defend ourselves.

  4. Mandatory auto insurance is one thing, mandatory gun ownership is another. Driving on public roads is a privilege, owing and carrying a firearm is a right. I vote no on mandatory gun ownership, but insist that anyone who desires to own and carry a gun has the absolute right to. All gun control laws are unconstitutional.

    • There is a distinct argument for the mandatory auto insurance vs. mandatory militia service debate.

      Our Federal and states’ constitutions give us a structure for how we govern ourselves. Whether the provisions for the structure are rational or not matters not. What matters is that they are our structure and we ignore our chosen structure at our peril.

      We the People, in ratifying the original Constitution and 2A decided to impose upon the People the Power of Congress to organize, regulate and call-forth the militia. There is no such Federal constitutional provision for auto insurance.

      We the People, in ratifying the 10A, decided that anything not empowered to Congress is reserved to the states or to We the People ourselves. Since there is no Federal constitutional provision for auto insurance Congress can’t so mandate. But, since mandatory auto insurance is arguable legislation on public safety, health or morals, the states have that power. Doubtful that the residents of any state have withheld such power from their legislators.

      Accordingly, generally speaking, states can legislate just about any requirement/prohibition that is arguably in the interest of safety, health or morals; i.e., just about anything. However, Congress is far more tightly constrained. They have to invoke the taxing power, navigable waters, interstate commerce powers, etc. Mandatory car insurance doesn’t really fit into any Federal constitutional powers very well. And, moreover, we have a long-established provision that just about everything about cars is regulated by the states.

  5. Ukraine President Zelensky this morning, reported by multiple sources:

    “The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride,” .

    • I don’t own gats n ammo for the collective good. It’s for me & my loved one’s & friend’s. At this late date as I turn 68 I ain’t gonna be in some freaking militia. Ukraine has had 30 years to prepare. They haven’t(despite funneling millions to a certain senile old man and his spawn of satan). What a gobbledygook article!

      • Zelinski had his head up his ass when all that Australian (and other countries) surplus ammo was available on the world market a few years ago.

        He was too busy playing patty-cake with Brandon to realize the benefits of a few ammo airlifts into his country.
        Z was all about the US dollar windfalls, now here comes the hump.

    • Saw that and think it’s the right thing to say to motivate his people. Imagine the current Whitehouse occupant saying something like this? Yeah I can’t either. More along the lines of “Where’s my ice cream?”

      • Zelensky’ comment was as much for the ears of the West, as it was for his people. A challenge to either put up or shut up.

  6. Mandatory….anti-freedom.

    Want smaller government? Let’s fight to dump every mandate that is not strictly constitutional…beginning with the income tax. Without funding, the ATF disappears, so does the EPA, the Department of Education, and a host of non-essential Fed beauracracies.

    I know, pipe dream. So what? You start with a core belief, fight for it, persist, wear down the opposition, and take the ‘wins’ you can get.

    Mandatory….abuse of power…anti-freedom.
    More than coincidence that the words ‘government’ and ‘mandatory’ appear together, explicitly or implied, so often.

    • “Mandatory….anti-freedom.” Yes, that’s true. And that’s what civilization is. A collective agreement or acquiescence to be governed under some principle. The principle might be a hereditary monarchy. Ours happens to be a Constitution and consent of the governed.

      There are powers delegated to Congress. Others reserved to the states. The power to tax is delegated to Congress, militia service as well. We might not like to pay taxes or perform militia service but these are Congressional powers we have adopted and acquiesce to as citizens. We can renounce our citizenship if we don’t like taxes or militia service.

      If we don’t like the rates and details of taxation we can petition Congress to alter the scheme. If we don’t like our militia obligation we can petition Congress. That’s our system.

      • MarkPA,

        I am pretty sure you are not implying that our system, including our system for elections, is working well. Nor do I think you are implying that every mandate congress implements is constitutional. And we are all aware that the SCOTUS has given beauracracats the power to create regulations and mandates that have the force of law. When those regulations are unconstitutional citizens have the burden of proof and cost when challenging them. As for taxation, when the system is broken, so will the tax code be broken.

        I am politically active, putting my time and money to work for my beliefs.

  7. With a threat like putin next door Ukraine shoulda, woulda, coulda had a mandate for citizen owned hand held surface to air missiles, etc. Frankly gun owning mandates in the US need to be along the borders. You have some really bad actors coming in from Mexico and across the northern border you have the threat of a snot nosed tyrant who needs a spanking.

    A draft like mandate for slackers to own a gun, etc. depends on the threat level where everyone needs to pull their weight. On the other hand if the days are sunny and someone does not have the fortitude to exercise their 2A Right just leave well enough alone. If they wish to drive the highways and byways without a jack and spare tire then so be it.

    • You’d be surprised (or maybe not) how many people find out, too late, that not all cars come with a jack and spare these days. In my experience, these are the same folks who give no thought to any kind of preparedness and find themselves dying of inconvenience whenever the power goes out for a day or two, or find themselves getting mugged on the street, or any number of other things that a bit of forethought would prevent or at least mitigate. Too many people prefer to be dependent.

      • Car owners who have a spare, yet never check the pressure.
        Usually find out it’s flat on the side of a road, when it’s needed. 🙄

    • Yes I agree with you living on Canadian side of da boarderYes-We Do have a little Of A Snot
      Nosed Teacher As Prime Minister Here In Canada Pretending To Being A Prime Minister-He Doe’s Needing A Good Spanking After All-A Boy In A Man’s World-He’s Trying To Playing ”GOD”
      All By Himself.I am sure he was Abducted by The Gou’ald-Alien Spieces-had a larva placed
      inside himself-wanting to be playing an imposter GOD.
      He still is young puppy in big world-has lost sights into reality-He should go back to Teaching as Teacher-He Justin Trudeau really sucks and has really failing us as Prime Minister here in Canada.

  8. Hoo-boy!
    I think it would be fun to mandate gun ownership just to watch the anti-gunners heads explode!

  9. While I do not support mandatory gun ownership, I fully support the right to keep and bear arms for self defense and feeing your family if it comes to that. Even with supermarkets today, the cost of food thanks to our Leftist counterparts is going through the roof. Sometimes to put meat on the table it requires a gun or traps to get meat.

  10. Mama told dacian that he couldn’t be on the computer until his room in the basement is cleaned up. If he posts here again today, you will all know that he is a disrespectful disobedient hamshite.



  12. I do not support either mandatory firearms ownership, nor forced disarmament. I would support some sort of mandatory national service, not necessarily military service.
    My personal view is anyone who wants and can afford, and not under court ordered restrictions, should be able to own any weapon they wish. If you can legally vote, you can legally own a firearm.

  13. Service should guarantee citizenship-or rather, be an expectation of citizenship.
    At one time in this country, if you were part of the community, it was expected that you would participate and take some measure of responsibility to serve your community. Whether it was in the militia, volunteer fire brigades, law enforcement auxiliary etc, it was the common practice for the men of the community to contribute to the well-being of their neighbors.

    Now we’re all hyper-atomized individuals with no ties to our communities, our families, or our nation. So yeah, maybe we shouldn’t mandate gun ownership per se, but maybe we should consider that people who don’t care enough to be willing to defend their community or their neighbors should not be granted equal political power.

  14. I believe we should have compulsory service requirements in order to exercise citizenship rights. Firearms training would be part and parcel of such. A little education on our history and constitution would be nice too.

  15. They should push to mandate it.

    Make the left fight back for once instead of just being asked to restrain their desire for restrictions.

    1. Bill to Push to make gun ownership mandatory or pay a tax of $5000 per year.

    2. Bill to repeal the NFA.

    3. Bill to expel California from the United States. (No future worries about federal gun control).

    • Jared, I would add a MANDATORY Draft into the Armed Forces for all (male and female) over the age of 18. NO deferments.

        • Riderless/Shoootoff What would be wrong with mandatory conscription for all adults? Are you against service to this country? Figures. Another self-centered individual who takes advantage of the rights guaranteed by those who do serve.

      • 1. The army being a permanent entity is unconstitutional. The founders never envisioned a rolling 2 year “temporary”army (which has long since been the norm).

        2. Why a draft anyway? K-12 government mandated education is bad enough, why would anyone want to add years of woke training in the service with forced COVID vaccines, on top of propping up welfare states like Europe and attacking any craphole around the world that’s not in lockstep with the WEF.

        • Jared, Excuse me? Where in the Constitution is it forbidden to have a standing army? Nor does it prohibit the DOD from instituting a draft.

          It is time the “entitled” youth of this country know that it is like to have to take orders and be ready to defend the rights they so richly enjoy. It definitely would instill the work ethic. What has welfare have to do with the military? I for one am in favor of requiring the NATO members pony up for any American troops stationed on their soil. Either that or come up with armed forces of their own.

          American forces have historically been the best trained armed forces in the world. Perfect? Nope, but still better than whatever else is out there. We do have a problem however with political interference and civilian meddling with the military. If we decided to fight a war, let the military professionals do the planning, execution and write the rules of engagement without civilian interference.

      • Am I against service to ones country? No, not in the least. What I am against, beverly, is forced conscription attempting to hide behind unlawful ‘mandates’, as all mandates most surely are. You should know that, living in the Home of the Brave, Land of the Free, as you say you do. What I’m also against, beverly, is simple minded, totalitarian, blowhard fools such as yourself calling for these unlawful measures imposed under color of law. Let me guess; forcing bible study (but only your bible) into public school curriculum is also a damp dream of yours. Calling people like you out ARE a service, not only to ones country but to the entire world. You keep yer shiny little notions of tyranny where they belong beverly, in your (no doubt) shiny, swelled little head. Is that clear enough for you, beverly, or do you need it repeated? No wonder you only achieved rank of sergeant after 25yrs in a lower echelon, non military setting. And why only 6yrs previously as a cop, beverly? Couldn’t take it or were you dismissed early for some reason?

        • Riderless/Shootoff So you are not afraid to serve but just don’t think it is your responsibility? My that is mighty “white” of you. Just how is “forced” conscription, “unlawful?” Please be very specific. Not just your “opinion.”

          So you think that because I believe in the draft of all ADULTS (women included) that make me a “totalitarian, blowhard fool”? Seems it is ingrates such as yourself that depend on the rest of us to be willing to defend the rights and freedoms you enjoy.

          I pity the mother that bore you and the father than sired you. I am damned proud to have served in the DOCCS as a Sergeant. I’m proud of what I did as a Sergeant leading such a fine group of men and women keeping ingrates such as yourself safe from criminals. Tyranny? You are just another entitled wannabe. Oh and for your edification I served during the Vietnam War as a Corporal in the USMC. I was offered E-5 to ship over. I doubt you could have surpvied Boot Camp at either PI or San Diego.

      • Well I’ll be… for the very first time you’ve replied with something more substantial than “riderless/shootless is a stoopid poopyhead”, maybe there’s hope for you yet. Listen, Walter, all that really exists is ‘opinion’; yours, mine and the opinion of others. Many of these opinions become ‘law’ thru their own merits, many are forced upon us. May I assume you have the ability to distinguish between what is “legal” and what is “lawful”? If so then you should also be able to distinguish between a “responsibility” and a “mandate”, between principle and policy. I’m in no way against the idea of all young adults ‘serving a term’, in whatever capacity they choose (key word, right there) or is made available to them. As I mentioned before, what I am profoundly against is those who feel they are endowed with the righteous ability to force that on people, to remove the freedom to choose, whatever the venue. By claiming to be such an individual you do indeed expose yourself as a totalitarian. You are cherry picking, Walter. Like I said, which particular ‘mandate’ would you (righteously) impose on us next for the Common Good? Christianity? Heterosexuality? Gun Control?? I mean, you got away with it once, so why not go a step further, right? After all, it’s not just Common Gun Sense™, it’s for the betterment of all! Sound familiar? Regarding your career/service; absolutely be proud, as long as you conducted yourself and your actions honorably. I would like to think you went to Vietnam to help people escape the impending ‘mandates’ looming on their immediate horizon? Surely you would agree with that? See, you can’t just choose the mandate that appeals to you personally, Walter, no matter how good it may sound. It’s all or none. It’s Freedom and Liberty or it’s indentured servitude. So you might want to seriously consider my words this time before blasting off a reply labelling me some kind of ingrate. If you’re a person of principle, reason, character and at least a modicum of intelligence then I will stand by you thru thick or thin, to the end. If however you conduct yourself as some kind of state sanctioned Gestapo, forcing things upon me and mine, then I will quite happily put your stazi ass in the ground, where it would rightfully belong. And remember; you signed up to do exactly the same, presumably. You didn’t spend decades keeping me safe from criminals, Walter, I do that. I am my own first responder, as are we all. And trust me, whatever you managed to survive, this heathenish ingrate could survive equally as well. You have far too much “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!” about you Walter (I’ll assume you understand the reference). I have little doubt that you’re one of the good guys but I can also see you’re not much of a deep thinker, which is why I first started calling you out and honestly, you just got worse from there… until now. But, Mr Beverly, do not ever presume you can tell me or mine what we must do or how we must be. Ever. I would never assume such false authority over others and I demand the same respect from them, from you, in return. I hope you consider my words instead of just dismissing them thru arrogance and ego. ‘America’ doesn’t do mandates. Neither do (true) Americans. Peace, Walter. Fare well.

        • Riderless/ShootOff Well, I’ll be too. You have just exposed yourself as to what you really are. You aren’t a heterosexual? I’m not really too surprised. Not Christian? Not that either huh?
          For your edification the words “legal” and “lawful” are interchangeable to most of us conversant in the English language. Unlike you I went to Vietnam to serve my country. Apparently as you have so stated you do not feel it necessary to be a member of the armed forces and serve your country. Just be grateful for the people like me who have served.

          It’s ingrates like you that make veterans sick to their stomach. You pay lip service to your “gratitude” but arse yourself unwilling to serve. If you are your own “first responder” where do you want the flowers sent for your funeral?

          God save us from people like you!

      • Yeah, figured so. My mistake. I was going to leave you alone you fool, offered an olive branch, a few well meant parting words of wisdom you would have been wise to consider and gave you a half hearted apology. But no, again you had to double down with your gobsmacking ignorance and idiocy, as I was entirely confident you would do. This, along with every childish post you’ve vomited forth here (not just to me, but all of them) convinces me beyond any shadow of a doubt of just who and what you are. You are certainly no honorable veteran of anything any more than you are any ‘sergeant’ in anything except your fantasies. You are likely not even an adult in the legal sense but given the times and the level of dumbfuckery out there you might be. Consider the timing; you would have to be at least 75yrs old to be who you claim to be and no one 75yrs or older conducts themselves in the manner you do, not even remotely. So take your mom’s laptop and, yes, your stolen Valor and other lies and creep back down into your putrid, dank hole, ‘mr walter beverly the third’. How utterly and pathetically ridiculous. Have a nice life, loser. You’re making a great start so far.

        • Riderless/ShootOff Yeah, you make a lot of mistakes. Take your “olive branch” and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine. You just ramble on, and on. Don’t you? I never back down for a good fight. IN your case I am sorry to see that you are fighting with your hands tied behind your back”.

          If you can’t stand the heat, little fella, don’t come in the kitchen. Now be a good little boy and go suck your thumb.

  16. Nope. Every American should exercise those rights they wish to exercise. But none should be forced by law to exercise a right they are incapable or disinterested in exercising. I don’t want to see people with no aptitude for safe gu ownership carrying a piece on their belt because they’d be fined for not doing so. Takes a certain mindset to be safe with a gun, let alone to be effective with it.

    On the other hand, gun ranges, marksmanship and gun safety training should all be tax supported at the State level.

    • There should be a department of gun services that offers free firearms, ammunition, and training for US citizens. Perhaps it could give out EBT-like cards that can be used for ammunition or perhaps they could also offer FHA type loans for first time gun owners. Guns and ammo should certainly be tax exempt if not taxpayer subsidized.

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