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1.3: What is a "Standing Army"?


This article is from the Lawful Arrest/Search/Seizure FAQ, by Ahimsa Dhamapada ahimsa@mu.clarityconnect.net with numerous contributions by others.

1.3: What is a "Standing Army"?

"When a government wishes to deprive its citizens
of freedom, and reduce them to slavery, it
generally makes use of a standing army." -- Luther
Martin, Maryland delegate to the Constitutional

An Army (an armed force) can be called up by volunteers
from the community *as needed* when there is some threat,
such as the threat of invasion. This is generally called the

But a Standing Army is a paid, armed military force that
exists before there is any threat. A Standing Army that
lives among the citizenry is most likely to be used against
the citizenry. Our present system demonstrates this.

While none of the Founding Documents mention the word
"police", our Municipal, City, County, and State Police fit
this description of a Standing Army. The Founding Fathers
are on record for opposing the abuses of Standing Armies:

"What, sir, is the use of a militia? It is to
prevent the establishment of a standing army,
the bane of liberty." Rep. Elbridge Gerry of
Massachusetts, I Annals of Congress at 750 (August
17, 1789)

By a declaration of rights, I mean one which shall
stipulate freedom of religion, freedom of the
press, freedom of commerce against monopolies,
trial by juries in all cases, no suspensions
of the habeas corpus, no standing armies. These
are fetters against doing evil which no honest
government should decline. - Thomas Jefferson

"[The King of Great Britain] has kept among us,
in times of peace, standing armies without the
consent of our legislature. He has affected to
render the military independent of and superior to
civil power... For protecting them, by mock trial,
from punishment for any murders which they should
commit on the inhabitants of these states ...
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits
of trial by jury, For transporting us beyond seas
to be tried for pretended offenses...."
-- Declaration of Independence

"No State shall, without the Consent of Congress,
... keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of
Peace" -- United States Constitution, Article I,
Section 10

"The objections which have been brought against
a standing army, ... may also at last be brought
against a standing government. The standing
army is only an arm of the standing government.
The government itself, which is only the mode
which the people have chosen to execute their
will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted
before the people can act through it." -- Henry
David Thoreau

A Standing Army (or police) with Standing Orders define
a Police State, Marshall Law, or military rule. This
condition was recognized by our Founding Fathers as perhaps
the greatest single threat to the blessings of liberty
for ourselves and our posterity.


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