On Monday’s show, we had to listener comments which I felt deserved a little more research.
One caller cited an alleged quote from President Obama in which he claimed that Obama favored well-armed civilian militias:
“We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”
I expressed doubt as to either the veracity or context of the quote. He later emailed me this link on YouTube. The video contained no larger context for the quote. I then did a little more research and came up with a transcript IN context of the relevent portion of his speech.
Democratic Presidential Candidate Obama, July 2, 2008, Colorado Springs, CO: “[As] president I will expand AmeriCorps to 250,000 slots [from 75,000] and make that increased service a vehicle to meet national goals, like providing health care and education, saving our planet and restoring our standing in the world, so that citizens see their effort connected to a common purpose.
“People of all ages, stations and skills will be asked to serve. Because when it comes to the challenges we face, the American people are not the problem – they are the answer. So we are going to send more college graduates to teach and mentor our young people. We’ll call on Americans to join an energy corps, to conduct renewable energy and environmental clean-up projects in their neighborhoods all across the country.
“We will enlist our veterans to find jobs and support for other vets, and to be there for our military families. And we’re going to grow our Foreign Service, open consulates that have been shuttered and double the size of the Peace Corps by 2011 to renew our diplomacy. We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set.
“We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded. We need to use technology to connect people to service. We’ll expand USA Freedom Corps to create online networks where American can browse opportunities to volunteer. You’ll be able to search by category, time commitment and skill sets. You’ll be able to rate service opportunities, build service networks, and create your own service pages to track your hours and activities.
“This will empower more Americans to craft their own service agenda and make their own change from the bottom up.”
Another caller brought up the Swiss defense force. I wanted to expand on his information, and found this Wikipedia link. A relevent excerpt:
Gun politics in Switzerland are unique in Europe. Switzerland does not have a standing army, instead opting for a people’s Militia to defend their country. The vast majority of men between the ages of 20 and 30 are conscripted into the militia and undergo military training, including weapons training. Due to this fact, the personal weapons of the militia are kept at home as part of the military obligations. … Each such individual is required to keep his army-issued personal weapon (Sig 550 rifle for enlisted personnel and/or the SIG-Sauer P220 semi-automatic pistol for officers, medical and postal personnel) at home. Up until October 2007, a specified personal retention quantity of government-issued personal ammunition (50 rounds 5.56 mm / 48 rounds 9mm) was issued as well, which was sealed and inspected regularly to ensure that no unauthorized use had taken place. The ammunition was intended for use while traveling to the army barracks in case of invasion.
Thanks to both callers for bringing this information to the show for our consideration.
AUDIO LINKS TO BOTH PARTS OF MONDAY’S SHOW: Open Journal – Community Conversation – Daily Call-in ( KPFT, 2012-08-06) Pt 1 ,and Daily Call-in ( KPFT, 2012-08-06) Pt 2.