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Standing armies consist of professional soldiers who owe their livelihood and income to the government. Unlike civilians who render periodic service in local militia, professional soldiers do not own property and therefore do not have any source of income other than the government’s military paymaster. Thus, they are more likely to serve the government’s interests, regardless of whether its leaders are dishonest and corrupt or not. In fact, standing armies may even promote rapacious foreign or domestic policies if such policies enrich the army. In contrast, arms bearing, property owning citizen militiamen have a stake in the health of the republic as a whole and can be trusted to act in the republic’s best interests, whether those interests call for action in support of or against the political leadership of the nation.

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Article: Clearing the Smoke from the right to Bear Arms and the Second Amendment, 29 AKRON L. REV. 57, 76-77 (Fall 1995). 1955

Submitted by Normando on October 16, 2019

Anthony J. Dennis

Officer and lawyer for Aetna Life and Casualty Company, author, B.A. cum laude from Tufts University; J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law

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