Rebuke Call for a Civilian Militia in Maryland

Target: Delegate Don Dwyer of the Maryland House of Delegates

Goal: Stop the creation of a civilian militia aimed at sidestepping new gun control legislation

As Maryland moves to pass new and important gun control legislation, certain participants of state government aren’t taking this turn of events well. Delegate Don Dwyer of the Maryland House of Delegates is advocating the creation of a civilian militia.

The civilian militia, which he refers to as the “Constitutional Defense Force,” will, Dwyer writes, do the following: “[P]rotect the law abiding Citizens of Maryland from any form of unlawful confiscation of legally owned firearms. Additionally, the Volunteer Militia will train and equip for the following: community security, natural disaster preparedness, and emergency readiness.”

As with all gun control legislation introduced in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting, the new Maryland laws would not result in seizures of firearms. By framing restrictions on magazine capacity and assault rifles as the seizure of every gun from every gun owner, Dwyer and conservatives like him are doing nothing but rousing senseless panic.

Despite Dwyer’s claims that he is not advocating for an insurrection, it is pretty clear that his reactionary and paranoid call for a civilian milita is a veiled threat. A militia – by definition – is a forceful and often violent resistance that opposes the government. Even though Dwyer has changed the name of his operation, its threatening nature remains. Sign this petition to oppose Dwyer’s call for a civilian militia.

Dear Delegate Dwyer,

I am writing to you concerning your recent call for people to join you in a civilian militia, or, as you have now renamed it, a “Constitutional Defense Force,” in response to Maryland’s new proposed gun control legislation. It is highly disingenuous of you to frame those who oppose your view of unlimited magazine capacities and the sale of assault rifles as people who oppose the constitution.

I am familiar with the Second Amendment’s framing of the right to bear arms for a “well-armed militia,” but I am also familiar with the historical context in which that amendment was written. Thomas Jefferson was initially skeptical of having a standing army in the United States, and the colonists had just recently thrown off the colonial government ruling them from afar. Thus, a “militia” was a more reasonable extrapolation in its era.

Now, the United States has the world’s most funded and most powerful military, and we are not ruled by a colonial government from afar, but from elected representatives which we choose for ourselves. That includes the representatives who have proposed new gun control legislation. Furthermore, the Second Amendment no more means that people should be able to own any weapon they want, no matter how deadly and designed to kill, than the First Amendment’s provision for free speech means that people can use their speech for illegal ends (such as plotting the overthrow of government). By advocating for a militia, you are creating a threatening atmosphere that suggests people will meet new laws from their elected representatives with undue force and violence. This is not how things should be in our states and our country.


[Your Name Here]

photo credit: Don Troiani via Wikimedia Commons

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One Comment

  1. R. Rodriguez says:

    I applaud Delegate Don Dwyer for his defense of our constitutional rights. I don’t see what the problem is. If you’ve been listening to any of our Anti-American President’s speeches, you would have heard that he wants to create a civilian force equal to our already formed military. So it’s ok for the president but not ok for a state delegate? Also take a look at history, and I’m not talking about too far in the past. You will find that this gun control, which is really people control, starts with small chips on the freedom then eventually ends up with confiscation. Benjamin Franklin said it best: “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” America is giving this administration its freedoms and the administration will surely take them.

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