The Estonian government is afraid Vladimir Putin might be getting a bit too big for his britches. After Russia’s incursions into Ukraine in 2014, the Estonian Defense League began to wonder which small nation the Russians might target next.
They knew their tiny, 6,000 man army would be no match for the mighty Russian military, so they decided to take a page from the conflicts in the Middle East and train their own army of insurgents.
The New York Times reported last week that the Defense League has started hosting a series of competitions meant to train its citizenry in guerilla warfare. Volunteers learn how to use weapons, identify medicinal herbs, avoid capture, survive in the wilderness, and make improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
“The guerrilla activity should start on occupied territory straight after the invasion,” said Brig. Gen. Meelis Kiili, the commander of the Estonian Defense League. “If you want to defend your country, we train you and provide conditions to do it in the best possible way.”
“Partisan war is our way,” added Jaan Vokk, a retired corporal with the Estonian Army. “We cannot equal their armor. We have to group in small units and do a lot of destruction of their logistics convoys. We needle them wherever we can.”
Even more important than these “military sport” competitions is Estonia’s renewed emphasis on arming its citizenry. No one is quite sure how many firearms the government has dispersed, but the Defense League told the Times it has “stepped up the pace of the program” since the Ukraine crisis began.
“The best deterrent is not only armed soldiers, but armed citizens, too,” said Gen. Kiili.
In this way, the Estonians might understand the importance of the Second Amendment better than certain members of the Supreme Court. The Framers of the U.S. Constitution included the Second Amendment as a defense against tyranny. Noah Webster put it like this:
“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every country in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops.”
The Founders believed that an armed citizenry was an essential ingredient of a free society. These armed citizens had just defeated a much larger British force, and Noah Webster knew those same citizens would guard against tyranny from the United States government as well.
But what about today? The firepower at the disposal of modern-day governments is astronomically greater than that of the Red Coats in the eighteenth century. There’s no way Joe American with his AR-15 can stand against a Hellfire missile. Right?
Wrong. Joe Bob isn’t alone. There are millions and millions of gun owners in the United States, more than enough patriotic Americans to make any kind of invasion or military takeover virtually impossible. One needs to look no further than Estonia — or the Middle East — to understand how destructive an armed citizenry can be.
The Second Amendment is far from obsolete. A foreign invasion or a tyrannical takeover might seem unlikely today, but what about 100 years from now? By fighting for the Second Amendment today, we may be empowering our great-great-grandchildren to resist those that would destroy the nation we hold dear.