Estonia Arms Its Citizenry to Put Russia on Notice

(Photo: James Hill/ The New York Times)

(Photo: James Hill/ The New York Times)

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.

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over two years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco.

{ 22 comments… add one }
  • DaveGinOly November 14, 2016, 8:20 pm

    The idea that rifles are insufficient weapons against a modern military is not an argument against the right to arms, it is the basis for the argument to a right to better, more effective arms.

  • Dan November 11, 2016, 1:53 pm

    Get some, Estonia!

  • kane November 11, 2016, 12:43 pm

    The opposition to Putin by the US has nothing to do with the 2A or freedom for the Estonian people.

    • Frank Stratton November 11, 2016, 9:05 pm

      Trained the AT TEAM after the split. Hope they are still active. Even retired they have passed on thier skills to thier families. Wish I could be there again. Really loved Talin.

  • JGT in NJ November 11, 2016, 9:09 am

    The real problem in these countries is that they have large populations of citizens with Russian heritage. If they start abusing these citizens (they are not going to leave voluntarily no matter how much the majority hopes that would happen) they will face Russia. We don’t want to get manipulated and dragged into such battles. Ukraine for the Ukrainians, Georgia for the Georgians, Estonia for the Estonians are all recipes for strife. There has to be respect for minorities, not abuse based on an interpretation of democracy that says if you get 50% + 1 vote then you have the right to screw the ones who are not part of your majority.

    • perlcat November 11, 2016, 3:46 pm

      The best way to deal with this is a policy I call “STFO” — Stay The F*ck Out. We’ve got enough problems right here and right now that the article on the arming of Estonians only gets a “Yep, that will help” from me and nothing more.

  • Mike November 11, 2016, 6:05 am

    It needs to be noted that right after Trump came out and made his statement about what he was going to do as far as foreign policy and NATO, that the Nordic States (Norway, Sweden, Finland & Denmark) all signed a Joint Memorandum of Understanding (JMOU) that now allows their military’s to cross each other’s border’s, ‘just in case it becomes necessary’, a clear warning to Putin, and now that the Baltic’s are sure to pick up on, that ANY RUSSIAN ‘friskyness’ is going to be met with more than ‘a tad’ of resistance. In effect, by the Nordic States doing this, they have now forced Putin to make a choice, the Ukraine, or the Baltic’s, which is going to bring in NATO since the Baltic’s are now NATO Member’s, and as the Ukraine is now pushing for, thru the EU Trade Agreement that set this whole thing off. NO, Vlad is now faced with what Adolf was. Sit, and behave, or, face a more-than-2 Front ‘conflict, that’s already being prepared for, and that he has no way to win, short of going ‘stupid’.

  • wake_up_america November 11, 2016, 5:57 am

    Great article! Americans, please, be smart and arm yourselves if you have not done sone as of yet. Don’t forget the ammo and train, train and train some more folks and its fun 🙂

    • jim November 11, 2016, 7:18 am

      What would Russia want with these Baltic Countries they are economic money pits. This whole the Russians are coming is a hoax the Russians have all the land they want now. Nato is the real aggressor in the World having invaded and totally destroyed Yugoslavia including the infrastructure under total false pretenses and lies. They invaded and destroyed Libya.

      • Dave November 11, 2016, 9:19 am

        What did Russia want with those countries back when they rolled in on them and forced them into the USSR? Duh!

      • Mickey November 11, 2016, 10:35 pm

        The same thing Russia has always wanted: warm water ports that don’t freeze solid in the winter, anywhere & everywhere it can get one. Crimea? Most popular vacation spot in the FSU, short of flying to Syria [whoops, that’s out!] But their Black Sea ports are stoppered by the Bosporus, which is controlled by Turkey [no love lost there: ever read about the battle of Plevna? Friction w/ Turkey goes back to before Turkey existed…]

        Yugoslavia wasn’t invaded by NATO: Yugoslavia self-destructed after Tito’s passing [that guy must have had a hell of a lot of character to hold the Balkan states together w/o being another Stalin or Mao about it (Hitler is small potatoes compared to those two butchers…)] NATO waded into the Balkan conflict to stop a genocide that was already tearing down the remains of whatever infrastructure was left. They seem to have boot-strapped themselves back up quite nicely once the murderers & thugs were sent packing…

        Nobody invaded Libya. I’m not about to begin discussing the mismanagement of Khaddafi’s overthrow, but what do you expect from a bunch of lib-tards who’re only too happy to betray their oaths of office? Khaddafi had had it coming since the ’80s, but he’d kept his head down & nose clean after Reagan spanked him and he saw how Saddam Hussein got handled by Bush, Sr., so it only figures Hitlary & BHO botched it all while they had the chance. I guess they had to do something to keep everyone distracted from what they were doing at home in the States, hmm?

      • Veritas November 12, 2016, 1:53 am

        Jim rarely have I seen such a brillant explanation of why Americans are so ignorant of nearly everything. Who ties your shoes for you and shouldn’t you be outside beating up some ninety year old Trump voter?

  • Altoid November 11, 2016, 5:10 am

    “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?”

    100 years? Hell what about 4 years from now? Who knows what will change and it can change fast.

  • Winston November 11, 2016, 4:44 am

    Laughable. Estonian Nazis and neo-nationalists are few in numbers and the country has a near zero birthrate.. All of the Baltics are economic sinkholes and all are now in EU austerity.. Joke is on the EU. Fear of invasion is a phony distraction from economic malaise.

    • Veritas November 12, 2016, 1:55 am

      I thought you posted as Jim. Same fertilizer, same ignorance on parade, same economic illiteracy. Estonia outpaces most of Europe in every economic measure you dolt.

  • Dustin Eward November 11, 2016, 2:45 am

    So, already mouthing off about their tactics. Awesome move…

  • DRAINO November 10, 2016, 8:47 am

    FINALLY!!!! Another country that appreciates the right to bear arms and the reasons it is important to do so. It’s good to know we are not the only ones. Maybe some other countries will take notice as well.

  • SuperG November 8, 2016, 11:07 am

    This is what protects America from physical invasion. An armed society is a protected society.

    • Winston November 11, 2016, 4:47 am

      No it isn’t. The US is a remote country surrounded by two oceans and bordered by two weak non-threatening neighbors. If the Mexican cartels wanted a war, Los Angeles and Chicago would bleed just as Sinaloa, MX does.

      • Fonzalito November 11, 2016, 7:14 am

        Ummm, Chicago IS bleeding. LA not far behind, and closing fast, as California continues to disarm its law abiding citizenry.

      • Dan F. November 11, 2016, 10:35 pm

        We tolerate the gangs in Chicago and Los Angeles because we have the luxury of not yet suspending their Constitutional rights. The fact is, we could crush them anytime we wanted, the same way the Mexican Army does when they take the notion. Have you ever talked to an actual gangbanger? I do, routinely. They’re brutal, but stupid. Wily, but lazy. Don’t be a gangster fanboy.

      • Veritas November 12, 2016, 1:59 am

        Guess that explains why the UK and Japan were never threatened with invasion.

        Winston you are really, really funny. Tell us about your illustrious military career. Did you win many medals at the Salvation Army? I am so much in awe of social justice warriors. Why they’ve been known to take on ninety year old men and 14 year old girls while outnumbering them merely ten to one.

        If you define the USA as “remote” you need not tell us about your educational attainments. They are only too obvious to the casual observer.

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