Like so many of the things I read that aggravate me I received an email today that had me thinking. Now "thinking" and "aggravated" aren't always in the same sentence but often my thinking about something ends up with me aggravated. In this case I just ended up curious and potentially confused. The topic: President-Elect Obama's "civilian national security force". As I understand it P-E Obama has made the statement that "we" (that'd be you, me and every other American) need a civilian national security force that is "Just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded" as our military. Some of that does concern me. "Just as powerful" and "Just as strong", at least in my mind, means: Equal manpower. Our current military strength is over 1.3 MILLION troops. That's approximately 50% more troops than civilian cops for the U.S. Equal firepower. Having the same number of PEOPLE doesn't matter unless they have the same number of GUNS and other weapons. What in the world could we possibly need 1.3+ million civilians armed with automatic weapons, grenades, rocket launchers, etc for? I'm a supporter of the 2nd Amendment, but come on... do we NEED that? A similar Chain of Command - which stops at the Commander in Chief, the President of the United States. That would give Mr. Obama control over an awful lot of power from both the military and civilian base. I guess what I don't understand is why we need such a force. What would their duties be? Who would pay them? Who would provide the equipment, weapons, training, oversight, etc? Every state already has a state police agency. Every state already has a National Guard that, thankfully, is under control of the state's governor UNTIL they are activated during war time. Then they are under the control of the Commander in Chief, Mr. President. In fact, I can only think of two groups of armed individuals who DON'T come under the President's orders in some way - although I think he could find some legal technicality to take control of them since he's a lawyer with lots of lawyer friends: Police & Deputies: I'm sure that a filter-down type of order might work for controlling the police. Deputies might be a tad harder since Sheriffs are elected; not appointed (at least everywhere I know of). Therefore, Sheriffs are at greater liberty to tell politicians where to put it. Legally armed citizens: and somehow, given Mr. Obama's clear history of anti-gun legislation support, I don't think HE thinks all those gun owners and carriers will blindly do whatever he says. However, that 1.3+million civilian well armed, well funded and well trained "national security force" may be the perfect people to attempt to enforce Mr. Obama's will on the rest of us. Paranoid? No doubt. I hope and pray that the conservative right has this all wrong and Mr. Obama is going to lead from the middle. That said, I'm also thankful that there are over 4 million members of the National Rifle Association so that even if Mr. Obama attempted to use both the military AND his civilian national security force to confiscate or outlaw privately owned weapons, it'd be one heck of a fight and not one he could reasonably expect to win. If there is another intended purpose for the civilian national security force I'd dearly love to hear it. I believe that empowering citizens to be responsible for their own safety is honorable and, especially in today's terror-ridden world, indeed mandatory. If that's Mr. Obama's goal then I am right there with him. I'll even volunteer my time as a trainer. Anyone else want to step up to join me?