Odds and Ends
Armed to immobilize
6 9, 9:10pm
The American Militias of 18th century were a joke. It was the idea that we could have a good supply of conscripts at the ready to deal with trouble. Much of the time they were the local law enforcement, and were used to deal with internal disputes. In truth, Militias were nothing more than drunken, rowdy hooligans with no businesses enforcing the peace, nor on the battlefield. Even General Washington looked down upon Militiamen as incompetent and undisciplined, who were more a liability than an asset (a mob in a panic tend to get in the way of troops who know what they are doing).
Politicians loved keeping them around as muscle, and much of early American history was full of small, largely forgotten (and often bloody) skirmishes between feuding states or political factions. They were also mobilized into disaster relief, but more often than not, order to "shoot looters on sight" usually resulted in them shooting people trying to rescue or recover trapped relatives. They also have a history of shooting striking workers and political protesters, and even engaging in wholesale massacres.
Like a lot of countries, our history is dark. Unfortunately, our pride do not allow us to think about or reflect on such things. We like to pretend that America came from greatness and was always on the right side of history -- history books that contradicts this is gets whitewashed as we cannot deal with shame or guilt.