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Lexington Minuteman representing militia minuteman John Parker
A militia is the activity of one or more citizens organized to provide defense or paramilitary service, or those engaged in such activity. The word can have five slightly different meanings:
* An official reserve army, composed of citizen soldiers, also called an Army Reserve or National Guard
* The national police forces in Russia, and other former CIS countries, or the former Soviet Union: Militsiya
* The entire able-bodied male population of a community, town, or state, which can be called to arms against an invading enemy, to enforce the law, or to respond to a disaster
* A private, non-government force, not necessarily directly supported or sanctioned by its government
* Defense activity, as well as those engaged in it, when it is defense of the public, its territory, property, and laws
In any of these cases, a militia is distinct from a regular army. It can serve to supplement the regular military, or it can oppose it, for example to resist a military coup. In some circumstances, the "enemies" against which a militia is mobilized are domestic political opponents of the government, such as strikers. In many cases the role, or even the existence of a militia, is controversial. For these reasons legal restrictions may be placed on the mobilization or use of militia.
So are you going to go out and fight the tree huggers or have you picked an enemy yet?
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