On Friday, MSNBC host Joy Reid tweeted out an article from CNN regarding Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ proposal to re-establish a Florida State Guard.
The title of the CNN article is as follows: “DeSantis proposes a new civilian military force in Florida that he would control.”
Reid wrote in her tweet: “So… y’all know this is fascisty bananas, right…?”
Several hours later, leftist comedian Sarah Silverman castigated Reid over her tweet. “Please read the article before you post this stuff you’re a news outlet. The truth has to matter,” Silverman posted.
Please read the article before you post this stuff you’re a news outlet. The truth has to matter
— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) December 3, 2021
The CNN article regarding the potential “civilian military force” in Florida actually notes that such a thing is not at all uncommon:
States have the power to create defense forces separate from the national guard, though not all of them use it. If Florida moves ahead with DeSantis’ plan to reestablish the civilian force, it would become the 23rd active state guard in the country…
The article adds that DeSantis is looking to spend approximately $3.5 million on a “volunteer force of 200 civilians.”
This state guard would bolster Florida’s National Guard, and be ready to help in the event of natural disasters, and “other state emergencies,” according to the press release from DeSantis’ office.
“The establishment of the Florida State Guard will further support those emergency response efforts in the event of a hurricane, natural disasters and other state emergencies,” the press release reads. “The $3.5 million to establish the Florida State Guard will enable civilians to be trained in the best emergency response techniques. By establishing the Florida State Guard, Florida will become the 23rd state with a state guard recognized by the federal government.”
The Florida State Guard would differ from Florida’s National Guard in that it would not be jointly controlled by the state and federal government.
According to the Heritage Foundation:
Currently, 23 states and territories have modern militias. As of 2005, these militias had a force strength of approximately 14,000 individuals nationwide. Most commonly known as State Defense Forces (SDFs) or state militias, these forces are distinct from the Reserves and the National Guard in that they serve no federal function. In times of both war and peace, SDFs remain solely under the control of their governors, allowing the governors to deploy them easily and readily in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.
Speaking on Thursday, Governor DeSantis said of the state guard:
We also want to make sure that we have the flexibility and the ability needed to respond to events in our state in the most effective way possible. And some of that will require us to be able to have access and be able to use support in ways that are not encumbered by the federal government and don’t require federal government.
So, I’m going to be recommending in the budget $3.5 million to re-establish the Florida State Guard. The Florida State Guard will act as a civilian volunteer force that will have the ability to assist the National Guard in state specific emergencies. This funding will support the necessary training, equipment, and other support functions for up to 200 members who can aid in the response to hurricanes, natural disasters, and other state emergencies.
We want to be able to have a quick response capability, and re-establishing the Florida State Guard will allow civilians from all over the state to be trained in the best emergency response techniques and have the ability to mobilize very, very quickly. And this is something that many other states have utilized, and I think Florida is in the minority of states that has allowed this to go defunct, so we’re happy to be able to bring that back.