Rather than relying upon the shaky reed of federal support from the Biden administration, Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is proposing the restoration of a WWII-era force to protect the state.
DeSantis is calling for the return of the Florida State Guard, a civilian volunteer force that will assist the National Guard, according to a release posted on the governor’s website.
DeSantis is seeking $3.5 million in his upcoming budget to establish the force.
According to the release, the Florida State Guard would enhance “emergency response efforts in the event of a hurricane, natural disasters and other state emergencies.”
The funding would support training for those who join, the release said.
DeSantis noted that Florida is not alone and that 22 other states currently have some form of state guard that is recognized by the federal government.
The Florida State Guard would not be “encumbered by the federal government,” DeSantis said, according to CNN.
He added the state guard would give state leaders “the flexibility and the ability needed to respond to events in our state in the most effective way possible.”
The force would be made up of 200 volunteers.
The Florida State Guard was created in 1941 and disbanded in 1947, according to The Hill.
“Reestablishing 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,” DeSantis explained Thursday, according to CNN.
The proposal received some media headwinds and prompted a Twitter spat involving MSNBC’s Joy Reid.
What wannabe totalitarian, fascist, authoritarian dictators do.👇🏼 https://t.co/W1A4lHFUxJ
— Fernand Amandi (@AmandiOnAir) December 3, 2021
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) December 3, 2021
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) December 3, 2021
“Today, ‘DeSantis’ was trending on Twitter alongside ‘Gestapo.’ This is a result of sensationalist false narratives pushed by irresponsible journalists,” DeSantis’ Press Secretary Christina Pushaw said, according to Fox News. “The fact is that 22 other states already have a State Guard, like proposed for Florida. Calling them ‘Gestapo’ is disrespectful, not only to the service members who assist states in emergencies, but also to victims of the actual Gestapo.”
“Corporate media’s super-spreaders of disinformation are desperate to score cheap political points against Governor DeSantis, but they aren’t fooling Floridians. Florida is the freest state in the country because we have a governor who fights to defend our constitutional rights — even in the face of an unprecedented onslaught from the Biden Administration. Protecting citizens’ freedom to live their lives and make their own choices, as Governor DeSantis does, is the opposite of dictatorship,” Pushaw added.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.