Daria BedenkoAll materialsWrite to the authorIn the US, several states have already established similar “state guards”: California, Texas and New York. While the National Guard is controlled by both Department of Defense and state authorities, only the governor would be in control of the state militia.Florida Governor Ron DeSantis pitched the idea to create a civilian-military force that would be controlled by him and “not encumbered by the federal government.” The governor explained that such an entity – he named it the Florida State Guard – would give him “the flexibility and the ability needed to respond to events in our state in the most effective way possible.”
"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," the governor asserted on Thursday during his visit to Pensacola.
DeSantis suggested that the militia could assist the Florida National Guard in the event of an emergency, like a hurricane. Not everyone online, however, views his force in the same way.
“DeSantis is forming a secret police – a fascist regime which will be filled with Proud Boys and Oath Keepers. Civilian military, militia, or… Gestapo?”, one user tweeted.The word “Gestapo” quickly went viral shortly after DeSantis’ announcement, with some alarmed users suggesting that the move, should it be greenlighted in Florida, would mean Sunshine State is moving toward being “a fascist regime”.
Among those concerned about the idea was a former governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, who said that “no governor should have his own handpicked secret police.”
A temporary Florida State Guard previously existed in the Sunshine State, created in 1941 during World War II, to perform the tasks of the Florida National Guard while the latter assisted in the US combat effort.