I think Bermuda's conscription policy is wrong

I've always thought that Bermuda's policy of conscription to the Regiment was wrong. Not only because it was random, but also because it discriminated against young men. And no, I don't believe in the weak "when a man has a uterus" arguments for keeping conscription to men only; women can run and fire a gun just as a man can.

Defendants of the current policy say that it's good because people should be required to give back to their country. That's all good except that in reality only men are expected to do this. They say nothing about women. They may say that it would help men get off the wall and learn some discipline. However, recruits are randomly chosen. If that was the goal, why not just recruit the men who actually sat on the wall and not those who are already productive members of society, then?

There is talk about serving in the Regiment may give recruits a sense of national pride. However there's a great sentiment here that people won't ever have national pride unless Bermuda is an independent country. So throw that out the window.

As far as conscription in general, well the United States has a law that states that young men must register for Selective Service at 18, which would mean they're liable to be called into military service in the event of great need (unlikely, but still possible). Currently, serving is purely voluntary. In Europe, about half the countries use some form of conscription. Israel, as predicted, has conscription for all citizens, men and women.

In the Caribbean, all armies are volunteer. The Cayman Islands, have no military force whatsoever. I suppose they don't forsee any invading troops storming the capital.

Currently, it appears that the majority of Bermudians support the current policy. Of course, the majority of Bermudians appear to be against amending the Human Rights Act to include sexual orientation as well. Sometimes 'doing the right thing' can go against the desires of the majority.

Read a good article about conscription on Catch-A-Fire, and think that if anything, Bermuda would be better served by a full-time, professional armed forces consisting of volunteers who join and receive superior benefits for their service (such as free tuition at Bermuda College and at least some paid education overseas) and are paid a decent wage.

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