In the past week, I have learned a lot more about the National Guard. “Bring in the National Guard to bring peace to the streets” or “Allow the local police to handle the unrest” is the argument that is being spread across America. As a researcher, I know it is important not only to research both sides of an argument, but also to explore background information that will help better understand the topic.
According to the National Guard website, “The National Guard is a unique element of the U.S. military that serves both community and country. The Guard responds to domestic emergencies, overseas combat missions, counterdrug efforts, reconstruction missions and more.” The National Police Foundation describes four main functions of local police: enforcing laws, preventing crimes, responding to emergencies, and providing support services. It may also be helpful to investigate how the National Guard has been used in the past.
Where does a researcher go next? I think most people may want to understand why some groups prefer keeping local police in charge instead of deploying the military to keep the peace. Twitter, Facebook, and other websites can be informative, but a researcher has to make sure the information is correct. The MVCC databases, especially the NEWS database, are good sources of reliable information.