The street vendors are mostly veterans who are given a preference for getting street vendor licenses, especially in the Times Square area of New York City. They are not just competitors for the business of the public. They form a loosely organized militia to protect the public safety, and that role was demonstrated on Saturday, May 1, 2010, when One of them spotted a suspicious SUV that had been laden with explosives and fertilizer that the perpetrator mistakenly thought would explode like a bomb.
It is possible the veterans do not self-identify as "militia", but that is what they are, in the best tradition going back to before the United States was even a nation. They join the heroes of Flight 93 as ordinary but not unprepared Americans who, when confronted with a threat, call up one another to meet it.
Government agents can't be everywhere or see everything. We must never lose sight of the fact that the first line of defense against most threats are vigilant civilians, and in that capacity they are militia, the original meaning of which is defense service.
These men, like most militia, are veterans, and thus have training most civilians don't have. What is needed to meet the threats of the future is to extend that kind of training to the entire population, starting in early childhood. Nothing can fully protect us from every threat, but our best chance is to make militia an integral part of the life of every citizen. – Jon Constitution Society – http://constitution.org