The totalitarian states can do great things, but there is one thing they cannot do: they cannot give the factory-worker a rifle and tell him to take it home and keep it in his bedroom. That rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer's cottage, is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see it stays there.
Orwell, George. "Don't Let Colonel Blimp Ruin the Home Guard." The Complete Works of George Orwell, Ed. Peter Davison. Vol. 12. London: Random House, 1998. 362-365. Print.
Orwell was active in the British Home Guard serving as a sergeant in command of a section. The quote above is from an article he wrote in 1941 for the Evening Standard in which he complained about old World War I officers in the Home Guard who were more interested in marching than marksmanship.
This quote is found on page 52 of Proclaiming Liberty which is available from Amazon.com for $12.95. The Kindle edition is now available for $3.95.