Further to my last comment:
Bernard Crick in his book “George Orwell A Life” has the following quote in Chapter 12 The Challenge and Frustration of war (1939-41).
“Even as it stands, the Home Guard could only exist in a country where men feel themselves free. 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 THAT IT STAYS THERE.”
Crick correctly attributes the quote to an 8 January 1941 article Orwell wrote for Evening Standard. The article was titled “Don’t Let Colonel Blimp Ruin the Home Guard”