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What Militia Means To Us and Why We Are Here

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“A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

 

When James Madison drafted the Second Amendment in 1789, it was not as much of a controversial statement as it seems to be today. In the Constitutional era, it was widely understood that a Militia, composed of the whole or part of a community, was responsible for assembling, training, and when necessary, fighting to the last man for the community and its people. To be called a Militiaman was to be identified as someone who had answered a call to community service and, while not necessarily a professional in arms, was nonetheless ready and willing to put his life and livelihood at risk for the sake of his neighbors.

 

So where did the confusion come in? There must have been a point at which the image of the Militia transformed in the public eye, from the stout-hearted Minuteman of the American Revolution, to the caricature of the militant, regressive troglodyte who withdraws to the backwoods, stockpiling mountains of Vienna Sausage and harboring deep suspicion for everyone around him. At what point did the once worthy title of Militiaman become associated with radicals, vigilantes, and terrorists?

 

What we know today as the Constitutional Militia Movement caught the public’s attention in the early 1990s, after the widely publicized massacres at Waco and Ruby Ridge at the hands of Federal agents, earning the emerging movement the immediate and unflattering association with political reactionaries. The new existential threat, to the horror of these newly assembled patriots, seemed to be coming not from Axis forces or Communists as in previous decades, but from elements within their own Government.

 

Meanwhile the Government, to its everlasting detriment, did little if anything to assuage those fears. The political climate of that era was one characterized by massive consolidation of central power, unconstitutional weapon regulations, police militarization, United Nations operational control over the Armed Forces, the onset of Agenda 21, and exponential advances in computer technology that threatened the very concept of personal privacy. A complete and final meltdown of national sovereignty, and the beginning of the so-called “New World Order” seemed, to many, perilously close at hand.

 

Today’s militia movement, tracing its roots as a direct descendant of the 1990s militia uprising which sought to combat those ominous developments, is even more prolific than its supposed height two decades ago. Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) identified some 334 active militia groups in 2013 – far less than the actual number, which is constantly changing and thus unknowable. SPLC in its haste to paint their Right Wing Extremists with a broad and racist brush, attributes the emergence of a new Militia movement to collective anxiety over the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States. However, it is infinitely more plausible to claim that the ease of communication brought about by the proliferation of social media has brought together fresh waves of veterans, patriots, tactical enthusiasts, activists and aspiring “preppers,” all of whom have injected fresh perspectives, training and ideas to the twenty year old movement.

 

The political climate among this new generation of patriot militia groups is considerably more subdued, indeed even to the point of nonexistence in many circles, as the focus has shifted from an urgent need to organize and call up citizens’ militias, to the image of the groups and the quality of the training itself.

 

Additionally, the practice of “prepping,” once thought to be the frantic and fearful activity of a lunatic fringe element, has since gone mainstream through the literature of authors like James Wesley, Rawles and David Crawford, and through the popularity of TV programs like “Doomsday Preppers,” making its mark as a central focus of present-day militia training, and bringing with it a more sympathetic view from the public toward the idea of armed citizens’ groups assembling for mutual aid and protection.

 

The Government, for its part, still smarts from the damage done to its image in the 1990s. The famous showdown at the Bundy Ranch in Nevada in 2014, during which the government forces withdrew in the face of an oncoming wave of armed, flag-waving American patriots, is a telltale sign of a law enforcement system that, at all costs, will seek to avoid another confrontation of Branch Davidian proportions.

 

This is in no way intended to suggest that there aren’t still radical and deeply conspiracy-minded elements to the militia movement today. Those circles seem to remain impervious to evolution. However, the general consensus among militia groups today seems to have become that, while vigilance toward tyranny is still gravely important, vigilance toward the movement’s own alarmist tendencies is doubly so.

 

With this critical shift in perspective, the modern constitutional militia movement has matured, from a mysterious community on the fringes of society, into a viable source of free training for thousands of like-minded and sincere patriots. And given this new and improved image, it seems reasonable to suggest that in another decade or two, the militia community has the potential to emerge as a fully mission capable entity for armed service to the community. It is the expectant hope for a future in which citizens’ militias are favored by society over federalized, militarized police forces, that keeps them actively training – not necessarily to fight the legitimately elected government – but rather to augment it in a time of dire crisis.

 

 

We may, in our lifetime, hope to see a return to the true Constitutional Militia as it was understood in Madison’s day. It is a distant dream on the horizon, but an attainable goal if the movement stays on its current course. While the Militias’ popularity waxes and wanes throughout history and will always have varying degrees of discipline, one thing is certain. Once the spark of liberty awakens in a generation, it cannot be put back to sleep. We have much to be excited about, ample reason to feel pride in our accomplishments, and a lifetime of work yet to do.

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We are spearheading the evolution of the modern militia movement. We are the fastest growing, most informative and feature rich militia resource online.

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