What About Forming Unorganized Militias?


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SharpsDressedMan
January 18, 2013, 11:59 AM
It seems to me that one way to gain standing in any political argument for the ownership of arms would be to gather your friendly neighbors together and form neighborhood "militias", for the pupose of mutual defense of your area (be it neighborhood, township, county, etc). These would be self ruling, and each militia would elect a commander and officers, and provide security for the area in lieu of assistance from the greater local government or state. There are provisions for the presence of these militias in each state, even though they haven't been called upon or organized in some areas for a hundred years or more. These militias might even be exempt from certrain gun laws, and maybe even be eligible for ownership of TRUE assault rifles, or other weapons suitable for the military. Exercising THIS right might be the only TRUE answer to the problems of definition and intent of the 2nd amendment. Why has this not been done before? Perhaps it is time. After all, it isn't about hunting, it is about regulating your local militia.........

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Solo
January 18, 2013, 12:02 PM
Why has this not been done before?
It has.

Unfortunately, a lot of racists then started doing it, and well...

mgmorden
January 18, 2013, 12:05 PM
The Heller decision has already affirmed that the "right to bear arms" portion of the 2nd applies to "the people", not the aforementioned "well-regulated militia". With that in place what you're proposing has no purpose.

hso
January 18, 2013, 12:05 PM
It seems to me that one way to gain standing in any political argument for the ownership of arms would be to gather your friendly neighbors together and form neighborhood "militias", for the pupose of mutual defense of your area (be it neighborhood, township, county, etc).

I have to disagree and warn that this is would hurt us. If you're going to form any group it should be a political action group to watch for legislation attempting to implement The Plan by the administration, have everyone prepared to work their personal networks to deluge their Congresspersons and State Legislators and news media with opposition to the legislation, hold get togethers to show people the truth on violent crime rates so those people can question the reasons behind The Plan and perhaps spread the truth and then to send a representative to the Congresspersons in their DC offices while the members of the group do the same in their home offices.

Forming armed militias plays right into the hands of the Antis at this point when we're in a hearts and mind struggle as well as the most important political struggle since before 1994.

Rembrandt
January 18, 2013, 12:08 PM
Several Militias got a lot of attention about 20 years ago from the media, I believe Michigan was one. They were pretty much "fringe in your face" and the media had a field day with it. Did more harm to gun owners image than helped.

The fight for gun rights needs to be within the system to effect the laws at State and National level.

Birch Knoll
January 18, 2013, 12:18 PM
Forming militias is a *great* way to convince the bulk of non-gun-culture Americans that we are a bunch of scary, wild-eyed lunatics who definitely shouldn't have guns.

Put the time, money and effort you would spend on forming a militia into political organizing, and beat the bastards where it counts: at the ballot box, and in the legislatures.

SharpsDressedMan
January 18, 2013, 12:19 PM
I agree with you all. PREVIOUSLY, many militias were just that.....redneck, even racist oriented, and poorly intentioned. But what if one were comprised of just this: well intentioned armed citizens, truly concerned with protecting their neighborhood and the Constitution. I could see such a group in my rural neighborhood meeting and agreeing to such an organization, at this point in time, to provide security in hard times or social emergency, and also preserving order and gun ownership in a time when a lack of understanding of the 2nd amemndment is so prevalent. If you don't want to do it in your neighborhood, so be it, but many of you had better be looking for more sound ways to establish understanding and respect for your so-called "right to bear arms", because many of your own neighbors don't trust you, and don't have a clue. If you want to pontificate on the point that all good things will come on their own, or whatever, go ahead. I am trying to find a solid, grass roots foundation that cannot be shaken. Talk is cheap; action gets things done.

hso
January 18, 2013, 12:21 PM
Yep, forming a militia is a foolish idea when we need to be forming Political Action Committees in our communities at this point. You'll have some of community PAC members discussing the issue anyway and know who thinks their up for that if the political process fails, but let's not concede the political struggle yet.

Trent
January 18, 2013, 12:29 PM
Having been in a Militia back in the 1990's, and having been front and center when the State of Illinois came down hard on it, I will offer some advice.

#1: If you band together, do it in small groups and keep your mouth shut. The group I was in was infiltrated by a number of government organizations prior to the take-down.

#2: Make sure your leader is not egotistic, looking for personal glory, or prone to rash action. (Charismatic people who start organizations like this tend to be... well, at the extreme end of the spectrum.) A good leader is a rational, thoughtful, well-balanced individual. Not simply the loudest in the room. :)

#3: Don't advertise - ever. If action is ever necessary, it's better if no one knows who or where it comes from. (First rule of insurgency is don't present your adversary a target; ever.)

#4: If the worst ever happens, vocal proponents of "change by force" are going to be the first to get taken down. Make sure your spokesman (if you have one) isn't critical to the group organization or involved with any day to day operations. Make sure they understand that they are expendable. Make sure the opposition understands they are expendable. (PIRA strategy, there)

#5: A true unorganized militia is unorganized until it's needed. Until that time, individual training, individual preparation, etc. No group meetings, no organized training, no road marches, nothing of the sort. Share knowledge and theorize together, nothing more. And nothing in public.

Just some thoughts.

MedWheeler
January 18, 2013, 12:35 PM
I thought we already were a part of an "unorganized militia", that is, those of us who are male, have reached our 18th birthday, and have not reached our 46th birthday.

USAF_Vet
January 18, 2013, 12:43 PM
There are still a lot of unorganzined volunteer militias operating in Michigan. Most a pretty low key, survivalist type groups who band their families together in times of trouble. Some, and one in particular that I know of personally, are media hounds, seeking attention and trying to make a name for themselves. Though they are well intentioned, they come off as unbalanced nut jobs. They have already been targeted by the government alphabet soup.

If you are goin to be vocal, a volunteer militia is not the platform from which to do it.

Prophet
January 18, 2013, 12:44 PM
It's kind of funny that this should be brought up. I'm convinced that it's a bad idea. I'm reading about the Black Panthers and the KKK and how similar activity gave politicians an excuse to further infringe upon our rights.

We already are the unorganized militia. If you train with firearms, you are taking part in militia training. If you go on a hike on a Sunday afternoon, you are taking part in militia training. Etc. etc.

Best to train under the guises of "safe firearm handling" and "defensive shooting sports" than to be trained under the "militia"" label, which has been hijacked and turned into a code word to incite fear by the media.

Trent
January 18, 2013, 12:50 PM
I thought we already were a part of an "unorganized militia", that is, those of us who are male, have reached our 18th birthday, and have not reached our 46th birthday.

Yes.

However; irregular forces often band together in geographical units, the core of which generally present prior to the outbreak of hostilities.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irregular_military

This has remained true all throughout history (and predates "modern" conflict). In the Revolutionary war, the Civil war, Vietnam, and even modern day Afghanistan, irregulars are often comprised of individuals in a local geographical area, supplemented (sometimes, not always) by funding and support from elsewhere, and perhaps a few direct action individuals from other areas.

Unit cohesion is typically poor, and resupply limited. Safe haven and covert resupply is a requirement for sustained operations. E.g. there'd be no Viet Cong, without NVA supplies and Cambodia for safe haven; there'd be no Afghan insurgency without Iran/Pakistan for supply and safe haven, no significant French or Polish Partisans without British/Allied airdrops, etc.

If today's social issues boiled over, the first irregulars we'd likely see would be ex-military who served together; members of the same gun clubs or organizations; and so on.

The FBI has profiled this to great lengths; the militia movement in the 90's garnered a LOT of attention and resulted in various "counter-domestic terrorism" tasked initiatives.

While not actively involved with any current militia organization, I've made considerable studies on the movement (much sourced from first-hand observation).

Vocal, public organizations have many an Achilles' heel.

SharpsDressedMan
January 18, 2013, 01:04 PM
May I conclude, then, that by failing over the years to keep militias an active part of our social infra-structure, we have allowed them to drift into insignficance, much like failing to take active stands against governmental encroachments on privacy, speech, and gun toting? Then by all means, let's abandon that idea completely! :rolleyes:

Trent
January 18, 2013, 01:16 PM
Sharps;

The main hurdle to overcome is that, in peacetime, the people who are attracted to private paramilitary organizations are typically (not always, but typically) very much on the extreme end of extremism.

All it takes is ONE of those members to go off the deep end, and the movement is forever doomed. The Militia movement was dealt it's dooming blow, with Timothy McVeigh. Even though he was "disavowed", it tarnished every organization.

Furthering that, when you get a group of heavily armed folks together they tend to start feeling entitled (who can stop us now!), and drift off a little in whatever direction they also collectively feel. Enter the "self-sovereign" folk, the "supremist" folk, etc.

In the one I was involved with, the issue was right to self defense; the boiling point was our rights to carry firearms in public for self-defense were barred. We naturally drifted there because, well, we're prohibited from carrying firearms for personal protection in Illinois. The tipping point was when the leader decided he was going to go on a march around Galesburg with a loaded M14. He did press conferences with the media.

While I was standing there watching, I hear him say "and if anyone tries to stop me, we will turn Galesburg in to a smoking battleground." He then proceeded to name off several government officials, saying he knows where they live, and they are not safe.

Needless to say I was a little dumbstruck. None of us were expecting him to say those things, in public, with news cameras pointed at him. It was a game of brinksmanship, and he drug every one of us down the rabbit hole with him.

He was arrested a short time later on 13 felonies, including intimidation of Law Enforcement (5 counts?), Threatening a Public Official (4 counts?), Resisting Arrest (1 count), Aggravated Unlawful Use of Weapons (3 counts). (When they arrested him they found loaded weapons locked in his car, on school property).

It all started out nice and fun. Group shooting events, etc.

But where it ended up...

Tommygunn
January 18, 2013, 01:25 PM
Form political Commitees.
It's waaaaaaay to early to form militias. They have been given a bad name and the general populace will not respond well due to this. Places like the Southern Poverty Law Center have conflated them with KKK and skinhead/NeoNazi groups and many people in the general population don't know any better after watchng talking heads on CNN, FNC, and MSNBC do this conflating.
Plus you will only draw the unwanted attention of the FBI, BATFE, Homeland Security types.

Trent
January 18, 2013, 01:35 PM
I still have the business card of a couple of FBI agents, that I keep as mementos.

I guarantee you that you will draw attention if you start an organization.

Which makes you useless if anything ever happens, because you're the first they go after. Unless you have a desire to become a martyr, and BE the first in line to go down, my suggestion is to sit tight.

Form a "neighborhood watch", a "political action lobbying group", an "emergency preparedness planning organization", or whatever. But whatever you do, don't call it a militia.

Telling the government (any government) that your primary intention is to band together to resist them with force... well, they don't look very kindly on that, and you can start a downward spiral that ends up being a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Over 600,000 US citizens died in the first civil war, and look at the technology and population sparseness at the time.

What would casualties be like today, with today's technology? Millions? Tens of millions?

No, I argue that while there's a spectre of a chance to solve the issues politically, peaceably, we are not at that point yet.

Now, when they start knocking down your neighbors doors, using violence to confiscate arms, imprisoning people for political beliefs or affiliations, and murdering innocents in the streets to advance their agenda or retain control....

AlexanderA
January 18, 2013, 01:40 PM
In many states, you can join a state-sanctioned militia (not the National Guard). In Virginia, we have the Virginia Defense Force, which functions as a backup to the National Guard if and when they are mobilized.

http://www.vdf.virginia.gov/

caribou
January 18, 2013, 01:43 PM
The US Constitution and Alaska statute allready have very able bodied man in the Militia.

But just like owning guns, our govornment fears those gun owners coordinateing and working together, so , like it or not, you are Demonized in their eyes as the only threat that would stop them from taking over, our enemys, Domestcly or Foreign....

Be the guardian of Libetry, but dont be too loud about it, The govornments of the US and many states are scared of us, although well armed and funded by our tax's, their propagand machine is buzzing 24/7 as well......

hso
January 18, 2013, 01:44 PM
May I conclude, then, that by failing over the years to keep militias an active part of our social infra-structure, we have allowed them to drift into insignficance, much like failing to take active stands against governmental encroachments on privacy, speech, and gun toting?

No, what you're being told is that the very idea is off and that organizing people for political action is vital for effectively working against Antis. You're also being told that expending energy and resources to become an insurgent instead of working politically will get the attention of government authorities and will ruin your life for some time. People that want to get together and run around pretending at armed resistance are a detriment to our cause, not people to be admired. Real insurgents don't make themselves a target AND they certainly don't talk about it.

We have people that have BTDT and know the consequences and none of them will tell you to naively toss the idea around in public.

Trent
January 18, 2013, 01:47 PM
^ Ding, we have a winner.

Trent
January 18, 2013, 01:54 PM
I would also like to add;

MANY people have been defending the AR-15 (and military style rifles) as a deterrent to Tyranny.

There is a decided difference in saying you have a right to own such a weapon for such a purpose, and actually taking up arms with that weapon.

We (collectively) are in position A right now. Maintaining that our right to arms is an effective deterrent to oppression.

We (collectively) are NOT in position B right now, taking up arms to usurp said oppression.

I would like to draw attention to the Declaration of Independence, for a moment:


When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.


I've highlighted the phrase that is relevant.

We are not (yet) under "absolute despotism."

The evils we are facing are yet "sufferable."

The oppression we are facing is not yet "absolute tyranny."

When the situation becomes completely hopeless, all peaceful possibilities exhausted, when the only way to resume individual freedom is by force, by all means, band together and fight to the last man.

We're not there yet, not by a long shot.

But we might be some day.

Between now and then? Do what you can to KEEP us from getting there. Don't work to hasten the process.

19-3Ben
January 18, 2013, 01:58 PM
No, what you're being told is that the very idea is off and that organizing people for political action is vital for effectively working against Antis. You're also being told that expending energy and resources to become an insurgent instead of working politically will get the attention of government authorities and will ruin your life for some time. People that want to get together and run around pretending at armed resistance are a detriment to our cause, not people to be admired. Real insurgents don't make themselves a target AND they certainly don't talk about it.

We have people that have BTDT and know the consequences and none of them will tell you to naively toss the idea around in public.

Very well said.
Aside from anything else, as pointed out earlier (also by HSO), this is a hearts and minds struggle right here. We're never going to convince hardcore antis that their position is wrong, much like they will never convince us that we are wrong. But the folks who are apathetic, or fence-sitters need to be brought to our side. The best way to do that is by open and honest dialogue, political action, and by being very visible and main stream!

At our rally tomorrow in Hartford CT the instructions were for people to dress decently (casual dress). No camo, and no hunting gear (orange etc...). We want to be average joe and show that gun owners are regular people.
If we come across as extremists or ignorants, then we will polarize everyone against us even more than they already are.

A goal of political action is to be very visible. A goal of insurgency is to remain invisible.
Can't do both. Doesn't mean that our rights to form militias are dead. It just means that they will do nothing to help us in this situation. Wrong tool for the job.

Tommygunn
January 18, 2013, 02:00 PM
Thank you Trent for pointing out the Declaration of Independence and the parts that apply to our present condition. An EXCELLENT explanation of the circumstances that apply, succinct, and I heartily endorse both yours and our Founders' philosophy.

Trent
January 18, 2013, 02:11 PM
A goal of political action is to be very visible. A goal of insurgency is to remain invisible. Can't do both.

Well, yes and no. :)

You *can* be visible, and invisible at the same time. You just can't do both on the same side. Infiltrators are present in both sides of a conflict.

They're invaluable, because those people have access ... that others don't.

Hell, we see it all the time on this very message board that we're typing on. Some are easy to spot, some not so easy to spot. :)

Trent
January 18, 2013, 02:20 PM
Thank you Trent for pointing out the Declaration of Independence and the parts that apply to our present condition. An EXCELLENT explanation of the circumstances that apply, succinct, and I heartily endorse both yours and our Founders' philosophy.

HSO presented a great viewpoint on the matter.

All I did was put it in an historical context.

While I firmly support the second amendment, along with all of our bill of rights, I will not be among the first to draw blood over it. 20 years ago? I was marching to a different beat.

But I'd like to think that as the years have progressed I've grown a bit wiser, a bit more calculating, a bit more enlightened, and a bit more rational in my way of thought.

I'm firm in my convictions - of this there is no doubt. But as long as the Government isn't executing my fellow countrymen over their political beliefs, perpetrating mass arrests to deprive them of what is, by right, theirs, and giving us zero political, peaceful, recourse, I will remain on the sidelines.

Should the situation ever change, I think our violent and bloody history speaks well enough for itself.

One thing both sides of the gun control debate and every foreign nation we've ever stood against will agree on.... is that Americans are damn good at killing people.

So, let's avoid that as long as humanly possible.

Let's endure, and struggle against oppression of any form with all of our voices.

But don't raise arms until you are in defense of the last remaining vestiges of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. As long as there is a thread of hope, cling to it.

And when it's finally cut... fight for it with everything you have at your disposal.

USAF_Vet
January 18, 2013, 03:25 PM
Even if the only thing you have at your disposal is a plastic butter knife?

At what point do we say enough is enough? At what point are mere words, that continue to fall on deaf ears, not enough?

Who takes the first shot? The first shot of our revolution was fired by the British. Do we wait for our oppressors to take the first shot again? Or should it be like Fort Sumter, where the so-called 'rebels' took action against their oppressive government?

At some point, words will fail, but there are still some who will continue to preach and shout long after the time for action has passed. They will still call for tolerance when oppression has become intolerable.

So I ask again: when is enough, enough?

Trent
January 18, 2013, 03:44 PM
So I ask again: when is enough, enough?

That's a question we all must answer for ourselves.

Solo
January 18, 2013, 03:52 PM
Even if the only thing you have at your disposal is a plastic butter knife?
Please keep in mind that being unarmed did not stop a number of revolutions in the 20th century.

Trent
January 18, 2013, 03:55 PM
Please keep in mind that being unarmed did not stop a number of revolutions in the 20th century.

Yup. As long as whoever is "enforcing" has guns, and you have a suitable instrument (crossbow, bow, baseball bat, hunting knife), you too can have a gun. Remember inside 21 feet a knife is more deadly, statistically. :)

All hope is never lost.

Heck, the Polish created their own home brew submachinegun for such a purpose, right under the nose of the Nazi occupiers. Wasn't a great weapon, but it served the purpose of obtaining better arms. :)

Solo
January 18, 2013, 03:58 PM
Indeed.

Also, you know, civil disobedience in India and the Arab Spring, where some of the affected countries have extremely low firearms ownership compared to the US, at least according to official figures.

9thchild
January 18, 2013, 03:58 PM
I agree with most all that has been said.

However I do believe that most people have no earthly idea how far down the rabbit hole we have already gone. If even a small fraction of this country truly understood economics and our monetary system there would be full revolution overnight.

Sadly however the majority of U.S. citizens have no understanding of such topics.

Texan Scott
January 18, 2013, 04:02 PM
Don't form a militia. Gun nuts, domestic terrorists, and wacko cult groups form militias. What you need is a local area "Sportsman's Shooting Club". Charter like a Moose Lodge. Pick a local range day once a month. Have a phone roster and instant message system,
(for community service bulletins) and stay quiet, calm, and off the internet. Keep the tinfoil hats out of plain view.

TexasBill
January 18, 2013, 04:11 PM
It should also be noted that some states have laws against forming "armed bodies of men." While I believe these are leftovers from the post-Civil War days, they are still on the books.

SharpsDressedMan
January 18, 2013, 04:26 PM
There are just a few more considerations that make the surrendering of arms more of a critical element right now, or in the near future. The government now far exceeds the capability of any individual or group of people, to control the public, by means of surveillance, and has such sophisticated weapons that any small arms attack would be put down immediately if they turned those weapons on an "unruly" citizenry. The ONLY way we could stand against the government, if necessary, wouild be by the sheer NUMBERS of citizens with the best weapons at hand they could get, and many would be slaughtered, while the other side enjoyed unlimited funds, night vision, infrared detection, all kinds of personal and vehicle armor, and unlimited surveillance. It makes me a little nauseous to think what it would look like stateside if the weapons they used in Iraq or Afghanistan were used here, and it only gets worse as technology advances. We are not asking for THOSE weapons, yet we might have to fight against them. Hanging on to our guns is a pittance effort against the technology of today, and tomorrow. Perhaps the Army and National Guard would stand down, and side with the people (as the tank drivers did in Moscow a few years back, basically signally an end to the Cold War and communism in Russia), but I don't count on it.

AlexanderA
January 18, 2013, 06:00 PM
If there was a tyrannical usurpation, large portions of the armed forces would defect and join the opposition. Remember that in today's all-volunteer forces, many of the troops come from the same social background as the gun rights supporters (rural, small-town, Southern, etc.). The only thing the opposition would have to do is set up places for people to defect to. In the early months of 1861, when the play "Richard III" was playing in Washington, there was always loud cheering at the line, "he has fled to Richmond." (In the play, "Richmond" was Henry Tudor, the Earl of Richmond, later King Henry VII. This made for a convenient play on words in 1861 Washington. U.S. Army officers were fleeing to Richmond by the score -- including Robert E. Lee.)

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