Here we go again. The race baiters at the Southern Poverty Law Center are wringing their hands over the revival of interest in ‘militia groups’.
You know, I live in western Montana, a place thats had more than a little connection with this sort of thing. Heck, I see Militia of Montana honcho John Trochmann at pretty much every large gun show ( he sells useful geegaws like Israeli trauma dressings, parachute flares and the like), and have met more than a few people who, even by my standards, might be ‘out where the buses don’t run’ in terms of their tinfoil-hat quotient. I’ve met militia types, white separatists, white supremacists, and religious zealots….so I think I have a little bit of credibility on these matters.
Militia? Eh. I would bet you some serious coin that there are far more armed paranoiacs out here with non-political motivations than there are wannabe revolutionaries. What I mean is, you show me a guy with a safe full of AR’s, a couple thousand rounds of ammo, a shortwave radio, a basement full of food, a library on improvised munitions and a handful of like-minded friends who get together once a month to go shooting and I will bet you some pretty heavy odds that their motivation is to protect themselves and their families…not to storm Washington DC or foment a race/class war.
Truth is, for better or worse, most folks worry about number one first. Sure, there’s plenty of whackos out there with a head full of bad wiring, a pistol, a grudge, and a plane ticket to wherever they think the voices/aliens/mindcontrol chip/deity in their head says to go. But, so what…theres always been screwed up people out there. Are they forming militias and plotting to overthrow the .gov? Maybe. I’m sure theres a buncha guys in a basement somewhere plotting this sort of thing. But theres always been that element, regardless of the party in control of the .gov. Heck, in the Bush years the Democratic Underground weenies were always talking ‘revolution’ but no one paid them any mind. Funny how its only the right-wing militias that get the press.
But, lets read between the lines. Which is more alarming – the notion that theres folks who are so dissatisfied with the government that they think theyre willing to take up arms against it..orrrrrrrrr….the notion that a government has gotten so out of touch with its people that those same folks are pushed towards these extreme actions? Or, put another way, whose behavior is more disturbing …. the woman with the black eye and swollen lip going to karate class or the drunk abusive husband that slaps her around? Really, rather than looking at these ‘revived militias’ and clucking about how terrible and dangerous they are maybe the better question is what could .gov possibly be doing to drive this sort of behavior?
But to the goons at the SPLC, if you disagree with the current administration (which automatically means youre a racist, in some circles), live outside of New England, own guns, listen to talk radio, and sock away food, fuel, ammo and metals…well, youre probably one of those militia nuts.
This is classic…classic, I say…dehumanization and proaganda tactics straight out of pretty much every horribly oppressive and repressive regime thats been around. You target dissenters, get the public to identify them as belonging to a class or group, demonize that group as convincingly as possible, propose measures to ‘reign in’ that ‘outlaw group’, get rid of your opponents while getting lauded for having ‘done something’ about that evil group.
So, like it or not, the odds are pretty good that you and I, regardless of if we actually are in a group of some kind, are going to get labelled as dangerous right-wing militia nutjobs. Not much we can do about it. I suppose we could sink beneath the radar and be pretty low profile. Its already established that the whole ‘if youre not guilty youve got nothing to fear’ thing ain’t gonna work. Besides, didnt the lefties during the Bush years tell us that dissent was patriotic? Funny how that tune changes once theyre in the White House, innit?
So, lemme recap:
Sure, theres probably self-styled militia groups forming around the US. And theres probably a few that have been around since the ’90s and have just been keeping a low profile. And 95% of them are concerned with protecting their own very local interests. A half-dozen guys who get together to stockpile food, practice shooting and tactics, and bitch about the government are not a militia.
But most importantly, look past the news hype and ask yourself “What is the government doing that is so bad that has all these people up in arms?” and then examine the issue(s) for yourself.