the militia Essay

1075 Words5 Pages
Officially, a militia is part of the organized armed forces of a country that is called upon only in an emergency. There have been paramilitary groups with revolutionary ideas throughout America’s history, but today’s militia movement is a new more organized and violent presence (Meyers). Today the militia are unofficial citizens’ armies organized by private individuals, usually with antigovernment, far right agendas. They rationalize that the American people need armed force to help defend themselves against an increasingly oppressive government that is becoming part of a global conspiracy called the “New World Order” (Sonder, 2000). These armed groups call themselves militias; to both imply the image of the…show more content…
Militia growth appears to have been steady throughout 1995 and the first half of 1996 (Sonder, 2000).
The primary illegal activities among militia groups are related to weapons and explosives. Militia groups in Virginia, West Virginia, Georgia, Washington, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, California, and a number of other states have seen members arrested for possession of illegal weapons and explosives. People in the movement tend to give inflated numbers, in order to make their movement seem larger, and at the same time, because they are so paranoid, will refuse to allow people to actually count their numbers. In addition, groups go in and out of existence all the time, and there are many people who are part of the movement, without being card-carrying members of any one particular group. There are some groups few people know about because they are underground. All these factors together make it impossible to say with any certainty how many militia groups there are. The number of groups is certainly in the hundreds.
The militia movement has many people who could be called law-abiding citizens. However, many members conduct criminal activity (Dees, 1996). The most common is the collection of illegal weapons and explosives. Sometimes these illegal arsenals are stunning in their size. Since militia members tend to believe that they have the right to own whatever sort of weapon they
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