Discovery Channel to Air Show Profiling “America’s Top Militia Forces”

Continuing on their “looks cool on TV but doesn’t help improve our image as gun owners” kick, Discovery Channel is about to air a program where they film some of the “top” militias in the United States (tonight, October 24th at 10 PM ET/PT). And from the clip above, I don’t have high hopes. Make the jump for the press release, and let us know what you thought of it.

If the world as you know it falls apart, will you rise up to fight? Discovery Channel’s new one-hour documentary follows citizen militia, survival and prepper groups in Arizona, Florida and Indiana who are preparing for the worst.

After what they consider to be inadequate government responses to tragedies like Hurricane Katrina, these groups believe that disaster will strike – and they must be ready to protect themselves and restore order.

Natural disasters, government collapse and civil war may not be the first thing on the average American’s mind, but members of the “Watchmen of America” militia group are ready to fight back. MILITIA RISING will show viewers how local militias prepare to survive difficult circumstances including massive power outages and civil unrest, and follow them as they learn self-defense tactics to protect their families.
Militia Rising

Discovery Channel’s ‘Militia Rising’ Profiles America’s Top Militia Forces

The featured groups include:

Watchmen of Florida – Living under the constant threat of hurricanes, members are aware that the government may not be able to assist in an emergency. Leaders train new recruits and practice home rescues to bring family members to safety. Watchmen of Indiana – Anticipating a nuclear disaster, members of this militia prepare for a nuclear meltdown.
Watchmen of America, Arizona Guard –This group will not wait for chaos and proactively aim to help the government protect the U.S./Mexican border – especially from the drug cartels.

MILITIA RISING is produced for Discovery Channel by Magilla Entertainment. For Magilla Entertainment, Executive Producers are Matthew Ostrom, Brian Flanagan, Laura Palumbo Johnson and Eric Leemon. For Discovery Channel, Executive Producer is French Horwitz and Associate Producer is Paige McKenzie.

About Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel is dedicated to creating the highest quality non-fiction content that informs and entertains its consumers about the world in all its wonder, diversity and amazement. The network, which is distributed to 100.1 million U.S. homes, can be seen in over 180 countries, offering a signature mix of compelling, high-end production values and vivid cinematography across genres including, science and technology, exploration, adventure, history and in-depth, behind-the-scenes glimpses at the people, places and organizations that shape and share our world. For more information, please visitwww.discovery.com.

About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world’s #1 nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.8 billion cumulative subscribers in 209 countries and territories. Discovery is dedicated to satisfying curiosity through 149 worldwide television networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science and Investigation Discovery, as well as U.S. joint venture networks OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, The Hub and 3net, the first 24-hour 3D network. Discovery also is a leading provider of educational products and services to schools and owns and operates a diversified portfolio of digital media services, including Revision3. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com

[h/t Ammoland.com]

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About Nick Leghorn

Nick Leghorn is a gun nerd living and working in San Antonio, Texas. In his free time, he's a competition shooter (USPSA, 3-gun and NRA High Power), aspiring pilot, and enjoys mixing statistics and science with firearms. Now on sale: Getting Started with Firearms by yours truly!

54 Responses to Discovery Channel to Air Show Profiling “America’s Top Militia Forces”

  1. avataroncehewasrubix says:

    Well I know California has a law against that.. but we have laws on the books for just about everything.

    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=pen&group=11001-12000&file=11460
    PENAL CODE
    SECTION 11460
    11460. (a) Any two or more persons who assemble as a paramilitary
    organization for the purpose of practicing with weapons shall be
    punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year
    or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by
    both that fine and imprisonment.
    As used in this subdivision, “paramilitary organization” means an
    organization which is not an agency of the United States government
    or of the State of California, or which is not a private school
    meeting the requirements set forth in Section 48222 of the Education
    Code, but which engages in instruction or training in guerrilla
    warfare or sabotage, or which, as an organization, engages in rioting
    or the violent disruption of, or the violent interference with,
    school activities.
    (b) (1) Any person who teaches or demonstrates to any other person
    the use, application, or making of any firearm, explosive, or
    destructive device, or technique capable of causing injury or death
    to persons, knowing or having reason to know or intending that these
    objects or techniques will be unlawfully employed for use in, or in
    the furtherance of a civil disorder, or any person who assembles with
    one or more other persons for the purpose of training with,
    practicing with, or being instructed in the use of any firearm,
    explosive, or destructive device, or technique capable of causing
    injury or death to persons, with the intent to cause or further a
    civil disorder, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail
    for not more than one year or by a fine of not more than one thousand
    dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.

    *golf clap* Legislate them to slaughter…

    • avatarg says:

      Sounds like anti-Black Panther Party legislation to me. The 1960s live on.

    • avatarMike says:

      One could argue the “furtherance of civil disorder” is not the objective…

    • avatarDBeans says:

      looks like those mma classes and karate classes are illegal…. tsk tsk

    • avatarRokurota says:

      Yeah, looks like 11460(b)(1) is a wide open door to prosecute any firearms or martial arts instructor if (when) a criminal happens to have taken their class. Self defense truly is a no-no in CA.

    • avatarAccur81 says:

      Look at the definition of paramilitary organization. It is defined within the Penal Code as a disruptive element, not a self defense element. It would be more accurately described as training terrorists. This law is not necessarily anti-self defense. CA has self defense classes available to LEOs, military, and citizens alike. James Yeager (who hates the .40, apparently) has classes in the LA area in spring of 2013. I was thinking of going (with my .40, cause I’m kind of a pesky fellow sometimes) and takin one.

      CA is anti-gun, but this law is aimed (well, more or less) at destructive elements. Self defense is still legal, and firearms training in CA is a available in formal classes for open enrollment.

  2. avatarJoshinGA says:

    So from the preview looks like a bunch of wannabe’s or has sorta been’s from the military get together, a couple of them get their power trip, and they get to parade around and play make believe tactical…or tacticool if you will.

    Looks like shit, but hey, its not my cup of tea.

  3. avatarAharon says:

    I didn’t find the short clip above as bad an image of gun owners and the militia as used to be depicted by the mass media 5-10-20 years ago. I’m including such organizations as Discovery Channel and today’s National Geographic right in there with the mass media. Those organizations used to characterize the militias as a bunch of beer-drinking right-wing redneck survivalists whose politics put them into the white racist neo-Nazi camp. Hopefully, the full hour program will be fair and objective.

  4. avatarCCW Guy says:

    I’m watching it and am trying my hardest to remain objective.

  5. It caused me pain, and made me more secure in my (over) weightness. I’m a full on operator by comparison.

    • avatarCCW Guy says:

      SPOILER ALERT
      -Most of them need to lose about 100lbs
      -A lot of gear but doesn’t look like the majority of them have basic Boy Scout knowledge.
      -2 guys outran the OFWG(s) on Arizona border in seconds.
      -I’m hoping it was just the cameras making them nervous.

      • avatarDrama says:

        Not only that but I somehow think Colonel Condor and Sergeant Major Apache or whatever ridiculous names they had actually earned those ranks.

        These are first rate amateurs. I’d feel safer with my 80-year old Marine infantry korean vet grandpa covering me than these guys and he’s not even a gun owner.

        Pretending you have a plan is not the same as actually having a plan or knowing how to complete it.

        The little effort I put into being prepared, not exactly prepping, isn’t even centered around firearms but survival. These guys just want to play soldier, I say let’em just get off the tv with it so you don’t give the rest of gun owners a bad name by association.

        When are they gonna make an equivalent type of show for the inner city?

        • avatarRalph says:

          Pretending you have a plan is not the same as actually having a plan or knowing how to complete it.

          Absolutely true, but it might be enough to get someone re-elected president.

  6. avatarjwm says:

    Always remember, boys and girls, that after a major event like Katrina the G will eventually restore order. And everything that you’ve done during that bad time can come back to haunt you. Hopefully we will all be showing good judgement in our actions after such an event.

    Do not wind up like the cops on the Danziger bridge. Being part of a militia extraction team smells to me like looking for the kind of trouble you don’t need to add to your problems after a major event.

    • avatarJSIII says:

      Yeah everything went back to normal for the thousands of people who had their homes illegally searched and their firearms illegally taken. Many never got their firearms back because Mr. Chocolate city showed his true colors. If SHTF a militia might be the only thing between you and having your firearms and other supplies taken.

      • avatarjwm says:

        I’m not saying to not protect yourself and your family. Just remember that eventually order will be restored and if you’ve behaved in an illegal fashion you may have to face repurcussions that last for years.

        We ordinary citizens don’t have the extra legal protections in court of the politicians and people acting in an official capacity.

        • avatarRopingdown says:

          There was a non-governmental militia slinging AR’s in the Big Easy after Katrina. They were Blackwater folks. I’d ask the government to make up its mind. Why would Blackwater guys who bussed in be a better choice than a local group who understand the cultural landscape? Let me posit, first, the fact that 2/3′s of the NOPD had already fled the town. Perhaps that is the context in which these “Militias” seem a bit less odd. I’ve never met a militia member and so cannot evaluate too closely their utility.

        • avatarjwm says:

          RD, the blackwater guys were there at the request of and on the dime of the G. The G probably feels they have a better command and control of the contracters instead of some local group of dubious skills and traing and who knows what motivation.

          I have known a couple of militia members during my life. The ones I have met were not guys I would trust at my back. Mostly they were guys who could not make it into the regulars or if they had been regulars if you press them a little for details turns out they mostly got early outs for reasons of their own unsuitability. And a large discussion amongst the ones I’ve known was the coming “race war”.

          By all means, defend yourself and your family. But in a high stress,chaotic situation the militia types I’ve known would be a bigger threat to your well being than the “mob”.

  7. avatarAnon in CT says:

    “but doesn’t help improve our image as gun owners”

    Understatement of the millennium.

  8. avatarslow says:

    Just watched…….scary funny. Operators not.

  9. avatarensitu says:

    Wanna be? Sure.
    A bit kookie? Yeah.
    Seems thier goals are Preservation of the Status Quo, they are organized and apparently self-supporting, that puts them out front of 90% of America.
    They are also fools for allowing the media to pimp them to the public.
    I’m guessing a good portion stayed home

  10. avatarDJ says:

    In the event of an actual emergency, as occurred in Europe in 1939, or the Soviet Union in 1989, or Bosnia in 1990 or 1994, or Iraq in 2003, the “militia” may be your only source of food, clothing, and shelter, not to mention “security” – because the National Guard will be tasked out supporting your State VIPs, and the Regular Army will be tasked out trying to kill the National Guard. (This is why the Governor of your State controls the NG, but the President Controls the federal Armed Forces).

    I have seen a couple of countries go to hell. And when everything goes to hell, “Who signs this form?” goes right out the window.

    In the event of an actual emergency, 30% of the US population is dead within 3 weeks. The remainder is fighting over food. 10% of that survive, and start to rebuild.

    • avatarDJ says:

      I guess I should clarify, if you think “It can’t happen here, we are a 1st world industrial country” I just wish I could have you talk to a German national circa 1932. It absolutely CAN happen here. And “here” is wherever people will trade uncertain freedom for certain servitude.

  11. avatarDon says:

    What ever happened to the nature and science documentaries on the Discovery Channel?

    • avatarAaronW says:

      Yup… and there was a time when AMC showed actual classic movies (not that Breaking Bad and Mad Men aren’t excellent series), and Bravo actually showed culturally enlightening programs, instead of reality shows.

  12. avatarensitu says:

    Clinton Nationalised the NG, it was all part of the Peace Dividend

  13. avatarMikeC says:

    Most of these guys looked like idiots, the one guy called an AR15 an AK47 while accidentally dropping his magazine out of the AR while trying to fire it and another group can’t put up simple shelters!!

  14. avatarBarstow Cowboy. says:

    This is very different than the military training I went through (in the military). When I made a mistake in the military, I was threatened with the prospect of having to perform push ups. In this video, the guy who appears to be in charge of training seems to threaten the trainee by telling him that if he (the trainee) doesn’t meet the standard that he (the trainer) was going to perform 100 push ups. If he’s going to assume the role of drill sergeant, he might do well to watch a few Lois Gosset Junior films, maybe Full Metal Jacket too. Since I was in the military, I think I’ll start one of these things and live out my warlord fantasy too. Can you imagine all the ego and backstabbing that goes on in a thing like this? I would NEVER bring my wife to a thing like this. With all the testosterone flowing here it’s probably only a matter of 2 or 3 episodes until one of the OFWG Rooster types starts trying to cross level all the women.

    • avatarCleek says:

      An old DI I knew said “We never had this kind of militia (crap) when we had a draft.”

      This activity seems to be more of a soldier-of-fortune dude ranch .

  15. avatarYawner says:

    Might as well provide an address and phone listing of every member. Stupid.

  16. avatarAaronW says:

    I know Arizona is one of the friendliest states toward open carry, but an early scene threw up a flag, when the AZ militia met their new recruits in a parking lot – everyone seemed to have their weapons at a sort of low ready, not slung. Then the two new guys had black hoods placed on their heads and were whisked away. Really? They’d bring new guys in by essentially staging an armed kidnapping right out in the open?

  17. avatarMike S says:

    Let me say first, that I am something of a prepper. Second- if things get weird, y’know where I want to be?
    Wherever these idiots aren’t.

  18. avatarAharon says:

    Reading the comments, I’m glad that I didn’t watch the show. I guess it’s trust the mass media to choose a bunch of yahoos and film them in a poor light, Then to name the show, America’s Top Militia Forces.

  19. avatarbontai Joe says:

    I have no sound at work, but my first thought watching this clip is that is a gang, just like the Crips or the Bloods, it is a gang. Just happens to be made up of old fat white guys. I’m an OFWG, but I’m not joining a gang like that one. If they actually help with rescuing folks in emergencies, that’s great, but (just my opinion) I’d be afraid of some of those guys shooting innocent folks while on “patrol” just from the extremely poor skills and training methods I saw in this short clip. I’ll watch the show when I get a chance, and maybe that will change my mind.

  20. avatarGreg says:

    These are the “Top” militias? They look more like comedic material for Jon Stewart. Seriously, the “commander” of one of these units was so fat I don’t think he could run 10 yards without being winded. I had some concern about these militias before I watched this, now I’m just laughing. Pack of fat wanna-be’s pretending to be soldiers. If civil unrest were to occur, which these guys are clearly expecting, these losers aren’t going to last long. They have a higher chance of shooting themselves than someone else. Since that civil society breakdown is extremely unlikely, I’ll continue to raise my kids in a peaceful gun-free environment and laugh at these yahoo’s on TV. Oh, and yes I have a military background I can fall back on when needed.

  21. avatarmiforest says:

    cannot be canceled too soon for me.

  22. avatarDerryM says:

    You guys made me feel a bit quite a bit better. I watched this show and thought that these guys were taking themselves way too seriously (a generous paraphrase of what I really thought) and that the show made the prospect of any privately organized “Militia” look entirely like a bunch of OFWG idiots playing G.I. Joe (oops! let that one out).

    I did not at all get what the Arizona group “Patrolling the Border” thought they were up to, nor what they could possibly envision as their legal status relative to the U.S. Border Patrol. The other two Groups were just laughable, especially the “Family Protection Group” who asked the house woman if she was all right so they could get their clue to “Clear the House of ‘Unfriendlies’”” from her saying “Well, I’m not sure.” I think that Group had the leader who claimed to be a MENSA member for many years.WTF? he must have suffered a head injury before coming up with the “inspiration” to start this Group.

    Yeah, the Discovery Channel is not being gun owners’ friend with this kind of bovine scatology.

    If these guys want to play soldier they should join one of those Civil War Re-enactment Groups. That way they could “play soldier”, be in “Show Biz”, possibly provide some Historical Education to children and the GP, and…most importantly…NOT be a potential danger to themselves and others.

  23. avatarMoonshine says:

    Gee, wish I had enough spare time and disposable income to get all tacticooled up and play soldier. I want that hour of my life back, Discovery.

  24. avatarthe last Marine out says:

    the Watchman of America (Florida) their hearts are in the right place but they are small in numbers, and mostly new to what’s going on… I don’t thing they have the needed training & manpower etc..And the Discovery channel is another LIBERAL rag.. sorry that’s the way i see it”’

  25. avatarmichael2588 says:

    I watched this show last night. all of these guys are a complete joke. the Indiana militia is a bunch of morbidly obese guys. I wouldn’t trust any of these people to deliver my pizza, so much as defend me in any way shape or form.

  26. avatarRalph says:

    I saw the show (well, part of it) and thought that most of the militiamen were well-intentioned, decent characters who lacked prowess. Several of them were the size of beached whales and make me look slender by comparison. These guys won’t scare anybody who tunes in, which is good. The problem is that they’re training for the wrong things in the wrong way, so they end up looking like nothing more than a bunch of grown-up fat kids running around the woods playing with guns.

  27. avatartdubb says:

    Watched the first 10 minutes. It was as bad as I thought it was going to be. I’d hide my face too.

    One of the best shows Discovery has going for it is Alaska: The Last Frontier. One of the few shows with very little BS and people that are normal.

  28. Having viewed the program last night with my wife, and unaware of its existence prior to its airing, we thought it was a grade b comedy at first. Watching fat men in woodland camo running around attempting to erect expedient shelters and engaging in war games , all while a serious sounding narrator provided ongoing commentary of the action was quite funny, until we concluded this was no a comedy but a documentary about militia groups. This program, like the Doomsday Preppers which aired on the National Geographic channel, portrayed the folks as nut cases,and some of those “Doomsday Preppers” who were filmed were later arrested or stripped of their rights to own firearms. [http://offgridsurvival.com/doomsdayprepperssendsmantoprison/]

    These groups may have good intensions, but would certainly be detained and disarmed by the National Guard or LEO agencies on the spot if they appeared in a post disaster situation.The last thing one would want would be to have their firearms confiscated while being in disaster situation.

  29. avatarJerryboy says:

    i’m sensing a lot of envy here. yes, they aren’t professionally trained soldiers. yes, they aren’t in the best of shape, mostly because they’re too busy EARNING A LIVING to exercise much. but the whole point of the Militia is to form units of CITIZEN SOLDIERS who are ready to respond to disasters, so that they can be their own responders and not tie up additional resources that could go to someone else. since most of you don’t have that, you feel inclined to belittle and mock them rather than form your own unit and be ready for disaster.

    that being said, if i formed my own Militia unit, or had a leadership role in one, i would NEVER consent to being filmed and put on TV to be made fun of by the general public. the Militia may be an important part of American history, and it may be each Citizen’s duty to take part in it, but sadly today’s political and legal atmosphere necessitates maintaining a certain level of discretion in matters Militia.

    question: what does OFWG stand for? currently i’m assuming it stands for: Old Fart With Gun :-p someone feel free to correct me if i’m wrong :-D

    • avatarjwm says:

      Jerryboy, Old Fat White Guy. You know, about 75% of gun owners. As for the militias of old, it’s my understanding that they were under the direction of the local authorities. As such they represented the government and at least responded to orders from whoever the G’s point man was.

      These new age OFWG militia’s aren’t under any direction or control and when they run up against LEO’s or NG after a major event they at the very least will be disarmed.

      And if they’ve broken any of the countless laws the G has in place they will find themselves in a real bad place.

      Defend yourself and your loved ones, by all means. But if you’re “hup-hupping” down the street in cammies and armed with all your like minded buddies after a major event always remember, you have no legal standing and if Marshal law has been declared you may well be setting yourself up for a very harsh awakening.

    • avatarJeff says:

      Pretty inept bunch, These guys in Arizona, A truck is getting away what do they do jump out of the truck and chase them on foot? same fellas ease up on the red shed with illegals single file good thing everyone got away, don’t believe they have a plan when they catch someone. Show is too much of an embarrassment, Should call it McHale’s Militia.

    • avatarjanklow says:

      “too busy EARNING A LIVING to exercise much?” this is possibly the worst argument i’ve heard for people purporting to prep for survival scenarios to be out of shape, especially considering that they aren’t too busy for the shenanigans on this program.

      it doesn’t take a severe amount of time and money to get your diet improved and get off your ass occasionally.

      • avatarJerryboy says:

        has it occurred to you that part of their weight loss program is working out with their Militia buddies?

    • avatarJerryboy says:

      ok, before i comment anymore on this subject, would anyone happen to have a link where i can watch the whole thing?

      • avatarDerryM says:

        Check the Discovery Channel website, they will probably post this Show to Video in a day or two.

        • avatarJerryboy says:

          ok i checked today but they didn’t have it up where we could watch it, i’ll check again sometime next week.

  30. avatarWrex Allen says:

    OMG. I was embarrassed to even watch it.

  31. avatarNick says:

    Jerryboy, you can watch the full episode at http://www.WatchmenofAmerica.com, or at http://www.youtube.com.

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