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Larry Pratt of the Gun Owners of America reckons your local [elected] Sheriff is the go-to guy for telling the feds to f-off—should government agents decide to run roughshod over your Constitutionally-protected right to keep and bear arms. You can trust your AR to the man who wears the star. But can they trust you? Larry points out that sheriffs can also mobilize a militia, whether Uncle Sam likes it or not (he doesn’t). So . . . have you ever thought about joining a militia? Or do you think of militia members as OFWG’s living out tacticool fantasies of patriotic prowess?

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  1. have you ever thought about joining a militia?


    do you think of militia members as OFWG’s living out tacticool fantasies of patriotic prowess?

    Yes. Which is why I thought about joining a militia.

  2. Yes, thats just what I want to do, join the Cook County Sheriff’s Militia /sarc

    Larry points out that sheriffs can also mobilize a militia, whether Uncle Sam likes it or not (he doesn’t
    Did Larry also point out that Article 1 Section 8 of the consitution also gives the federal congress control of the militia?

    • Any why would you even want to take part in this? As the previous civil war has shown, organized forces won’t nessecarily win. And as our current egagements in Iraq and Afgahistan have shown, you can out last the army with unorganized forces.

    • +100!! Me too!! Wonder if we could call ourselves the OFWG’s for the safety and freedom of our country from tyranny and oppression!!!
      With a name like that we could get Federal Funding !!! They pay us to take over their jobs!!!

  3. As I am a reservist- I’ve never really thought about joining a militia. However, a good friend of mine ended his military service recently, and joined the Alaska State Defence Force- a state militia. The ASDF is made up of primarily prior service volunteers, who get training as peace officers, and assist the national guard, and various local emergency responce departments in the state of Alaska in times of need.

    They are “owned” by the state dept of public safety and the dept of military affairs. Some might not call them a militia as they work for the state gov’t. So far my friend has gone with them on a couple of relief trips- handing out food/water, hauling sandbags to slow floods, and that type of things.

  4. I haven’t considered joining A militia. But, I thought as an American citizen I was already part of THE militia.

      • Wait, where are you guys getting this “We are all the militia” thing. I like the idea but I don’t remember reading that in the constitution. Not trying to argue, I honestly want to know because it is a good pro gun argument for me to use.

        • Wikipedia Has a pretty good break down. But I will shorten it for you. Constitution Article 1 Section 8, The Militia Act of 1792, Militia Act of 1903 “Dick Act”. The constitution allows for the raising of a militia and its control by Congress, the Militia Act of 1792 allows for the states to organize militia’s and for the President to gain control of them in a time of need, and the Dick Act creates the organized and unorganized classes of the militia and defines the militia as all males (this includes males who were born in the U.S., Legal Aliens of the U.S. or illegal Aliens of the U.S. who have expressed intent to be come citizens of the U.S.) ages 17-45 or (65 with previous service) and female commissioned officers of the National Guard.

        • This is a tiny bit murky. From a legal perspective the United States has more than just the Constitution (which includes the Bill of Rights and the other Amendments via the amendment process defined in the Constitution). For example Common Law that existed 5 seconds prior to the ratification of the Constitution still applied after the ratification. The Constitution simply defines the framework for government and limitations on government’s scope and powers. It is not an all inclusive legal document that excludes everything else.

          So we have to understand militia from its common meaning at the time the Framers drafted and ratified the Constitution as well as its Common Law definition. When you research that, you will find that the Militia is, indeed, every able bodied person. Do a little research using your favorite search engine. Try searching on the terms “framers definition militia”. I personally like the write-up here:
          That should keep you busy for a while.

          One more tip, beware of Militia subsets. Some examples are “organized” and “select” militias.

  5. Yes. I have also thought about becoming a target of the feds.

    With even the most benign organizations like Oath-Keepers on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of extremist hate groups, one has to expect infiltration by .gov operatives, ready to trump up a probable cause, gin up a bogus case, and obtain a rubber stamped warrant to and have you raided, in hopes of being able to kill everyone in sight, or at very least thrown in the federal dungeon, never to be seen again.

    Additionally, Washington State is one of the 24 to have ‘anti-militia’ statutes which in effect violate first amendment freedom of association. These laws are not enforced regularly, but lie in wait for the right targets.

    “RCW 38.40.120
    Authorized military organizations.

    No organized body other than the recognized militia organizations of this state, armed forces of the United States, students of educational institutions where military science is a prescribed part of the course of instruction or bona fide veterans organizations shall associate themselves together as a military company or organize or parade in public with firearms: PROVIDED, That nothing herein shall be construed to prevent authorized parades by the organized militia of another state or armed forces of foreign countries. Any person participating in any such unauthorized organization shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.”

    Additionally, LEO support is never to be counted upon:

    “SPOKANE: Sheriff calls for anti-militia laws”

    Attempts are being made nonetheless:

    Still pondering the question. I believe the clarity required for a commitment one way or the other is forthcoming very soon via socioeconomic collapse.

    • On the other hand…

      RCW 38.04.030
      Composition of the militia.

      The militia of the state of Washington shall consist of all able bodied citizens of the United States and all other able bodied persons who have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States, residing within this state, who shall be more than eighteen years of age, and shall include all persons who are members of the national guard and the state guard, and said militia shall be divided into two classes, the organized militia and the unorganized militia.

      Technically (but not practically, I know) every able-bodied adult citizen in WA is already defined as being in the militia. Which may make them subject to government authority in yet another way, if push comes to shove.

      • Note that the RCW’s distinguish between the “organized” and “unorganized” militia.

        The organized variety are under the authority of the state, and the unorganized are effectively disallowed.

        • I took it to mean in practice that if you want to be in the organized militia, you must be in the National Guard, and if you want to be in the unorganized militia, you can’t set up your own because the state called dibs and has authority over you regardless.

          So I guess we’re actually saying the same thing, private militias are effectively disallowed. I don’t have time to research right now if historical militias were state or other local government organized more often than not. Anyone have that info?

        • WA in particular has the following passage in its Constitution:

          “SECTION 24 RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS. The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.

          It also has a couple special clauses that define what exactly is a militia, what privileges it enjoys, who commands it etc.

          Oh, and you don’t have to join the National Guard to be a part of “organized militia”. You can also join the State Guard.

    • There are a handful of “militias” locally with similar recruiting requirements, which really puts a stigma on the word in my mind. I know of a couple local IDPA clubs whose websites have stated in big letters “WE ARE NOT A MILITIA” for that very reason.

  6. If I were POTUS….

    The ATF and every single employee of the joint would be fired, down to the secretaries and cleaning staff.Even the ants crawling outside on the sidewalk would be terminated for good measure. The mission of nailing bad guys selling arms to other bad guys would be passed to the FBI.There is no need to retain any ATF personnel, since untrained monkeys can do that job better than the current ATF staff.

    DHS would be downsized significantly. True Homeland Security is Joe and Jane America with their loaded rifles, not a bloated bureaucracy in Washington.As such all LE tasks of DHS would be shut down, and the Civilian Marksmanship Program and its administrators would transition to the new DHS. Over 18 and too broke for an AR15? Here’s an M1 Garand. Add also all surplus arms of US Government agencies, converted to select fire for easy transfer. (I may be POTUS, but I can’t tell the anti-gun states like NJ to change their laws on FA items)

    The third act? Expanding the budget of the U.S. Secret Service. More surplus Sigs for the new DHS to sell for homeland security, and new custom 1911s for the men and women in black. Considering how many unemployed and angry federal agents will now be waltzing about during my administration, I need my detail to not miss when they have to clear holster.

    • Over 18 and too broke for an AR15? Here’s an M1 Garand.

      Thats a form of welfare I think most people here would support. A lot of people might have to settle for a M1 Carbine though.

  7. Gave it serious thought, especially in the 80’s/early 90’s. Decided it was better to be a quiet force, unnoticed and ready to pounce from the shadows.

    As Lenin opined, the purpose of terrorism is to terrorize.

    Terrorize the terrorists.

    • Integrated as in non-racist? Yes. The ASDF, a state run/sponsored/controlled militia is. They trace their heritage from the Alaska territorial guard, WWII era, and are actually a pretty cool group of volunteers.

      Several detachments of the ASDF are racially homogenious- because there arent many cacusasians in places like Houslia, AK, so that group is mostly Native Alaskan- just the the village they are from. As it is a state wide militia, it has volunteers from all corners of the state, and from many backgrounds.

      Having said all that, this is a third party view of them- I am not a member of the ASDF as I am already owned by the US Army Reserves.

  8. Definitely! My only problem is finding a “militia” that fits my interests.

    I’m looking for one that fits these interests:
    Wear jeans instead of camouflage.
    Shoots for three to five hours in the middle of nowhere (no formal range).
    Then, grills steaks while drinking a few cold ones.

    Well, maybe it doesn’t qualify as a militia, but it is fun.

    • I’d be up for that. In fact, I’ve had similar thoughts myself. I figure if I could get the message into people’s heads without it being refracted into “come join my local Klan chapter” between their ears and their brains, I’d easily have a couple brigades within a couple miles of my house.

      I also figure the chance of avoiding said message distortion is roughly zero.

      • YES! That seems to be the problem with militia groups. As you said, the “come join my local Klan chapter” are not people I want to be around. The only people I would discriminate against are the ones that don’t bring their own ammo and don’t add to the food supply for the afternoon grilling.

        As to your “message distortion” thoughts, I totally agree. Way too many “groups” have stressed or implied all the wrong things. Sad, because it hurts shooters and isolates too many people, even including OFWG’s. Very few want to be around those kind of idiots.

  9. My problem with militias, or reserve forces, or selective service, or any of that, is that, if you give in to that interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, then you are limiting gun rights to those individuals that would qualify, physically, for militia duty. OFWG’s, are not, just because they’re fat, necessarily disqualified, but I think it’s pretty insane to prevent people that are physically handicapped from owning guns, just because they couldn’t be part of this militia force that you speak of.

    I can’t run because of a hip and knee issue in one leg. But I can sure as hell shoot. Quit giving credence to those that want to take my gun rights away just because I couldn’t pass a basic training course.

  10. Why willingly become a member of any group that would be targeted by an overwhelming force in the event of a governmental take-over?

  11. I’d imagine, in the event of some kind of gov’t collapse/SHTF scenario, many gun clubs, state rifle associations, etc. would become militias, if not in name then by action. After all, what is a militia or gun club but a bunch of decent men and women with guns.

    • Gun club members are also relatively “well regulated” in that they are comfortable being around others who are armed, accustomed to following basic safety procedures and familiar with range officer direction, firing only at designated targets when “cleared” to fire.

  12. Nope, I never considered joining any militias other than THE militia I was automatically a member of when I hit 18. You know, the one we were ALL members of according to the constitution?

  13. Yes and no.
    I would join militia in CA if there is one. I am only 40 years old and have past military experience.
    I am a critical defendent of our liberties and freedoms. Nuff said.

  14. It is the basic right of any community to organize a Militia for its local defense. They can say the Fed’s or the State controls it but as a matter of human rights, which are GOD given, I say ignore them and proceed to legally and morally defend your homes.
    It’s time to stand up and assert your local perogatives. When the time comes it will all proceed naturally.

  15. Nah not really. I’m too thin, too Arab, and dislike Gadsden flags. My Mas 48/56 is too French and “anti-American” for service ha. Perhaps when I can afford an AR-15 and beer gut will I join.

  16. I thought about joining a militia when the clinton’s got the white house. In my research I found that without exception all the non governmental militia’s, like the sheriff’s, were at their core for whites only.

    I do not want to shoot at anybody because of their race or religion. They have to be a threat to me and my way of life.

    As for being a lone wolf that doesn’t work so well either. Ask the uni bomber or the 2 “snipers” that were firing out the trunk of their car. These tactics work short term but have no staying power.

    To truly be effective you need an organised and disciplined group.

    • As for being a lone wolf that doesn’t work so well either. Ask the uni bomber… These tactics work short term but have no staying power.

      Um… Ted Kaczynski’s spree lasted 17 years. That isnt exactly short term. And the only reason why he was caught is because his family turned him in. Read his story, his family had to do most of the investigating and pretty much force the government to go after him. And to nit pick, it was the una-bomber (UNiversity & Airline).

      • 17 years sounds like a long time til you compare it with the rest of your life in supermax. And some families will rat faster than others.

        I stand by my assesment. In order to be effective you need to be organised and discaplined. Otherwise you may last 17 years or 17 minutes.

        • There are only so many cells in a supermax. And also if there was a SHTF secnario, one would question if the government would still have the resources available to run supermaxes.

          Are the combatants in Iraq or Afgahnistan particullarly organized? Or is it just small groups of people running around causing havoc?

          Large organized militias would be much easier to infiltrate and target than small groups of friends.

        • The people in afghanistan have several advantages that we do not have here. They have a rugged difficult to control border with a country that is supplying and arming them and giving them shelter. Pakistan.

          They have the home field advantage and the support of many of the non combatent peoples in the area. They share religion, language and customs with those around them.

          American soldiers are at the end of a long supply line and in isolated pockets that are easy to watch and get intel on.

          Now imagine youself as a hit and run raider in Chicago after a major shtf situation. You probably already have a reputation in your neighberhood of being that odd white boy with funny ideas and no friends. You’re difinately known to the law in your area.

          How long do you honestly think you’ll be able to run loose before the law get you or more likely one of the organised gangs decides that taking you out would be a community service.

        • So our border with Mexico isnt difficult to control? And if there was a market, the Mexican cartels wouldnt supply our black market with guns? Not that we really need them.

          US civilians dont have a home field advantage in a urban environment, where whatever troops there are, probably have never lived in that city before?

          When did US soliders have a supply problem in Iraq/Afghanistan? And when did attacks successful attacks on US bases becomre prevelant?

          If I have no friends then how do I have a reputation? I’ve been arrested once as a adult, and the case was dropped by the state, i’m hardly “known” to the law, anymore than most other people here are.

          I think i’d be able to run around for quite a while. Law enforcement is over rated, 2/3rds to 3/4s of murders currently go uncleared (no arrest made, let alone a conviction). What do you think it’ll be like if the SHTF? And as far as the gangs go, i’m not in the middle of the ghetto. The gangs are also mostly teenagers with pocket pistols, I think they know better than to mess with a white guy in full armor with a rifle.

        • Shtf is only temporary as in Katrina eventuall order is restored and then the bill comes due. They’ll make room for you in prison if you survive your moment of fun.

          We live in a hi tech age and they’ll be lots of people with videos and cell phone cmaeras getting all sorts of evidence for when order is restored.

          A white boy running around chicago in full armor with a rifle will be a tempting target so you may not live, but if you do remember this. There’s a guy that’s near 90 yo trying to avoid being sent from the states back to germany to stand trial for crimes he committed during ww2.

          Once shtf ends and the rules are restored and you find yourself still alive then you have to spend the rest of your life wondering if the law’s still coming for you. Not a good way to live.

        • Also you have to remember that the military isnt/wasnt able to effectively control Iraq/Afghanistan. And those countries combined are a fraction of the size of the CONUS.

        • matt, you’re assuming that the military will get no support from the locals and civilian population in a shtf situation. Most of the people will be only to glad to point out the troublemakers if it gets their electricity turned on and returns things to what passes for normal these days.

          Remember that most of our citizens don’t view the military as invaders and occupiers. Most people will cooperate with the police and soldiers during and after a shtf mess.

          I was activated into FEMA during the flooding in WVA in the early 80’s. 99% of the citizens see the soldiers,cops and firefighters as saviours during these bad times.

          Shtf will not be long term and the consaquences of poor judgement can last a lifetime after.

        • Half the country doesnt vote participate in the political process at the presidental level, 3/4ths doesnt at the local levelaround me (even less if you beleive in voter fraud). You’re telling me all these people who don’t partcipate are going to become informants?

          Most people all ready view the police/military as occupiers. Read a cop blog, their #1 complaint is citizens refusing to sign complaints. And you’re telling me most people dont think we weren’t occupying afghanistan/iraq? And wont think they’re being occupied when they see military units on their block, or curfews being enforced?

          Well it may not be long term in your view. But then again you think the una-bombers reign of 17 years was short term.

        • Don’t mistake voter apathy for support of your cause. Most people simply want to peacefully live their lives. Voter apathy means very little in the scheme of things. It doesn’t mean that 75% of the population is ready to rise up in rebellion.

          And in a shtf situation those apathetic voters will look at the army unit at the intersection as a sign that they’re being looked after, not occupied, by the government.

          You have to always remember that these chat sites are full of bold talk and harsh opinions but probably less than 1% of the keyboard cammodoes would actually try to take on the government.

        • jwm, youre simply wrong.

          the US military could not win in iraq or afghanistan. they wont here if the country breaks up into fractions.

  17. If one understands the Founding and the Constitution, we are all, every Citizen of the Republic, every last one of us, a part of the Militia. One need not be a HS/LD/O; if one can contribute, you’re in. Doesn’t matter much whether you’ve got the prowess to be on the front lines as an active combatant, or if you’re old and infirm and can ‘t do much more than put up bandages and lend comfort and kind words to to the wounded. You’re in if you so choose.

  18. For those that ask if skin color matters, if one wants to be a member of an (unorganized) militia, no it does not, the hate groups that call themselves a militia are just a group of thugs. I happen to be “dark” skinned. The only prerequisite is that one believes and respects our Constitution. What used to be considered “normal” is now considered “radical”.

    • USMCVeteran, took a quick look at the link to the US Militia. Thanks for the info, I’ll look at it at leisure later.

    • If one wants to join a group that calls themselves an unorganized militia and lives in a state that outlaws unrecognized and unorganized militias one had better join a gun club and refrain from parading around the countryside with arms.

  19. Join a mlitia? To what purpose?
    More militia with plenty of guns and ammo won’t heal our sickness, the corruption of government and all it’s spawn is a sympton of our own dis-ease.
    Each person has to decide what will heal the sickness the cesspool of government represents. Until then, we would simply be feeding the beast making it ever more powerful.
    Got Christ?

      • Yeah Irock, I used to think that people who believed in a higher power were fools; until I experienced a connection to the universe and g-d that was indescribeable, but what in simplistic terms, was complete and total, unconditional love.
        I do my best to live by the two things Christ said he was here to teach, love god with all your heart, mind body and soul and love your neighbor and your enemy as yourself.
        All I can do is keep doing my best, as imperfect as that may be.

        • For me, it’s a way to acknowlege that the mystery can never be fully comprehended while in this reality, whether it’s specific to a particular group, I’m not sure.

    • This is not the place to proselytize.

      Anything else I could think of to reply to you with would be replaced with FLAME DELETED.

      • Interesting comment Derek; how do we talk about the “ethics,culture and morality’ of guns; paraphrasing Roberts mission statement at the beginning of the web site without talking about ones spiritual belief in the process, if that’s the basis of my ethics, culture and morality?

        • Well then go right ahead and talk about your Magic Sky God and his zombie son. Does your worship involve the ceremonial eating of human flesh and drinking of human blood?

          You Christians act like the act of treating others as you wish to be treated originated with your religion.

          Lets talk about the Christian church and how every single gun buyback happens at a church. Churches are hotbeds of gun control, and therefore hotbeds of anti-rights bigotry.

          While we’re at it let’s talk about the NFA, which was a direct result of the crime wave touched off by Prohibition. Wasn’t the Temperance movement mainly underwritten by Christian churches and the women’s suffrage movement?

          The Christian churches have done plenty to abrogate fundamental Civil Rights.

          Rege Satanas.

        • Rege Satanas? Never heard that one, I googled it, “hail satan”, google says it’s a common saying to satanists.
          I’m not sure if your saying Derek that satan is in alot of organized religion; I personally would agree,, one must be very discerning before joining any organized group. Religious or any other.
          The way to heal this is through love, I see in most of your post Derek, very little of that; I see mostly anger, even hate.
          That kind of emotion just ends up destroying the persons soul and spirit.

  20. I was a member of the Vermont State Militia during my school daze.

    These days I just try to be ready, for whatever…

  21. I’m part of Militia in Kansas, hoping the idea will spread to cut defense spending. The Swiss have a good idea for their national defense.

  22. Every time I hear the term “militia” I think of the groups of nut bags you see on TV who are hate groups or want to overthrow the government. Reading the posts on here, it seems like I just have the wrong impression. It’s good to know that there are good, honest people who just want to protect the country.

    With that said, I would probably not join a militia though. I served proudly in the U.S. Marine Corps and would gladly do my part if we were to come under a time where we really needed one again. However, I would probably do it where I was lone wolf or in small teams with people I really trust (i.e. people I served with or really close friends who I know I could count on). The idea of going into a combat situation with normal civilians would quite frankly scares me too much because if they aren’t trained to certain standards, you don’t know what will happen when the crap hits the fan as people could run away or find that they can’t pull the trigger on another man to save someone’s life.

    • “Every time I hear the term “militia” I think of the groups of nut bags you see on TV who are hate groups or want to overthrow the government. ”

      That’s exactly what big media & the Gov’t want you to believe.

      “Reading the posts on here, it seems like I just have the wrong impression. It’s good to know that there are good, honest people who just want to protect the country. ”

      Spread the word! 😉

  23. Given a simple definition afforded by historical context, the wording of the 2A is actually quite clearly written and easily understood.

    A militia is a type of social contract among a coalition of armed citizens, to be called upon in urgent need, who’s concept and organization is predicated on and necessarily precluded by the right and need of the voluntarily participating citizenry to be in possession of private arms.

    For some reason people seem to miss this salient point. It is for this reason a militia requires the existence or an armed citizenry and not tho other way around. Any discussion of joining or maintaining a militia dangerously ignores this nuance and gives fuel to the concept that people who are NOT in a militia need not be armed – and by inference, the claim that there is no need for militias. Do you see how this leads to dangerous ground?

  24. November 7 will determine whether I join a militia.

    As for Sheriff’s? Mine’s Joe Arpaio and we all know he LOVES to tell the Feds to go f@ck themselves. The AZ legislature debated SB 1083 which would have funded the Arizona Special Missions Unit – a State militia to patrol our borders which I’d proudly join. It didn’t pass this time but it’ll keep coming back till it’s passed.

  25. The idea of some local militia resisting federal tyranny in any meaningful way is funny in a pathetic way. Militias might have some use in putting down looters or keeping the peace but that’s about it. Say if we did have some tyrannical president that did enough to incite a rebellion, the only way to fight against the US military would be by giving them a Pyrrhic victory. The iraqi’s have been doing that for years now and they have worn down the public’s appetite for that war through horrific suicide attacks, roadside bombs and beheadings. That’s the kind of war we would have to fight if it came to open rebellion and I know I don’t have the stomach for it, I’ve got a family to take care of.

  26. JOIN a militia? Every military age male IS in the militia by definition. Most simply fail to assemble or drill.

    • Just saw the trailer for the remake of Red Dawn. The invaders look more Asian than Russian this time around.

  27. Don’t call it a militia. Form a gun club and a marching society, with joint memberships. Any “field exercises” can be considered marching or hiking. Practice your marksmanship on a gun range. Play paintball or airsoft to gain tactical experience. (Just don’t let paintball or airsoft lead you to forget that concealment isn’t necessarily cover.) You can do a lot of preparation without “playing war.” Learn first aid, communications, and other skills in a “non-militia” environment.

    While I’m at it, let me put in a plug for my book RESISTANCE TO TYRANNY. It’s a primer on how to conduct an armed revolt. It covers a lot of things you might not think of for yourself. Available from Amazon.

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