Vice Pillories the Michigan Militia

If you’re a jobbing journo, making fun of American militia men is a walk in the park. Make that the woods. Militia members are white (racists!), they don’t trust their government (paranoid insurrectionists!) and THEY’VE GOT GUNS! It’s especially easy if you pretend to be one of them. It’s a technique perfected by visiting British comedians/commentators, who view American “extremists” of any stripe — gun owners, snake handlers, self-help gurus, etc. — as a freak show fun. Check out the description beneath this Vice documentary Inside The Michigan Militia . . .

In 2008, the first black president was elected in the United States and the worst financial crisis in almost a century brought the world’s economy to its knees. Since then, a form of domestic terror has been on the rise in America and abroad. But it’s not the kind of terror we’re used to hearing about.

Militia groups and neo-nationalists here and around the world have been growing bolder, more popular and more powerful. VICE’s Ben Makuch investigates the origins of these militia groups and explores the driving force behind the militia movement today. In order to do so, he travels to the place where it all began: the Michigan State militias.

I’m thinking the place where it all began was Lexington and Concord, where British troops attempted to disarm American colonists. Quite why these Wolverine State militiamen trusted Vice to portray them as anything other than domestic terrorists is beyond me. Frankly, it doesn’t say much for their situational awareness.


  1. avatar BDub says:

    I love how the definition of terrorist has been reduced to anyone you are terrified of. Once again, feelings trump reality.

    1. avatar wes says:

      And the type of people who call these guys domestic terrorists would just as soon mock anyone for trying to be prepared for actual (though extremely rare) terrorist attacks. Smh

      1. avatar Sc says:

        Maybe I’m just out of touch, but what actual “domestic terror” actions have this group executed?

        1. avatar FedUp says:

          They discriminate against those they disagree with.

          For example, they threw Tim McVeigh out of the first meeting he tried to attend when he started talking about fighting back.

    2. avatar Robert Duchien says:

      The islamist jihadists in Britain will be running that nation before the end of the next decade. Jolly Good as far as I”m concerned. The US needs to pass laws barring liberal British naive fools from escaping to the US once Sharia Law rules that place.

  2. avatar Achmed says:

    Well, as you said why even play along?

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “Well, as you said why even play along?”

      It seemed work OK for TTAG’s Nick Leghorn, Tyler Kee and Kristen Joy Weiss:

      George Zimmerman gun auction update:

      The winning bid was $138,900

  3. avatar Mikele says:

    I belong to a militia in Massachusetts… oh wait it’s just a gun club….. “Until the media decides its a militia”

    1. avatar MattG says:

      Technically we all belong to a militia

      1. avatar Katy says:

        I don’t know. From what I can tell, I’m not sure uniformed active duty folks would qualify as militia, but rather standing army.

        1. avatar Kyle says:

          “The militia” as referred to in the Constitution is all able-bodied freemen capable of bearing arms. At the time, it basically just meant white men. “The people” at the time meant the same. Today, “the people” includes everybody, not just white males, and “the militia” would thus be all able-bodied free people period.

          “The militia” and “the militia at large” were distinguished from “select militia,” which were formally-trained government militias. Many at the time did not trust select militias, viewing them as a way for a king to keep the equivalent of a standing army on the cheap. Hamilton in Federalist 29 recommends the creation of select militia in order to supplement the militia because of the impossibility of training the militia to have the proficiency in arms and fighting that well-regulated (i.e. well-trained) troops have.

  4. avatar SoloDallas says:

    ‘Frankly, it doesn’t say much for their situational awareness.’ I hear you. I have seen it. I honestly think those guys were more trained in another type of situational awareness; less on ‘political’ situational awareness that once again, screwed them over. Unfair.

  5. Funny how anti-gun folks love to quote the “well-regulated militia” part of the second amendment to attempt to deny people the right to bear arms, but when people actually form militias, those same anti-gun folks immediately start calling them anti-government, white supremacist, paramilitary gun nuts.

    Hard to win these days…

    1. avatar Swilson says:

      Gotta use that divisive and inflammatory rhetoric. It has worked as long as there has been press. Journalists and the MSM want to paint militia members (and gun owners in general) as being insurrectionists, paranoid and all that jazz. Of course there do not appear to be any minorities forming militias or shooting clubs, so it is easy to denounce the members as racists. I think they’re hoping to push those in the middle and on the fence towards the anti camp. Associate a stigma with owning guns, armed self defense (against criminals and unjust governments), and most people don’t want to be stigmatized, so they will stay away from guns. Get the general public scared of POTG, militias or at least portray them as Dale Gribble types who are only worthy of ridicule.

      1. avatar Swilson says:

        It definitely is, but I don’t think that fits the narrative the vice piece is going for.

  6. avatar anaxis says:

    Why talk to a reporter seeking to write an article about your own militia, or allow yourselves to be filmed as part of the same while conducting training? I definitely would’ve stayed in the treeline until the “journalist” had left; especially considering that a copy of the interview footage would end up in the hands of an alphabet agency well before it is publicly aired.

    If I were the CMDR of a militia, we’d have a dedicated, clean-cut, articulate, public-affairs guy who would speak to the media far away from our AO, and standing orders for everyone else not to talk to the media independently.

    1. avatar Swilson says:

      Could be that their thinking is to let their drills be filmed in order to assuage any anxiety folks may feel about them. You know, present a capable, semi-pro, orderly organization to the public. Of course, the intended audience for VICE probably isn’t going to come away from the film with that .

      1. avatar anaxis says:

        No doubt they had far more footage and interview material than shown, and cherrypicked it down to that which would portray the milita as inept, ignorant, extremist hicks. Even if the interviews were completely neutral, there’s no way VICE would allow it to remain as such.

        With few exceptions, journalists should be treated as opfor interrogators; name, rank, serial # only.

      2. avatar 16V says:

        Kinda sad, since back in the day, VICE was kinda cool, kinda edgy, and didn’t take itself quite so seriously.

        Not Lampoon, or even Spy but it was usually a fun read.

        Even the piece on the gun makers of Pakistan was a pretty fair piece, but that was 5 years ago. (50 in internet years…)

    2. avatar Kaban says:


      Media, unless proven otherwise, deserve worst-case threat assessment.

    3. avatar Andrew Lias says:

      “no comment” is 100% adequate for many of these encounters. A PR guy is very much a good idea though.

    4. avatar Stinkeye says:

      Your first five words are sufficient: “Why talk to a reporter?” That question applies to anyone in any situation. People should realize, no matter what they tell you, reporters and journalists aren’t going to tell your story, they’re going to tell their story.

      1. avatar Swilson says:

        True- how many people have gotten in trouble or career jeopardy by talking to a reporter “off the record.” Hell about the only folks I talk to off the record are my mom and wife.

  7. avatar slow says:

    “As a Canadian” @ 3:46 enough said.

    1. avatar Rusty Chains says:

      ^ Yeah, if that didn’t send up red flags about who they were dealing with, they are pretty tone deaf!

    2. avatar Anon in CT says:

      Eh! What are you talking aboot?

      Ironically, in Canada the Army Reserves are formally the Militia / La Milice.

  8. avatar Christian says:

    I’d be more supportive of militia’s if 90+% were not in fact a bunch of white, fat, ar15 toting, mall ninja, keyboard warriors. If a militia were ACTUALLY good for a community and had some standards, then I could get behind that movement.

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      Go look at the Bundy Ranch incident. The militia there could have given most US Army infantry units a good run for their money.

      1. avatar Bobinmi says:

        No, they could not have. Not even close, the army might not have even taken a casualty. After I went from being an active duty Marine to the Reserves, I realized how big the difference is between weekend warriors and people who train to kill every day.

        1. avatar Kyle says:

          The main way that the militia (i.e. the people at large capable of bearing arms) can check the government, if it became tyrannical, is in their sheer numbers. Yes, a group of average citizens armed with rifles versus a professional infantry unit, would lose badly. But if the government is facing tens of millions of armed citizens and trying to subdue them by force, it’s going to run into a world of trouble, as there are only so many actual infantry soldiers, and only so many places they can be sent.

        2. avatar Bobinmi says:

          I totally agree kyle, I was specifically referring to the bundy incident.

        3. avatar pwrserge says:

          Yeah… Because a frontal assault against fortified positions always works out so well.

          A US Army unit with equivalent gear would use the exact same tactics. An advantage in equipment is not an advantage in proficiency.

          Sounds like you were in a shitty reserve unit or just stopped caring.

        4. avatar Bobinmi says:

          You sound ignorant. or a former reservist. either way. I stand by my statement.

      2. avatar pwrserge says:

        As a matter of fact Bob, yes. I am a former reservist. One of my friends is still the S3 of a reserve USMC unit.

        I’ll admit that there are good reserve units and bad reserve units. But don’t forget that we have to cram complete training cycles into less than 45 days per year. Good reserve units do this by cutting out the bullshit. Bad reserve units do this by cutting out the training.

    2. avatar Warren says:

      Am I understanding this correctly? You’d prefer to avoid militias and associating with them, until more normal folks are a part of the mix? How do you propose convincing other sane, equally leery folks join up and get together, knowing full well the moment they organize they’ll be considered radicals?

    3. avatar anaxis says:

      It’s evident that your only experience with militia has been through the lens of articles like this VICE hit-piece, the MSM, and internet forums. If you really believe that they are 90% white, fat, AR-toting keyboard warriors, your preconceived notions are as wrong as VICE & their readership is.

    4. avatar Dr Brainwash says:

      You haven’t met any real militia members. I assure you.

    5. avatar Wilson says:

      Since when is thinking the government should follow the damn law and stay within the bounds of the Constitution an “anti-government” position to take? If anything the opposite view is the anti-government view IHMO, because it’s anti-Constitutional.

      Growing up in the U.P. I met some of these people back when the MM was young. They’re not bad guys nor do they hold “anti-government views” and they’re most certainly not a bunch of fat guys in ARs just looking for some jollies. I knew them for years before I had any idea they were the type to even say something nice about a group like the MM. They were NOT a bunch of loons with guns and cammies “talking to God on a two way radio and mumbling incoherent slogans about freedom”. (A bit of George Carlin for ya there.)

      Yes, they were proficient as hell with weapons and stalked the woods in silence like the Grim Reaper himself but they also did a HELL of a lot of community service. These are the type of people that taught me bushcraft and hunting skills. They came to our schools at taught us about winter survival if your car went off the road and how to save someone who has hypothermia. They attended the funerals of vets who died with little or no family and supported the surviving family members if there were any. They worked with BSA. Really, they volunteered their time in more ways than I can think of.

      Vice can take a long walk off a short pier for all I care.

  9. avatar anaxis says:

    I’m from up there; I spent a lot of time in the woods & at their private range with a couple Michigan militia guys, and they would’ve never let a journalist come anywhere close to them or their unit. It took me years to even meet the rest of the guys; their vetting process is strict and thorough, especially after Oklahoma City. And they were pretty far from being mall-ninja wannabe or has-been soldiers. Their discipline and training was every bit as serious & professional as that which I went through in the Army.

    1. avatar Ragnar says:

      Makes me wonder if the VICE guy met up with the Michigan Militia or the “michigan militia”.

      1. avatar anaxis says:

        Likely, the latter. There are quite a few who style themselves as Michigan Milita (especially on web forums), but have no connections to the real deal aside from the name. As I mentioned, there’s no way the militia I knew would’ve ever allowed cameras onto their compound. Maybe things have changed since I left Michigan years ago, but I highly doubt it.

        1. avatar Wilson says:

          Being from the area as well, I 100% agree with your assessment.

  10. avatar pwrserge says:

    Ironically, this just popped up on the YouTube feed. The liberal retardation in the comments section is thick enough to cut with a chainsaw.

  11. avatar 5spot says:

    This is where it is said that “it’s just crazy that a small militia group thinks it can stand up to the might of the US military”. Not me mind you.

    Then everyone else (us) says…..It is illegal for the US military to be sent against the citizenry…..and…….did you see what the mujahadeen did to the Russians in the 80s.


    1. avatar sagebrushracer says:

      did you see what the NVA did to us in the 60s?

      A militia could never stand up to a organized and equipped modern army…

      Last I checked, USA dont have any bases in Vietnam anymore.

    2. avatar Sacorey says:

      With a good bit of help and stinger missiles from the CIA

  12. avatar Ralph says:

    a form of domestic terror has been on the rise in America and abroad. But it’s not the kind of terror we’re used to hearing about.

    The whole point of terror is to promote, well, terror. If we don’t hear about it, how can it be terror?

    I guess that whenever some silly little twerp is sooooo a-scared that he soils his panties, it’s terrorism. But then I wonder what doesn’t scare VICE’s Ben Dover Makuch.

  13. avatar AJ187 says:

    I don’t see how one guy loosely associated by the media as a part of a militia can blow up a building while Mohammad and many muslims commit their insanity, but god forbid we associate all muslims with terror.

  14. avatar Bob316 says:

    It is propaganda. Leftists need to paint their opposition as bad in order to convince the masses to allow them to do horrible things to their opposition. If you take a look at every tyrant in history, he has always picked up the anti-something and anti-somebody banner and spun it until the masses were okay with the atrocities the tyrant had planned. Hitler did it. Stalin did it. This is no different. This is just another line item on a tyrants checklist. Look at what happened when those knuckleheads took over a building in Burns, Oregon, to protest against the federal government. They were no different than the occupy wall street dweebs except their complaints were about the fed overstepping its constitutional authority. The FBI and Oregon state police could have just waited a few more months, and these guys would have just gotten bored and went home. But, the current government had to paint them as a group of violent radicals, block them from their chance to speak to the press to get their story out, so they swooped in with guns blazing. Again, this is propaganda. It is about controlling the message.

  15. avatar FormerWaterWalker says:

    Uh yeah a real “serious” militia isn’t letting leftards profile them. I can’t possibly comment on fat/ white men-does that mean they can’t protect their turf? I do remember seeing something similar about an Indiana(?) militia-equally laden with doofuses.

    1. avatar Wilson says:

      As others have pointed out: there’s the militia and then there’s “the militia”.

      There were a lot of people in the Colorado OK chapters talking all sorts of nonsense about how they were going to form a militia, do this, do that. Some of us just nodded and shared the “eye roll glance” with each other.

      In fact, that’s why Colorado OK fractured the way that it did. A lot of serious people just left due to the dumbassery it attracted from the “mall ninja” type. Those serious people are still out there, doing what they do, but not associated with OK any more.

      1. avatar anaxis says:

        That’s a big part of why I am no longer a member of Oathkeepers; it was becoming a toxic and hazardous enviroment, full of big talk, piss poor opsec, mall-ninjas, .gov infiltrators, and in my experience, more than a few stolen-valor types. There are many of us who’ve left OK and taken up with smaller III% groups & websites instead, or have essentially gone dark until things go sideways.

  16. avatar Ing says:

    If gun owners were as violent as the media makes them out to be, everyone in America would be dead already. My aging sphincter is responsible for more domestic terror incidents than American citizen militias.

  17. avatar Vitsaus says:

    VICE has never claimed to support the second ammendment, this “article” is no surprise.

  18. avatar jwm says:

    Oh man. Operater beard. Operator shades. Hoody. Moist nugget. Add it up and it spells tactical as fuck.

    1. avatar Matt Richardson says:

      You got a good giggle for that one. Great stuff

  19. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    Funny how anti-gun folks love to quote the “well-regulated militia” part of the second amendment …”

    So, um, these silly guys are “militia”, and the only people who unequivocally have a 2A right to bear arms are the “militia.” Meaning these guys.

    Vice & friends want the silly para-military folks drilling in the woods to be tooled up any way they want, but for the rest of us: “No guns for you!” Because the constitution. OK, got it.

    I think we should help them implement this gun policy of theirs.

  20. avatar asdf says:

    Vice is pure libtard propaganda, the militia should have done their research.

  21. avatar Desert Ranger says:

    A mosin nagant? Really? This is a high powered weapon the dufus was referring to?

  22. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Since then, a form of domestic terror has been on the rise in America and abroad. But it’s not the kind of terror we’re used to hearing about.
    Militia groups and neo-nationalists here and around the world have been growing bolder, more popular and more powerful.
    Yeah, we have white militia groups running around and terrorizing us all the time.
    More like black thugs running around and terrorizing people in urban Indy.
    Glad my daughter is out of IUPUI! No more campus alerts!

  23. avatar Martin Gomez says:

    The militias need to get smart, get lawyers, and start working with the government to create protections for their members instead of working against the government and endangering their members. The Muslim Brotherhood and another, even more power group of terrorists and mafiya, have lawyers, lobbyists, and moles inside the govt. They meet with the president openly and their members are safe, despite the former running terrorist training camps on American soil and the latter openly stealing billions or trillions of Americans’ money. Because they lobby the govt and pressure the media, they get a free pass while lawful native militias are treated like terrorists.

    The militias need to form a union for legal and political efforts before the real terrorists succeed in criminalizing lawful behavior.

  24. avatar Eric says:

    Militias and Militia men are the reason we kicked the rear of Britain and the reason we are not SUBJECTS of the king. We kicked your butt, and could do it again.

  25. avatar Gerry says:

    AS OF 2010.
    iF all hell broke loose in USA or within Canada by Foreign Nation attempting to invading
    and attacking north america.You would have hell of a firestorm of gun battles,for USA and Canadian civilian populations from both sides would be banding together to stopping our invaders,domestic or foriegn invaders.And they would be paying a very dear high cost and price for invading and attacking North American on our soils.

  26. avatar Gerry says:


  27. avatar Gerry says:



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