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April 23, 2014

9 Fascinating American Militias

The depiction of militias in recent history has not been particularly positive or dignified. The portrayals conjure up images of survivalist woodsmen printing their own money and besmirching the trajectory of our values.

Well, that’s not all militias. The definition of “militia” is a bit broader than the military groups that view the US government as competition. In fact, many work with the interests of the government at heart, and preach tolerance and decency in their mission statements.

Of course, it’s hard to determine the truth from a mission statement, but the below synopses offer some insight into how different, (sometimes) crazy, and (sometimes) funny militias can be.

Turns out some of them just want to have a good time. Take a gander.

9. California Militia 2000

This group prides itself on welcoming most any type of person that loves America, urging their members to shout “Hell no, I’m not giving up America!”

Exactly what these guys are taking arms against is not entirely clear. In fact, that will be a theme in this list. Many of these militias, unlike the ones portrayed on TV, don’t seem to have a specific bone to pick, but rather convey platitudes about both their purpose and their love of country. It’s almost endearing, but hard to determine if it’s a marketing gimmick or the truth.

8. Citizens for Better Government

This Florida “militia” is one we can probably all get behind. Here is their self-description in its entirety.

“Local community sponsored information gathering and sharing group meets for Fun, Food, and Fellowship in Gainesville, Florida.”

There will be blood. And pie. Their military standoff will probably involve charades and the Macarena.

In!

7. Fort Eagle

This group out of New York is…interesting. Normally, I offer commentary on these list entries, but this one is pretty indecipherable. Take a look and determine if this is something you want to be a part of.

“First they came for the hackers. But I never did anything illegal with my computer, so I didn’t speak up. Then they came for the pornographers. But I thought there was too much smut on the Internet anyway, so I didn’t speak up. Then they came for the anonymous remailers. But a lot of nasty stuff gets sent from anon.penet.fi, so I didn’t speak up. Then they came for the encryption users. But I could never figure out how to work pgp5 anyway, so I didn’t speak up. Then they came for me. And by that time there was no one left to speak up.”

That’s their summary. I don’t think we should piss these guys off.

6. Kissata

These guys don’t sugarcoat their purpose. Right off the bat, they describe their mission as “an attempt to prevent America from becoming a nation of helpless cowards.”

They then elaborate by specifying that their goal is to help create vigilant and self-reliant communities in the face of a terrorist attack or disaster. These guys are definitely my favorite group on the list, as they insert, seemingly randomly, the sentiment, “Go ahead. Make our day.”

How can you not like that?

They then go on to expand their mission, saying that they also wish to “distance (them)selves from the politically motivated, racists, egomaniacs, and those who engage in illegal activities.”

I’m going to Washington state to see these guys. If only to get one of their t-shirts.

5. Southeastern Ohio Defense Force

These guys are among the most militaristic of the many militias I researched. They invite any and all persons ofver the age of 17 to join their unpaid group to train 8 hours per month in fields as varied and awesome as “rappelling, river crossing, firearms safety, firearms marksmanship, civil defense, survival, disaster preparedness, NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) threats.” Considering these guys don’t seem to have a political slant, or even an ideology to speak of (save for the fact that they hold alcohol and drug prevention dances for teenagers), this sounds more like a serious outward bound program. Intriguing.

4. The Tall Grass Guard

This Nebraska militia actually is predicated on the belief that intolerance keeps us from performing the duties necessary to protect their (or any) state. What they deem to be the “good of (the) state” is anyone’s guess, but the notion of unity is an interesting one, especially given many militias’ outspoken proclivity towards separatism.

3. The Unorganized Michigan Naval Militia

Wow. There’s so much in this title that I like, it just makes me want to deconstruct it. They claim to be unorganized, so points for self-awareness. The first step towards fixing a problem is identifying it. The final line of their credo is “We must defend the Great Lakes and her ports.”

I guess.

Those Canadians are too quiet and polite. What exactly are they up to? All I know is when the Battle of Lake Huron takes place (and it WILL take place), I’m going to look like a real idiot for mocking this group, consisting of volunteer sailors.

2. Connecticut 71st Militia

It’s pretty funny to think of Connecticut as some bastion of banded mercenaries, but here we are. These guys have gotten together to “defend the Constitution of the State of Connecticut and the Constitution of the United States of America.” Sure, Connecticut was one of the 13 original colonies, and its constitution is just as valid and important as everyone else’s, but I can’t shake the feeling that this is just a bunch of Wall Street guys that live in Greenwich and get decked out in camo one weekend a month to avoid their wives.

I’m going to get targeted by these guys.

1. California Militia

This group has banded together in order to prepare for “the destruction of our society from it’s [sic] own apathy and greed.” Calling them out on their grammar might seem a little petty, but if they’re going to be the last holdouts of society, they should know how to construct a sentence.

These guys, as fatalistic as they might be, seem to be somewhat apolitical, instead running on the always popular “people are awful” platform. Their plan is to simply have a plan when everything goes to hell. Not entirely misguided, but there’s something suspicious about a group who embraces this awful fate rather than try to change it.