Thursday, May 24, 2012

Are militia fanatics a real threat to America?

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

That’s the 2nd Amendment, and although it is in grave need of updating, is nevertheless a part of the Constitution.  And the Supreme Court now says that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that weapon for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.  The question arises over just how far private militias can go in enforcement.

About half the states maintain laws regulating private militias.  Wyoming forbids them entirely.  In states that do not outlaw them, private militias are limited only by the criminal laws that apply to all of society.  In other words, many states and the federal government believe that these militias are not necessary for the control of law and order and discourage their formation.  Unfortunately, this doesn’t dampen the enthusiasm of these self-proclaimed gun-totin fanatics.


Schaeffer Cox

In Alaska three of these wingnuts are on trial for compiling a huge arsenal of weapons and plotting the murder of government officials.  Isn’t Alaska where another gun freak by the name of Sarah Palin comes from?  The leader is Schaeffer Cox and his two henchmen on trial with him are Coleman Barney and Lonnie Vernon. 

Their organization, Alaska Peacemakers Militia, was preparing to “…take up arms against the government, and ‘be sufficiently armed and equipped to sustain a take-over of the ‘government’ or become a new government in the event of a ‘government collapse.’”

In the process they would kill two government officials for every one militia member killed, or as they expressed it, “241” (2 for 1).  In the trial there’s the typical defense of ensnarement using an informant.  The three were portrayed as devout Christians only trying to defend their family and themselves.  And they have supporters such as Norm Olson, founder of the Michigan Militia, who finds nothing wrong with what the gang of three is doing.

Norm Olson
The next question is just how many of these lunatic groups are currently loose in the U.S.?  According to a special report, there are some 411 with the largest group the Michigan Militia with over 10,000 members spread out over almost all of the state’s 88 counties.  Now that’s scary for local residents when you consider the Michigan Militia agrees with the tactics of Schaeffer Cox and his Alaska Peacemakers Militia.  Cox also has a group called the 2nd Amend. Task Force.          

In 2010 Cox was accused of choking his wife and in the weeks following was arrested during a police interview with the residents of a home where he attempted to force his way in with a knife and a .380-caliber semiautomatic weapon.  During his pretrial hearing Cox “denied the legitimacy of the Alaska state court system.”  His statement was: “I am a sovereign, a man of peace, but capable of war.”  These people are completely off the spool.

Crackpot Schaeffer supporter:

In more twisted antics, Cox tried to serve papers on a Judge for being a criminal by serving the state, then told a state trooper that his (Cox) militia “troopers” being “outmanned, outgunned and we could probably have you all dead in one night.”  He took on the sovereignty position again claiming that according to the Constitution, he was now required to resist all means against him in order not to be a supporter of the government.  This is so far in right field it is chilling.

NRA militia
Last but certainly not least, where does the National Rifle Assn. (NRA) stand on militias like the above.  Brady Campaign V.P. Dennis Henigan says, “The militias' view that the Second Amendment protects our other rights, by ensuring the potential for armed insurrection against the government, is indistinguishable from the long-held constitutional ideology of the National Rifle Association.”

Henigan quoted an NRA official as saying, "the Second Amendment . . . is literally a loaded gun in the hands of the people held to the heads of government."  Not to be outdone, the NRA Executive Director Wayne LaPierre exclaimed to last year's Conservative Political Action Conference that our rights as Americans mean little unless we are ready to defend them against the government by force of arms.  This is even beyond terrifying.

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