I’ve been told I have a weird mind and crazy ideas. I guess that’s true, because all kinds of things appeal to me. When I was reseraching annnnother k I happened on an article about private militias and spent hours digging through web sites for information.
The basis for the plot in my latest release, ZERO HOUR, Heroes Rising Book #2 (part of Elle James’ Brotherhood Protectors) is the private militias that continue to form in this country. I’ll tell you, reading about them sent a shiver down my spine. Usually led by someone with a grudge against the United States, their sole purpose is to destroy. As I did my research for the book I found some interesting tidbits which I thought I would share with you.
Within the United States, since approximately 1992, there have been a number of private organizations that call themselves militia or unorganized militia. In states such as Texas, the state constitution classifies male citizens between the ages of 17 and 45 to belong to the “Unorganized Reserve Militia“.
The militia movement is a relatively new right-wing extremist movement consisting of armed paramilitary groups, both formal and informal, with an anti-government, conspiracy-oriented ideology. Militia groups began to form not long after the deadly standoff at Waco, Texas, in 1993; by the spring of 1995, they had spread to almost every state. Many members of militia groups have been arrested since then, usually on weapons, explosives and conspiracy charges. Although the militia movement has declined in strength from its peak in early 1996, it remains an active movement, especially in the Midwest, and continues to cause a number of problems for law enfor
cement and the communities in which militia groups are active
- Origins: Mid-to-late 1993
- Prominent leaders: John Trochmann (Montana), Ron Gaydosh (Michigan), Randy Miller (Texas), Charlie Puckett (Kentucky), Mark Koernke (Michigan), Carl Worden (Oregon), Gib Ingwer (Ohio)
- Prominent groups: Kentucky State Militia, Ohio Unorganized Militia Assistance and Advisory Committee, Southeastern Ohio Defense Force, Michigan Militia (two factions using the same name), Southern Indiana Regional Militia, Southern California High Desert Militia-and many others
- Outreach: Gun shows, shortwave radio, newsletters, the Internet
- Ideology: Anti-government and conspiracy-oriented in nature; prominent focus on firearms
- Prominent militia arrests: Multiple members of the following groups have been arrested and convicted, usually on weapons, explosives, or conspiracy charges: Oklahoma Constitutional Militia, Georgia Republic Militia, Arizona Viper Militia, Washington State Militia, West Virginia Mountaineer Militia, Twin Cities Free Militia, North American Militia, San Joaquin County Militia.
The Militia Movement Today
The militia movement is the youngest of the major right-wing anti-government movements in the United States (the sovereign citizen movement and the tax protest movement are the two others) yet it has seared itself into the American consciousness as virtually no other fringe movement has. The publicity given to militia groups in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, when the militia movement was erroneously linked to that tragedy, made them into a household name. Even comedian David Letterman frequently joked about the militia; in 1999, for instance, his list, “Top Ten Signs You’re Watching a Bad Disney Movie,” included “It’s called ‘The Little Right-Wing Militia That Could.'” Indeed, reporters, pundits and politicians alike have used the term so frequently that it is often tossed about carelessly as a synonym for virtually any right-wing extremist group.
Yet the militia movement is neither generic nor dismissible as a comic subject. If militia groups were not, in fact, involved with the Oklahoma City bombing, they have nevertheless embroiled themselves since 1994 in a variety of other bombing plots, conspiracies and serious violations of law. Their extreme anti-government ideology, along with their elaborate conspiracy theories and fascination with weaponry and paramilitary organization, lead many members of militia groups to act out in ways that justify the concerns expressed about them by public officials, law enforcement and the general public.
Check out ZERO HOUR and find out more.