Thursday, February 18, 2021

We Need a Plan for Militias

 A social trend can lie dormant for years, gradually expand and then suddenly explode as if following a hidden exponential growth curve.  Revolutions work this way, and so do religious cults.  Most of the time the curve is nipped in its early phase, but not always.  It isn’t a good idea to assume a fringe movement will always remain fringe.

Which brings us to the topic of right wing militias, people who carry assault rifles, study military tactics, go target-shooting in the woods and live in an end times epistemological bubble.  They’ve been around for decades, occasionally getting in the news, and gradually getting more numerous and influential.  Read this recent report in the New York Times, which documents the mainstreaming of armed freelancers aligned with the Michigan Republican Party, and ask yourself whether we are approaching an inflection point.

So what would a counter-strategy look like?  I don’t think an attempt to suppress all extreme right wing thought and expression would work—it’s too unfocused—and in any case empowering the government and tech monopolies to carry it out would be suicidal for free thinkers of any sort.  The answer has to center on the militias themselves.

I suggest gun control legislation at the state and national levels that explicitly targets militias.  The idea is that it would be a felony to use firearms for any political purpose, where “use” means carry as well as pull the trigger.  No arms at demonstrations or rallies.  No armed political meetings.  No “second amendment solutions” to political conflicts.  I’ll leave the legal language to the lawyers.

Simply discussing such an idea would drive the militia folks crazy.  It’s their worst nightmare, liberals taking their guns away to prevent any resistance to their politically correct tyranny.  They will fulminate and foam, waving their guns in our face.  Let them, and let their threats of violence be a reason for suppressing them.


marcel proust said...

What ever happened to the opening clause of 2A, about a well regulated militia. How about putting some teeth into it, like requiring that those who own military-style weapons (as opposed to hunting weapons) be members of the National Guard? They'd have to spend 1 weekend/month & 2 weeks/year in training; possibly have to ship overseas for an extended tour of one of our endless foreign wars and be available for nat'l disasters. If they are tossed from the guard (AWOL, disobedience) they'd lose the right to possess these weapons. The downside is that they'd be getting military training, but many already have it. If they still want to hang with their buds in the woods, they'd have to give up another weekend.

Slightly off topic, the NYT has a piece about a Georgian long a highly visible liberal, who flipped out in the last couple of years about gun rights and went full Trump, including showing up in the Capitol on 1/6.

Fred C. Dobbs said...

It's the law...

U.S. Code Title 10. ARMED FORCES Subtitle A. General Military Law Part I. ORGANIZATION AND GENERAL MILITARY POWERS Chapter 12. THE MILITIA Section 246. Militia: composition and classes

'The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least
17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32' ...

U.S. Code Title 10 § 246
- Militia: composition and classes

(a)The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
(b)The classes of the militia are—
(1)the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2)the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.


There is widespread sloppy thinking that an 'unorganized militia' is
close enough to an organized 'well-regulated militia'. Practically
all adults are de-jure members of the former, so they are
well-advised it seems to become firearms-savvy, just in case.

Fred C. Dobbs said...

Err, females not being de-jure members of the
unorganized militia are hereby excluded from
aforesaid firearms familiarization, if
they so prefer.

Fred C. Dobbs said...

BTW, part of the above-mentioned sloppy thinking
includes the notion that the President, being the
'Commander-in-Chief' is the boss of us all.

Not so. He is in a major sense 'boss of the
Armed Forces' (including the 'organized
militia' no doubt.) As for the rest
of us civilians, he's our employee.

Fred C. Dobbs said...

'the NYT has a piece about a Georgian' ...

Georgia lawyer boasted about storming Pelosi’s office

AMERICUS, Ga. (AP - Jan 19) — The FBI says a Georgia attorney accused of joining the attack on the U.S. Capitol riot bragged on social media that he was among the first rioters to break into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, and said she “probably would have been torn into little pieces” if they had found her there.

William McCall Calhoun Jr., 57, of Americus, Georgia, made his first court appearance on Friday after his arrest on charges including violent entry or disorderly conduct, tampering with a witness and entering a restricted building, according to court records. He remains jailed pending another hearing this week. ...

In Calhoun’s case, an FBI agent’s affidavit said a citizen told the FBI about social media posts Calhoun made before, during and after participating in the Jan. 6 riot.

Calhoun wrote he was going to Washington “to give the GOP some back bone” as the House and Senate met to certify the November election won by Democratic President-elect Joe Biden. He boasted about pushing past police barricades and being in a group that broke into Pelosi’s office.

The Jan. 12 affidavit also cites Calhoun’s interview with the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in which Calhoun described his actions as “patriotic” acts of “civil disobedience.” ...

Anonymous said...

what about left wing groups that carry guns? specifically a group like the huey p newton gun club as seen in the BLM protests?

Peter Dorman said...

I would ban left wing groups from bringing guns to demonstrations and other political events. Why not?

Anonymous said...

they say it's protection from right-wing violence.

your idea has been introduced in several states by democratic politicians, including washington. i wouldn't trust the police to carry out any type of enforcement of it though, especially in rural red areas.

Peter Dorman said...

Thanks, I wasn't aware of the WA State initiative. (Used to live there.) You are right to raise the issue of enforcement. At a minimum, a decent law would inhibit armed displays at state capitals and urban demonstrations, and this would be a big step forward. I agree that rural sheriffs, left to their own predilections, would mostly look the other way, but a law would provide a focal point for political contestation. As it stands, with no legal constraints, what can anyone do to resist the growth of militias?

I'm happy to hear that there are some state level proposals, but I wish more prominence could be given to them as a strategy. With all the effort that went into denouncing and impeaching Trump, I detected nothing about taking action against militias.

Fred C. Dobbs said...

Almost Half of Republicans Would Drop GOP, Join Trump Party

via @slate - February 21

Nearly half of Republicans wouldn’t hesitate to drop the GOP and join a new party led by former President Donald Trump, according to a Suffolk University/USA Today poll of Trump voters released Sunday. The poll revealed that 46 percent said they would abandon their party while only 27 percent said they wouldn’t drop the GOP. The rest are undecided. Half of the Trump voters polled said that the GOP should be “more loyal to Trump.” Only 19 percent said the opposite and think the Republican Party should be less loyal to Trump. ...

(The good news is, that's down from 70% two weeks ago.)

70% of Republicans Would Consider Joining New Party Formed by Donald Trump

US News - February 9

The poll also found that a majority of Republicans describe Democrats as their 'enemies.' ...

Fred C. Dobbs said...

Back in the day, long ago, when I was
a GI serving in the Army, the draft
was still on, many of those serving
were there because of the Draft. When
asked what they wanted 'going forward',
they'd say they wished to be a 'PFC' - again.

(PFC being a low ranking GI, but also
slang for 'Proud F-ing Civilian'.)

PFC, Private First Class, one rank below
Corporal, as in the notorious CPL Klinger
of M.A..S.H. fame.)

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