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Things I Don’t Get About Militias

This article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer talks about a community’s dispute surrounding a “live fire exercise” that was to be put on by a militia group.

Lacey Fair, who lives next to the training site, was concerned for the safety of her daughters, ages 4 and 12.

She said Brandon Drabek, who owns the site and identifies himself as the public-relations person for the Home Guard, could not give her adequate assurances.

Her home is about 120 yards from his land. Fair said that when she asked what to do while the training was going on, he told her, “That’s a good question. Keep your dogs and children inside.”

I wouldn’t exactly feel to reassured by this statement even if it were me.  It’s one thing to shoot in the middle of nowhere, or at a properly engineered firing range, but while this area is rural, it’s not exactly desolate.  Is it good community relations to distribute leaflets informing everyone that you plan to shoot up the neighborhood in a live fire exercise?  I’ve also never honestly understood the need for militia groups to claim some kind of legitimacy.

Fair said Drabek told her the group would be using automatic weapons; he denies that. Fair also said Drabek claimed the group had been endorsed by Geauga County Sheriff Dan McClelland.

McClelland said that he extended no such endorsement and would not because he does not know enough about the Home Guard or the Ohio Defense Force.

I have no issues with grown men getting together and playing army, and I’ve never believed all militia groups to be hate groups, or radical outfits, even though I don’t pretend to understand the motive behind it:

Eckhart said the Ohio Defense Force is about 10 years old, and many of its founders were disenchanted with the state-run Ohio Military Reserve, in part because it no longer trains with firearms.

But is the motivation to serve the community, which you can apparently do in the Ohio Military Reserve, or to train with firearms?  If the purpose is to train with firearms, why all the grasping for legitimacy, and the origanizing into platoon sized battalions and whatnot?  Can’t a couple of fellas get together and teach each other to shoot without all the pomp and circumstance?

The only thing I can figure is that a lot of these guys are looking for ways to relate to their government, and serve communities that they feel increasingly isolated from, and have a hard time relating to.  Government has become cold, impersonal, and with an agenda all its own, even at the local levels.  I don’t think the existence of these groups says as much about the men who join them as it says about the governments they don’t feel like they could be a part of.

7 Responses to “Things I Don’t Get About Militias”

  1. illspirit says:

    But is the motivation to serve the community, which you can apparently do in the Ohio Military Reserve, or to train with firearms?

    If the proverbial SHTF, I would imagine it would be a big plus to have a good relationship with, or at least recognition from LEOs. Otherwise, police might mistake a bunch of armed guys protecting their neighborhoods for looters or some such. Sort of like the “signaling” concept in your previous post about CCW.

    Likewise, it probably sends out a nice signal to bad guys that their area won’t be an easy target.

  2. RAH says:

    This is typical bad PR with the neighborhood. The group that wants to have to have exercise needs to educate those that may be affected like this woman, she has a point and they needlesssly blew off her objections. Bad move.

    Sometimes a range that pre exist a neighborhood can not relieve the objection s like sound issues and the neighborhood just want to get rid a range that pre existed those homes.

    Then there i sno good compromise and eventually the range loses.

    An alternative tactic is fox hunting which has to get written permission of landowners whose land they will cross. The invite those landowners to the hunt or the breakfast afterward as a thankyou for the ability to traverse. If the landowner rejescts that then the hunt will not cross the land and route around that owner and work on getting the approval and permission for the next year. Those landowners who eon’t chnage their minds they just accomodate to the objections.

    I know when they do dog trials that the hounds are loose in an area for several days and all affected owners are told to to reduce problems and keep their own dogs inside.

    New owners are told in advance before they buy that these activities affects them so they can choose whether to buy in that area or not.

    That is important whne an activity is only bi yearly or anually and otherwise a new owner has no idea of the activity that may affect him.

    This exercise is new in the article and so must accomodate the pre existing owners issues as much as possible.

  3. Brad says:

    It does not surprise me in the least that the old ‘militia’ bogeyman has suddenly returned. I expected this to happen if the Democrats retook control.

    In a kind of bizarre karmic mirroring, Democrats prefer to make war on domestic enemies while Republicans prefer to make war on foreign enemies. The militia ‘threat’ is a perfect foil for Democrats to panic the public into following the Democratic agenda of witch hunting domestic enemies.

    To this end, “progressive” activist groups spend great effort to demonize all militia which is then mindlessly regurgitated by the lamestream press. The term “militia” has become a buzzword for evil, very similar to the way the anti-gun movement has manipulated the term “assault-weapon.”

    For a more balanced view of the militia movement than the lamestream press provides, read this old article…

    http://www.reason.com/news/show/29723.html

    Of course it doesn’t help things when so many wannabe militia men get caught in illegal or immoral acts, thereby serving the agit-prop goals of “progressives”. But that is a natural result of people who despaired too readily on the political process and who then, absent a rigorously thought out doctrine, floundered trying to create an armed group. It’s like the poor bastards were trying to learn how to swim by jumping off the end of a long pier and swimming for shore.

  4. Matt Groom says:

    The problem is that Militias have been forced to become shadowy, underground organizations. People know we need groups of persons trained in how to respond to emergencies that conventional civil forces such as the police, EMS, and Firefighters cannot handle alone, but people have been told over and over again “That’s the job of the National Guard. That’s the job of FEMA. That’s the job of government organization X.”

    and they believe it because it alleviates both their fears and their responsibilities to their communities.

    But, if folks decide to undertake the responsibility of forming a militia which is independent of direct government control (that’s the point!) then they must go out of their way to win the hearts and minds of members of their communities. They need to participate in programs like Toys for Tots and spearhead other charities and causes. They need to host free to the public barbecues and cook outs that are free of ideology so that people feel comfortable with them.

    They need to try to win support from the government organizations, such as local police, by aiding them in anyway they can, and acquiescing to any reasonable request they might make. This will win them trust, which will win them support and grow their membership, which will make them stronger. The better they can serve the community, the more open the community will become to their presence.

  5. Sebastian says:

    I’ve never really bought the notion that militias can be separated from the organ of the state. To me it’s kind of like 12 guys getting together, and calling themselves a jury. Sure, you could have a mock trial, and it could be fun. But what’s the point without the state sanction?

  6. freerepublic says:

    This lady is sooo concerned for the safety of her children right? Why in 2001 was she written a ticket for speeding 45 in a 25 and for endangering her childs life because of no restraints. By the way if you heard her voice on the media video….I think she needs to smoke another 2 pack a day.

  7. Guav says:

    Stay classy, FreeRepublic.

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