What do you think when you hear the word “militia”? For most it brings up visions of a bad Steven Segal movie. For some of the groups out there, you’d be right. Others…may not be what you think.
I recently heard about a nation wide “Continental Congress”. This group of douchecanoes officially declared war on the United States government. Luckily the leaders, according to my source, were quickly apprehended and they can now rot in hell. These are the visible, in your face, militias that taint the image of our forefathers during the Revolutionary War.
That brings up a good point. What did the militias start out as? Okay, history 101 time. During the Revolution all those that believed as the Continentials did stood up for what they believed in. Some in the Continental Army, Marines, and Navy. Others took up arms in a humhle way as Minute Men. These patriots were shopkeepers, farmers, and all around common men. They loved their country and were willing to fight with whatever arms they could afford to ensure it’s freedom. These are the men that modern militias claim leniage from.
As I’ve previously reported, there is a strong militia presence here in Utah. Some of the groups are on the shady side while a couple will surprise you. I’ve met a few of the local guys. (What can I say…being a gunsmith draws all kinds.) The few I’ve come across seemed to be well meaning. They hold strong to the Utah State Constitution which states that every man 17 to 70 years old is automatically part of the State militia. The man leading the group appears to be competent and trustworthy. He has has his hands full. A militia would an easier entity if it was all former military. Being what it is it has it’s share of civilian bred men and women. They ask for a certain amount of professionalism from them but, not having a military background, they don’t know what that means.
One thing they have right is community outreach. They believe part of their mission is to be ready to assist when the need arises. They do their best to be “Jonny on the spot” when there is flooding or other natural disasters. They come out in attire marked with their militia symbol and do a good deed. I think it can be much more though.
At the end of the day these people are trying to express their patriotism the best way they know how. After one dillhole and one jackass too many I know their group isn’t for me but I do think their top leadership means well and has the security of Utah at heart.
I think there’s a better way to run things. If the state had any common sense they would task each county’s Sheriff department to create a volunteer group. Being all volunteers they would have to equip themselves so there would be no drain of tax payer funds. Have them seek out training on their own. Have them accomplish a set amount of said training quarterly. This will give each county a backup group to call in. In many instances law enforcement can get swamped. It would be advantageous to have a trained group ready to pick up a shovel or hold a roadblock. A group that doesn’t have to be paid overtime. A group that is just as ready to pick up sandbags as they are a rifle. A group that the community respects.
There’s no mistaking that the word militia carries a stigma. So lets call it something else and have it run as part of the sheriff’s office. It wouldn’t change what it is but it would avoid the stained name and the image that goes along with it.