Within the span of a few centuries, the word “militia” in America moved from describing the heroes that fought for the country’s independence, to domestic terrorists who love the Bible just a bit too much.
We’re not going to sugarcoat this: there have been instances where armed individuals with less-than-reputable beliefs have banded together in this country. However, there have also been times when the complete reverse is true — but the media lumped them all into the same category.
Militias had, and still have, a vital function in the American experiment. It’s no accident that militias were singled out specifically to provide for the bulk of the country’s domestic defense when the Bill of Rights was drafted. Having an armed populace not only keeps its own government in check, but provides backup for the state’s armed forces in the event of a homeland invasion. Granted, this hasn’t happened since the War of 1812 — perhaps because it’s fairly well-known that American citizens are no pushover.
But the word “militia” has become a bad word in the modern day. Mainstream media groups use the term to describe radicalized individuals who absolutely must be planning some nefarious uprising.
Here’s the thing: much of the information the media has used to paint this picture is based entirely on lies. One of the most obvious examples is Arizona’s Viper Militia.
Here’s Razorfist with the real story that stains one of America’s foundational constitutional rights to this day.
Content Warning: Adult language