How are America's militia groups responding to the current insurgency?

So we have a segment of the population willing to overthrow the government because things didn’t go their way, and a sitting President openly encouraging them to do so. How are the many militia groups in the U.S. responding to this situation? Do the oppose it, or support it? Are they talking about taking up arms to stop it, or to stand beside them?

Everything I’m seeing on Telegram, Parler, Gab, etc. is that the militias, particularly the Proudies are fully behind Trump and think that all this is going to go down on the 20th. These people be crazy.

Not to suggest that these people aren’t dangerous individually, and that there won’t be sporadic violence on 20 January, but they just aren’t coordinated enough to do any permanent damage or overthrow state or federal governments. These groups have all been around for three decades or more and they rarely do more than talk big and drink cheap beer while playing solider on random weekends. The greater danger is that someone more competent than Trump and is clown car of circus curiosities could come along and actually organize these malcontents into an effective fascist movement. All of the pieces are here to make that happen; we’re fortunate Trump is too self-absorbed and undisciplined to organize his followers to do more than mill about committing random acts of vandalism and battery.


^^^ I agree with all of this, with the caveat that while this uncoordinated rabble can’t do any permanent damage, the problems they could cause are still potentially significant and horrifying. Perhaps more importantly, the secondary risk in this is that any violence they commit could be exploited in the drift toward authoritarianism — i.e. if one deliberately severs right-wing rioting from its political origins, one could use it as justification for a broad increase in the surveillance state and repressive policing generally, which always ends up being used to defend established power structures against protest by marginalized people. But that’s a hijack from the original question, so I’ll leave it there.

I am shocked to learn that so many of the people who have spent years telling us they needed guns to defend the Constitution against tyranny have turned out to be anti-Constitution and pro-tyranny.

Shocked, I tell you.

I feel like whenever somebody plays down what isolated groups of disgruntled people might do, that it’s useful to revisit the example of Timothy McVeigh and his co-conspirators. His motives were different, but he was mad at the government and sought revenge and to ignite the spark of revolution.

It’s not going to be as easy now as it was then to get hold of several tonnes of ANFO or other low quality explosives, but judging by online videos of rednecks blowing up cars for sport, it certainly isn’t impossible, and it wouldn’t take several tonnes to do real damage.

It’s a threat that needs to be taken seriously, now more than ever.

Like, plus one, and so forth and whatnot.

That is a very legitimate concern, and just as the September 11, 2001 attacks were used as an opportunity to USA PATRIOT Act (which had clearly been sitting in someone’s drawer awaiting such a justification) without significant debate or reflection, wide scale or damaging attacks akin to the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah building in Oklahoma City could result in implementing new strictures and expanding surveillance authority that are almost certainly already drafted.

The OK bombing was actually counterproductive for the US militia movement insofar as it resulted in a mandate to have the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies more aggressively pursue far-right nationalist movements (an effort that fell by the wayside with 9/11), but with the subsequent erosion of protections against surveillance and expansion of FISA authority post-9/11, further large attacks could be used by nefarious actors as a quasi-Reichstag event to go from warrantless surveillance to active arrest and detain powers.

It was horrifying to see unidentified government agenda snatching protesters off the street in unmarked vehicles and physically assaulting journalists during protests this summer, but fear of wide scale domestic terrorism could allow that to become commonplace instead of exceptional, and even justified within legal authority.


Since the 1990’s, I suspect any militia group with more than 2 members has an FBI informant among their ranks.

Are there any good links that show the opinions of various militia groups when it comes to this issue?

Equally, since the 1990s I suspect any police department with more than 2 members has a militia member among its ranks.

The legit police far outnumber the militias. But there are plenty of militia sympathizers, if not members, in positions where that should be an immediately disqualifying fault.

Ummm… I’m gonna disagree with y’all. Are y’all familiar with Ammon Bundy’s organization, People’s Rights?

There is organization. There is coordination. And there are massive numbers of people.

Plan for the worst; hope for the best. You can’t cut the rope longer. You can’t put the genie back in the bottle.

Under-estimating an opponent is the most common reason for defeat. Good planning is never wasted.

I forgot this bit:

All of these quotes I’ve put up are from just the introductory chapter, btw.

I suspect these groups vary pretty widely in terms of funding, competence, goals and membership. Some of them are probably nearly caricatures (as represented in Ronson’s great book Them) and some represent more present threats. Certainly they will be getting more attention.

And, of course, none of these so-called militia groups are legal. Paying the price for not cracking down on these nutjobs earlier.

Look, those nuts are a tiny % of NRA gun nuts and the NRA only represents 5% of gunowners. So, you are talking about a fraction of a %, not "so many".

It is actually “damn few”.

If “so many” of the 100 million gun owners in the USA decided to stage a insurrection, it’d be really nasty.

Note that are two types of militias in the USA- the ones organized by states etc that are NOT National Guard (the NG is now part of the standing army) such as Texas, and the not organized, almost always far right and white supremacist. They are about 80 groups, and around 30000 members, i.e. 3/100s of 1% of the total gun owners. The Texas State militia all by itself has almost that number of members alone. 3 out of 10000 gun owners are in a right wing militia.

This is tantamount to asking why all the nations drivers always drive drunk.

In this joint report, ACLED and MilitiaWatch map militia activity across the United States and assess the risk of violence before, during, and after the 2020 election. Access data directly through the US Crisis Monitor* . *Definitions and methodology decisions are explained in the US Crisis Monitor FAQs and the US methodology brief . For more information, please check the full ACLED Resource Library .

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*Executive Summary

Militia groups and other armed non-state actors pose a serious threat to the safety and security of American voters. Throughout the summer and leading up to the general election, these groups have become more assertive, with activities ranging from intervening in protests to organizing kidnapping plots targeting elected officials (CNN, 13 October 2020). Both the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have specifically identified extreme far right-wing and racist movements as a primary risk factor heading into November, describing the election as a potential “flashpoint” for reactionary violence (The Nation, 30 September 2020; New York Times, 6 October 2020).

ACLED collects and analyzes information about the actions of state, non-state, and sole perpetrator[1](javascript:void(0)) violence and demonstration activity. MilitiaWatch tracks, documents, and analyzes contemporary US militia movements, and provides reports connecting long-term militia trends to broader political events.

Pretty much every group but The Not Fucking Around Coalition (NFAC) is white supremacist and right wing.

They dismiss Antifa.

How are they illegal?

That’s quite a triggering. Do all gun owners claim they need guns to defend the Constitution against tyranny? Did I refer to all gun owners?

I’m pretty sure they were involved in that “storming the castle” event on the 6th. I expect they’ll continue to look for opportunities to cause trouble, and if they can embed themselves amongst a herd of clueless White middle-class suburbanites so much the better from their viewpoint.

True… except for that one time when someone inspired and probably (not sure it was proved to court standards) at least partially backed by those nutjobs did some real damage.

We can only hope they sit around drinking beer and plinking in the woods.

Drunk drivers kill about 10,000 people a year. And that’s unintentional. People plotting to kill other people could conceivably have a higher toll. It doesn’t take a large number of people to cause a lot of damage.