Burns OR: Terrorism? Hell No!

The burning question is, “Will the Citizens of Burns, Oregon and the Sheriff step up to defend their own against the Federal Government?”

No. Terrorism is slaughtering, enslaving, pillaging, raping, innocent people and destroying property. None of that has either occurred or been threatened by the militia involved at the Federal refuge. The threat vocalized is they will defend their right to protest the Hammond’s incarceration as terrorists on arson charges.

The riots, looting and destruction of private property we have seen in our cities by other “protests” more nearly equate to terrorism but I would not go that far in describing them. I understand their frustrations as well, and their manipulation by our own government.

The Militia is any man able to employ a weapon, in the defense, with his fellow citizens. Arbitrary ages were assigned to regulate who was morally obligated and expected to arm themselves and prepare for a defense.

A well regulated militia is one where the citizens have armed themselves, are relatively proficient with those weapons and have trained together to develop a unit discipline. Well regulated has nothing to do with political or government control.

A standing, well trained and supplied, army is required for effective defensive and offensive operations in conventional warfare. The Militia that stood against the British government at Concord and Lexington was not well regulated in the sense they had the unit discipline to stand against a British bayonet charge. They certainly were not under the command of any legitimate political authority either.

Washington’s army was initially unregulated militia, expert marksmen, who volunteered and enlisted to fight under his command for the new Continental Congress. These same Militia were trained in the finer arts of conventional warfare at Valley Forge by Baron Von Stuben. At that point they became well regulated with military discipline to effectively employ their marksmanship they had learned with their own weapons. That is when they began to win.

The founding fathers saw the wisdom of having a whole citizenry well armed and drilled in unit cohesion to stand against any tyranny in the future, whether external or internal.

At this moment well regulated patriots are standing in defense of liberty and justice in armed protest of Federal excess and injustice. No different than the militia that stood against the King and his agents at Lexington and Concord.

No, they are neither terrorists nor anti-government radicals. They are American Militia defending liberty and justice. The burning question is, “Will the Citizens of Burns, Oregon and the Sheriff step up to defend their own against the Federal Government?”

Heavily armed domestic terrorists have occupied a wildlife preserve in Oregon and invited other extremists to take up arms and join the movement. Calling themselves “patriots” the followers of Cliven Bundy are protesting the impending imprisonment of two ranchers on arson charges. The anti-government radical leader has long challenged restrictions on grazing his cattle on Federal land. Neither the human rights organizations that track domestic hate groups nor those of us who study violent extremism are surprised by this latest development. We are, however, puzzled by one thing: why do virtually all media outlets dignify these people by calling them “militiamen?” They are terrorists pure and simple.

The contemporary “citizens militia” movement has appropriated and perverted the concept of militias in use at the time of the American Revolution. Lacking a regular army, the colonists initially relied on local bodies of armed citizens to resist tyranny. Despite their celebrated stands at Lexington and Concord, however, militiamen fared poorly against British regulars. The Continental Congress quickly established a conventional army. Militias did play an important role in winning American Independence, but only when they operated under proper authority and in support of regular troops.

The new American Republic was understandably leery of creating a large standing army in peace time, having seen how such forces had been used in Europe to suppress freedom. Its founders, therefore, wrote militias into their new constitution. The much debated second amendment declares that “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Gun rights advocates are fond of quoting the second clause in this sentence while ignoring the first. It would be difficult to exaggerate the importance of the term “well-regulated.” Militias always operated under government authority, usually that of the state. In case of national emergency, state militias could be brought under command of the small regular army, as they were at the outbreak of the Civil War.

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