Bill White: Gun Groups See Steady Bleed Into Militias; Domestic Unrest Still Growing In United States

When agents of America’s US Marshals surrounded the Indiana Baptist Temple, accusing the church and its parishioners of violating US tax laws by refusing to pay social security taxes on non-clergical employees, they didn’t charge in with guns blazing, as they did at Waco. Concern about bad publicity was there, but there was a more serious concern just under the surface – the Southern Indiana Regional Militia, a 250-man “unorganized” citizen’s militia unit, had pledged to defend the church – and their threats were taken seriously.

"Steps have been taken and we are ready to respond if something does happen," Roger Stalcup, elected commander of the militia, told Indiana’s Hoosier Times, “It's my opinion that if you've got people in that church and the U.S. marshals go in, anything can happen”

His statements were taken seriously, and his unit, which marches under the slogan “God Bless The Republic -- Death to the New World Order”, was listed in a press release by the US Marshals as a major reason they chose to negotiate, rather than raid, the dissident religious group’s headquarters. The Southern Indiana Regional Militia had been trained in small-unit tactics by former US military personnel, several of whom hold officer ranks in the citizen’s group, and their ability to take on the US government in a fire fight could not only have been difficult for the federal police forces – it could have been disastrous.

The Southern Indiana Regional Militia is not an isolated phenomena – it is one of hundreds of similar units which have been growing in size and influence across the country since the announcement by George the First of his plans for a “New World Order” – a New World Order that many Americans believe is planning to destroy the US Constitution and enact dictatorial martial law in the name of the United Nations and the international corporate-socialism.

Origins In America’s Gun Activist Community

There are three issues that motivate America’s militia movement – support of gun rights, opposition to taxation, and opposition to the United Nations and the loss of America’s sovereignty to global corporate rule – a system the militias see as socialism and anti-globalists label capitalism, and which is really a blend of the worst elements of the two. Among these issues, the most important, the one that seems most immediately threatening, and which has been the prime motivation for the existence of the militia movement, has been the possibility of nation-wide confiscation of firearms by the US Federal government. In America, the people know that the foundation of their liberty is their ability to use firearms to resist government police and military personnel, and it is widely believed that an attempt to confiscate their arms will be the first step in imposing a dictatorship on US citizens. Daily this has seemed more real, and thus there has been a steady bleed of activists out of mainstream groups like the National Rifle Association, and into more confrontational activist groups, like Gun Owners of America and the Tyranny Response Team, and eventually into militias and other armed non-governmental formations.

The NRA recently reported in the last election, with voters faced with the threat of anti-gun Al Gore winning the presidency, that its membership surged from under three million to over four million. Some say that number is slowly edging closer to five. In a nation of 280 million people, nearly 1.5% of the population – one person out of sixty six – is a member of the country’s largest gun lobby.

It is from these membership figures, and from the ability to mobilize large numbers of activists at the local level and bring them out to work polls and fill campaign offices for pro-gun politicians, that the NRA has always derived its power. While there is no doubt of the NRA’s monetary power, it’s opponents, often funded by billionaires like Andrew J. McKelvey, can usually match or exceed it in that arena. What the NRA has that anti-gun groups don’t is the ability to bring out tens of thousands of Americans each election cycle to hand out literature, plant road signs, fold mailings, and engage in the community activism needed to fight anti-gun legislation. But it is in this arena that upstart groups have offered the most competition.

Gun Owners of America, headed by Larry Pratt, is a radically pro-gun organization that, in contrast to the NRA, has called for the elimination of all regulations on firearms purchases and ownership, including mandatory background checks, and which has taken a hard line against the United Nations. Pratt is a radical Constitutionalist and Christian who openly mixes his religious beliefs with his politics, and has been accused of sharing the stage with even more extreme leaders – including members of the Aryan Nations and the Ku Klux Klan (though he has not been accused of sharing their views). In 1996, that accusation forced Pratt out as an aid to the Buchanan campaign. In 1998, according to anti-gun researcher Kenneth Stern, Pratt’s organization had 100,000 members. Now, similar anti-gun researchers estimate his group has grown to as many as 150,000 – 200,000 in size, and there is no question that the core of his strength is NRA grassroots activists who are leaving the NRA to be involved in more militant forms of activism.

Another group that has worked with Pratt’s, and which forms an even more confrontational front of its own, is the Tyranny Response Team, a network of pro-gun “minute men”, based on the minute men militias of the American Revolution, who go out to anti-gun events and to speeches by anti-gun politicians to confront and challenge the often skewed and distorted presentation of gun politics. The TRT, founded by Jewish gun store owner Bob Glass, has also gone beyond gun activism, holding regular 500-man protests against the Internal Revenue Service and the United Nations conference on small arms. While the TRT declined to give out membership information, it has branches in approximately 33 states, and most branches have 50 to 100 regular active members, meaning the group comprises at least 1500 regular activists nationwide – with an unknown number of less-active “supporting” members.

These groups, with their anti-globalist, anti-UN rhetoric and primitive class perspective – what Americans call “populism” – have begun to draw more radical elements of the NRA, such as Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, to adopt similar rhetoric. In a recent issue of America’s First Freedom – the NRA’s fast-growing political magazine – LaPierre denounced global corporations, the wealthy, and ruling-class billionaires as being behind the plot to take away America’s Second Amendment rights.

And while groups like Gun Owner’s of America and the Tyranny Response Team are not militias per se, and often engage in very mainstream pandering in some of their rhetoric – the headquarters branch of the TRT in particular is ultra-Zionist, with its members sometimes appearing in public with yellow Stars of David reading “gun owner” in an attempt to link the current conflict between gun owners and the US government with the conflict between Jews and the German Third Reich – they serve as a bridge for gun owners who don’t want to engage in the compromising, pro-Republican politics of the NRA, but who also reject the more extreme step of joining armed formations that openly challenge the power of the central government – groups like the Southern Indiana Regional Militia.

A Case Study In Radical Growth

Recently, in Montgomery County, Maryland, a relatively affluent suburb of Washington, DC, the local government attempted to ban gun shows – large, open exhibitions where guns and traded and sold on tables set up at the local fairgrounds. The result was a series of protests that destroyed the local NRA organization, led to the radicalization of its local head, and which left a definite imprint on local politics.

Augustus Alzona, an official in the Maryland Republican Party Central Committee, and the head of the County NRA’s lobbying division at the time (NRA-ILA), was incensed at the decision of local officials to ban trading in guns. When he heard that a hearing was planned, he began organizing members to show up and protest the government’s decision.

But Greg Costa, the NRA’s official lobbyist in the State of Maryland, was equally incensed at Alzona’s decision to hold protests. Costa views the NRA as a “moderate” and “non-confrontational” organization, and decided to make his legislative priority in the state not a pending local ban on gun shows, but stopping a noise ordinance that would have threatened a business investment he had made in a local shooting range. He ordered Alzona not to hold protests, and when Alzona refused, Costa fired him from his position in the NRA:

“I told him I didn’t want them to protest and he wouldn’t listen. I can’t have people doing what I tell them not to do,” Costa told a Pravda source.

The meeting collapsed in a raucous bout as pro-gun protestors threatened to shoot local Councilmembers if they passed the legislation. Local news media focused on the role of the Tyranny Response Team in the protests, though the truth was that most of the anger came from more radical elements not affiliated with the TRT group. For Alzona, it was a decisive moment. He took on a new role in the TRT Maryland group as its Volunteer Media Coordinator. Regarding the NRA, he told Pravda that Costa was a liar, and that his non-involvement in activism was a motivator for this defection:

“I've never spoken to [Costa] regarding the gun show bill and any of it's ramifications - never have, so far. I did try to reach him to discuss last February's hearing a week before the …hearing, but, never did.”

And Alzona isn’t the only Maryland activist that sees the NRA and its lobby as ineffective, unreachable, and out of touch. John Latham, a gun activist who joined the NRA in the wake of the anti-gun hysteria that followed the Columbine shootings, decided to move over to the TRT as well. He has now declared he is running for the State Legislature as an Independent in Maryland’s 16th legislative district, and told Pravda he left the NRA because he grew tired of the people and their perspective on what gun rights activism means:

“A man reaches a certain age he decides he wants to have a club,” Latham told Pravda, “I don’t consider that real activism … that’s a club, not a lobby.”

The Real Activists

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a rather shady group of lawyers who make profit by suing organizations they label as “hateful”, has been reporting that the number of “militia” groups active in the United States has been declining. Unfortunately, their research is badly skewed, as they count as a “militia” group anyone who opens a post office box and declares themselves a one-man “militia”. Other figures, such as those circulated by the ADL, a Jewish organization which is opposed to the private ownership of firearms, estimates that while the number of groups may be shrinking, this is due to a consolidation of activists in a smaller number of larger organizations, and that as many as one million Americans may be sympathetic to, and peripherally involved in, militia activity.

This has been evidenced as well by the “radicalization” of mainstream groups that share common views with the militias, but until recently have not shared the militia’s extreme image and tactics. Southern groups – groups that represent the values of America’s White Southern minority – have been particularly radicalized in recent months with the continuation of a campaign by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a pro-black group with origins in the communist movement of the turn of the last century, to destroy public monuments to the Southern Revolution and to the Southern Nation – known as “Dixie” -- which existed from 1861-1865 during the American Civil War. With a heritage based in revolt against the US federal government, and with an often deeply held belief in the independence of the states and the decentralization of government power, views that motivate Southern political thinking and ideology have definitely exerted their influence over militia thinkers.

One militia group based in Southern values that recently drew attention was the Militia of Georgia, an armed formation consisting of what researchers claim is 300 men who operate in at least 20 cells throughout the state, which ordered its members to mobilize in the wake of the September 11 bombings, and to be on guard against attempts by the government to use the bombings to create a New World Order. The local commander, Jimmy Wynn, in a message to his membership wrote:

“When we cease to intervene in the affairs of every nation on earth, maybe some of these people will leave us alone. … The WTC attack should be a WAKE UP CALL. I need each of you to become involved … each of you needs to take preparedness seriously (we could go to war and it could reach our shores) … The biggest thing we need is commitment: the commitment … [to] prepare ourselves. THE TIME FOR ACTION IS NOW!!!”

The Potential For Separatism

America’s Southerners aren’t the only regional-ethnic groups seeking independence from the cosmopolitan internationalism of the nations’ elite. Rural New Englanders have launched a “blood and soil” separatist movement of their own. Carolyn Chute’s Second Maine Militia, a group that has mixed right-wing, left-wing, and green politics, as well as regional ethnic identity and national separatism, into a 500+ man armed formation based in Northern New England and Canada’s eastern provinces, re-released a manifesto calling for people in New England and Canada to revolt and create a new nation – the New Atlantic Confederacy – independent of either government, should the impending war on terrorism cause the central government to lose the ability to maintain control in America’s more remote rural areas. Her movement is explicitly pro-gun and anti-capitalist, and deals regularly with other “right-wing” militia organization active in the area. As Chute put it in a 2000 interview:

“Behind all those urban killings are people created by the Great Progressive Society. These people are not revolting against the Great Progressive Society. They are raw imitations of the Great Progressive Society. We are led to believe that the professional middle class are the winners, the working class are the losers. … As I see it, class is about values, dependence and ways of communicating. The working class person values place, interdependence, cooperation, the tribe. Rural working class especially values land. Many of us would kill to keep our land, our home, which for thousands of years was not considered a crazy thing to do. Middle-class professionals are into "success" and they are a dependent people, happily dependent on the consumer system for everything. You call it independence. But if you lost your electricity, your service people, your access to stores, you'd see how independent you are! Working-class people have become dependent on these things, too, but working-class values resent this dependency.”

And Chute’s movement is growing. She recently joked that she could probably maintain 1500 men under arms in the State of Maine alone “if she could keep up with the mail”, and in a state of emergency, the number of women seeking protection under arms from ready formations would likely swell those ranks.

With groups like Chute’s growing in every state of the Union, and the central government growing more and more willing to enact the kind of emergency measures that these groups are willing to fight against, the potential for wide-spread confrontation, and wide-spread revolt, particularly in the context of a break-down of government control caused by massive terrorist attacks, is growing.

Domestic Unrest and Anthrax

As the US has continued to see its media and government institutions attacked by anthrax-infected letters, a debate has raged over who is responsible. The Zionist-dominated US media has used the attacks as an excuse to implicate Iraq, though that effort seems to be motivated more by political gain than the actual facts. Though Iraq was found by UN weapons inspectors, during the 1990s, to have built two missile warheads with liquid anthrax payloads, the weapons were discounted by US experts as “ineffective”, and Iraq is not known to have the ability to create the refined powder form of anthrax being used in the recent attacks. In fact, that ability exists in only two organizations in two countries – the US and Russian governments.

The US federal government also appears to believe in the domestic terror theory. Recently, the Center for Disease Control re-released a 1999 report authored by Jessica Stern of the Council of Foreign Relations, stating that most anthrax threats in the United States are linked to “far-right militia” organizations. Certainly, some of the recent scares, including the mailing of over 100 bogus threat letters to Planned Parenthood clinics, match the “far-right militia” pattern. But the possibility that the actual anthrax cases are linked to militia groups has been seized on by social democratic political lobbyists in an attempt to turn the US “war on terrorism” against dissident groups back at home. Australian terrorism “specialist” Clive Williams recently told the Times of India with utmost confidence:

”I think the first instances of [the anthrax threats], the ones involving media, were more likely to have been caused by extremist militia in the US who have shown an interest in anthrax in the past and tried to acquire it. The subsequent instances were basically copy-cat episodes by mentally unbalanced people.” But no US militia group is known to posses the refined, military form of anthrax being used against the US media and government, and most US militia groups are more concerned with defending themselves against anthrax than spreading it in such a way that their families and communities might be affected. That leaves a third possibility – that the recent anthrax attacks have been committed by members of the US political establishment against other members of that establishment – a theory boosted by the revelation that two of the most recent victims – Tom Brokaw and Tom Daschle – are apparently good friends who’s families know each other and often vacation together in the Dakotas.

In short, it appears more likely at this point that the recent string of anthrax threats in the US is the result of a deterioration of the internal political situation, than of an outside threat to the integrity of the nation. The question of whether it is related to the growing armed dissent against the central government is open however, as it may simply be a manifestation of political factions using instability as an excuse for assassination.

Conclusion: America’s Militia Movement Is Not To Be Discounted

It is clear that the rural people of American – the mostly white population descended from the original European settlers of the nation – have become alienated from the cosmopolitan blend of urban white liberals and their train of ethnically defined special interests that have gained control of America’s cities. One only has to look at a map of who voted for George Bush and who voted for Al Gore to see that a clear divide has occurred between the values of the country’s elite and their lackeys, and the real working people of the nation.

America’s white working class, so long reviled by the intellectuals and the clique that control the government, has been organizing itself into regional-ethnically based citizen militias that are prepared to fight to restore the values of their ancestor’s revolution two hundred and twenty five years ago. For the first time in a century, more of America’s white population lives in rural areas than in it’s cities, and that demographic change is only one indicator of the larger, more widely spread divide.

Should the American nation fracture, whether due to a massive terrorist attack, the repressive domestic policies of its government, or a combination of both, it is clear that there are thousands, if not tens of thousands, of Americans who are already organized in paramilitary armed formation for the goal of seizing power and restoring the Constitutional Republic that they feel progressive liberalism has lost them.

Osama bin Laden has said that he feels that terrorist attacks can create enough instability in America that forces that already want to change the course of the government will see it weakened enough that an opportunity to act will emerge. With the growing divorce between an imperial government of usurpation and the nation’s original Constitutional principles, bin Laden may not be far off.

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