Starting New Militia

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Organizing local militia's isn't illegal. Advocating for removal of the federal government, or being a paramilitary organization is. The difference between a militia and a paramilitary organization is that the first advocates for the Constitution and the latter has no defined goals other than being an unofficial military organization. I'm fairly certain our State, Washington, prohibits the parade of civilians in the public sphere with firearms, however that does not assert that local militias are illegal.

edit; also, advocating against a specific race, et cetera, is illegal. However being a group of local civilians advocating for the Constitution and organizing groups to help out in cases of natural disasters, or to resist an occupation of enemies to the Constitution, is not illegal.
 

3MTA3

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Where did the "advocating for the removal of the Federal Government" or racist parts come in? I don't see any of that in Riot's facebook page or anything I have seen him write on any forum, even those that do not provide public access.

Riot - can you clarify the purpose of the militia you are forming? I am unfamiliar with the role of independent militias, and I'm sure there are a lot of misconceptions out there.
 
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You fail to understand my message then, Riot & 3MTA3. I was advocating FOR you, not against you, as the other posters were. I was clarifying that private militias are legal under Federal and State law... as long as you are not advocating for the removal of the government, advocating hate speech, et cetera...

Not to mention I'm part of our State militia - I know what an actual militia is, thank you.

I was responding to Wichika's "removal of the federal government... hmmmm" and the prior posters responses.
 

3MTA3

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You fail to understand my message then, Riot & 3MTA3. I was advocating FOR you, not against you, as the other posters were. I was clarifying that private militias are legal under Federal and State law... as long as you are not advocating for the removal of the government, advocating hate speech, et cetera...

Not to mention I'm part of our State militia - I know what an actual militia is, thank you.

I was responding to Wichika's "removal of the federal government... hmmmm" and the prior posters responses.
Thanks for the clarification. For my edification and others not involved with a militia, can you tell us the purpose of a militia and when and how it would be used?
 
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Under legal definition, Section 311 of US Code Title 10, entitled, "Militia: composition and classes" in its entirety:

"(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

(b) The classes of the militia are —

(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and

(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia."

The purpose of an organized or unorganized militia is to assist in the defense of the United States of America and the Constitution. Yes, defense against a tyrannical U.S. government is a purpose of the militia. However, more likely scenarios include defense against foreign occupiers, assisting in emergency response and reconstruction after natural disasters, or aid in defense against any immediate threat to the Constitution of the United States of America. The goal of a militia is to serve your community and the United States, however it may be.

The problem with private, civilian-ran militia's is you DO often have these nut-jobs that turn all "let's create an armed resistance against the government because New World Order conspiracy!!!" that give the name "militia" a bad reputation due to negative media representation. Not to say the government doesn't do some shady, anti-Constitutional things, but hardly to the point where armed resistance should be our response. It's not that bad, and I doubt it will be that bad in the foreseeable future.

edit: think Red Dawn, but less Hollywood. Resistance.
 
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3MTA3

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Thanks for your response. Naturally the press can be trusted to focus on the nut jobs and ignore the well regulated militias and attempt to blur the public's perception between legit militias and paramilitary racist/neo nazi, etc. organizations.

Does your militia coordinate with any govt agencies so it can be effectively deployed in the event of emergency or defense situation? How does/would that work?
 
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Spot on.

My militia is the State-regulated militia, also known as the Washington Army National Guard. It is, technically, a component of the U.S. Military, but we are a State-funded volunteer militia - the oldest component of the U.S. Military.

I'm looking to join a private, civilian-ran militia as well, however, for smaller, more local issues. To answer your question, I don't know how that would work with regard to a privately-operated militia. I'd imagine most officials would tell you to "let the professionals handle it".

My guess is, imagining a "Red Dawn"-esque scenario: Foreign military invades, quickly overwhelms nearby stationed U.S. Military, an enemy force is now gaining ground in the United States. Let's say your town in Oregon has been captured and the enemy flag is flown above your city. Your local militia would execute whatever their contingency plan is to resist the occupying force and reinstate the U.S. Constitution.

Now, a little less "apocalyptic": let's say a natural disaster; mudslide, earthquake, volcano eruption, what-have-you. If your militia is capable of helping with injured, the search for missing people, cleaning up wreckage and damage, et cetera, then they'd go to the area and volunteer to help.

That's at least how I imagine it playing out.
 
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So a few things.... "militia" is on the bad word's list. I might suggest something a little more PC like "Community Organizer Training Association" or "Disaster Relief and Readiness Institute" something along those lines. Fact of the matter is, the word militia brings the mark of cain upon you, and it may turn off some of the good people, and attract some of the lunatics.

Another of the things I learned long ago: Avoid place titles in your group name. This allows things to spread further and wider.

I would also suggest getting a 501C3, this makes any donations tax deductible, it will also force you to be more organized, specifically when it comes to your board, that is you will have a president, a vice president, a treasurer, a secretary and the like. A fundamental thing when it comes to organizing any group is communication. The Tea Party and groups like it suffered image problems because you suddenly had lunatics getting in front of cameras saying "I'm the tea-party leader of the state and alex jones said obama is a space alien who doesn't have a birth certificate". The problem is, there was no organization that could come along and say "no, you just interviewed a nut-job who self-declared herself to that post".

Next, structure your training events around a real charity event. Example:

Today we're going to practice setting up a field expedient kitchen, we're going to do that by taking all this food that was donated to us as a 501C3, and we're going to deliver a hot meal to every homeless and hungry person we can find.

We recruited some doctors, nurse practitioners and others so we're going to have a medical clinic set up so the same people can come in for a checkup.

We will also be giving away care packages with food and toys for kids.

Frankly, at this point, if you carry guns and wear camouflage no one gives two s#1t5, because if you do an event like this every 6 months you're bullet proof. Just make sure you're not stealing from the donations basket.

At the same time, events like the above are what will be needed if a major disaster occurs. This will build more good will than you can shake a stick at. And in a major disaster, this is what you want, you want to be known as "the good guys" so you're not getting shot at by every paranoid local, and you can also use events like the above to recruit higher quality people.

However the real advantage of the 501C3 is you can now write off your ammo expenditures as charity work.
 
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Riot: We saw the same need here in Clark Co. and started doing something similar almost two years ago. The comments about people being alternately attracted or repelled by the term "Militia" are right on, even though (my opinion) The (Constitutional) Militia would be correct for every person who prepares, and then steps up to help in a constructive fashion when necessary.

Here is a group philosophy blurb that is sent to anyone wishing to work with us. (Adopt it, change it, ignore it):

______________________________________________________
We do NO politics during our meetings: "No politics in uniform." No government bashing, nothing.

We are ENTIRELY inclusive: No discrimination due to gender, ethnicity, age, infirmity, religion, etc. Everyone may participate, learn, and contribute as they can. The only "iffy" for us is "prohibited persons" with firearms, and they are welcome as long as they don't handle firearms. (Of course, three-time violent felons or mental hospital escapees: Probably not!)

Because of state statute which bars "private armies," our mode is that of a network of individuals who come together to learn and practice the skills necessary to survive and to assist ourselves, our community, state, and nation during emergencies and disasters - either natural or man-made. As a network, we have no chain-of-command, no hierarchy in our little group. I have been functioning as host and coordinator, but do not command anything. Anyone may hold meetings/training sessions as they wish.

The events we prepare for include a wide spectrum of possibilities, from helping the community during an ice-storm (happens often enough here), to assisting in search and rescue operations, to helping victims and maintaining order after a windstorm or other natural or man-made disaster, all the way to the Constitutional purposes for the Militia (Art. I, Sect 8): Repel foreign invasion, suppress rebellion, and maintain civil order. The framers did include "keep the government in check," in their writings, though this is not in either the Constitution or Statute, and we view this as a not very likely in any case.

We train with firearms, as we believe that everyone must be armed for their own self-defense (and that of the state: WA Constitution Art I, Sect 24) anyway - but our first training event was basic first-aid: Before we go out to play in the dirt, we must be prepared to help someone who gets injured, then get them to medical authority.

We hope to eventually become a recognized and useful asset to the county and the state, including perhaps a sheriff's liaison and participating in training and operations with them. There is a similar group forming in Cowlitz, working to educate, inform, and build skills necessary in emergencies.

We are not "a" militia: We are your neighbors who wish to be prepared to help ourselves, our community, state and nation.
I hope that this gives you a good idea of who we are. You are welcome to join with us: We believe that expanding our network strengthens the greater community.
 
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Organizing local militia's isn't illegal. Advocating for removal of the federal government, or being a paramilitary organization is. The difference between a militia and a paramilitary organization is that the first advocates for the Constitution and the latter has no defined goals other than being an unofficial military organization. I'm fairly certain our State, Washington, prohibits the parade of civilians in the public sphere with firearms, however that does not assert that local militias are illegal.

edit; also, advocating against a specific race, et cetera, is illegal. However being a group of local civilians advocating for the Constitution and organizing groups to help out in cases of natural disasters, or to resist an occupation of enemies to the Constitution, is not illegal.
Murky water there.

Art. I Sec 24 guarantees the "right of the individual to keep and bear arms in defense of self and THE STATE." However, the final sentence in this paragraph states that this "right" can't be used as authority to raise "private armies."

Then there is the statute mentioned above which precludes groups of citizens from "parading in public with arms."

Finally, the Militia statutes preclude ANY armed organizations (militia) other than those RECOGNIZED by the State - which means the National Guard (Federal force maintained by the State), State Guard (no weapons, unpaid volunteers), and Unorganized Militia ("that pool of able-bodied 17-45 year old men who are available for selective service").

Authorized Militia come under the State Military Department at Camp Murray. Anyone called to State Active Duty immediately comes under the State Military Code (similar to the UCMJ), though authorized Militia do enjoy some immunities: Pointing a weapon at someone else while in training does not constitute "assault," for instance (as it does us plebeians).

Washington sheriffs have a constitutional duty to "defend" their counties, but have no constitutional or statutory linkage with "The Militia." They only have sheriff's office deputies that they can legally call on, and they can "deputize" citizens. Sheriffs also don't report to/come under the MilDep, and (as independently elected public servants) don't work for the Governor/State Police either.

Army Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, and Coast Guard Auxiliary are all Federal appendages of their respective services, and cannot be called by any local government officials.

As you can see: A bit thorny on the legalities, eh?
 
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Mike,

You raise some very good points in your two posts... the first point definitely reaffirms my own assertions about the term "militia" anywhere in the title. I also agree a statement of purpose and a code of conduct are very beneficial to attracting the right sorts of people.

That said, I think you may be doing yourself something of a disservice by taking on a derivative of the "leaderless resistance" model. In that for any organization to remain true to it's roots it must have both a committed leadership, and an active membership to keep the leadership on track. Otherwise your message may be diluted by the "self-appointed spokespeople".

Organizations always represent the collective power of their membership.
Leadership implies the leader may direct that power to the ends he chooses.
Power attracts those that want it, maintaining a high standard to ensure only those who are worthy of it attain it.

Power without leadership is like leaving a loaded handgun in a kindergarten playground, no one will be happy with the outcome.

It is also important to maintain a laser-like focus on mission. Otherwise you are likely to build up a lot of dead weight. Some years ago I was involved with another group that did community outreach, training, etc. However, due to a sad trick of geography, I was stuck in with a chapter that pretty much failed to accomplish anything due to the dead weight factor. FYI: the "dead weight" I talk about, are the people who show up to the parties, drink all the beer, eat all the food, yet never show up when it's time to clean up graffiti, move cases of canned goods up stairs, operate a field kitchen and serve those who need it. Eventually, this becomes so fatiguing to the active membership they stop showing up.

One of the policies I instituted later when I ran the chapter was the requirement of paying dues. For dues, we only accepted tokens, and tokens could be earned, or purchased (for $100 each), if you showed up and did a days work, you got one token. It was 3 tokens per year, and you could only attend the parties, shoots and camps if you were a member in good standing. (paid your dues) While this move was not well accepted by the dead weight, the rest of the membership loved the idea, and as far as I know it's still working.

There are a lot of things you can do to make your group successful. Personally, I think ownership stake is one of the most critical.
 
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AM Products: You present good points, and I appreciate the feedback. Please understand that we adopted the "leaderless" model purely to avoid legal ramifications in Washington State. Otherwise, we work this way: I coordinate, do much of the training myself, and prompt the others - but attempt to achieve consensus in decision-making. We recognize that leadership is necessary, and post-event will likely elect those leaders. Otherwise, this is about helping everyone become more self-reliant and prepared to operate individually and in teams.
We also recognize that, in any longer-term grid-down event, whoever you are with is who you've got to work with: You may be the one guy, the one family, that your neighbors turn to because they weren't prepared, and the rest of your group can't join up because bridges are down, roads are blocked, etc. Rather than turning them away (and immediately making them into enemies), take charge, teach them, and require them to perform or leave. Some will stay, some will go, but if they leave because you require them to work for their chow, then it's on them: Note them as potential enemies, and move on.
Thus, we believe in developing everyone to become trainers, and are working on building grid-down leadership, too. In tactical training, where someone must function as small-unit leaders, we rotate everyone through positions so that they can develop those skills. Soon we will run marksmanship-trainer clinics, too, so that they may safely and effectively run rifle/pistol/shotgun ranges and training. We don't discount NRA certification, but it's more important to have the knowledge/skill than the piece of paper.
Again, thanks for the feedback, and the discussion.
 
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Riot: Agreed on all points. It sounds like a prepper group, because that's how it has evolved, so far. We do intend to become tactically competent in order to assist elected authority (the Sheriff) - but that's down the road. We also see ourselves participating in localized defense missions. But not all have bought into the idea (some are really only concerned with taking care of their families, and haven't made the mental leap yet to "community").

And yes: No officers because of the "Private Armies" prohibition - though post-SHTF, we would elect/appoint/designate leaders. Yes, in this state, the Governor appoints officers to the Militia, but that hasn't been any of our concern so far - and he will only do so for the National Guard anyway.

We have a long way to go as a group: Just really began to work on tactical stuff.

I also agree that NRA Certification (and others) confers an air of credibility and legitimacy (sp) on someone, and can be very useful. But, as you say, it doesn't mean that, you don't know what you're doing if you ain't got one!
 

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