The Daily Sheeple
During the 1990′s the growth of the militia movement surged at the heels of several national events. The Cold War had finally ended, but suspiciously, the United States’ global military apparatus did not shrink away. Domestically, the police state we know and love today began to assert itself. It could be argued that this new force in American affairs manifested in the events that transpired at Waco and Ruby Ridge. Suddenly the American public came face to face with the true nature of their government in a very publicized and horrifying way. Most people talked about it, and promptly went on with their daily lives as usual. As for the rest, that tiny vocal minority…they joined militias.
For the most part, it was also an extension of the survival movement of the 80′s. Perhaps with the threat of nuclear war no longer plaguing America’s psyche, they began to see that the invader was not some ushanka wearing commie from Siberia. The real invader had been in our back yard the entire time, busy infecting every layer of American society, and it had been around for a long long time. Those who were aware of this encroaching tyranny did what most humans do when they feel threatened by something bigger than themselves. They banded together. Under the banner of several different ‘right of center’ ideologies, they prepared for the possibility that they may have to go to war with their government someday.
However, the movement was short lived. After the events of the Oklahoma City bombing transpired, the public’s view of the militia movement soured in big way (though the official version of those events are questionable). For the rest of the 90′s, most of the militia movements had been infiltrated and provocateured . As the most extreme examples of this anti-government movement received the most media attention, the moderates got cold feet and left in droves. This process continued well into the election of George Bush Jr., which managed to placate the moderate conservatives enough to believe that the tyranny experienced under Clinton was a thing of the past. At this point the militia movement was “dead on arrival”.
For the most part the movement had been silent for many years, with the setup of the Hutaree militia, and the Minutemen’s arrival on the border being the exceptions. But the situation that developed at the Bundy Ranch earlier this year officially ended the silence and decline of the militia movement. They turned a situation that most people (myself included) were certain was going turn into Waco, and instead, they forced the Federal authorities to stand down without bloodshed. It was a rather decisive moral victory, and probably helped the militia “image” so to speak.
Now this new fledgling militia movement appears to be heading south. According to the San Antonio Express, various militia groups are pouring onto the Texas border to help deal with the influx of illegal aliens. So far these aren’t the Minutemen, but about a dozen other similar groups with names like the “Central Valley Militia”, and “Operation Secure our Border”.
Of course the Minuteman haven’t disappeared completely. Jim Gilchrist is attempting to revive the movement with the current border crisis. They’re hoping to recruit 3500 members in the next year with what they’re dubbing, Operation Normandy. Of course, the usual suspects at the SPLC have come out to condemn the Minutemen, and criticize the wider militia movement with the typical claims of racism and extremism.
These new movements however, appear to be playing it safer than their 90′s counterparts. Gilchrist is instructing the resurgent Minutemen to basically carry kid gloves:
“You do not put a hand on anyone, you do not talk to anyone, you do not confront anyone,” Gilchrist told the network. “You report to Border Patrol.”
Meanwhile the border groups in Texas are being instructed on their rules of engagement.
“(Rules of Engagement) is if in fear of bodily injury, weapons free, if fired upon, return fire. Real simple,” member KC Massey posted along with a photo on Facebook. “We are not worried about an “International” incident if they shoot at us.”
They appear to be taking a purely self defensive stance, which is what put them on the moral high ground at the Bundy Ranch. It’s a recipe for success. And who could forget that the bizarre Las Vegas cop killers were forced to leave the Bundy Ranch for reasons that haven’t been fully disclosed. It appears the movement has learned its lesson from the 90′s, and is successfully keeping the crazies out.
This new breed isn’t playing toy soldiers. They’re getting very serious about quality control and hopefully, keeping informants out. If they can do all that and keep from fighting each other, then they stand a good chance of making a difference. Most importantly, they need to maintain a self defensive stature. That’s ultimately what destroyed the militia movement nearly 20 years ago. Going out and bombing buildings and robbing banks is a fast path towards bringing the full weight of the Feds down on you. It’s a failed strategy, and if this generation can avoid it, they stand a decent chance of protecting our freedoms in the long term.
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Contributed by Joshua Krause of The Daily Sheeple.
Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger
Many of the techniques and philosophies on preparedness are based upon what we have learned from those who have gone before. The colonials of the United States in particular provide us with a picture of personal protection on the part of average, everyday people fighting for their families and communities against a variety of threats. The Minutemen in particular have captured the American imagination, and the image of one of these defenders holding a rifle against all comers is one of the most famous relating to the American Revolution. Much as these brave men defended their families so long ago, we may have to as well and so it is vital to learn from their example.
Their purpose and origin
The Minutemen had a long history in the American Colonies, though the actual term did not exist until around the late 1740′s. Even as early as 1645, there were plans not only for a defensive militia but also for a special force of men able to act within a very short time. Essentially, they were designed to be the “guaranteed” element, as much as anything in a volunteer militia could be guaranteed. While the rest of the troops could be slowly gathered from surrounding farms and villages, these Minutemen would be able to attack or defend as necessary, acting as a holding force until the rest of the militia arrived to finish the enemy.
During periods of relative peace, the Minutemen drilled constantly with live ammunition when they could afford to build or purchase it. In some cases local towns, villages or even entire colonial governments would elect to give funds for training, weapons, and ammunition and powder, but in other cases they were entirely self-funded by each member. Captains and other officers were selected by vote of the men he would command, oftentimes a respected member of the local community (for example, a local deacon once led some 20-30 young men who he had served at his local church). Their major lack was in high-level organization, since they were meant to remain small independent groups and defend towns, not a standing army. The drilling, combined with their combat experiences in war and their lifestyle of hunting and stalking in the woods around them, made them an effective fighting force despite their relative lack of organization by the time of the Revolutionary War.
The lessons we can apply from their example
1. Training and experience are key to protecting yourself and your community. The Minutemen trained individually and as a group, holding drills for proper formation and transmission of orders in the thick of a fight. They were not random yokels grabbing pistols and a box of ammunition off the shelf, running out into the streets. They took it upon themselves to keep discipline and skills very well honed. Training of all sorts, from practice at the range to get a feel for your weapons to squad-based tactics at specialized training facilities, would be invaluable for proper protection in a survival situation. The right to keep and bear arms stems from the importance of people like the Minutemen, and you should ensure that you train like one when you have the time and money to do so.
2. You should worked with / in your community. Now, this isn’t quite so easy to emulate today. Imagine openly training a group of rifle-armed men in the streets of L.A., New York City, or your own hometown. Complete bedlam, right? Proper application of this principle would be to work within your community to find like-minded people, and to train with them as part of a protective group. At the very least, finding people within your own family to work and train with, even if it is just one other person, could be of immense value in an emergency.
3. You should prepare supplies beforehand, and hide them from likely enemies. We’ll be going into how to form proper caches in the next few days, but the idea of having supplies to cache is the key here. These people lived largely self-sufficient lives anyway, but they made sure to store many materials including powder, shot, ammunition, food, and even cannons in places where thieves, Indians, and (later) the British would not find them. Although you may not need to bury food and ammunition in a wide enough area so that you can protect an entire town, there would be value in looking into the amount of supplies you would need to defend a block, or even a single building for an extended period of time.
5. Be respectable. This may seem like an odd point to make, but when you look at many modern “militia” groups the admonition is very much warranted. Whether it’s literally you against the world or if you have an entire neighborhood at your back, you should be seen as respectable, honorable, responsible authority figures. The Minutemen were in many cases much loved by their communities, which is why they were often given additional funds by the colonial governments. Leaders were chose not only because of training, but also be because they were local figures of respectability and honor, including churchmen, businessmen, landowners and sometimes even local politicians. Why is this important for you? Because it gives you legitimacy when a disaster strikes, which can keep official heat off your back when everything starts falling apart, Furthermore, it can even encourage unaffiliated people to work with you rather than against you. People tend to consider “survivalists” to be fairly shady folks, so ensuring that your group is made up of honorable and upright people goes a long way to making your group be perceived as a local authority rather than the local nuthouse.
The Minutemen were vital component in our nation’s founding, and the lessons we can learn from their methods and conduct need to be revived in our modern era. Be prepared like the Minutemen, and you won’t be taken by surprise. – Prepared For That
Let us know what you think of the idea of learning from the Minutemen. Are there other historical lessons that can be learned? Share in the comments!
- Army Officer Wants You Disarmed: “We Will Pry Your Gun from Your Cold, Dead Fingers” (thesurvivalplaceblog.com)