By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
3/8/2012 (4 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
There's a troubling trend in America, the rise of armed militias and "patriot" groups who are preparing for a revolution - and a violent one at that. According to the Southern Law Poverty Center (SPLC), these groups are gaining memberships as the possibility of Obama's reelection grows greater.
Members of the Idaho Lightfoot militia.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The founding fathers certainly had the foresight to recognize that things would change. To that end, they instituted a form of government that allows a revolution to take place every four years, albeit a peaceful one. They ensured that citizens would have a voice and a vote.
The original system wasn't perfect, excluding as many people as it included, but over time it evolved into the system we have today where all citizens have a right to vote and participate in government. Still, that is not enough for some who believe the system is broken beyond repair and only a potentially violent overthrow of government can restore order and balance.
The SPLC identifies two distinct types of individuals associated with this potentially dangerous trend, patriots and sovereign citizens.
Patriots believe the government is engaged in conspiracy and see the federal government as their primary enemy. Sovereign citizens believe they are not subject to state and federal laws and that they do not have to pay taxes - essentially they see themselves as individual sovereign entities.
Both types are filling the ranks of anti-government militias.
The Constitution codifies the rights of individuals to their personal beliefs, to free association and membership in organizations they wish to join, and the right of people to bear arms, among a host of other rights that permit militias to exist. However, several individuals belonging to these militias have engaged in plots to attack law enforcement and government officials or to engage in acts of domestic terrorism.
It is this fact that has many within the government and private watchdog organizations alarmed.
According to a recent FBI bulletin, since 2000, at least six police officers have lost their lives in violence involving militia members.
The Oklahoma City bombing and the Ruby Ridge massacre, as well as the Branch Davidian Waco incident were also the result of militia and separatist activity.
Most militia members fear that President Obama is leading a government campaign to strip Americans of their rights. But the militias are not simply watching the President. In Washington state, David R. Myrland was sentenced to 40 months in prison for threatening the mayor of Kirkland with arrest. He sent an email stating, "50 or more concerned citizens will enter your home and arrest you. Do not resist, as these Citizens will be heavily armed."
Ed LeStage, 59, and a member of the 63rd Battalion of Lightfoot Militia, listed as an active militia group in the SLPC report said, "He's after our guns. Obama's been the best gun salesman there ever was." LeStage broadcasts training videos across the country on a weekly basis. The videos are aimed to help members survive an economic meltdown or a state of anarchy.
LeStage said, If Obama is re-elected, "we will probably lose our republic. We will probably turn into another socialist country." On a related online forum one commenter posted, "Nov. 8th should be the start of the next civil war. May GOD guide us safely."
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