The arrest of six members associated with Michigan Militia on October 8, 2020 for alleged conspiracy to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, attack the capitol building and instigate a civil war is reverberating in all corners of the world. Seven conspirators are accused of attempting to find the home addresses of law enforcement officers to target them and making threats of violence intended to harm them.
Private militias are armed military groups that are composed of private citizens and not recognized by federal or state governments. However, the citizens, except in Wyoming, are not prohibited from forming such groups. Militias have been formed by individuals in America since the colonial period. In fact, the Revolutionary War against England was fought in part by armies comprising of ordinary citizens.
“They’re not ‘militias.’ They’re domestic terrorists endangering and intimidating their fellow Americans. Words matter,” the governor said in a tweet which means that she recognizes the right to form militia as long as they are not involved in terrorist acts. The legitimization of militia is embedded in the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment grants the right to bear arms for self-defense and for rebellion against a tyrannical government. “When a government turns oppressive, private citizens have a duty to insurrect, or take up arms against it.” In this case nothing of the sort happened, so this was a pure act of terrorism.
The Constitution recognizes two kinds of militia:
· The National Guard and Naval Militia
· State Defense Force
The National Guard can be called by the federal government whereas State Defense Force is in total control of the state alone. Although the states of the United States can’t wage war against each other, Ohio and Michigan fought the War of Toledo in 1832 over the border issue.
Issues apart, what happened in Michigan is despicable and frightening. This is not the first time that Michigan Militia has attempted to terrorize us. They were also responsible for the April 19, 1995 bombing of the federal building in downtown Oklahoma City. Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols of Michigan Militia were the main culprits in that incident. We should all recognize the danger of home-grown terrorism and immediately ban and disarm such organization. They shouldn’t be protected by any party as vote banks. It’s time to be safe and civil.