American Morning

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November 16th, 2009
05:50 AM ET

Militias: Patriots or Extremists?

By Jim Acosta

Out in the woods, 30-minutes from the nearest city, the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia meets for training once a month.

Armed with a small arsenal of semi-automatic weapons, the question that crosses your mind at one of these exercises is: training for what?

That depends on who you ask.

Our visit with the militia is the first installment of our three part series on something called "the Patriot movement."

The members of the militia in Michigan would certainly call themselves patriots. The folks at the civil rights organization, the Southern Poverty Law Center prefers to use the word "extremists."

Critics of the modern-day militia point out how some of the members of this movement are highly secretive. For example, we contacted nearly a dozen militias for permission to observe their exercises. The militia in Michigan is the only one that said yes.

Watch: Patriots or Extremists? Video

Still, some of its members would not give us their names. Others wore masks.

Then there are the members' constant fears the Obama administration will eventually take away their gun rights.

Another member told us he thinks the president could be "dangerous for the nation."

In nearly the same breath that member said he hopes the militia's training exercises would give some in Washington "pause."

Not to worry, says the group's leader Lee Miracle. A military veteran and postal worker, yes postal worker, Miracle says he urges respect for the president.

He's out to change the way the world views militia groups. We get an up-close look at his family in part two of our series. A family Miracle refers to as "Lee and Kate plus eight plus a gun rack." That's because they have eight kids and 22 guns in the house. And the kids take part in militia day.

In part three of our series, we go to Las Vegas to go behind the scenes with an organization called "Oathkeepers." It's a group of ex-law enforcement officials and military veterans who say they've sworn an oath to the Constitution, not the president. The president they're referring to, of course, is Mr. Obama.

Share your thoughts with us here at amFIX.


Filed under: Controversy • Patriots or Extremists
soundoff (504 Responses)
  1. Patrick in Madison

    these militias are feeding off the fear being whipped up by Fox News. No good will come from this business.

    November 16, 2009 at 8:34 am |
  2. janedoeinohio

    Potok is off base. Many Americans are worried about a president who has so many extremists and communists in his govt.! Besides, there is a long history of hunting, shooting, and militias in our culture. Where has he been?

    November 16, 2009 at 8:34 am |
  3. Jennifer W.

    These people are extremist and racists. No question about it!

    November 16, 2009 at 8:33 am |
  4. Adam Park

    It is clear that these groups know nothing about how the US Government works. The US President cannot actually implement laws, though he can influence, suggest, or veto bills. This matter is up to Congress and the Senate not the President. And besides, if the Legislative Branch implements a law, the Judiciary Branch can step in to make sure it is not unconstitutional. This is GOVERNMENT 101, they teach this in high school for God's sake. Also, these groups clearly do not pay attention to the news because Obama is having a tough time dealing with Congress and the Senate anyway. The Democrats barely passed their own version of the Health Care Bill, with many of their own party members voting against it. Plus, exercising gun control would be political suicide for Obama and the Democrats. It does not matter if you support the current president, but wouldn't you be worried if an individual took up military weapons because of uneducated fears? These people are not patriots, a true patriot takes up arms to defend his home, family, and country. A true patriot does not take up arms because he/she is worried that our country's first black president might want to take away their MILITARY GRADE rifles... You do have the right to bear arms, Thomas Jefferson himself said "The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that... it is their right and duty to be at all times armed." But this does not give people the right to take advantage of this privilege.

    November 16, 2009 at 8:33 am |
  5. tom

    So where were the Militias when G. W. Bush took away Habeas Corpus and many other rights?

    November 16, 2009 at 8:32 am |
  6. Elizabeth Riebschlaeger

    It is interesting that these militias fear that the Constitution is at risk under President Obama's administration. He is, in fact a Constitutional lawyer who taught Constitutional law. This administration has already taken steps to protect Americans' constitutional rights that were already jeopardized by the Bush Administration's actions. Further, the Supreme Court of the US, whose role it is under the Constitution to protect those rights for US citizens, had declared decisions and actions of the Bush Administration against US citizens to have been a violation of their Constitutional rights, (thanks to masterminds Cheney, Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld) even before President Bush had left office. Perhaps these militias might do themselves a service by gathering facts from solid news organizations rather than allowing themselves to be manipulated by propaganda. Military force moved by propaganda was one of the chief characteristics and tactics of the Nazis under Adolph Hitler's control. These militias appear to me to be following in the pattern of the Nazi brownshirts, and are a far greater threat to this country than President Obama, it seems to me.
    (In fact, those whose Constitutional rights were violated when they died in the Oklahoma bombing of the Murrah Building have a militia and one of their members, Timothy McVeigh, to thank for their "protection".) It seems apparent to me, based on facts, that the Contitutional rights of these militias and of all US citizens are far safer under the Obama Administration than under the Bush Administration.
    Finally, weapons and "military action" in the name of national defense are much more wisely administered by the offical military than in these self-appointed militias.

    November 16, 2009 at 8:30 am |
  7. Gil

    Hey cnn, did you ask the Missouri Militia? They are pretty open about their activities and the public is welcome at their events and training exrecises. They a militia that regularly works with police and civil officials, usualy in times of disaster and such. This group also does a lot of community service work. In order to be a member, you must be legaly able to carry a fire arm and pass a state police back ground check, you may not be a member of any hate group. Their ranks incluse lawyers, and other professionals and consits of people of all sorts of ethical back grounds.

    Oh, and to the people here who are calling this a "racialy fueled movement", what about the black members of these groups, are they "racist" too?

    November 16, 2009 at 8:30 am |
  8. Bryan Lewis

    I have had many dealings with these groups and almost always they are involved with a religious cult. It is normal for them to hold an extremist view of the Christian religion, believing they have some elite end of the world destiny. Futhermore, as a US Army Veteran, I do not feel they have earned the right to wear any semblence of a US Military uniform.

    November 16, 2009 at 8:28 am |
  9. rick

    Rick,

    it appears that you have an issue with minorities being in leadership positions. pointing out "A chineese American Liberal/activist Judge" being "on top of the Legislative Branch" appears to be irrelevant to a difference in policy, but a direct implication on ethnicity. if not, then why mention it? does it really matter if that person is Chinese-American?

    also, Judge Roberts, a republican, has almost always sided with big businesses if they were sued by former employees for discrimination or other reasons. is not that against your constitutional rights to be treated fairly and without prejudice?

    November 16, 2009 at 8:27 am |
  10. Lu Ann McNabb

    I hope that your network also shows the other side of the 2nd Amendment issue – those who live with the ramifications of gun violence every day – and not just in Chicago. This fear that gun rights and/or constitutional rights will be taken away is groundless. The Supreme Court recently interpreted the 2nd Amendment: individual right to bear arms with the government's right to enact public safety measures such as background checks. Our constitution and our founding fathers understood the balance between individual liberties and the security of society – we see it in all the amendments. As for the lack of political will on the part of our representatives, it is appalling. Over 30,000 Americans die from gun violence every year and very few have the courage to say let's do something about this. Meanwhile, families and friends are left with their loss because legislators "lack political will". We can preserve gun rights while preserving public safety. We just need legislators who have the courage to try.

    November 16, 2009 at 8:27 am |
  11. Richard

    (Same Richard as above) I also have 22 guns in my house. I've done my homework, and President Obama has no intention of taking my guns away. These groups cannot claim that they are protecting the 2nd Amendment from President Obama; He is its best friend.

    November 16, 2009 at 8:27 am |
  12. Tammy

    Did they murder 14 people in the name of "allah"? If youre looking for extremists you should be looking in to the military murderer at Fort Hood.

    November 16, 2009 at 8:19 am |
  13. Don

    For too many years our current Government has done everything they could to test the Constitution and It`s "Meaning" to the point where we are now actually violating the "Principles" on which it was written, Every time our elected officials try to "Guess" about the intent of a specific Amendment,Right or Law, They actually erode the "Meaning" Further.
    Our Constitution Is meant to be somewhat fluid throughout time but NOT so Fluid that updates to it actually change the original "Principles" on which it was Founded.
    And you ask WHY Militia groups are so prevalent Today?
    If our Government does not stop moving toward Socialism it may get worse.
    The more Laws that are passed that erode our Personal Rights and Freedom, Especially when it comes to what you can or cannot do in the Privacy of your own home is NOT to be under any Government Control, It is called Individual Rights & Responsibility, Freedom of Choice,and Nobody should ever be labeled a Criminal unless there is a "Victim" Whose rights were violated in some manner and any punishment should "Fit" the Crime.
    "We had to arrest and label him a criminal because he was doing something hazardous to his own health" < – That is NOT a Criminal!!!

    November 16, 2009 at 8:15 am |
  14. Ben

    Considering the fact that these groups directly inspired the Oklahoma City bombers, it is hard to believe that they pose no threat. The links between these militia extremist groups and racially extremist groups can't be ignored. It is no coincidence that this resurgence of domestic terrorist groups has coincided with the election of the first black president. These people are dangerous and need to be watched closely. The idea that they are simply exercising their rights contradicts the propaganda on their websites and in their printed literature. These groups are heavily influenced by William Pierce's "Turner Diaries" and it should not go without note that the writer of that book was the founder of a racist and anti-government church. These people are as dangerous as Al Qaeda only they live right in our own back yards.

    November 16, 2009 at 8:15 am |
  15. Steven

    These groups are, in my opinion, every bit as dangerous as Islamic terrorists are to this nation. Their hatred of the President and of our government in general puts them right up there with the worst of the worst. They are no more than the Klan in camo. 8 children, 22 guns, just what we need, the breeding of more hate and bigotry.

    November 16, 2009 at 8:15 am |
  16. mike

    I dont belive any militia member cares who is president. They belive in our constitution and keeping our rights and freedoms. They are definitely patriots unlike our elected offcials in washington.

    November 16, 2009 at 8:13 am |
  17. Pedro

    When government takes a swing, be it left or right, it is inevitable that the citizens that feel treatened will become more active. We saw this with anti-war, pro-abortion groups during the Bush administration and we are seeing it with the pro-constitution, pro-gun groups now. I think they while these groups operate within th law they are all patriots.

    November 16, 2009 at 8:11 am |
  18. Richard

    The many Militia groups that exist in the United States cannot be judged as one organization. There is no doubt that many are extremist, while others are patriotic, but they do have in common a belief that they are protecting their freedom. I am not a member of any paramilitary organization, but I do believe that a despotic government is a real, potential danger. I just cannot understand how these groups deem the Obama Administration a threat to their freedoms. Though I am a rapid Liberal and supporter of President Obama, I respect the right of these groups to exist and operate. If I felt that a TRULY despotic government were coming to power in the United States, I would not hesitate to take action myself. I personally believe members of these groups are misinformed and should focus on deterring future threats, not neo-conservative propaganda.

    November 16, 2009 at 8:10 am |
    • Rich

      Richard I totally agaree with ur view on this topic. Were in real trouble if we can't tell the real intenition between the good, the bad, and the ugly. Militia or patroit? Y does one need to hide their face? The last people to hide their face in our country (kkk) lied, killed, stole, and sold people and land. That's not the country I want to be apart of for a second time. How can u trust someone who hide behide a mask.

      November 16, 2009 at 9:13 am |
  19. Jen

    Those people are not patriots. That is all driven by racism. They can dress it up any way they want but racism is the driver. They can't even articulate what rights are being infringed on by the President. Ignorance again rears it's ugly head!

    November 16, 2009 at 8:09 am |
  20. Xena

    As long as they are not adjudicated criminals or mentally deficient (Ie cannot touch or have firearms / ammo), and they are not attempting to commit criminal offenses of sedation, treason, etc. let them go camping and shoot their firearms.

    November 16, 2009 at 8:09 am |
  21. Jack Smith

    I think they are patriots. As you said they are part of the reason our 2nd amendment is not currently being challenged. It would be political sucicide. I find it funny that you seem to think that is because of Obama's skin color. Liberal is the issue, not race. We all know how bad you want it to be race though. People do want the Government to control their lives. It is the reason our country was started in the first place.
    I am an idependant who wanted change. I have seen none. It is the same petty politics as before. It just seems now that Obama "acts" above it and you don't report the truth. There is not a crediable news network left. I worry about what happened to the press that used to question it's leaders. Not help it's agenda. As for Fox, it the same as you just pushing a different side. Still no objectivity.
    It is obvious every person on CNN is a liberal, even when they try to act like they are not. It is obvious that most on Fox our conservative.
    You should all be ashamed. You are allowing the grey to cause harm to our country.

    November 16, 2009 at 8:09 am |
  22. Rick

    You have to fight fire with fire. In this case, extreme with extreme. Obama is the most far left radical we've had as a President. In the books Obama wrote we've read his outlook on what he see's America to be. With cunning wit and phrases that would go over most heads that have not read the Constitution. He has all corners of government covered. Liberal/activist Judge Sotomayor on top of Judicial branch of Government. Gun control is her one her top issues. A chineese American Liberal/activist Judge who's name now escapes me is on top of the Legistrative Branch of Government. And Obama on top of the Elective Branch. Also majority control of the House, The Senate, Congress, The White House, and 95% of state run media on the Obama train. Nothing he does can be wrong. If people knew the constitution like they know Brad Pitts movie and the singers name of this years American Idols by heart, there would have been no Bush, Obama in the White House. For almost 100 years, the government has played on the American Citizens ignorance to the Law of government and Constitutional law. Cap & Trade, Health Care Bill are unconstitutional and most don't know that, yet we are supposed to trust them to do the right thing. But Barney Frank said himself that you can't trust the government. Bring the government back down to size. Government is the nessasary evil and if left unchecked will turn on it's people. Not the government but the power hungry and deceptive politician we elect to trust them to represent us. No longer trust and the people of America's voice is being silenced by elected officials that have lost touch. They've been in office too long. Time to get them out and bring back freedom in our government. Some politicians are too old and probably wearing DEPENDS while giving their speeches. Anyone that has been in government office for more than 10 years is time to go back to private life, collect SSI, Medicare, Medicaid. Not the 6 figure current salary for life. There should not be a life term in any office in government and it's branches, except civilian jobs in government with no authority. Read the Constitution and you'll realize it's been years the constitution has been erroding. But now this President will finish, try to, the job of destroying the greatest country invented by man with God given rights and freedom. Militias are to protect us from Obama.

    November 16, 2009 at 8:06 am |
  23. Canam

    They are REAL Brave Americans who are courageously defending our freedoms from the newest and greatest threat. We have uncovered a new leader of Al Quaeda in America. It is Barack Hussein Obama – MMM, MMM, MM America's Enemy #1.

    November 16, 2009 at 8:06 am |
  24. Pam Harris

    Our President bows to Emporers and the king of Saudi Arabia, who apologizes for who we are and fails to promote what we do right. A bow is a gesture of subservience, an act servitude.
    Do I trust him? I don't believe our President has any idea about the level of prestige that goes along with being President of the United States.
    George Washington understood it.Our president bows to no one and neither does the citizenry bow to the president.
    Will he do away with our constitution? I don't believe he's even aware of the ways he can try to take away our liberties.
    I believe the people are responsible for the protection of our rights as well as the politicians. We can vote them out of office but we must also take note of the nations who surrendered their guns and the ultimate take over of these governments.
    Survivalists groups should be left alone as long as they [ose no threat to the public good. There may come a day when their skills will be needed.

    November 16, 2009 at 8:04 am |
  25. cece

    They are extremists, driven by fear propaganda. Also we should not discount the thrill of playing soldier in the woods, being all bad and and mad at Obama.

    November 16, 2009 at 8:03 am |
  26. Ron

    in my opinion para-military groups like those in Michigan are a cross between self belief and purity than that of acting as a deterrent. more like a fraction or group that commonly be equated a Junta or Taliban army. As a veteran, you support and defend the constitution of the United States of America, which also includes those that in itself are sworn to defend that very document which also is the requirement of the elected President regardless of gender or ethnicity.

    November 16, 2009 at 8:03 am |
  27. boyke

    oh please my friend!! everything in US is within your right!! that is the priced you have to pay as long you keep "FIRST AMENDEMENT" AND LIBERAL COUNTRY !!
    YOU LET THE GENNIE OUT..... even religion/faith won`t stop it !! noting will stop it !! so please don`t talk about or even bother to discus it... everything is no border!! with our principal anyting is possible!! Even sometime America need to learn you can`t have both ways!!

    November 16, 2009 at 8:03 am |
  28. Drew J

    They're Patriots!! Granted there are always bad seeds, or groups in this case, who just want to shoot guns irresponsibly and will claim the name militia and reflect poorly on the rest of it's community. If you are going to call these groups of people worrying about our country's path extremists, then what do you call our national guard? As for the reason why they are forming so rapidly, look at the direction of this country, it's trying to control it's citizens. At some point the leaders of this country have to realize that they cannot control crime and it's not entirely the governments responsibility to do so. It falls on the citizens too but it's come to be that you, law abiding citizens, can't protect yourself (property included) or assist others in need without worry of being arrested or even sued by the criminal. What the hell is happening here?

    November 16, 2009 at 8:03 am |
  29. Wanda

    I failed to add this to my earlier comment. So, are these folks training to kill other Americans?

    November 16, 2009 at 8:00 am |
  30. mike

    they are both extremist & patriots.
    our rights going away voter fraud with acorn, black panters at voting [places & holder does nothing / erosion of states rights / favors to unions illegal unions for votes
    corruption sen. Dobbs gets sweetheart deal people get screwed & worst, ethics committee says its ok they didn't realize it was a good deal. & the news media hardly says anything
    news media that does very little to expose the corrupt government just like in communist countries.
    Maybe i should join one

    November 16, 2009 at 7:59 am |
  31. Shawn Salvatore

    I believe these people are patriots.We have the right to suppport the constitution.And we should as americans.Iam not one of these militias,nor do i believe the president is trying to strip away constitutional rights.But i do have a hard time trusting politicians.
    If these miltias are doing what they say,supporting the constitution,that is a good thing.I believe every american has the right to support the american constution,it is ideals and morals this counttry was founded on.And I believe as americans,we have a obligation to support the U.S. constitution,and U.S. as a country.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:59 am |
  32. Colleen Murphy

    The militias are patriots. There may be some extremists among them, which is true of any type of organization. The mass majority of militia members are patriotic men and women that believe being complacent about our constitutional rights is a bad idea. They also enjoy the camaraderie.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:57 am |
  33. Amy

    I truly believe these groups are primarily harmless. We wouldn't even know about them if a reporter didn't search them out. They haven't been a menace to society or caused mayhem with the government. They, like many of us, don't trust the government. Most Americans feel that they have no control over what the government chooses for them. These, relatively rare, groups have found a way to make them feel like they have more control over their fate. Of course there are degrees of over-zealousness and misguided fanaticism in any group. I don't believe the secret service or FBI need to invade the woods of southern Michigan in fear of the overthrow of the government.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:57 am |
  34. Pastor Martin Luther Dzerzhinsky Lindstedt

    Same old foolishness that was heard back in the 1990s from the suburban whiggers about 'saving' that sacred scrap of toilet paper known as the CONstitution and Bill of Goods from ZOG (Zionist Occupation Government) and the jews. And the jewsmedia shows up to give these suburban whiggers playing at belonging to a private army and how Obongo is gonna take they's guns an audience of even stupider whiggers and muds listening in on the fruited & nutted ZOG-plains.

    First of all, the original militias of the 1990s were rural White militias with a Christian Identity and Klan cadre. After Oklahoma City the real militia people went back underground where they still stay. ZOG's sudry agents provacateur then ate out what was aboverground. So by default, since there are no Klansmen or Identity Christians wanting to let the local sheriff know for sure who they are, the jewsmedia isn't going to ever find these real dangerous militias armed for Racial Holy War.

    As I pointed out in Issue #6 of Modern Militiaman, there is no such thing as a CONstitutional militia because the CONstitution took away these private militias and armed groups from the People and the states and gave them to the criminal consolidated regime established by the CONstitution in Article 1, Paragraph 8 of said CONstitution.

    There has been an upsurge in 'militia' activity as 2009 was much the same as 1994, the year after Waco with a Democrat president increasing the size of ZOG under color of 'law.' However, these militia mattoids will not get very far simply because they are reactionary feeble-minded individuals as opposed to hard-core religious or racial fanatics. They will listen to the jews like Potok at the $PLC and ADL, and in cowardly reaction whine about how they 'ain't racist' when the 'militias' that you ZOGlings fear are indeed these private groups which have already existed of Christian Identity and Klansmen, and which always will exist as long as White men exist.

    Hail Victory!!!

    Pastor Martin Luther Dzerzhinsky Lindstedt
    Church of Jesus Christ Christian/Aryan Nations of Missouri
    http://www.whitenationalist.org/forum

    November 16, 2009 at 7:55 am |
  35. Lynn

    I believe 80% of these militia's are racist base. When America should have been concern about their social rights being taken away it was during the Bush Administration. That Administration gave this country away to Corporate American and what was left went to foreign countries in the so call Free Trade.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:55 am |
  36. Wanda

    First it's interesting that the folks in the militia are caucasian. They could not articulate why they did not like the President or what specifically he is or is not doing that could cause them concern. Could it be merely because our President is not caucasian that is driving their need to be in this group?. As for the other groups if they truly believe and have true concern why did they not want to appear on your show. Are they ashamed or scared like in the past when another group hid their identity with white hoods?

    November 16, 2009 at 7:51 am |
  37. Jane Costello

    Interesting subject the militias.
    However it pains me that Americans and the American media seem to exhibit the memory span of the average 5 year old !
    It appears that most of these militia people, and many other thinking Americans are worried about their Constitution being eroded by the Obama administration.

    Cast your thoughts back just over a year ago to when the Bush administration was in power. In 8 years Bush and Cheney and the Neocons SHREDDED the American Constitution ! You all stood by and let it happen. There are dangerous elements within the militia, especially racists, but, It is far too easy for you to equate the increase in those joining the Miitlias with Obama becoming President.

    Certainly it is an issue for some, but BUSH and CHENEY and all that administration changed in the Constitution should be highlighted and reported upon. Real Investigative journalism is dead in America it appears. CNN runs far too many ONE sided stories. Compared to the European media it always seems that you are afraid of your governments, afraid of upsetting big business etc. The media is supposed to seek and report Truthfully and cover both sides of any stories or multiple sides if necessary. You never report on the BIG picture.
    Your Constitution is in shreds already, do a report on how much it has changed since the end of World war II. It is not due to the Obama administration ! Make people aware of what has happened to their constitution and then, better informed, they can make checks against the present and future administrations eroding it further.
    Socialism is not your enemy here. What has happened recently is that big business runs your country, that is FASCISM, not socialism. Read your world history – Italy – Mussolini – Germany – Hitler. When big business tells the government what to do ( Goldman Sachs) it is Fascism.

    In the words of one of America's LAST seriously unbiased investigative journalists, "Good Night and Good Luck".
    Edward R Murrow must be turning in his grave at the current standard of broadcast reporting in America today.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:50 am |
  38. Randy Koning

    I think they are necessary to help protect the rights that are constitution guarantees. This administration has done nothing but try to erode everything this country has fought for. Militia's were necessary for our freedom from England and I think they may be necessary to take our country back from an extremist government that is evolving here. We are guaranteed rights through the constitution that no government or world order has the right to remove.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:49 am |
  39. randal

    maybe those guys dont trust the new government because they choose not to and by that i mean they may not feel that the current administration is being forthright and honest. and to hold them in a bad light is not reporting the news thats more of an opinion. i did at one time watch CNN all the time but yall just had a kid that says gay people arent getting liberty because they cant get married. well what is the means to an end of marriage? procreation and it comes from the bible and is between a man and a woman. maybe they should get off the CROSS and LET ONTHER GROOP HAVE the WOOD........RANDAL

    November 16, 2009 at 7:48 am |
  40. steve

    I don't know what these people are thinking. The Bush-Cheney government did more to strip us of our constitutional rights than any prior administration. What about the watering down of the law that prohibits the use of American troops on American soil? Having said that, I have no problem with being prepared for self-policing and survival. We have seen the governments inability to deal with natural disasters like Katrina. The Militias hearts are in the right place – their minds aren't.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:48 am |
  41. Vicki

    These militias smack of ignorance and racism. And they damage rather than help 'their' interpretation of the Constitution.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:48 am |
  42. Al Gagne

    All Politicians are pledged to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. NOT protect and defend a leader and his socialist/communist supporters. I believe the Militias are PATRIOTS True and Blue. They are prepared to protect and defend the Constitution if the Shadow Government, which is being created by Obama, is activated. Remember Obama has stated that he wants to create and fully fund a civilian police force armed and more powerful than our Military Force. Where have we heard this before? Have we forgotten 1930 Germany? Mainland America was not invaded by the Japanese because they new that American Civilians were armed. We are the Sole Country which Guarentees it's civilian the right to bear arms. Once that right is eliminated we are not longer Free Citizens. We become Subjects.

    Sincerely,
    Al Gagne
    Vietnam Veteran, Registered Voter and Patriot.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:47 am |
  43. LISA

    IT REALLY MAKES ME SICK HOW ANYTIME YOU HAVE A PERSON OR A GROUP OF PEOPLE, TRAINING TO LEARN HOW TO DEFEND THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES THEY AUTOMATICALLY ARE CALLED " A DANGEROUS GROUP". AND JUST BECAUSE THEIR ARE NO MINORITIES THERE, WHY DOES THAT HAVE TO BE IN QUESTION? THIS IS AMERICA AND WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO TRAIN OURSELVES TO DEFEND OUR FAMILY!!!!!!

    November 16, 2009 at 7:47 am |
  44. Jake

    I believe that state militias are as necessary to defending our freedom as the standing military. Our rights are disappearing under the guise of national security and most Americans seem to welcome it. The Patriot Act says that if you are labeled an enemy combatant you can be searched without a warrant, arrested and held without trial, not be given access to a lawyer, and not even be allowed to attend your own trial. I am more afraid of the national media and my own government then I am of any terrorist organization.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:46 am |
  45. ronvan

    The only problem here is trying to separate the "real true patriots" from the idiots who use the cover of calling themselves militia to pursue their hate! I would sincerely hope that those responsible, FBI, etc., know who are OK and those that are not! Heck, I guess you could make the argument that the National Guard is each states militia?

    November 16, 2009 at 7:46 am |
  46. John Hench

    Why don't we cal these Militia camps exactly what they are...terrorist training camps?

    November 16, 2009 at 7:46 am |
  47. Nancy K. Kraft

    When did we all ge so politically correct that things can't be called what they are. The militia groups seem like a new version of an old group, KKK, or "Skin Heads" and racist.s I am sure they call themselves "Christians" also. It seem to me to be a kind of fundamentalism that we critisize in other countries, rather like the pot calling the kettle black. Our next terrorist attack will likely be from within due to the fact that out of control people have guns they don't need. What is it with the NRA in the USA that we allow this kind of disease to keep growing?

    November 16, 2009 at 7:45 am |
  48. Michael Morris

    Patriots, as our Government has failed the people. They no longer represent the will of the American People but the special interests of every extreme view in the nation.

    Our courts have become churches of evil disguised as law leading the American people down the path of good intentions towards our own destruction.

    All checks and balances are gone and the only thing standing in the way of the powers that be from turning thing nation into a total police state is the fear that the American People, as they did after Pearl Harbor, will rise to once again defeat every enemy of freedom as the Constitution and Bill of Rights invisioned and served this country for over 200 years.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:45 am |
  49. Mark Barillaro

    I'm more concerned about criminal gangs in this country. They're armed to the teeth, violent, and seemingly unstoppable by normal law enforcement methods. I believe these groups will, in the future, be much more dangerous than the Michigan militia and other such groups. In many ways, they mirror the warlords in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:45 am |
  50. rick

    not to be disrespectful, but, if someone is "fearful" that their constitutional rights are being stripped away, but cannot give one example of such, really is just trying to find an excuse to be against. for those who are afraid of their gun rights being degraded, answer this: what measures do you propose to lessen gun violence among teens and pre-teens?

    plus, i am sure those same people would not agree to an Islamic-American group, or any other minority group, forming a militia stocking up on weapons to "protect their rights".

    on a personal note, i am not surprise that these militia only comprise of non-minority republicans. to them, an African-American president would be "dangerous for the nation".

    November 16, 2009 at 7:45 am |
  51. Joe

    Worried about this president? where was all of this worry an concern when the patriot act was passed? That is the greatest threat to our liberty and rights we have ever seen. Or is all of this noise because we have a person of color in the white house?

    November 16, 2009 at 7:44 am |
  52. Jeff

    This gives me pause. I cannot understand the difference between these militas and the terrorist groups.

    These people are ready to begin a war on their nation should they feel that our freely elected President creates a law that they do not like. Isn't this what Osama and his group says that they stand for as well.

    Wasn't this same notion used for all those terrorist in Pakastan and Iraq as they attack their governments and people. This is sickening. And it is clear to see these people are repeating words they hear from Newsmen like Glen Beck, Lou Dobbs and Rush. Not to mention the Republicans in office who keep spoutting all these lies.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:44 am |
  53. Charles

    How quickly we forget, Timothy McVeigh started the same way and we know what happened next. Freedom of speech is one thing but to train in preperation of taking over the government, is a warning sign and Federal officials better take notice! Racism has been on the rise since Obama was elected and the Republican party has been fueling the fire with Palin and Limbough at the front of the line!

    November 16, 2009 at 7:44 am |
  54. Mamie Thomas

    These are extremist, nothing more than acting like the modern day KKK, and are being glorified by the media. Are we any different than people in the middle east that we are trying to protect ourselves from?

    November 16, 2009 at 7:44 am |
  55. vanrowe

    a revolution is brewing!!

    November 16, 2009 at 7:43 am |
  56. chavez

    It seems that racism in this report is played down. I mean come on, A black president is elected and these militas sprout up and they are all white people... no minorities. I have also noticed allot of chatter online from people I have known, that really don't like minorities. People that don't have any tolerance. They all talk about the weapons they trade or buy.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:43 am |
  57. john

    Funny how the Bush white house introduced the patriot act, to protect us from all the scary terrorist, slashing away at all our rights. Yet now militias are on the rise with a president who hasn't suggested amendments or pursued gun regulations. I wont point out the obvious but what could be the real goal of these predominately white male militia groups? I just call it as I see it.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:43 am |
  58. Michael

    These groups are no more extremists than the minorty groups that represent changing our society for their benefit. You made the comment on the show this morning "who is joining these groups", do you ask the same question when you look at the NAACP membership? Believe it or not, even though it seems these groups are not comprised of a plethera of minority, they do have the right to express themselves.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:43 am |
  59. Frank

    There was a time I felt that militia-members were extremists, but that time has come and gone. Extremists blow up schools in Pakistan killing innocent children, extremists blow themselves up in Iraq killing members of their own religeon, extremists fly airplanes into buildings in New York killing innocent Americans, and last but not least, extremists seek to destroy the values that are the foundation of the United States of America, the vanguard of democracy in the world. No, militia-members are concerned, patriotic citizens exercising their rights to defend themselves (and the rest of us) against extremists.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:43 am |
  60. L Murphy

    They scare the Hell out of me. I think it has so much to do with him being black to most of these crazies. Some of my own friends have lost it and I cannot even speak to them any longer. My friends have lost their minds and let it overtake them and consume them. They try to poison everyone with their off the wall radical, untrue, crazy thoughts,about our president.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:42 am |
  61. Nancy G

    These people are nothing but a bunch of extremists who can't accept the fact that President Obama won the election. I'm curious as to what version of the constitution they want to go back to, the version before slavery and women's right to vote or after.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:42 am |
  62. vicky

    I have a lot to say about that they are here in fayetteville north carolina very strongly and control everything in it,what are u guys going to do about it.the police,the sherriff and others are in it,it is sad to see that we are in the 20 century and we still going true racial hate and the ones that on top of the list in the people that wor for the federal and local govermenet.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:42 am |
  63. AM

    Timothy McVeigh was a veteran who contacted the KKK while an active duty military service member. He later had ties to a militia group. Although he was not Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist or of Middle Eastern decent, American Timothy McVeigh killed 168 Americans, including women and children.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:42 am |
  64. Roman Deutsch, Butler, PA

    I live in a rural area north of Pittsburgh. Traditionally, hunting grounds.
    So naturally I have met some of the people that are connected to militias.

    What I see in them are Patriots to the letter of the Constitution. What I don't see in them, is the True Spirit of Christ. Fear is their driving force. They question President Obama's patriotism. Yet, it was their leader in George W. Bush and the Republican Party that led this country down this broken path. To a path to destruction.

    They thought they knew something about God and Country, they didn't. The same is said for health care. I'm sure each one of these people are the same that scream at town halls against health care reform.

    Fear, it's a powerful emotion. But, they fear the wrong things. They should fear God, not President Obama. They are most certainly going down the wrong path.

    Their eyes were closed when Bush push this country into another depression and now their eyes and hearts are closed to see the True Teachings of Christ.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:42 am |
  65. Mary

    They're patriots defending the rights of Americans. They know our liberties are being stripped away from us at a rapid rate especially since Obama took office.

    Obama rejects freedom as can be plainly seen: Not supporting Irananian citizens during the elections, speaking out against the ousting of the dicator wanna be Manuel Zalaya, shutting down opposing views of fellow Americans, etc. The list is gets longer by the day.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:42 am |
  66. Stewart J. Lustgarten

    CNN AM

    Forget the Pledge!

    How about the pre-amble to our Constitution?

    “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

    As above stated in the Pre-Amble to the U.S. Constitution we are not to be regressive, but rather be progressive to promote the general welfare and safety so as to insure its citizen’s domestic tranquility and to inure the blessings of Liberty.

    Despite this, we have become regressive in numerous ways.

    IT NOW REGRESIVELY READS SOMETHING LIKE THIS!

    “ We the complacent and blindfolded Schnook’s of the United States, in Order to regress to a more imperfect Union, Place inept or creative Judges on the bench, assure for the disharmony amongst the people, provide for assault rifles for the dysfunction of our own defense and now used on the offense against others, eliminate Welfare to the poor, misfortunate, profit off the ill, and with total neglect of the downtrodden and secure the Blessings of the Statue of Liberty’s middle finger shoved up our Posterity, do dis-ordain and disestablish this Constitution at the behest of the “Bank of America”

    November 16, 2009 at 7:40 am |
  67. dmel

    the fact of the secrecy, and inabilit of these groups to cite any threat other than that of the 2nd amendment throws serious doubt and concern about the true reasons for the formation of these groups.I think it's another obvious way to faciliate the growing racial tensions in this country. I think more investigation will reveal the true nature of these groups.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:40 am |
  68. Judi Howe

    The difficult thing in making a judgment about whether the members of these militias are patriots or extremists is that it is all a matter of perspective...whose? They probably honestly believe that they are patriots. I honestly believe they are extremists. What bothers me the most about the kind of person who jumps early and vociferously into these kinds of groups is that they often don't really study or know about whatever it is they are ranting about. "Taking away my rights" What rights has this President taken away, or does he plan to take away? "The constitution" I would submit that these people know very little about the constitution. So, for me, the scary thing is that groups such as these function without any serious thinking about the issues while at the same time they seem to be quite influential. Quite a bad combination...perhaps even extremist!

    November 16, 2009 at 7:40 am |
  69. Katrina

    These modern-day militias have been shown to serve no purpose than to provide training camps for domestic terrorists. These people are fearful because they are obviously uneducated regarding what is actually in the constitution. It would serve them better to spend their free time reading the myriad of history and law texts that actually spell out the constitutional protections afforded to Americans as opposed to playing war games with semi-automatic guns. Perhaps they could then participate in the political process to make this country a better place for all of its citizens.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:40 am |
  70. Dan Castor

    If you want to put on a uniform and carry a gun, become a police officer or join the army and defend your country. These peple don't love their country or understand the consitution.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:40 am |
  71. Southeast Iowan

    Please don't confuse the members of the militia with facts!

    November 16, 2009 at 7:40 am |
  72. simonj

    I agree with the anchor – why were there no minorities present with the militia?

    November 16, 2009 at 7:39 am |
  73. ray

    Reason for Militias:
    President is black.
    It's fun to play soldier and shoot guns.
    Uninformed people. Don't care about the truth.
    Hate
    People with low selfesteemm makes them feel important.
    Typical redneck thinking..
    Ray

    November 16, 2009 at 7:39 am |
  74. christian guerrier

    i think these guys are white panthers without a cause.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:39 am |
  75. Gregg Matschke

    Miltias serve as a valuable anchor, slowing or stopping the inexorable progress towards total gun control the federal government desires. After all, did Obama not just enter talks with the UN regarding a global gun ban that would apply to the US? The Constitution needs protection.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:39 am |
  76. Matt

    These groups formed before under President Clinton. They foster antigovernment extremism and in their interview, they indicated that one of their goals was to give the government pause. To do so is fine, but not when you have assault weapons. We've been down this road before. One of the results was the bombing of the Murrah building in Oklahoma City. They worry about the Constitution going away. What rights are being infringed? They can't answer. This is free floating anger with assault weapons, and it's unhelpful.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:38 am |
  77. Patricia J. Wallace

    We need a militia. You ask, "Who are these people?" They are defenders of our rights. Stop trying to portray them as extremists. While, as in any movement, there are admittedly extremes, I believe the sudden rise in the militia movement at this time is truly due to grave concerns about the demise of our country.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:38 am |
  78. Doug

    I used to be a gun dealer and ran into these militia guys at gun shows and they scared the hell out of me. They were always looking for full automatic weapons or parts that would turn their semi-auto weapons into full auto. They seemed to have paranoia about the government "taking over" so they had to get prepared. But how do they expect their small militia stand up to the us armed forces?

    November 16, 2009 at 7:38 am |
  79. Barbara Booker

    They are neither. They are afraid. They are unaware of the content of the constitution. George Bush is the President who took away many of our rights. They are ruled by their emotions rather than their intellect.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:38 am |
  80. Donna Dawson

    All of these so-called patriot groups are just covers for racisim. Where all of these militia groups when the country was actually being attacked? Is the distrust because the president is black?

    November 16, 2009 at 7:37 am |
  81. t. carter

    These new gun militias are nothing more than the "new kkk"....point, blank!!!

    in general, they do not consist of people of color, and they use this idea of protection of their first amendment rights because its not polically correct to say, we're paranoid about a black man leading the country

    it's obvious that this is just the next wave of paranoid white male republicans who are fearful about the country is being led by a black man.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:37 am |
  82. Steve from Wisconsin

    People who are passionate about shooting guns and playing "war" will look for any excuse to do it every chance they get. Drumming up excitement and fear of any administration will help them solicit new members and make new friends that will play "dressup" with them on the weekends.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:37 am |
  83. JustMe

    I have seen nothing to show Obama is trying to take away gun rights and I have to wonder about those that would be against strict guidelines to make sure guns don't get into the hands of criminals! I also wonder if these extremists were around when Bush started taking away some of our rights with the Patriot Act?? Or is it just Obama they are going after??? I also wonder if they realize all our rights that have already been taken away that has nothing to do with gun control such as forced psychiatry on kids now even with so many medical doctors saying how dangerous the drugs are that are forced on some children. Drugs not even approved to safely use in children. Do they care about all our rights or just some of them? Just asking!

    November 16, 2009 at 7:37 am |
  84. Tera in IL

    The growing militia groups in the US are very disturbing. To answer the question, "Where are the minorities in the militia's?" Well, minorities do have militia's, we just call them "Gangs!"

    November 16, 2009 at 7:37 am |
  85. Paul Revere

    Freedom is not free

    November 16, 2009 at 7:37 am |
  86. Judith Eckhardt

    I believe that most militias in the United States America are patriots. They are concerned that our Constitution has become impotent. All of the Presidents have eroded the constitution and Obama will finish it off giving our sovereignty the rest of the way to another entity. It grieves me. The so called "health care reform" is one big obvious sign. We aren't going to get a choice whether to participate. Where has our freedom gone?

    November 16, 2009 at 7:37 am |
  87. Flash

    I think that the baseless rumors about threatened gun rights and ammo taxes were started by the ammo manufacturers and it has worked like a charm. These militia members and ammo hoarders have fallen for it hook, line and sinker much to the benefit of the corporate connivers. Fear is very motivating and the corporate machine knows it!

    November 16, 2009 at 7:36 am |
  88. Daniel

    People need to stop watching Fox News, Obama is not out to get your gun rights and is not 'dangerous' whatever that means.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:36 am |
  89. Nikki

    I wonder what kind of people are they not to include minorities. I think they are going to far. What are their real motives for all this. They didn't form any militias when Bush was president but because we have a minority for president it is such a big problem.Will racism ever stop?

    November 16, 2009 at 7:36 am |
  90. GM Leaks

    Given the fact that the Obama administration has not advanced any changes in gun control and has taken the unpopular stance of giving even enemies of the state the rights that citizens enjoy at trial, these militias defacto reveal their true colors: they feel threatened by the advancements of people of color, not just blacks, but also latinos who are a larger and growing minority.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:36 am |
  91. Katrina

    I am so sick of blatant racism and extremism being cloaked in patriotism. These people need some real couch work.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:35 am |
  92. Ralphy

    I think these groups extremist or not, wont make any effect on our governments military if they did decide to take gun rights away in any form ...

    November 16, 2009 at 7:35 am |
  93. Romain Tweedy

    These folks are exercising their rights as citizens. Even though the majority of the population doesn't understand them or agree with their beliefs, their presence is important in order to protect us from what our government may become. Does anyone remember their US history and our armed rebellion against the British crown?

    November 16, 2009 at 7:35 am |
  94. lijuma

    Those militia groups r a big joke !!! If they think they're tough ...... Enlist, go to Iraq/Afghanistan and see war is not a game !!! Shooting @ your backyard with masked faces doesn't make u a tough cat.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:34 am |
  95. Tera in IL

    I find the idea of the growing militia groups here in the United States. On your program this morning, someone asked "Where are all the minorities?"

    Minorities do have militia's too... we just call them GANGS!"

    November 16, 2009 at 7:34 am |
  96. Dan Carrone

    it is just pure racism. The fact that they cannot not name one right they have lost or are losing shows how ignorant these people are. They are following the hate that lives in their hearts.

    Imagine if liberals had created militias during the Bush admin. They all be in Guantanamo Bay right now.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:33 am |
  97. Julio Guerra

    George W Bush was the tyrant that really deserved our scorn. God Bless Obama!

    November 16, 2009 at 7:32 am |
  98. CHip H

    Simple, they're flipping nut cases. Turner diary, Tim Mcvey lovin, nuts. They are no better than Al Quada.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:32 am |
  99. candicedunlap

    Patriots – Americans have always had the right to be in a militia. And the Bill of Rights should be upheld. The right to bear arms is key in maintaining a government that should be by the people and for the people. If tyranny happens, Americans have the right to defend themselves.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:31 am |
  100. Margie

    They're patriots.

    November 16, 2009 at 7:31 am |
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