American Morning

Tune in at 6am Eastern for all the news you need to start your day.
November 17th, 2009
06:00 AM ET

Patriots or Extremists? Growing up in a militia

By Jim Acosta

If there's one thing militias and their critics can agree on, it's the fact that this pro-gun and anti-Obama movement is growing in the United States. That begs the question, "who are these guys?"

We try to answer that in part two of our series, "Patriots or Extremists," by going home with the leader of a militia in Michigan.

Lee Miracle may run training exercises for the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia once a month in a rural area outside of Flint, but he's just as busy at home. He and his wife Katrina have eight kids, and there are more than 20 guns in the house. This explains why Lee refers to the family as "Lee and Kate plus eight plus a gun rack."

Make that several gun racks. The Miracle children are very much growing up in the militia. They take part in militia training exercises, including the weapons training.

We were there when 13-year-old Megan fired off her shotgun, but even the couple's six-year-old has had her share of target practice.

Share your thoughts right here on our blog CNN.com/amFIX.


Filed under: Patriots or Extremists
soundoff (560 Responses)
  1. Jen B

    Mitchell: ". There is nationwide organized minority groups called the Crips and the Bloods and others that that have arsenals of firearms, sell dope, run prostitution rings, commit drive by murders, murders for hire, intimidate entire areas of cities, influence elections, etc., etc., etc.. But they seem to be politically correct types and are to be accepted..."

    Mitchell in what backwards world do you live in where these guys are accepted?!!! This has literally got to be the most asinine comment I have ever heard, those guys are sent to prison in wholesale lots because they are not accepted! They also happen to kill themselves faster than any cops can. Only the ghetto idiots who join them (and they are not the ghetto majority; most people just plain fear them) and the dumb suburb kids who think they're cool because they listen to commercialized rap and watch commercialized movies (which blatantly ignores the harsh realities of that life) think of them as acceptable–oh and apparently you.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:00 pm |
  2. you are all ididots

    It's apparent we need to do something extreme to the liberals in our country before they do anything to us-any further actually. These men and their families are HEROES and are correct in their assessments. Get out of our country America Haters.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:00 pm |
  3. Mikey

    I consider these people patriots. It would be stupid to sit idle and believe that the government always has our best interest in mind.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:00 pm |
  4. Dan

    Looks like a bunch of overweight rednecks.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:00 pm |
  5. zaeneb

    If they were Muslims, they would be considered as a terrorist training camp.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:00 pm |
  6. Waldo

    I see nothing wrong with this. It's better than being in "gangs".
    In todays environment we can't count on the government for our safety. Obama has divided this nation like no other in modern times. So there is a very real possibility of armed revolution. The second amendment is in place to fight a tyrannical government. We The People have that right.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:00 pm |
  7. Roy

    My entire family is US military (except myself, I have serious medical problems) and they take an oath to defend this country and its constitution.

    The Constitution grants us the right to bear arms and to organize a militia. Why is that? To defend the public against an oppressive government (Redcoat Britain remember?) This applies to any government that crosses the line of liberty and uses force against its citizens in violation of their rights.

    My uncle, my two cousins, my grandfather, and other relatives all agree on one major point. If ever the POTUS decided to order the US military to attack US civilians, they and others would fight against any soldier that followed that order. Period. The military is under the command of the US president, but, they are sworn to protect Americans, not to follow his orders to do them harm.

    This is why militias exist, in case of such travesty. Exercise of the rights guaranteed under the US constitution is not "domestic terrorism" or "extremism" and anyone believing they are needs to be deported since they are anti-america.

    The sheer amount of lunacy surrounding the supporters of this current administration, scares me. The government will not take care of you, it will use you, suck you dry, and discard you for the next generation it can parasite on. Defend your freedom from tyranny and join a militia today.

    Use your vote, but hold onto your rights, and do NOT let them be taken. Each one taken away is another step towards totalitarian socialism. Do you really want that? You should have lived in the USSR in the 1970's. How free were they? LOL

    I will keep my guns, I will teach my children to keep theirs. I will teach them how to use them, and I will teach them why.

    I have heard people say George Washington would have never used violence to solve problems. He was the General of the Colonial Army. The sheer amount of ignorance to the subject matter baffles me.

    Do you only listen to the talking points of the democratic obamabots?

    Read your history, people. America was founded on personal liberty, not government control socialistic welfare state.

    Anyone who votes democratic in America, is not an America anymore. You are not a patriot, and you do not love or appreciate those that died for your freedom.

    Thats all.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:00 pm |
  8. Joe

    They are not patriots, they are but a terrorist group, another soldiers of fortune without the fortune. And obviously the FBI will turn the other cheek since their name don't end up like Hasan, Mohammed and some other muslim names.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:00 pm |
  9. Ace Frehley

    Judge for yourself if these militias are right minded citizens. Google militias and look at some of the web sites. They are so one sided.....if you are not with them you are the enemy. Sounds to me, like they are Republicans.
    Oh, and Sarah Palins book comes with color crayons.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:59 pm |
  10. Josh

    I guess that I am unique in that I am a Pro-Gun liberal, but I see these militias as unnecessary. Guns will never be fully banned its as simple as that. Gun ownership is ingrained into the American culture and thus it is unlikely that any attempt to ban all firearms would ever succeed.

    I think in all honesty that nothing worse will happen under a Liberal President than has already happened under a Conservative President. I am more worried when I hear about laws like the Patriot Act and such which are much more of a danger to the rights of the individual, than one many of these militia groups claim is a danger.

    For the record, there is no such thing as small government in either side, its only where they want big Government to reside at: for Conservatives it is in National Defense, for Liberals its in the Social sector. This is why I find the arguments many of these militia groups as misguided as they only assume the Liberal Governments expand Government.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:59 pm |
  11. Joe

    As far as having guns around children and having them use it at an early age, if properly taught, is safe. Actually, most people have an unjustified fear of guns. However, with proper education and training guns are safe.

    Personally, I learned to shoot when I was gun (BB gun) but by the time I was six I was firing .22s. I understand guns and how to properly use them. Guns in the hands of adults when they have no training is the most dangerous thing I can think of. Too often they'll reach for the gun when the dispute can be solved otherwise.

    Look at it this way, who do you trust on the road the most? A person who has gone through drivers ed and has years of experience or a kid who just got his drivers license?

    November 17, 2009 at 6:56 pm |
  12. Jerry C.

    Love this guy. Anti-Government and works for the US Postal Service.
    Great benefits, medical, and retirement, while people in the private sector or facing the real battles.

    Of course he is against health care, he alreadys gets his on the tax payers dime.

    Your militia is also a slap to the National Guard. If you want to be a weekend warrior join the Guard, those men and women are the real protectors of our freedoms.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:56 pm |
  13. JMZ

    God support these millitias. I know they are in Michigan, but I hope I can find one where I am at. I love how the libs automatically try to compare these people to the KKK just cuz they are white. These people are tryu Americas. And fo rthoes who claim that anyone who goes against the govt is a "domestic terrorist" Obviously does not understand how America was created. I guess George Washington was a Domestic terrorist huh. I support My millitia. I hope to join!!!

    – REAL American Patriot!

    November 17, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  14. Northern Freedom

    @ Mr. Powell. "Do you know why this country has never been invaded? " Because it's not worth it.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  15. Chris G.

    Right wing nutballs, nothing more. What a sad thing to see them raising more little nutballs infused with hate and violence, wrecking the lives of innocent children. Rather than debate their being patriots, which is nonsense, we should be thinking about child protective services paying a call to these folks.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  16. Heather

    WOW.

    So quick to judge; so quick to call names.

    You dare speak of fear; what is it that makes you spew forth such hate of your own if not fear?

    Why does the mere sight and/or mention of a gun cause you to panic? It is but a tool.

    You ask why 'we' distrust the government. Why is it that 'you' distrust private gun owners? Is it because of what you might do if YOU had a gun?

    You speak of paranoia. Am I paranoid for having a tornado kit? Am I paranoid for having and earthquake kit? So why is it that owning a gun makes me paranoid? Would you not agree that it is better to have a gun and not need it, than to need a gun and not have it? Should I have to, I can acquire food for my family. Should I need to, I can defend them from those who would do them harm. I am not paranoid. I am prepared.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  17. victor

    "If he hadn't hunted all his life he might still be here" Wow, that is a stretch. Let's see, he killed himself because of a pending divorce.
    So if he had never gotten married, he would still be alive. I guess we need to ban marriage.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  18. Greg Palmer

    Mr. Acosta, your title is misleading beause it coneys that you are looking at the issue objectively. Then you belittle the guy for his beliefs with statements like, "even the six year [learns to shoot guns], further portraying this man as an extremist because he is "...suspicious of the Obama administration and EVEN opposed to health care reform...." This is what constitutues an extremist? If this is extremist, what about all of us who criticized Bush policies so vehemently? Are we extremists too? This isn't objective journalism? This is a prime example of why I have lost faith in the media to simply report the facts and let me decide an issue. I'm surprised you didn't end the piece with a plea to ban assault weapons and have DSS take his children. This is an opinion piece, an editorial, not an article. This article lacks any substance at all, it simply pits his opinion against yours.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  19. The party of NO MORE

    IF you liberal posters are wondering why these people are out there, here's an exercise: Copy your posts into a word processor, change each liberal reference to conservative, each Obama reference to Bush, and then read it back.

    If it isn't apparent then, you aren't paying attention.

    Sic Semper Tyrannus

    November 17, 2009 at 6:54 pm |
  20. LCIV

    First of all–those who say it's dangerous to teach children how to shoot guns should look at our 18yr old men/women fighting in Iraq/Afghanistan...shooting and being shot at everyday–being blown up by IED's. It is a citizens right to be a responsible gun owner, and pass that on to their children–I would worry more about our youth that are learning how to use fire-arms in street gangs...that is a far worse issue in Michigan. Second, the Michigan militia is anti-government...not anti-Obama–so lets' get that straight. CNN is doing a terrible job of framing this story, and needs to focus more on the history of the militia and not create false perceptions. Fine job of journalism, once again, CNN.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:54 pm |
  21. FEAR

    Patriots or Extremists? how about just nut jobs? Are the British invading anytime soon? It's morons like these that give the gun control groups ammo (pun intended).

    November 17, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  22. johnnybgoode

    why do Americans need guns to protect them?
    can tolerant behavior toward others be a weapon as well?
    i understand that the US is a young country but the continuous saber rattling is getting old. i understand that extreme groups like militias make for good ratings/web traffic; when these people have an argument/disagreement with someone, maybe their boss, will they settle the dispute with a gun?

    November 17, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  23. S. Green

    Having guns in a house with children is not dangerous when they are maintained and secured properly. The children in this story had the appropriate eye and ear protection and knew how to handle the weapons. I gave my sons rifles for Christmas when they were six and seven. They have learned how to handle weapons properly. We have a large gun safe but not all the guns are secured because we live in the country side and have animals that have been attacked by coyotes and mountain lions. My children need to learn how to be around weapons and stay safe. It is the kids in families that have not learned how to handle weapons properly that get into accidents.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:52 pm |
  24. nelson

    Hmmmmm. The right to bear arms? When was the law created? Was that law put into place for a particular time period? The right to bear arms vs 22GUNS? A little extreme? Whats the difference between a group of people with excessive guns with anti-government ideas and those "crazy" taliban guys? Final question, how can your really call yourself a christian and have so much hate in your soul?

    November 17, 2009 at 6:52 pm |
  25. George

    Yes, by all means, With 14 dead and 30 wounded by an islamic terrorist, and one dead and one wounded by the same in Little Rock, lets focus on some white Americans.

    Nice job CNN.

    Keep pluckin that chicken.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:51 pm |
  26. hapee

    gun owners are most likely to hurt themselves or a family member with their weapon.

    if you wish to protect your family against criminals, get a dog. Statistics show that a dog is far better to protect your family than a sleeping homeowner.

    We should have a national trade a gun for shelter dog drive!

    These militias make me sick. You are free to do in your spare time what you want, but if you want to settle an argument bring facts, no guns.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:50 pm |
  27. NYCgirl

    I personally don't think that this is what the founding father's had in mind – but I digress. Also, there are many people in this country who site the second amendment when they are in no way part of a militia, and just like having lots of guns. As to the religion – what is it about you people that makes you think it's ok to shove your religion down everyone's throats? You can believe what you want to believe – BUT I DON'T HAVE TO.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  28. John

    Why don't those guys go to Iraq and Afganistan, instead of killing flies. We need help there. Obama wont send regular forces so send these idiots until he makes up his mind when he is done bowing to the rest of the world leaders

    November 17, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  29. Adi Sahinovic

    It's just a handful of people who bought guns and cool looking uniforms with fancy badges. Do you really thing these guys can actually do something. They really aren't news worthy.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  30. Jimmy

    That's a little too hardcore for my tastes...I could care less though. What they do is their own business, but if it comes down to it, they should be held fully accountable for any incidents involving those 20 something firearms and 8 something kids firing them.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  31. Gun-toting liberal

    I grew up in Michigan. I voted for Obama, and I learned how to shoot a gun at three years old. There is nothing wrong with having guns in the house as long as they are locked up, unloaded, and everyone in the house is fluent in gun-safety. There is also NOTHING wrong with people disagreeing with the government, and I believe that the Michigan militia has every right to prepare its members for whatever may happen. You make fun and criticize, but if it all goes to hell, you'll be waiting for someone to save you and we'll be there.

    I'm from Michigan, I voted for Obama, I still support him, and I'm clinging to my guns no matter what happens.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  32. wiseguy

    Do you people (whether you are for or against) even read what you are typing.

    Really before taking on this subject get an eductaion, in what your talking about and in english.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  33. Anthony mcMahon

    If this guy is so gung ho maybe he should head over to Afghanistan or maybe Iraq. Plain and simple these people are generally poorly educated in general and especially on the issues. They are also extremely paranoid. Their convictions are usually far removed from reality and at the end of the day probably pose a danger to the general public.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  34. american patriot

    Horrid? Having the right to protect your home, and your family is horrid? I don't think the first patriots of this country would agree with you. It is my constitutional right to bear arms and protect my land, my freedoms, my God given right to peace and serenity. In this ever changing world that means more than ever that I need to have protection by means of a fire arm.

    When you don't have a gun, and someone breaks into your home, or your land is taken away from you, don't ask me for my gun because you were too chicken and too weak to stand up for yourself. Not if you choose to give that right away.

    People in america need to stop hiding behind their laziness and get off their ass and stand up for their own rights. Geesh.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  35. John T.

    I believe that a we should continue with the militia, this country is successful because of them. Every State should have a militia, that is totally indepent of the Government.

    THERE IS one thing that I would like to add though is, I DONT SEE ANY AFRICAN AMERICAN in that militia, which so happens to be totaly against a Black President.

    I wonder why? hmmm......

    November 17, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  36. Tneette

    40 – 60 some odd years ago, these "patriots" would be wearing white hoods and robes, they would be lynching people, and burning crosses on their lawns. Different year, same people (or their offspring). Always a shame.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  37. Right

    These people have more of a chance of shooting each other accidentally, than doing anything like overthrowing a government.

    I mean, look how they are dressed. Is there any way a 13 year old has the "military skill" to determine if what's moving is a tree branch or a human being?

    The fact that they have decided to take up weapons to the government instead of going through the ballot box shows that they don't support the Constitution. It's people like this that will get all our gun rights taken away.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  38. Ben

    I think that its ok for people to have the right to bear arms, but when it comes to having 20 guns in a house thats just unessasary. The most you would ever need is like 3 per adult and the kids dont even need one. WE DONT NEED MALITIAS because our government is fine. Obama was born in the US so dont be dumb and say hes not. Our economy is also picking up.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  39. KK

    Given that crime is increasing and who knows when the Mexican mafia and other ganglord will infiltrate over goverment I am all for it. Militia is a strong word and maybe it should be called neighborhood defense group.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  40. sean

    Idiots with cars are much more dangerous than rednecks with guns, yet we give everyone a drivers license. Freedom of speech is no stronger than the right to bear arms, but I think we can all agree that both those rights have deteriorated in the last 100 years.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  41. Northern Freedom

    You know, the rest of the world laughs at you and the extremes you go to in the name of freedom. I enjoy the freedom of not having to worry about my 6 year old killing her family by mistake.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  42. David

    Militias freed this country from oppression. The time is coming for them to do it again. A government should be afraid of it citizens, citizens should never be afraid of their government.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  43. shelleyin montreal

    from a canadian here are the statistics nobody wants you to know(especially people from the republican party and the NRA)
    population of canada and europe=310 million (with gun control)
    population of United States=310 million(without gun control)
    canada +europe death by gunshot 2007 =950 people
    United States death by gunshot 2007=11,000 people
    do you get it yet? gun control WORKS !
    I live in an affluent area of montreal(ungated of course) i do not know 1 person who owns a gun. no neighbours have guns, no family have guns and it wouldn"t ever dawn on any of these people to even purchase one.n fact in canada there are only 50 or so people who are allowed to carry a gun for protection. last statistic montreal population aprox 3 million people = murders 2008 18 people i rest my case

    November 17, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  44. Terry

    One has to interpret the Constitution in the context of the whole document. The 2nd amednment talks about militia defending the nation against its enemies not rebellion. Again they can believe what they want, play with guns all the want but to plan to execute an armed insurrection is also defined in the Constitution: Article 3 Section. 3. Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. For an American to to war against the government or to aid those who would, whatever your beliefs, is treason. Timothy McVeigh was a terrorist and a traitor.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  45. Mitchell

    In reading these blogs I noticed how the ones on the right for the most part try to explain their view. The ones on the left seem to be very vicious and attacking in their comments.

    November 17, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  46. Dylan

    georgia mcfadden
    Your comment says alot about you mainly that you are afraid of what these people are doing. In the begging Britian tried to stop us from becoming independent and it was groups like this that saved our country and it will be groups like these that will save our country in the future.

    November 17, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  47. Ron Carnell

    Funny whenever Democrats are in power, the predicted door-to-door roundup of guns from our nation's "concerned" uber-patriots never seems to materialize.

    Who do these guys pretend will be coming for them? Most of who they generally despise (university professors, scientists, Hollywood entertainers – most any group perceived to be part of a liberal conspiracy) own very little of the country's privately held cache of weapons and ammo. I think the smarter militia guys know this. I firmly believe that if their fantasies of societal meltdown were ever to unfold, they'd soon become more interested in hunting down and executing idealogical opponents, rather than defending their rural hamlets. Until of course the US military got around to blasting them out of their WalMart combat boots.

    In the reality based world, there is no one at all to threaten Mr Miracle's rights of gun ownership. There are no organized socialist forces under directives by President Obama to interfere with his over-sized family's taco salad dinners. And when Republicans regain control in 2012, count on hearing less from Mr Miracle and all his brave SE Michigan Militia compatriots.

    November 17, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  48. Mike M

    I'm a member of the REAL militia. The South Carolina State Guard, which is part of the Military Department of South Carolina, under the AG and thus the Governor of the state. Members take an oath to obey not only the constitution of the state and nation, but also the elected officials that the voters have put in charge. And that's the way it should be!

    While I do have some firearms, I think I will be getting a lot more use out of the MKT-85 (mobile kitchen trailer purchased from Army surplus stocks) during disaster situations than I will from the guns. But I'll keep both, thank you kindly!

    November 17, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  49. Jim Bob

    Vigilante "militias" are much more of a threat to American citizens than the government is.

    November 17, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  50. WAM

    If for some reason, we ( USA ) should be invaded. . . .the malitia's would be in FRONT of the Marines in defending this country. Most of them around my neck of the woods don't necessarily like blacks though ! Believe me, they are very well armed around here.

    November 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  51. Lee

    I've been reading all these posts, and you wanna know what stands out to me the most. MOST OF YOU IDIOTS CAN'T EVEN SPELL CORRECTLY. So maybe you all should go back to school and learn how to spell.

    November 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  52. Derrick

    So tell me this, Militia, how are you going to take back the U.S. of A from our supposed "Tyrannical Government" with your BB Guns, fire crackers, and other noise-makers when they possess nuclear weapons, supersonic jet fighters, and helicopter gunships?

    Seems much simpler to just vote politicians out of office if you don't like 'em.

    November 17, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  53. ike

    Just because someone is not pro Obama does not make them racist, and not all people that own several guns are extremist. Comparing these people to the KKK is a racist statement in itself.

    November 17, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  54. ScottK

    I find this series of "reports" to be both polarizing and destructive. It seems to be the intent of this media (as in most media) to find a way to make you pick a side and attack the other people. This country was founded on principles of tolerance and freedom from persecution. This group is espousing no racist or other campaign of hate that I detect, has committed no acts of violence – it simply wants to be prepared if the country continues to become run more and more by the federal government instead of by the people. There are many rights guaranteed by the Constitution, and possession of guns is one of those rights specifically spelled out (Amendment #2) and recently confirmed (again) by the Supreme Court.

    This type of reporting is simply trying to make money by inflaming people and trying to be divisive – read these posts. My suggestion is to no longer read anything with this reporter's byline and drive this type of journalism out of business.

    November 17, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  55. Chrissy333

    Well said, Charlotte. Where were these radical militias after the terrorist attacks and the Patriot Act. How come they weren't up in arms then? I could be wrong, but I think that these people feel threatened not by health care reform or gun control, but by the fact that the most powerful position in the US is no longer held by a white man! The changes that they really feel threatened by are the shifts in power from the white majority to all Americans.

    November 17, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  56. Mark

    the militia guys are sorta funny....wanna-be bad a@@es...they train once a month...hehehehe....a bunch of fat old bald guys humpin around in the woods...sweating and gasping for breath...once a month...do they have any idea what a well trained, combat experienced, us military platoon would do to them...and how quick it would be over...

    November 17, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  57. Brayton Adams

    The tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of patriats and tyrants alike from time to time. – Thomas Jefferson!
    I think it"s a good thing to teach our children to use guns in a responible manner. And who says they don't lock them (the guns) up when they go home? I own several guns myself. Gun ownership is a right of the American people. Some NE state was trying to pass a law that would fine people who don't own a gun as gun ownership does cut down on crime. Criminals love unarmed victoms. You liberals need to get a life and a gun and learn how to use it.
    God bless America!!!

    November 17, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  58. Jimbo

    So many issues, so little time... 1) Militias are specifically called for in the Bill fo Rights, 2nd only to the outlining of the fundamental rights in the 1st Amendment. 2) Owning guns (without or without children in the home) is a RIGHT. 3) There is a HUGE HUGE difference in a employer provided health insurance program ( the USPS employee benefits) and a mandatory insurance coverage law. He/they are EMPLOYEES of a institution that has health care benefits. So comparing the 2 situations and calling them a hypocrite is not warranted. 4) Militias are/were necessary for two purposes, protection from foreign threats and to prevent the US goverment from "taking over" (define that as you may wish). If these individuals perceive an upcoming threat from either of these sources and are taking steps to be prepared, good for them. They disagree with the "majority" and they are labeled nuts/wackos/idiots... wasn't it less than 50 years ago that the "majority" said segregation was ok? Same sex marriage was sinful? Abortion was evil? Disagreeing with the "majority" and vocalizing the disagreement is, and has been, how changes in this country takes place. If they obey the law and remain peaceful they should be left alone. And why, why, WHY, do so many people blame the President of the United States for laws and taxes? The US CONGRESS is the ONLY way taxes get raised, money gets spent, and laws passed. President Obama didn't give any one bailout $$'s...Congress did. Mr. Obama didn't/won't/can't write 1 cash for clunkers check. So, let's all put blame/credit were it is due. YES, I know, the POTUS can and does exert a lot of pressue on Congress to steer the country in a direction he sees fit. Lastly, I am a former Marine, I am not in a militia ( nor is anyone I know), I do own guns, I have children ( who have chosen NOT to own guns), I believe EVERYONE has the right to their opinions/beliefs and would re-enlist in a heartbeat to defend those opinions (whether I agree with them or not). We ARE headed to a more socialistic society, if that is what YOU want thats good for you, but just because someone else doesn't want that doesn't make them idiots, nut jobs or wackos.

    November 17, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  59. CJV

    Let me see...

    Gun totting, good
    Voting, bad

    Great. Now I know where I stand.

    Health care an attack against the constitution? 22(?) guns in the house, some accessible? Postal clerk? WOW! All the bases are covered!

    We all know that guns do not kill people, just well armed people kill more people.

    Patriot or extremist? Neither, just another gullible person buying folklore lore and shocking on it.

    Being a 'patriot' means getting involved, personally, in the affairs of a nation, in a positive manner. Hoarding guns and training with other like folks is not being a patriot but a gun totting hobby 'freak'.

    True patriots are those who take up jobs that are placing their lives in real danger in order to save other's interest*:
    At the local level, firefighter volunteers, police
    At the state level, National guards, police.
    At the nation level, Armed forces, police

    True patriots are those who step up to help other folks in need where ever they maybe.

    When it comes right down to it, a true patriot is unarmed and capable of positive, active participation in any community. It is not a victim nor a predator. It is an ordinary person with critical thinking skills capable to make hard choices and to act on them.

    The fallacy that having the right to have a gun at home is what keeps a government on line is a sad joke. The previous administration proved that. Interestingly the very folks who scream about their 'freedom' were the ones victimized!!! (you did not notice the men in black? It is just because they were in camies too!)

    --
    * When it comes to level higher than local, one can wonder the real use of these folks... I am alluding to the war in Iraq, started on blatant lies, the invasion of Afghanistan vs a direct "shoot the bastards" (and those who try to protect them). The US and the rest of the world is in an open conflict against terrorists. The previous administration made it a war against religious freaks.

    November 17, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  60. beingfrank

    Remember that militias won the revolutionary war for the us and we would not be here if not for them.

    November 17, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  61. Ed

    So sad to see parents teaching their kids how to shot a gun instead of teaching them math and science, so from there you can tell how ignorant these people are. And by the way if you like war games, why don't you go to Afghanistan and practice over there.

    November 17, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  62. shorn

    Hm. So, they get to decide when the government has failed them and then what? They pick up their guns instead of their ballots? And do what? Storm city hall? Attack police? Confront the National Guard?

    Patriots? Right. So, let me ask you something. If a bunch of Americans who happened to be Muslim where running around in the woods with a stockpile of weapons, what would you call them?

    November 17, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  63. Joel

    Sara, sorry to here about your kids father.
    Lets label and ban everything that a person can use to kill themselves; gun, drugs, cars, tall objects, knives, scissors, rope.
    As you can see the list gets very long and you end up in a rubber padded room naked. Objects do not kill people, people kill people or themselves. Be and take responsibility for yourself!!!!

    November 17, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  64. Mitchell Wheeler

    What is so bad about this? This is how America was born. A bunch of extremist got tired of being oppressed by Britian and formed a militia. The Constitution even says we should bare arms if our government becomes oppressive.

    November 17, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  65. John

    everyone needs to stop criticizing and defending theses people the US has enough problems as it is

    November 17, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  66. B McFly

    What's funny is...I think the same people on here bashing others for exercising their 2nd Amendment right would be the ones lined up like sheep or cattle waiting their turn for the government issued "shower and delousing" in the government (voter elected mind you) sanctioned "shower houses."

    And correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the American Revolution was won by the hands of militia men who are now seen as patriots. I'm sure the Redcoats thought they were terrorists or extremists as well, but look what that got them....or rather lost them.

    November 17, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  67. Steven

    If these people in the militias really want to defend America from those that seek to destroy us, and our way of life, their targets shouldn't be those of us that disagree with them politically, or even the government( which was elected by a MAJORITY of Americans. Their targets(and ours) should the criminals and financial terrorists that occupy Wall Street, The Federal Reserve, Multi-National Corporations, and their bootlicking prostitutes known as lobbyists that occupy K Street in D.C. who have corrupted our legislative process. Let's wipe them off the face of this earth and I bet you we could sit down as Americans and learn to live with one another even with the many differences we have among us. The real enemy and clear and present danger to all of us and all our freedoms are those listed above.

    November 17, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  68. FUBIS

    I voted & agree with most everything our president is attempting to do. I am just – anti government/anti establishment/ pro self defense. As a 23 year vet I know 1st hand that not everything the government does is best for every one under their authority. Most of what is done is because those who have all the power are normally the ones most corrupt. I have to protect me & mine. Once the s**t hits the fan it will be everyone for themselves. I want my grand children to be able to tell that story.....

    November 17, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  69. Dave

    scary...

    November 17, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  70. Daniel

    I am more afraid of the comments made by CNN readers then I am of the stories on CNN.com.

    Wow.

    November 17, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  71. Dan

    Gun toting bigots? what do you think the police and military are? The Constitution says it's our responsibility not right to overthrow an unjust government.

    November 17, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  72. Dave M

    On a separate note, the intent of this journalistic inquiry was to ascertain the identity of the populous that opposes the actions of the Obama administration. Given that only a small percentage of the population participates in militia activity, militiamen are not a large enough sample group to identify the "average" citizen that currently dissents against the government. This is a failure on the part of the journalist.

    Who is the average dissenter? Well, given recent polls, it is probably every other person you meet on a day to day basis. I believe it is safe to say that most of those people dont participate in militia activity. Most likely, they go to work, go to lunch, go home, pay bills, put their 1.5 kids to bed, and watch some tv before going to bed.

    Not an extremist. Just Sarahs and Steves, like you and me.

    I did not vote for Obama or McCain. But now that Obama is in office, I will support him as president of the United States, since he has been elected to that position by my fellow Americans. I may not agree with his decisions, but I will support him as he is the leader of our nation.

    That is our duty of citizens- If they cant do it, we should help them do it.

    November 17, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  73. James in VA

    Lighten up people! #1 its is not against the law to own guns, nor is there a limit on how many you can own. Thats a constitutional right. #2 teaching kids how to shhot and handle guns at an early creates responsibility and accountability. This will not create terrorists, or gun crazies who go around shooting folks.

    Signed as a Proud Gun owner

    November 17, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  74. B McFly

    @Jean-Louise "They should all be rounded up and deported to Alasaka where they can play angry, 'gorilla' soldier amongst themselves, safely away from normal human beings."

    Your comment alone shows that you are in fact ignorant. Last time I checked, Alaska was part of the USA so where does the "deportation" come into effect? And I'm sure all the people in Alaska, reguardless of race are shocked to find out that they are no longer normal human beings. Lastly.....it's guerilla soldier for future reference.

    November 17, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  75. Rob

    It is the right of every american to bear arms, as many of them as they want. I have no problem with the Militia's as long as they protect the rights of all americans and not use the right to intimidate or to take action against a government supported by the majority. I grew up with Guns and playing "WAR" in my back yard where we pretended to kill each other and it didnt disturb me as far as I know? I supported Obama in the election but am severly disappointed like i think many Americans are, in the fact that he is not furthering the agenda of those who voted him into office, but instead he is focusing on compromising his agenda with those who voted against him. He should try harder to appease the people who voted for him, this isn't a popularity contest, its about doing what the Majority want's or get voted out.

    November 17, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  76. TJ

    Does anyone here live in Oklahoma City. Well, we should be concerned and keep our eye on some of these alleged Militias groups. The last time Federal government regained our country from the right wing wackos that claim to be Patriots but take away our voices by laws such as the Patriot Act, we had problems. There are wackos on both ends of the political spectrum but we should keep probes on groups such as these back country Militias because of a lot of them are in league with hate groups and a lot of them are good people protecting our rights. The Turner Diaries, does that ring a bell, how about the Oklahoma City Bombings? They bombed the Federal building, because like many Militia members in the 90s, hated the Federal Government. Wake-up and read the history books on the crazed local, county, and state government loyalists who despise the Feds. Local cronyism is a deadly deal and if we continue to ignore the facts more Militia groups will strike more Federal targets. It started with the colonies and became a Federal government under George Washington and the Constitution, we are not under a State Constitution representing all of America.

    November 17, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  77. Chad

    CNN's bias comes through again. It is this news organization's goal to do everything in its power to ensure the success of the president's agenda. Just another attempt to belittle those with opposing viewpoints. Extremists such as those shown are a very small percentage of the population who opposes Obama and his administration. CNN needs to be a more balanced news organization. Try reporting real news: like how the white house silenced two EPA employees who oppose Cap and Trade in violation of the 1st Amendment. Or how the recovery.gov website by the whitehouse claimed job growth in Congressional districts that do not exist. This media bias truly concerns me. CNN, MSNBC, and even the major networks have no integrity.

    November 17, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  78. MOFreedom

    Where can I get in touch with a Militia? I want to join up!

    MOFreedom

    November 17, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  79. Brian

    Wow. Anyone who would join a militia has got to be a few bricks shy of a load. What a bunch of losers.

    November 17, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  80. Philip

    I support Guns and right to assembly

    I am from Canada

    November 17, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  81. Caleb

    I find it amazing that so many of you can criticize these people for educating their children about what a gun can actually do and how dangerous it is and yet you seem to have skipped over educating yourselves even in how to spell...How can you criticize people in a MILITIA when you can't even spell the word correctly (Even more amazing since it's in the story you're commenting on). The right to bear arms is not just about ownership. It's also about the ability to use that weapon for defense of one's self against an enemy, be it foreign or domestic. Militias were created in the 1st place to protect the people living in this country against the government in power at the time. Amazing that when people want to practice some of the things that are explicitly set forth in the constitution, which you claim to know backwards and forwards, you want to call them extremists and compare them to groups such as the KKK and the Taliban? SHAME on you America. READ you sheep, stop listening to everything you hear spewed from the bowels of the media and taking it's spin to be the absolute truth. Educate yourselves and your children or your lack of information will become misinformation.

    November 17, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  82. Gre

    These nuts are the American Taliban!
    God Fearing, Gun Loving, Inteligence Lacking terorists!
    So un-informed and incapable of any Common Sense or Reason.

    Soon they'll be in the streets waving their bibles and chanting "Praise be Sarah!".

    Burning books and museums since they are the works of the devil.

    November 17, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  83. LOL

    What a redneck, he must be a smooth talker or his wife is dumb as a rock to allow his beer belly chips eating ugly self to keep all those guns around.

    November 17, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  84. Dave M

    I have no qualms with the Michigan Militia. Their restraint has been made evident in the fact that members of the militia have voiced their concern in government matters, as many others have, but have not acted in an irrational fashion. It is perfectly OK to not want legislation. It is OK to be suspicious of the government. There are very few people who would like the government to function without a watchful eye. And those few are not lovers of democracy.

    If individuals desire to gather in an organized fashion and work together for the benefit of a common defense, I don't see any moral or ethical issues. These are individuals that have made it clear that they love their country, and would be willing to step into harms way in order to keep it and their families safe.

    The members of the militia are holding jobs, contributing to society, and minding their own business. The children in the video did not seem malnourished, etc. Thankfully, they have been taught that guns are tools to be used, and are only as dangerous as the person that uses them. If this family lived next door to mine, I wouldn't feel threatened, even if I was a very liberal democrat who wanted guns banned. These are not unstable people.

    In the unlikely event of a foreign invasion, the average citizen would need to take up arms to secure the safety of the nation. If these citizens know how to use these arms effectively, all the better. We do not build nuclear weapons to use them tomorrow. Militiamen do not think that they are going to fight tomorrow. But both the nuclear weapon and the militiaman have a time and a place to be used, and that is why they exist, and will continue to exist.

    November 17, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  85. Kyle

    I don’t see anything wrong with teaching children gun safety, it is proven that children with gun safety training are much less likely to handle a gun unsafely. I don’t think the guns are the issue, the issue is who is holding the gun. it also has nothing to do with the fact that they are white, the Bloods and Crips and any other street gang is constantly watched and hassled by the police and other law enforcement. the militias are hardly bothered by the law in the same way as street gangs. any person who stock piles weapons and is outwardly anti-American, not anti-Obama, but anti-American should be watched and considered a threat. the difference between the people who spoke out about Bush and the ones speaking out about Obama is that Bush protesters weren’t runny around with guns yelling about the government being the bad guys( which is funny because bush took away more rights than any other president and he did it with no fight from the militia, maybe they should have fought his patriot act then they wouldn’t have to worry about the government so much). the US already has men and women who have sworn to protect America from enemies foreign and domestic... every person in the US military has taken that oath. Militias are for the most part extremists who have a paranoia of their own government and are training to protect themselves from the government and not protect their government or country they live in. one person with connections to a Michigan militia was Timothy McVeigh, I hardly consider him a patriot. if they want to protect America join the military and go to war FOR their country, not prepare for war AGAINST their country

    November 17, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  86. Eliot

    "The thing that gets me is this "we're ready if the government becomes the enemy" mentality. Do they realize that regardless of the government's agenda, any sort of military action against the US government is treason? Real patriots fight the government by voting and participating in government; they don't prepare for future acts of treason."

    -Liz

    Thank you, Liz. What you said makes more sense than anything else on this board. & a true American thanks you for your wisdom.

    November 17, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  87. Chris

    Most militia's are pretty harmless. They lack the unit cohesion of a local Boy Scout troop. If they want to play army, as long as noone gets hurt let them. It doesnt look like many of them could complete a 40-yard dash. I dont think they're whacko's, just simpletons who dont seem to grasp their insignificance.

    November 17, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  88. Grant

    I've got lots of guns, I've been trained to use them, and I play with them often. I am a patriot and was ready to bear arms against dictators if need be when Bush was in office. I think it's fair that these nuts have a chance to express themselves just as I did. Course, they seem to be crying foul because people are calling them names. Guess they forgot about all the patriots being called names for speaking out against Bush.

    I guess in the end, all I can say is; bring em on. They'll run out of ammo quick since nobody taught them how to count. LOL!

    November 17, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  89. John

    To Gary;

    There are just too many people drinking out of the well these days. Half the children in this country are eat from food stamps. The well is running dry and the American people are getting tired of being used and abused for their kind sharing. Time to end all of this insanity. These people in Michigan are preparing for the day when the well runs dry. The NWO that is the Bildeberg Group wants to steal our national resources using socialism to achieve their ends. No can do.

    J

    November 17, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  90. John

    To Gary;

    There are just too many people drinking out of the well these days. Half the children in this country are eat from food stamps. The well is running dry and the American people are getting tired of being used and abused for their kind sharing. Time to end all of this insanity. These people in Michigan are preparing for the day when the well runs dry. The NWO that is the Bildeberg Group wants to steal our national resources using socialism to achieve their ends. No can do.

    J

    November 17, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  91. Ryan

    Holy, holy! As a veteran, I must say that if this guy's so passionate about defending his country and playing Army, why doesn't he enlist (or at least keep himself in shape...) As far as his arguments toward the Obama Administration and Health Care Reform, he's simply regurgitating talk radio red herrings. What's he suspicious of? The Obama Administration is actually doing a great job, considering the state of our country when he took office. How about when his wife goes to the supermarket to build that taco salad, they stop and think about their entitlements as Americans.

    November 17, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  92. Matt

    In this issue, I'm indifferent. Sure, these militias seem like that they could cause trouble, but they could be necessary in keeping America from going into a direction of tyranny. Our country in designed to be overthrown in case of that emergency. By the way, I find nothing wrong with owning guns and teaching children how to handle them safely. So all you anti-gun fanatics, please save your sad and abusive comments, is that clear?

    November 17, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  93. dnsmith

    In my opinion militias like the headline unit are today's minute men. We need laws like Switzerland which require every able bodied person to have a firearm in his home. Children should be taught safe firearm use when they are physically big enough to hold a gun. Abuse of firearms tend to be something the uninitiated does. Those who have guns from childhood don't have the same overzealous fantasies.

    November 17, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  94. smiles

    ezlyn – Please wake up, stop following main-stream media and go experience what firing a firearm is like. Your comments couldn't be more ignorant, yet you have the power to vote. WOW!

    November 17, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  95. Jeff Y.

    Nice statement from Dr. Worley. Let us not forget that when Stalin and Hitler came to power, they banned the ownership of guns, saying a gun-free society is a safe society. Not true. It's just a controlled society. Our forefathers knew this, and that is why our 2nd ammendment is preceded only by our freedom of press and speech.
    What could be more important than the right to bear arms to defend yourselves against a tyranical government. These gun owning militia are average americans who only responding to the current downfall of society. I would have a beer with them anyday.
    God bless America!

    November 17, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  96. sadiee

    hey john I agree with you but i also disagree America was screwed from the begining trust me in the end we will all have chips in our hands or foreheads and we are all going to die . the strong will live the weak will die ! so that guy is very smart . there is no good in america

    November 17, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  97. Sara

    I was married to a man that grew up in a hunting family. He started hunting at an early age with his father and younger brother. I never had a problem with it and we ate venison and other game. But then we had marital problems and were headed towards divorce. He didn't believe in divorce. His solution (and he was an intelligent man, an attorney) was to use that shotgun on himself, suicide. He left two daughters without a father. If he hadn't hunted all his life he might still be here. Needless, to say there are no guns in our household.

    November 17, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  98. Randy Weaver

    I really love it when I read these posts and accuse these people of being bigots or haters or being "extremists". Sure, it may seem a bit much to some of us but I think that mostly what they are doing is symbolistic in nature and setting an example of sorts for the rest of us to not sit on our butts and do nothing. Saying that they are plotting to take over the government or anything to that notion is absurd and shows the same ignorance that you are accusing these folks of having.
    Maybe we should be more upset, after all, we are ignoring many of the ideals that our forefathers fought for and this country was founded on, the limitation on government control, personal freedoms and responsibility.

    November 17, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  99. Openyoureyes

    It's funny reading some of these comments. Oh, the milita are wacko's, looneys, and ready to take over the government. Got all of you liberals nervous. Well what about the liberal news media, ACORN, SUIE, Moveon.org and unions taking over the government. Look ,the news investigates the milita for years,and look no government take overs yet, but they sure don't and didn't investigate President Obama's groups. Just like liberals always the pot calling the kettle black. At least we know where the milita stand instead of the sneaky liberal groups slowly chipping away at the constitution. I'd rather have someone honest and know where they stand, than most liberals who lie, and blow in the wind with whatever feeling they have that morning. They don't seem to want everything for free from the government, have the government take care of them, are willing to take responsibility for their actions, and don't seem to use the race card anytime they want to get things their way. So the question is who is the real wacko's!

    November 17, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  100. sadiee

    sweet a militia I want to join it

    November 17, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6