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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. Christopher Green

    It's unforunate that because of some extremists we have confused militant with milita. We are founded on the idea that one day our government may turn against us and our rights, not in the "Omg we voted in a " way but we may one day be too late to stop a true totalitarian force from taking over our country and the idea is that we'll have armed citizens ready to start a resistance to it. Note the words used are "may" and "one day", it is the end-all be-all of responses when democracy completely fails and nothing but armed resistance will work.

    Unforunately in many instances a given group calling itself a milita have decided that time came to past at some point when our culture adopted something new from taxation to civil rights or that that moment is coming because of changes in government policy. Mind you one of the most well-known US Presidents, Abraham Lincoln, suspended far more rights then any other President in US history.

    I'd venture to ask that out of all milita groups in the US (there is at least one per state, in some cases more) how many have taken actually committed a violent crime. Regardless of the fact I disagree with them those based on conservative religious views (and even those with extremist views) that their speech itself is protected and their speech isn't a crime, its of course another thing if they start declaring "Bobland" as no longer part of the US and enforcing that. Otherwise they can say secession, guns, religion and race all the live long day and be no more dangerous then any other group in America.

    In terms of guns, most people who only grew up with their experience with guns as negative (very common to those who live in the city) see them in that light. While those who live in the rest of America tend to not see them that way, if not positively then at least a neutral viewpoint. It's not illegal to own firearms and have children, its another thing if your kids blow their heads off because you can't be bothered to invest in a gun safe. However there are studies that show children who are taught gun safety early on in households that have guns tend to be more responible with them.

    In the end I think the saying about a having something so you'll never need it holds somewhat true.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:39 pm |
  2. Reggie Gabr, Independent

    Right, may be CNN along with the reporter should ask themselves why do they not report on black panther militia and other thugs that are PRO Obama? Ahh yes, if these were pro -Obama then we would or should all love them...CNN sucks.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:38 pm |
  3. John S

    The second amendment to the constitution reads, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.". That being the case, I have one question. Who is regulating these nut cases?

    The whole point of the amendment is to develop and maintain a national defense force. Well we have one. It is regulated by congress and managed by the Department of Defense. These guys that are playing militia are breaking the law. By rights, we should be prying their guns from their cold stiff fingers.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:38 pm |
  4. jack

    The GOP is dead. According to Sean Hannity these are great Americans! WTF is wrong with these people?

    November 17, 2009 at 7:38 pm |
  5. Aaron

    U.S. Law states that all males are members of the "unorganized militia":

    (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

    These people are doing nothing but organizing themselves in case they do get called up. Which everyone of us can be, however unlikely that is. They are just preparing for a highly unlikely scenario. But if the governments does trample our liberties, then we should all be standing next to them. Everyone who is afraid because they are teaching their kids about guns just think about something for a minute, the kids who take guns to school are the ones who weren't taught by their parents.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:36 pm |
  6. Hank Casttello

    Previous post: [They're (militias) here as a final line of defense for the people]

    I strongly urge you to have a heart-to-heart talk with a good psychologist!

    Owning a gun or two is one thing, training your children in a militia is whacko as it gets.

    I'm an independent, but I'll be honest, you right-wingers scare the hell out of me.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:35 pm |
  7. Hirotomi Takemitsu

    These people are danderous and should be supressed. They should be disbanded by the police or whatever it takes to disband them.
    The Nazi Party and other extremist/ultra-nationalist patriotic groups began like this, but without the element of extreme religious views.

    These people are not patriots. They are sick, dangerous fanatics.

    The Nazis, the Kamakazi pilots and the Samurai, the Soviets, and especially the Taliban and al-Queda were/are just like these nutjob gun-totting bible thumping hillbillies. Not good company to keep.

    By the way...isn't it illegal for groups like these to foster hatred for the President of the USA, and to verbally threaten him. Why are they not all in jails?

    November 17, 2009 at 7:34 pm |
  8. JRD

    I've pretty much said my peace with regards to the whole gun/anti-gun thing, but one thing I need to add is this..

    The Michigan Militia has been around for many years and are not "scared because there's a black president". I see a ton of ignorance on these posts, not surprisingly.

    my research on these guys was in fact before "Obama" and they have stayed with the same message for the most part.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:34 pm |
  9. Vince

    All guns need to be banned. Crime in the UK has dropped, the police there don't even carry guns.
    If there were no guns, then crime would stop.
    Even police and military have their guns stolen and the army shootings show that they are unstable. ALL GUNS NEED TO BE BANNED

    November 17, 2009 at 7:34 pm |
  10. jack

    with respect to the opening of the article to which this responds, since when does being anti obama and pro second amendment make somebody a crazy radical?

    November 17, 2009 at 7:34 pm |
  11. Steve

    Guns and playing army can fill a void in otherwise empty lives. I mean, people can only do just so much mudding and crawfish boils. Luckily we have parts of our wonderful country where these people are but punchlines or examples of what to become.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:34 pm |
  12. Stephen

    Actually the MIlitias in the beginning were what the National Guard became. Once upon a time the NG were under the control of local Govenors, but not now. The MIlitia groups that exist today in the mid-west are just ordinary people trying to make sense of the bureacratic BS that has evolved. Unfortunately some Militia groups are racist/extremists.

    It's really amazing when you read thru what you folks write, you just don't realize its your constitutional right to "change" the governement, but since most of you are just sheep following around your keeper (insert government leader here) you fail to realize your potential for greatness. Its sad really.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:33 pm |
  13. Will

    What are you ppl so crazy about Militias? The Constitution allows them. Why would anyone go crazy about it?

    November 17, 2009 at 7:32 pm |
  14. TooMuchBs

    I don't understand this story according to the constitution isn't every able bodied man not in the military in the militia of the United States?

    November 17, 2009 at 7:32 pm |
  15. matt-Seattle

    They are extremists.
    "An American Taliban" period

    November 17, 2009 at 7:31 pm |
  16. Mike

    Sounds like CNN is trying to direct the public debate on gun control there direction. Where is there unbiased reporting.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:30 pm |
  17. abqyan

    A militia that has a charter to over-throw the Federal Government, if they independently judge that it is 'tyrannical' is extremist. A militia that is concerned about aiding the Federal government in times of of need, e.g. disasters, floods, etc. are patriots. Some people are genuinely concerned that they need to be armed and prepared to protect the US, which is fine; though I find it hard to believe that the most powerful military in the world would ever need that kind of help. To me the key part of the 2nd amendment are the words "...well regulated..." This does not mean that any fractionated group can band up and try and over throw the government. The scariest part is that extremist groups that promote hate can recruit weak minded people to commit violent actions based on limited knowledge or understanding of the Constitution or framework established during the founding of this country. An out of context quote from Thomas Jefferson does not give license to commit treason.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:30 pm |
  18. tony

    Maybe ideas and lifestyles such as those in the article will disappear when their objectives are met. Oops–wait. There's an African American running the show from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and the NAACP still isn't done. I'm not done either. If you want my arsenal, you'll have to come and take it–just call ahead, so I can tell my office that I'll be taking a day of vacation.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:30 pm |
  19. Sara

    Isn't this exactly what the Jihad does?

    November 17, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  20. Mick

    Give me a break. I grew up with more guns in the house living in the woods than most people commenting here. I was shooting and hunting by age 7. Because of this, I have spent more time in gun safety courses, hunter safety courses, and have a familiarity with firearms that will last a lifetime. The militia is the underlying enforcement of the Constitution, which is why the founding fathers placed it as the #2 Amendment. I am not in a militia, I am a professional in my field of expertise, and I believe that guns in the qualified hands of those of the civil society will keep government extremism at bay as well as any outside forces considering violating our sovereign territory. Although that thought sounds extreme now, it is the ultimate form of protecting the Constitution of the USA. With all that being said, firearms in the hands of unqualified individuals is another story...

    November 17, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  21. Evie Treagler

    "But I'm really angry that 300 million other people are not as angry a I am"
    So, if he is angry at America as a whole for not being as angry at the government as he is, how big a step is it for him to come after anyone he is angry at with a loaded gun?

    These are scary people. Glad I don't live in Michgan.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  22. Wilhelm

    I would submit that those who are so strident in their opposition to guns in the house with children, suffer themselves from a condition, Hoplophobia dementia, an inordinate and obsessive fear of firearms: they should look at themselves rather than others, especially since these children have all - ALL - been trained in the use of firearms, what they can do, and the terrible consequence of their misuse.
    As far as the militia - this seems to be their interest, an activity in which they can get fresh air, exercise, interact with like minded folk: do not project your own negativity onto them, do not paint them with a broad brush. By their fruit shall you know the tree.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  23. Nicholas

    It starts with the extreme christian church preaching. All you hear in the churches and TV preaching channels is that "the end of America as we know it is near. Obama is the antichrist and as a christian you must be ready to stand up to the socialist goverment." This sort of brainwashing is gaining support and growing and is very dangerous. We like to say how dangerous other countries are full of radical muslims but we do the same exact thing right here in the US. We brainwash our own kids for extremism. Rush Limbough fans love it.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  24. Jon

    These 'people' look, sound, and act like a bunch of kooks. Perhaps I'd better get a gun to protect myself from these "on a mission from God" vigilantes.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:27 pm |
  25. George S.

    It seems that every whack job who wipes out a group of innocent American civilians on a whim was also characterized as being a god-fearing, country-loving, constitution-protecting patriot as these nut jobs characterize themselves. Let them have their little war games unarmed, but rational people must say enough to guns in the hands of these hair-trigger anarchists.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:27 pm |
  26. Jen

    I don't have any problem with this, even though I've never been a fan of militias (largely due to media reports of what seem to be some of the wackier ones out West). This guy obviously knows what he's doing with a gun and appears to be teaching his kids the same. They are supervised, they wear protective gear (ear buds, safety goggles on the small one), they are able to make their own choices as to whether they want to be actual militia members. The family is not out there physically attacking anyone or blowing up buildings. I say more power to them for following their beliefs in a safe and what seems to be sane manner. Funny, the thing that bothered me was that it looks like one of the sons is at the other head of the table instead of the mother.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:27 pm |
  27. traveller

    Now that President Cheney is out of office, we can repeal the (un)patriot(ic) act and take the reason for the paranoia away.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:26 pm |
  28. Alex

    As a liberal, I always get wary of seeing things like this, but every american has the right to bear arms. I don't believe everyone dislikes Obama is synonymous with a racist, I just don't see how people can hate everything he's about. He's more qualified than the alternative so I don't see the complaints there. He's trying to get everyone health care and he's actually taking concern in afganistan and iraq. He's pulling out troops out of Iraq, by around August I believe they'll all be gone, or he's starting then... I digress, the only thing that makes me nervous about crews like this is that they're all conservative and SOME of these people we saw on CNN showing up to town halls with guns strapped to their bodies... To each his own though

    November 17, 2009 at 7:26 pm |
  29. Ryan B.

    Most of the people that voted for obama anyways dont know a thing about politics................they just wanted CHANGE! HA HA, yeah we are getting it. I hope you people stand by your vote when he passes free medicare. It will be a nightmare. Think we have tons of people abusing the system now, just wait. He wont go a second term and when he doesnt that will be the white mans fault also right?

    November 17, 2009 at 7:26 pm |
  30. Caleb

    Lots of naive people commenting here. Do some research on Blackwater's takeover of New Orleans immediately following Katrina and the confiscation of firearms. You think the government or some military force can't (or won't) turn against the population? I hope somewhere deep inside you're thankful for the rest of us who do own firearms and are aware of the purpose behind the second amendment. It doesn't take a "right wing wacko" or some other label to simply look at historical evidence and see how often democratic governments have turned into empires and dictatorships. It also doesn't mean that you hope or expect these things happen just by acknowledging that it's within the realm of possibility.

    By the way let's drop the labels, ok? 90% of us walk a path down the middle. I support gay rights, i'm pro-choice but anti-abortion, believe that if we're going to have a government which is interested in the social development of its citizens that universal health care is as necessary as police and fire protection and public education, and voted for Obama...

    yet I also believe in free market capitalism, replacing the IRS and the federal reserve with a consumption tax and the return of a congress-controlled currency, and less restrictive firearms laws nationwide on law-abiding citizens.

    So am I a liberal left-wing commie, or a right-wing wacko? The reality is that both sides play the population against itself while they laugh all the way to the bank.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
  31. Roger

    Three words (or initials for that matter) K K K. Come on folks stop the sugar-coating. These people know exactly who they are and justify "teaching" (impossible healthy teaching from an ignorant person/s) how to protect themselves and practice gun safety. They are the reason racism continues to exist, multiply and infect our beautiful America. How dare anyone make excuses for a group of people who want only to hurt others and teach their children the same. Michigan residents and others need to step up and denounce this behavior. Leave Obama and any other government leaders out of the conversation, too, because this is anti-American behavior that must be eliminated. Shame on them and their employers – who unfortunately may be government, state and law enforcement agencies. By the way, I am a proud white American male.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
  32. Chris

    To everyone saying how dangerous guns are I want you to do a little project for me.... Go get a gun lay it on a table, step away from the table and hollar and scream as loud as you can at the gun and tell it to shoot. I'm gona let you know the outcome.... It cant be done!!! people are dangerous not the guns. Just becasue you let your kids fire gun doesnt mean they are gona shoot up a place. you have to start using your brain on these issues. So untill guns get artificial intelligence and start walking by themselves we are perfectly safe wiht guns in safe and responsible hands.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
  33. Slug

    When it comes to the Militia Movement, there's just one name you need to memorize: Timothy McVeigh

    November 17, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
  34. tim

    If you don't see a problem with a 6 year old shooting a gun, there is something wrong with you. I don't care how much training he/she has, guns are not for children that young. Just remember the 8 year old who killed himself with the machine gun at the the shooting range, with his parent and instructor there with him. Too young to understand the danger, and too young to actually make that choice. Keep all the guns you want, I couldn't care less. But putting a gun in a 6 year old's hands is idiotic.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  35. Ed

    Boy Scouts who never grew up.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  36. lol

    I was about to post a long winded rant- but forget that. Look at JRD's post, support it 100 percent. Glad to see there is still a little bit of sense, even here. 😉

    November 17, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  37. Chris

    I hope CNN is not trying to associate the opposition with extremists. It's a truly distasteful tactic.

    I'm a libertarian who believes in laissez-faire capitalism. I oppose national healthcare, subsidies, regulations, stimulus packages, etc.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  38. Red_rider

    The FBI should keep close tabs on these nuts. I would fear having them living free in my area far more than I would fear terrorist behind bars where I live.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  39. Anne

    I have just finished watching "Triumph of the Will" by Leni Riefenstahl and think this should be required watching for all of these militia members. The most important thing to learn about it is that these were completely ordinary people who felt pushed around by their own government and other nations. Along came a charismatic leader who told them that he represented patriotism and they followed along like sheep and ended up heading down a road that involved things that the majority would never have considered okay. These people need to open their minds and their history books and see how vulnerable their paranoid mentality makes them to the potential of destroying the future for themselves, their families and the rest of this country. We need a lot more critical thinking and a lot less jingoism and "group think".

    November 17, 2009 at 7:22 pm |
  40. tina

    One of these days, probably in the near future, a lot of you are going to be wishing these guys were your neighbors.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  41. peri

    These are terrorists – not much different from Al queda ...too bad we don't have anywhere to send them- let them start their own county far away from the rest of us & they'd kill each other off in a year

    November 17, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  42. MT

    Have any of you LIBERALS ever read history? Who do you think defended the initial freedoms of this country? This is where this country started. Our 12 year old son is not afraid of firearms he has a specific parent instilled respect for firearms and has taken classes from a certified firearms instructor.

    I respect our President Obama, I respect the military, please respect my right to own firearms in order defend my home and family.

    There are wolves in the world, some citizens will be sheep and some will be bears.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  43. lawyer2009

    Children handling firearms...? Trigger-happy parents creating exclusionist gun camps...? Can you think of better ways to indoctrinate young minds into a false war? We have proven enemies in Afghanistan, but we do not need to fear our neighbors. Anyone who believes other American citizens are "out to get" them is both paranoid and oblivious to the actual issues at stake. Wake up and read the analyses of the analyses..."Americans" are the steady, ready ones. We do not need to create children inclined to violence; we know to where that leads... we do need to create children who are trusting in eachother and moving forward. Let's all promote that ideal...

    November 17, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  44. Ash

    "Chances are that they'll find that drivers and doctors are much more likely to be involved in an accidental death than gun owners." This was said by "billy". Get your facts right, guns kills WAY more people than doctors. Look up your facts before posting. Thanks!

    November 17, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  45. Chumbley

    Wannabe soldiers...nothing more

    November 17, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  46. Mike

    Reading some of these posts makes me realize how stupid most Americans are about their own history. Without the Militias this country would never have existed.

    One thing to think about – how many fewer Jews would have died in Nazi Germany if they had guns at their disposal when they were being rounded up?

    November 17, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  47. Echefula Owuala

    Crazy America!!!!!!!. I want someboady to tell the world the difference between the coward American Militia and that of Nigerian Niger Delta millitants.

    The whole world is keeping quite on this issue because it is happening in GREAT AMAERICAN SOIL. Wonders shall never end. Just a family owns such number of guns? God Bless America indeed.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  48. Ron Doggett

    These Bozos are so caught up in they're fantasy world that no amount of dialogue could ever make them see themselves as the laughable, pathetic Simpletons they truly are. Just because some have a sizeable gun collection does not impress me the least bit.
    They can have their weekend get togethers, rile each other up, do they're so called manouvers, but the bottom line is, any Marine, Ranger, or Seal would kick any five or more of the're sorry asses at the same time with No Problem.
    I dismiss them all as the simple minded Buffoons they truly are.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  49. F16 Avionic Technician

    This best explains it...
    Welcome to MICHIGANMILITIA.COM

    A well-armed citizenry is the best form of Homeland Security and can better deter crime, invasion, terrorism, and tyranny. The intention of this website is to inform, promote and facilitate the development and training of the militia. Everyone is welcome, regardless of race, creed, color, religion or political affiliation, provided you do not wish to bring harm to our country or people. If you are a United States citizen (or have declared your intent to become such), who is capable of bearing arms, or supports the right to do so, then YOU ARE the militia...

    November 17, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  50. Andy

    I grew up near a lot of these guys. having guns has nothing to do with these militia guys. Many Americans have guns. These militia guys though, are out of their minds. And they are not completly nuts because of their dislike for Obama, they are completly nuts for their obsessive conspiracy theories and there belief in the imminent world war III. If violence ever breaks out its not the government they will be fighting its probably innocent americans. I would bet anything that if they ever have to use their guns for real it will be against each other or against innocent civilians. Most of them are insane. WHACKOS.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  51. Sad American

    Let people do what they want. Everyone here needs to get off of their high horse and let people live. if its legal there is a reason its legal. Someone smarter than you agreed to make it so.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  52. jojo

    The constitutional defense of guns as a means to fend off government tyranny was more rational when the government had approximately the same kinds of weapons as the people (muskets, cannons). Until I can own an F-18 or a nuke I think this provision is sorely outdated.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  53. Dave Dawkins

    I really hope someone at DHS is monitoring this forum. Lots of wackos shooting off their mouths, and they need to be watched VERY closely.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  54. Tony

    This band of wingnuts couldn't protect itself for 30 seconds from a small squad of highly armed, well-trained, pissed off troops. And now they're here to proect this nation? What a joke!

    November 17, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  55. Ben

    Hee hee. These folks crack me up. Most, undoubtedly are whack jobs. Don't get me wrong, I have guns and I like them. I do not, however, run training exercises with my children in the woods. That's where the whack job aspect comes in. Luckily, most people aren't that stupid. They'll own their guns, behave normally, support their president, and live a normal life. The other freaks will dress up in camo and rewatch Red Dawn and Rambo for the 27th time. Hopefully they'll not reproduce. I think they like to think of themselves as patriots and some might be, but any that go as far as the family in the story are extremists. Not necessarily dangerous, just far enough out there to warrant the title. I rather do without them but I can deal with them. There are idiots no matter where you go.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  56. Geoff

    Sara, I am sorry for your loss, but to say that your husband killed himself because he was a hunter is just ludicrous. My family has had hunters in it, marital problems, and nobody has turned their weapons on themselves.
    I don't have a problem with kids growing up around guns and shooting at an early age. That shows good parenting, in my eyes. Rather than shielding a child from guns, a child should be taught the proper way to handle a weapon, how to shoot the weapon, and the dangers of the weapon. My uncle has been a police officer for as long as I have been alive. All of the kids in our family were taught very young about guns, and his backup pistol was always left on either the dining room table or the kitchen counter. It was known what it was, that it was not a toy, and it was not to be touched without supervision.
    To believe that gun control would keep firearms out of criminal's hands is another liberal pipe dream, but that's for another argument. This is why kids should be taught the proper use and dangers of firearms. If you talk to your kids and teach them properly, they will know not simply that they shouldn't play with guns, but actually know WHY they shouldn't. Without a why, kids will always rebel. I know when I was a kid, if my parents didn't give me a good reason why I wasn't supposed to do something, I usually did it anyways. This is why I try to always teach my kids the reasons behind the lessons.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  57. Mark

    Ignorance is bliss!!! Unfortunately I see alot of people in this room who don't know nor understand how this country was founded. History does repeat itself and this time it won't be "HITLER" who takes the guns away!!! It will be someone who voted ignorantly into office by the American people.

    FYI: It was the Bush Administration that prompted the militias to visit Capitol Hill in 2005 and testify before Fred Thompson and other committee members about the expansion of the Militias. Look Up JJ Johnson of the Ohio Militia. By the way, J.J is an African American. Far from a racist, wouldnt you all say?

    We (Americans) have ignorantly squandered everything our Forefathers and our fathers have pledged to protect. The "GUN" is called an "EQUALIZER" for a reason!!

    November 17, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  58. GN

    Militia in America? Weapons training camps in America? 6 Year old taught to use weapons in America? Shocking! Unbelievable!

    November 17, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  59. F16 Avionic Technician

    Glad to hear there are people willing to continue to fight for our freedom. From over 20 years in the military, I'll be the first to tell you its hard to get an "American" to freely join a military service to serve thier country. The article goes into anti Obama movement. Duh, he's the freaking president, same with Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Lincoln.... These people will fight if it ever came to it, for your right to be able to say you don't like them! If there's going to be a future for America, its with people like this! True Americans doing what Americans have been doing for centuries. And they trust in God, and sing the National Anthem. They might not be politically correct, but then they arent politicians either! They have better credit, less DUI's, less drug use, and less charges of assalt than the 300+ members of Congress! Who's the real bad guys here?....

    November 17, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  60. Jared

    I think this is the right thing because, They are be bread to protect our country. I wish all military parents would do this

    November 17, 2009 at 7:13 pm |
  61. mike

    To Joseph Daniel Brian Lawlor: (WE ARE MILITARY BY OUR RIGHT TO PROTECT ALL THAT IS LOVED AND HELD SACRED).

    What you are is CRACKPOT BY ALL THAT YOU SAY AND DO. And I am REALLY in the military.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:13 pm |
  62. Tru Soldier

    Let the Soldiers train to fight wars...........theses children need to practice their studies instead of targets.......these looney tunes just need to stop.........there is nothing wrong with owning and knowing how to use firearms......however, when you are some dumb redneck that takes the right to bear arms to a new level and retarded there is a problem. These people are so right winged its not even funny...........

    November 17, 2009 at 7:13 pm |
  63. richard

    I completely support these people and what they are doing. The thing that scares me is the ignorance that some of the people leaving comments are exhibiting. They're like KKK? All people who form militias are weak? Statements like this and the sheep leaving them are what's wrong with America right now.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:13 pm |
  64. JJ

    Real patriots fight the government by voting and participating in government; they don't prepare for future acts of treason. (LIZ) Paul Revere and George Washington commtitted treason against Britian. If not for those MILITIAS we would be under british control right now. Just think about it.We might not necessarily agree with them but some of the things they are saying are true.They might not ever become true but atleast we have people willing to take a stand and let the goverment know if you mess wit the people we willl fight back . That i agree with.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:12 pm |
  65. Michael

    God bless them! They are raising their children to be self-sufficient individuals who probably (based upon some of the comments here) have a better understanding of the Constitution than our "leaders." And when did owning numerous firearms and lots of ammo become questionable? The fact that anyone would even raise an eyebrow about it concerns me!

    November 17, 2009 at 7:12 pm |
  66. Ace Frehley

    oh and by the way,look at OPENYOUREYES....lets discuss who chipped away at the constitution with warrantless wiretapping?

    November 17, 2009 at 7:12 pm |
  67. jona

    OH.. CNN>. you;re pathetic. YOu have more guns and more problems on any block in any city in america from gangs.. these guys aren't your worry.. they will probably eventually protect you.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:12 pm |
  68. Chris

    Ironic that I saw an undercover story a few years ago about how the people in North Korea were being brainwashed. They were told where they live is a paradise compared to America. They were told that everyone here owned a gun, played soldier and violence was everywhere. Gang shootings guns in schools, a government divided with unrealistic ideals. A story like this to someone on the outside would sure seem to reinforce such things. I don't have an issue with someone owning a gun or teaching their kid to shoot a gun. I do think people who spend time running around in the woods playing army thinking the day will come when they have to defend their way of life have a few screws loose. The sad part is there are probably a few who believe this so strongly they will eventually find a way to make it happen. There is an obvious discourse right now and it all has to do with insecurity. Unfortunately both major political parties and both sides of the media are guilty of trying to use this to their advantage.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:12 pm |
  69. Tom

    Like the discussion or heated debate. Dislike the name calling. That's my vote.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:12 pm |
  70. JT

    Calling these people wacko's militias or the same as KKK is extreme. Someone define a wacko militias for me. Were our for fathers wacko militias when they created this country? Just look at it this way, some people are comfortable around guns and some are not. And yes I am a gun owner. I am in the military. I am sure that just set off some bells in peoples head. I have several weapons, M4, SKS, Shotgun, pistols and my grandfathers old 22. I enjoy shooting my guns. I served in Alaska and loved it there. Guns were a part of life much like having a car in the lower 48 states. Now I am in Florida were things are much different. They are not as welcome here. Now I am currently serving in Afghanistan and have to carry a weapon all the time. Having my own at home and being around them all my life I am comfortable having it and am confident in using it when the time comes. Some people that have not fired or held a weapon are the ones that are not comfortable and have accidents. I have two children also. They have shot my weapons as well as my wife. They understand the importance of gun safety and that guns are not the way out. My daughter can't wait for me to pass on my grandfathers 22 to her. She see's it as a tradition and feels honored. I undertand everyone has their opinions but don't judge the book by it's cover. So Patriots or extremist? They can be both and it isn't a bad thing.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:11 pm |
  71. David

    Since when did our media started labeling melitia as patriots. This should not even be discussed. If they do feel that they are patriots, then it should be the same agenda used for all the countries instead of only the States.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:11 pm |
  72. Shawn

    When I read stuff like this I thank my lucky stars that I live in Canada and not the U.S.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:11 pm |
  73. John

    Patriots? Ha! That's a laugh! No...these people are definitely not patriots.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:11 pm |
  74. Saramom

    Joel, I think you are missing something about the Fourteenth Amendment: it is not to allow the government to take away someone's "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." It is designed to provide due process rights requiring that certain steps, such as a hearing, be followed before a person's "life, liberty, or property" can be taken away.

    What amazes me is how illiterate posts on both sides of this issue are. I have no people owning guns or teaching their children how to shoot : it is the parents who hide their heads in the sand and don't realize children have access to guns every day and in every way (Columbine, anyone?). I may disagree with their politics, and beliefs, but their view on guns make sense.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:11 pm |
  75. Michael

    Go0d bless them! They are raising their children to be self-sufficient individuals who probably (based upon some of the comments here) have a better understanding of the Constitution than our "leaders." And when did owning numerous firearms and lots of ammo become questionable? The fact that anyone would even raise an eyebrow about it concerns me!

    November 17, 2009 at 7:10 pm |
  76. Pete

    Chris-

    why the long defensive rant about opposing Obama in response to a piece about anti-government militias? Looks like it pushed a button. So far, no liberal groups are training private ideologic armies preparing to attack the elected government or the fellow citizens that they, like Mr Miracle in the video piece, are angry at. Nor did liberals train for armed insurrection under Bush. That seems one obvious difference between the current left and right in America. One guy frankly confirmed the obvious on camera in the earlier companion piece, that every time a Democrat wins the White House, an element of the right is going to train for armed insurrection. Since you seem to disavow the militias, I presume you agree that they are more traitorous than patriotic, preparing to shoot their way to a power they haven't earned at the ballot box or the marketplace, eager to inject overt mass violence into our domestic political life?

    November 17, 2009 at 7:10 pm |
  77. Ryan B.

    YOU GUYS ARE IDIOTS. These people arent racist or anything like the KKK. They are anti obama cause he is trying to take guns out of our homes.......what should we use for protection then.........the pot or pan? Crime rate will go up. There isnt anything with being ANIT-OBAMA, people were anti-Bush and they werent racist. Remember, the militia go back years and if not for some militia we wouldnt be where we are now. Who cares if they teach their children to use weapons....better than not teaching them like most parents. Atleast they know the dangers of using them or playing with them when adults arent around! What happenened to America. We are turning into a bunch of obese, out of shape, scared indiviuals. Dont tell me this has nothing to do with NOBAMA either!!!!

    November 17, 2009 at 7:09 pm |
  78. Emerald Laughter

    These gun nuts are creepy. Sad that they involve their children in training for an imaginary war. These kids would be better served if they signed them up for little league baseball. What a bunch of paranoid losers!

    November 17, 2009 at 7:09 pm |
  79. Brian

    Get close to these militia nuts and you see they are cowards who think their patriotic duty is bombing a day care center in a Federal building in Oklahoma.

    Remember Tim McVeigh's last stop was boozing it up with the Michigan Militia before he went to OK City.

    Three F-16s with bellies full of Napalm will take care of these Tim McVeigh supporters. Wait for the cinders to cool off so the National Guard can pick up the guns from their cold, dead fingers.

    All America will be better off and the families of the babies who died in Murrah building will be quite grateful.

    These folks are no better than Osama bin Laden as far as I'm concerned.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:08 pm |
  80. Dave Smith

    Just a fad, these militias train and train and then the members grow disillusioned after a few years because they end up getting bored and never "fight"anybody. They only show up after a Democrat has been elected into office because of gun rights. They peaked during Clinton dropped off when Bush took over and peaked again when Obama was elected. Nothing new. I thought about buying an M-4 but ended up with a pistol and a shotgun. You can throw away 2000 bux on accessories rails and pretty lights on an m-4 and for what?

    November 17, 2009 at 7:08 pm |
  81. Kevin

    I am a super liberal in most ways but I don't see a justification for all the hatred in these replies based on the limited information expressed in this article/video.

    They are no different from unofficial boy/girl scouts with guns. Someone earlier asked what the difference was between these people and the KKK, a stupid question, but one with an answer which most people seem to be unwilling to accept. Ideology.

    There is nothing wrong with weapons training. It is what people do with these weapons that can be problematic. Also he is allowed to not trust our government, I support Obama and I don't even trust most of our government, no one should. The media had previously been a check on the government's power but those in government have learned how to render it toothless for years now (pre Obama) so it falls to the citizens to keep their government in check. While it would be wildly irresponsible to do it violently (which this news post gives no indication this family even considers a viable option) it is still part of being an American citizen.

    Lighten up people, just because he has guns and doesn't trust our government doesn't make him a good or bad person, they are not indicators of his morality.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:08 pm |
  82. Joseph

    I have been around these guys....yes they are racists.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:07 pm |
  83. Nick

    I think guns should never be banned in the US, i have handled guns since i was 6 and its skills everyone needs to know, but i dont think she should have kids in a militia only unless things get real bad.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:07 pm |
  84. stannard

    Don' t know what united we stand means but i can sure understand divided we fall.
    I also feel , being a VN viet ,know what this government wants no small force can resist, no resupply no battle, just a skurmish at best.
    Ben Franklyn nor any of the founding father dreamed of modern warfare, after all they considered a vote sacred right and duty and wars would soon become a thing of the past.
    I fear though they may also teach there children to blindly vote party or religion, which frightens me more, I cannot escape that range.
    There is good in America, if you doubt it look in a mirror. Unless you seek a king on earth, you're on your way someplace else

    November 17, 2009 at 7:07 pm |
  85. Bob - NC

    "...if they literally plan to take action in rebellion against the government of the Untied States then that is insurrection and treason."

    Agreed. And you have to be sure that what's being done to you is REALLY wrong to go that far. But I would remind everybody that the United States of America exists because somebody decided to commit treason against King George.

    I'm a gun owner, life-long shooter, and life member of the NRA, but I'm not a member of any militia and own exactly 1 camouflage hat. I'm not really interested in this kind of thing, but do not believe that any of these people are a threat to national security, and do not believe that their children are in any danger as long as they are practicing good gun safety. But the more people that have guns and enjoy shooting them, the more difficult it is for some gun-hating administration to disarm us, now or later.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:07 pm |
  86. William

    Everyone on this page who is saying bad things about the United States Constitution (the right for these guys to have 20 guns and have children) should be deported to China.
    We have the right to bare arms and have militias. Take that right away and we are no longer the United States of America. Our new name will be the Socialist States of America. Soon we will no longer be the greatest nation of the world and YOU are to thank for that.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:07 pm |
  87. George

    CNN, what a great idea! Use the most extreme case; a family that believes in the right to bear arms, but not just one firearm with a lock, but instead one that has over 20 weapons in the house (unsecured of course) Then pretend that they are part of a growing movement, and make sure you have President Obama striding by the Whitehouse in the background. Finally, append this family to millions of mainstream families who oppose a government takeover of healthcare.
    America is a great and diverse country. We have extremists on the right and the left. The latter has a strong congressional representation and the White House.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:05 pm |
  88. Kim

    I'm a retired military officer and gun owner. I'm mad at the government for starting wars that weren't necessary. I'm angry at men trying to take away a womens right to choose an abortion. I'm upset with the American people for not wanting universal health care, like I have. So Les, come for me, I'll be waiting.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:04 pm |
  89. Anonymous

    "Militias are comprised of people who are weak and fearful. They think that owning guns exhibits strength and forces others to fear them.
    The sorry fact is that few of them have ever had any military training which would have given them direction instead of their "mob" mentality."

    To that I answer:

    The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution refers to a pre-existing right to keep and bear arms:

    “ A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. ”

    November 17, 2009 at 7:04 pm |
  90. Joe Roe

    This is the way The USA was built and this is the way to take it back. I wish there was a militia here in hawaii to join because I would join in a heartbeat. I'm so sick of the government telling us what to do that I could puke. If really wish that all of the people that do not agree with these people in Michigan would JUST LEAVE THE USA AND NEVER COME BACK!

    November 17, 2009 at 7:03 pm |
  91. Adam Hendricksen

    This is a quaint display of old-fashioned equipment and tactics. This band of well-fed but poorly armed individuals is not a threat to anyone.

    Their political stances are generally protected by the constitution, are not hurting anyone, and should be widely tolerated. Their pseudo-militaristic pastime is little more than that in an age of predator drones, spy satellites and smart bombs, and is surely a point of amusement to the professionals that we've collectively hired to protect our security.

    If anything, I think that more people from the left end of the political spectrum should get involved in these sorts of activities; time spent outdoors is never a bad thing, and firearms are both interesting and fun when used responsibly. Most importantly, it would give the left and right a chance to find some common ground in a common hobby.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:03 pm |
  92. Roy

    Also – to any nutjob that says "join the military and fight for freedom and serve the right way"

    You didnt read any of the articles on this did you. Most of these militia members are FORMER US MILITARY OR POLICE.

    God youre all idiots.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:03 pm |
  93. Orville St.Clair

    I'm a retired US Army Sergeant First Class. I carried a rifle in defense of my country and now I carry a licensed concealed handgun (always) in defense of myself and my fellow citizens.

    I think that handgun owners, in general, respect the 2nd Amendment rights granted to them by the Constitution, and would not abuse them. I'm not so sure about militias, but am willing to concede that they have the same rights concerning weapons that I do. What I disagree with STRONGLY, is those biased people who denigrate gun owners. And, those people who are anti-government. Both sides of the "gun" issue disgust me when they make unfounded generalizations about the people on the "other" side of the issue.

    I'm a white southerner but I am not a racist. I really appreciate the words of Rodney King, "Can't we all just learn to get along."

    However, if you're a bad guy, you'd better keep away from me.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:03 pm |
  94. Andrea

    It's a free country after all, isn't it?

    November 17, 2009 at 7:03 pm |
  95. American and Proude

    As an American Soilder I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy, the enemies of the United States of America in close combat. These individuals are enemy's of this country and I will be ready to squash these ant's, when my government gives me the orders. I support president Obama and the troops... Army Leads the WayQ

    November 17, 2009 at 7:02 pm |
  96. WAKE UP AMERICA !!!

    Who knows what Americas future may hold. I don't need to tell you what our major national problems are ! AMERICA, take action. Being prepared is essential. Worst possible outcome of a national disaster, terrorism... natural..., means no basic nessesity's. ei:. running water, electricy, fuel , automobile fuel, FOOD... do you have a backup plan? can you get by? what if WAR were to happen right here, right now. life

    November 17, 2009 at 7:02 pm |
  97. Randy

    Edward Abbey:

    – A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.

    – If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the government and outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws.

    – Government: If you refuse to pay unjust taxes, your property will be confiscated. If you attempt to defend your property, you will be arrested. If you resist arrest, you will be clubbed. If you defend yourself against clubbing, you will be shot dead. These procedures are known as the Rule of Law.

    – Terrorism: deadly violence against humans and other living things, usually conducted by government against its own people.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:01 pm |
  98. Brad from Wildomar, CA

    Our founding fathers saw the need for an armed and organized militia. Nothing has changed. People today who roll their eyes and label these people as wacko's generally have no idea what they are talking about, and have never even tried to understand what a modern militia is all about. Thoughtful, intelligent men and women preparing for what many believe is inevitable, can not be easily written off or ignored. Militias are not for everyone... but they are as much a part of our american heritage as baseball and apple pie.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:01 pm |
  99. The party of NO MORE

    Why are they out there? Look no further than Manny's comment: "These people are all nut jobs who should be locked up and have their kids taken away for indoctinating them into hate."

    Anyone remember 1984? Thoughtcrimes? Manny (clearly a liberal) is advocating arrest, imprisonment, and termination of parental rights for parents who teach their kids to, in his words, "hate."

    Who defines "hate"? Manny? How about if conservatives get into power, they lock up everyone who advocates gay marriage? Sound unfair? Unconstitutional? Unamerican?

    Seems to me that folks like Manny are the ones we should be afraid of.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:01 pm |
  100. Sensible Joe

    Just what "threat" are these "militias" reacting against? There was more done against the Constitution, civil liberties and the common good of all Americans under the Bush administration, when these "militias" were neither vocal nor visible. Now they reappear and go public when the Obama administration is trying to undo that damage? So what gives? It would be interesting for these "militiamen" to indicate (1) specifically what threats they perceive from government and society around them; and (2) how they have engaged the political system (voting, speaking and writing to legislative representatives, participating constructively in public forums) before they suddenly felt the need to take up arms. Then, maybe, their commitment to democracy might be validated. Until then, that's questionable at best.

    November 17, 2009 at 7:00 pm |
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