As the election draws near, news annalists and political pundits are growing weary of what they see as a disturbing trend in America’s home-grown militia groups. There’s been a dramatic increase in activity and interest in these militias, and that has many worried about an armed insurrection.
These groups almost all support Trump’s candidacy. As the candidate makes declarations about a rigged system, those on the left fear it will stoke the militias’ fires. Add to his an absolute mistrust of Clinton, and the situation gets even more volatile.
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Many Americans see this as absurd. And now it is attracting the attention of international media who are playing up the increase in militia activity as a sign of an impending revolution.
The Daily Mail sent a reporter to cover this phenomena recently. The Mail was welcomed by members of the Three Percent Security Force, a Georgia group that typifies the militia groups across the country.
“How many people are voting for Trump? Ooh-rah!” asks Chris Hill–a member of the TPSF. The dozen or so militia members with him all respond positively.
“This is the last chance to save America from ruin,” Hill said. “I’m surprised I was able to survive or suffer through eight years of Obama without literally going insane, but Hillary is going to be more of the same.”
Militias are nothing new in America. This is a country formed because of militias. The notion of rebellion seems antiquated, though, and militias are now marginalized to the absolute fringes of American society.
The origins of militias is lost on the British press, though. They claim militias developed in the 1990s, in response to government-led debacles in Ruby Ridge and Waco. The Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, they write, was carried out “by a militia sympathizer.”
Yet The Mail is able to get some of the details on point. Militias grow in response to what many Americans feel is an overreach of government, especially when it comes to gun-control. The Mail cites The Southern Poverty Law Center’s numbers on militia growth. In 2008, before Obama took office, there were 42 known militia groups. In 2015, that number had climbed to 276.
So what would these groups do if there is a Clinton win? That seems to be the question. Hill and the TPSF have discussed plans for an armed march on Washington.
“I will be there to render assistance to my fellow countrymen, and prevent them from being disarmed, and I will fight and I will kill and I may die in the process,” said Hill.
This bellicose rhetoric is not confined to the militia groups. “If Trump loses, I’m grabbing my musket,” former Illinois Representative Joe Walsh tweeted last week.
“We’ve been building up for this, just like the Marines,” Hill said. “We are going to really train harder and try to increase our operational capabilities in the event that this is the day that we hoped would never come.”