Who are the
constitutional militia movement?
Activists in what has come to be called
the constitutional militia movement (CMM) will self-identify as
militia. Most don't think in terms of being a “movement”. It is
usually outsiders who do that. However, the movement is clearly
distinct from the militia. It is also distinct, in the minds of
activists, from other groups or movements who have different aims,
agendas, and methods, but who may be mistaken for them, especially by
antagonists with agendas of their own to combine many different
people together and attribute the attributes of the worst of that
combination to all of them.
In this article, the following defining
attributes will be used to distinguish CMM activists from others, as
those who support:
Establishment or restoration of a
militia system for their nation or part thereof;
Enforcement of a strict
construction of the constitution of the nation or political
subdivision thereof, according to their understanding of it;
If nonviolent means are not available, defense of the rights
of themselves and others, without discrimination, against abuses by
officials who exceed their authority.
For purposes of identification of elements of the CMM, reference
to any of these, by some labeling or description, is sufficient, as
long as it appears that they may also satisfy the other two. It is to
be expected that many discussants will focus on just one or two, and
not label them in a consistent way. "Support" need not be
strong or highly active. The key test is how likely a person would be
to at least speak out in defense of any of those points if challenged
to do so. A member need not, for example, take up arms, because some
may not be fit for that, but are able to play a supporting role.
These criteria serve to identify those elements that tend to
self-associate and collaborate. They distinguish CMM from, for
who are only concerned about protecting themselves, their families,
and perhaps a few friends. Or from racists,
who might try to protect one subset of humanity, but not others. Or
from "loose cannons" who are prone to to foolish and
violent things that would violate the law rather than help enforce
However, this formulation does allow for elements violating
statutes they consider unconstitutional, such as anti-gun statutes,
which, if unconstitutional, are not laws. One doesn't have to agree
with their originalist
interpretation of the Constitution
to recognize that they hold that position and that it provides a bond
that unites them.
Others may have a different approach to
this, and comments are welcome.