ARLINGTON, TEXAS, FEBRUARY 22, 1995 -- Jon Roland, a founding member of the Texas Militia Correspondence Committee, today reported that constitutional militias have so far been activated in 48 states -- every state except New Jersey and Rhode Island -- up from 15 states in August and 23 states in October. Roland said that units have been formed in at least 50 counties in Texas alone, with more forming each week.
Roland said that while some of these militia units are keeping a low profile for the time being, until they become established, mainly recruiting through word of mouth and announcements on talk radio, most are now meeting in response to public notices. He said that the Texas Militia Correspondence Committee is not in contact with all of them yet, but has found the materials produced by the Texas group being widely copied and circulated.
"The main motivating factor for this recent upsurge in activity," said Roland, "has been the ill-conceived gun control provisions of the current Crime Bill. People everywhere see it not only as a major assault on their constitutional rights to keep and bear arms, but as a more sinister preparation for depriving them of their other constitutional rights after they have been disarmed. They perceive a greater threat from criminal officials than from criminal street gangs."
Which is not to say that some officials have not become involved, as well. "Several counties in Western Florida have declared all their citizens to be members of the Militia," Roland said, "and several counties and communities in Oregon, New Mexico, and Georgia actually require all their heads of households to keep a gun suitable for militia duty. We haven't seen this much organizing activity since the Civil War, or so much legislative activity since the Militia Act of 1792, which required every able-bodied male citizen of the United States to keep a firearm."
"It is not just gun rights that are involved in this movement," Roland said. This Crime Bill is only the latest move in what people perceive as a progressive overthrow of the Constitution by a conspiracy of special interests that are not accountable to the people and which operate above the law. Patriotic Americans don't just want to hang on to such rights as they have left, but to roll back this growth of tyranny. They have lost confidence in the integrity of our legal institutions, including courts and elections."
"Much of the legislation that has been adopted and that has become established during the past 60 years is unconstitutional," Roland added. "For too many legislators, the Constitution has become a dead letter, something in which to find excuses for what they are already determined to do, rather than a firm guarantee of rights and limitations on government powers. Lawmakers support the provisions they like and discard the rest, and even the provisions they support are subject to compromise as though it were an ordinary statute."
"That is not to say," said Roland, "that there are not powers that the federal government has assumed that are not appropriate for it to exercise, but not until after the Constitution has been amended to delegate such powers to it." Examples of such powers might include regulation of aviation and electronic communications, he added.
"The main cause of this incremental overthrow of the Constitution has been demands from special interests, and sometimes from the people, for solutions to problems without a demand to keep the solutions constitutional. Legislators yield to these pressures, leaving it to the courts to strike down the provisions that are unconstitutional. But the courts avoid doing that. Instead, they engage in the most amazing twists of logic to try to go along with what the lawmakers and bureaucrats have done. The result is that we are becoming a government of men instead of law, with no truly guaranteed rights or limitations on powers. And there is no shortage of corrupt or overzealous officials to step in to abuse their new powers. The result is a creeping tyranny, which, as it affects more and more citizens, is causing growing frustration, disillusionment, and anger."
"The Framers envisioned a Militia System for this country," said Roland, "similar to that of Switzerland. We have allowed that system to fall into disuse, and we are now suffering the consequences of that. It is time to revive the constitutional militia, as a substitute for bureaucratic action and as a check on abusive government".
"The assault on Mount Carmel has been the wakeup call for our generation," said Roland. "The whole world saw agents of the U.S. Government, supposed to be the standard for liberty, get away with murder. We no longer regard the feds as the good guys, without question."
"The present Crime Bill just reinforces this suspicion," said Roland. "It does almost nothing to protect the public. What it does do is extend federal control in ways that only make sense if it is a preparation for an overthrow of the Constitution. All that money for policemen is only going to fund federal agents in local law enforcement organizations that can perpetrate abuses under the cover of those organizations and prevent those organizations from doing anything to stop those abuses, as the Texas Rangers almost did at Waco."
"We no longer have confidence in local law enforcement to protect us," said Roland. "If there is another Waco," said Roland, "we will look to the Militia to defend the innocent, and the outcome may be quite different. The first American Revolution began with an attempt by the authorities to disarm the people," Roland said. "It could happen again."