Back in 2010, I reported about the rise of the Militia Movement and it’s possible link to Tea Party groups in Alaska. You may recall Alaska Senate Candidate Joe Miller’s ties to Norm Olson’s Alaska Citizens Militia. The connection became public when Miller’s private security guards “arrested” and handcuffed a blogger-journalist. They were Militia members. The ensuing investigation found that Miller had loose ties to the so-called Alaska Citizens Militia and its leader, right-wing extremist Norm Olson. This Alaskan militia is headed by the notorious Norm Olson, who played a major role in the radical militia movement in the 1990′s in Michigan, a movement which is at least partly to blame for the Oklahoma bombing.”
Militia’s say they are not radicals but rather more concerned about government overreach. Information on the Texas Militia from they’re web-site: Militias are not in favor of having another revolution in America. We are for restoring a literal interpretation of the United States Constitution as the founding fathers intended with a strong emphasis on the bill of rights, states rights, and a limited federal government. Militias are not illegal. Militias are not anti-government. Militias are authorized by the US Constitution.
Militiamen realize, as did the founding fathers who threw off the tyranny of the British Monarchy; that our rights come directly from God himself who is a higher authority than any government. On April 19, 1775 when British Troops marched on Lexington and Concord to begin gun confiscation it was militiamen who stopped them by firing the shot that was heard around the world which started the United States of America. Militias are for enforcing the US Constitution and recognizing it as the supreme law of the land superior to any international treaties and superior to any Untied Nations rulings. Militias are the last line of defense against tyranny and invasion. The Second Amendment is not about the right to keep firearms to go hunting. The Second Amendment is about the right of the people to keep and bear firearms to prevent a tyrannical government from infringing upon our God given rights and to ensure our ability to defend the constitution against all enemies both foreign and domestic.
Militia’s tend to fire up the far right with dire warnings about threats, as they see them, from the United Nations and other global interests. The government thinks that some of them are subversive. When Liberty County sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 call for a man shooting at his wife on a lone country road 70 miles northeast of Houston, they knew he was armed and dangerous. But they didn’t expect him to charge out of his trailer with a ballistic helmet, body armor – including advanced ceramic plates, able to stop high-powered rifle bullets – and two semi-automatics, complete with an extra drum of ammunition. “I don’t recognize your authority,” Kevin Boneyallegedly told deputies before a tense standoff that had officers crouching behind their patrol cars for nearly 90 minutes while the 34-year-old spewed anti-government vitriol. “You can’t arrest me,” yelled Boney, a self-described “warrant officer” in the Texas Militia. “I don’t recognize your laws. You can take my guns from my cold dead body.”
After surrendering, Boney said he should have just “(expletive) killed” the deputies, remaining so violent that they subdued him with pepper spray. The Feb. 14 incident and another Texas Militia standoff in March involving Boney’s cousin – where deputies found enough explosives to alert federal agents – is the latest in what officials here say has been a considerable uptick in confrontations with anti-government extremists, mirroring a troubling nationwide phenomenon. “We have dealt with people like that a lot more in the past year than before,” said Capt. Rex Evans, a Liberty County sheriff’s spokesman. “They are, maybe not always violent and confrontational, but certainly argumentative whenever we try to arrest them, stop them, write them tickets, go on their property, anything. They believe we have no authority.”
From San Antonio to Seattle, Albany to Atlanta, law enforcement agencies are witnessing the resurgence of a dangerous anti-government movement that peaked with the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Last month, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported so-called “patriot” groups, including militias and sovereigns, skyrocketed from 149 in 2008 to 1,274 in 2011, the highest it has ever been. Texas topped the list with 76 groups, up from six in 2008. Mark Potok, who tracks extremist groups for the center, called the growth “astounding.” “We’ve never seen anything like it,” he said. The previous high was 858 in 1996, the year after Timothy McVeigh, a militia sympathizer, and Terry Nichols, a sovereign, killed 168 people, the nation’s deadliest terrorism attack after Sept. 11.
Fueling the rise is a long list of grievances: the shoddy economy; the foreclosure crisis; Barack Obama’s presidency; income inequality; concerns about the Second Amendment; fear Hispanics will overtake whites as the majority; and unease about the role of white working-class men in the U.S. “It’s as bad as it was in the 1990s, if not worse,” said Mark Pitcavage, intelligence director for the Anti-Defamation League, which monitors extremists. Liberty County, where 79 percent of residents are white and per capita income is just over $15,000, is a case study in this fractured movement’s roots. “We’re hearing a lot of ‘the government has failed us’ type of stuff,” Evans said. “The socioeconomic situation seems to be the biggest driving force.”
In February, the FBI called a national press conference highlighting the danger of sovereign citizens, a “domestic terrorist movement” claiming to exist “beyond the realm of government authority.” Federal convictions of such extremists, mostly for white-collar crime like fraud, doubled from nine in 2009 to 18 in each of the last two years. Locally, numbers of affiliated citizens are hard to come by as law enforcement doesn’t classify them; many fly under the radar until they explode. In February, a Tarrant County jury sentenced James Tesi, an admitted sovereign, to 35 years for a shootout with officers after a traffic stop. Since 2002, sovereigns have slain six police officers.
Texas militias hark back to the beginnings of the state itself, from Stephen F. Austin to volunteer cavalries, which morphed into Texas Rangers. Militias are protected by the U.S. Constitution. But since the 1990s many have been tied to violence. Boney, who is in Liberty County Jail, could not be reached. And on this remote County Road 2134 where he and his family live – where residents said monthly training for this militia chapter is held and which is dotted with signs warning trespassers that they’ll be shot – nobody wanted to talk. Or, they feigned ignorance. Said a neighbor of Boney’s, “Y’all are dropping your bucket into an empty well.” Added his wife: “They don’t trust the government. Why should they talk to you?”