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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 169630 Find in a Library
Title: Militia Movement
Editor(s): C P Cozic
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 96
Sponsoring Agency: Greenhaven Press
Farmington Hills, MI 48333-9187
Publication Number: ISBN 1-56510-541-9
Sale Source: Greenhaven Press
P.O. Box 9187
Farmington Hills, MI 48333-9187
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The citizen militia movement has grown rapidly in the United States, with a total of 441 groups as of 1996, and the movement adheres to a variety of beliefs ranging from paranoid distrust of government to endorsement of white supremacy.
Abstract: Law enforcement and other experts assert that militia members are well-connected through computer networks, public forums, radio broadcasts, videos, and numerous publications. In addition, media and public focus on militias has increased following such high-profile incidents as Waco and Ruby Ridge. Many militias believe these incidents are precursors to further abuses of power against private citizens by an oppressive government and argue the right to own firearms is fundamental to freedom and the protection of constitutional rights. Opponents of militias, however, believe the right to own firearms does not extend to citizen militias. Further, critics of militias contend militia endorsement of violence justifies government efforts to suppress the groups. Critics also indicate racist sentiment among some militia groups poses a threat to minorities and call for strong measures to counter illegal militia activities, including increased Federal surveillance and the enforcement of State laws that prohibit unauthorized paramilitary training. At the same time, many observers caution against government overreaction to militias. Opposing viewpoints on citizen militias are presented in the context of constitutional freedoms versus authoritarian government, the achievement of goals by peaceful means versus violence, and the threat of militias to democracy. References and notes
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Bias related violence; Citizen gun ownership; Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Hate Crimes; Racially motivated violence; Revolutionary or terrorist groups; United States of America; Violent crimes
Note: At Issue Opposing Viewpoints Series
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