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Examiner
  • Jerry Plantz: 'Militias' raise troubling questions

  • I am optimist who believes that not only is the glass half full it is also unbreakable. Still, I can’t help but feel that this nation is regressing.

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  • I am optimist who believes that not only is the glass half full it is also unbreakable. Still, I can’t help but feel that this nation is regressing.
    We have a rising tide of conspirators, naysayers, pessimists and alarmists, and I’m not talking about our effete legislators in Washington. I’m referring to many misinformed, misguided citizens who see conspirators, terrorists, Marxists, communists, socialists and anti-Americans behind every door.
    Consider the letter to the government by the Southern Poverty Law Center concerned about the increase of conspiracy-minded, anti-government groups as well as the number of domestic terrorist plots.
    They warn that the number of conspiracy-minded anti-government “Patriot” groups on the American radical right reached an all-time high in 2012, the fourth consecutive year of powerful growth by a movement that is becoming increasingly militant as President Obama enters his second term and Congress debates gun-control measures. The number of militias and other radical groups rose from 149 in 2008 to 1,360 in 2012, exceeding the high-water mark of the 1990s by more than 500.
    The number of Missouri militia is growing. Missouri is broken up into five regions, including Kansas City’s 1st battalion/3rd brigade in the western region.
    Most militia websites state they are not conspirators, adding that if you are an American with a genuine interest in defending your family, your country and the Constitution, then you are the militia.
    So if we have a National Guard, why do we need a militia?
    Cpl. Doug Farrell of the KC Militia gave me his answer:
    “The National Guard can be federalized and sent overseas as seen in the past decade. The Missouri National Guard has approximately 9,000 troops. The militia will not leave the state. The idea of the Missouri Militia is to train people to be able to respond to emergencies in their own community within minutes. This worked out, albeit on a small scale, in Joplin. We had Militia members on the ground just hours after the tornado hit. We believe that the more citizens learn, train and prepare for emergencies, the better off we are as a state. Also we are a volunteer organization that trains and equips itself, so there is no cost to the state.”
    Still, the Southern Poverty Law Center warns that before joining any of these groups you look before you leap.
    I give you president John Adams’ toast: Independence forever.
    Jerry Plantz lives in Lee’s Summit. His website is at www.Jerryplantz.com. Reach him at jerryplantz@msn.com.
     
     
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