This week’s Time Magazine featured a 12-page article on the The Secret World of Extreme Militias. Page after page describes the threat of renegade anti-government groups, who are described as militant groups armed with rifles and assault weapons and who threaten war against “‘the jackbooted thugs’ of Washington.” Yet, Time didn’t spare a single sentence to describe the nation’s true militia forces.
There is a not-so secret world of militias out there called State Defense Forces (SDFs). These SDFs are authorized by state law and are under the command of state governors and senior military leaders. Made up entirely of volunteers, these militias are trained, organized, and prepared to back the National Guard in emergency response situations; they played a crucial role in hurricane Katrina, and the 9/11 emergency response. Their ideology is neither one of revolt nor violence; rather, their goal is simply to help maintain and enhance the safety and security of the citizens within their states.
Let’s drop the scare tactics, and instead focus on the big picture: State Defense Forces offer the states a vital, trained homeland security force that has proven itself time and again. Americans and Time magazine should take notice. Focusing on radical extremists may make a good headline but why not even mention the good guys?