Is Training Children For Militia Duty Child Abuse?

REUTERS/Brian Blanco

REUTERS/Brian Blanco

Reuters has featured a very disturbing article and photo gallery that shows parents training their children for militia duty. These people feel that the federal government is moving towards socialism and gun confiscation. They have taken it upon themselves to prepare for what they feel is the inevitable fight that will occur when tyrannical forces come for their freedoms. Or at least that’s what they tell themselves.

Lets drop all the faux-patriot rhetoric and admit what they are really doing. They are actively preparing to fight and kill police officers, federal agents, and members of our military. Plain and simple.

That brings me to an important question. If these people decide to include their children in these training activities -training to kill soldiers- should that be considered child abuse?

I have to say yes. To me, if you and your posse of out of shape, insecure, and frankly pathetic wanna be’s want to go play guns in the woods, have a nice time. If you want to spout off about about how President Obama and the Feds are coming for your guns, that’s your right. However, you have the responsibility to give your children a chance at a normal life. This must be considered child abuse.

I’ll give you one last thing to think about if you disagree: If the members of the militias were Muslim, took children into the woods with assault rifles, taught them sharia law, and advocated the killing of our soldiers, would you still feel the same way? Probably not. If anything, the FBI would arrest them in a heartbeat on conspiracy charges.

Why do we let these loons get away with it?

I look forward to your responses.

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9 Responses to Is Training Children For Militia Duty Child Abuse?

  1. Also, since in college I was involved with Invisible Conflicts (the group that eventually went on to #Kony2012 fame [and, after its leader’s public meltdown, perhaps misfortune]), I’ve seen and read a lot about child soldiers. This bothers me a lot on that level. I mean is there an age limit for joining this anti-socialist freedom-saving militia? Do the kids have to be 18 before they become armed and ready members with shoot-to-kill orders? Or can they be part of this grassroots army once they’re deemed to have had sufficient training?
    When it happens in the jungles of Africa, it’s a war crime. Happens in the woods down the road from our house, what do we call it?
    (Perhaps, then, it IS child abuse. Hmm…)

  2. Whether it’s child abuse or not, I’m not sure.
    But what I am sure of is that this perpetuates paranoia and radicalism into the next generation.
    It’s glorified brainwashing. I mean, really – we’re not talking manners here; we’re talking about teaching these kids that it’s going to be their job to form a militia to stop the government and do whatever it takes to stop the alleged socialist drift. That’s indoctrination in the home.
    They’re raising a generation of glorified terrorists based on ignorance and a total lack of understanding about what socialism is, not to mention fear and paranoia. Kids are very impressionable, these are their formative years so what they learn and experience now will have profound consequences on the rest of their lives (and it could go either way – they might grow up to completely shed their parents’ paranoid militia training and forge the opposite identity, or they might grow up firmly believing in their life mission as devised by their parents and that environment. It’s Russian Roulette, except the odds are 50/50.)
    It’s bad enough that we have so many adults who can’t differentiate between fantasy and reality; now they’re teaching kids to do the same.
    John Haskell, above, is right in that there’s a difference between saying all these things and actually DOING them like McVeigh did. But that’s still a dangerous game to play, and reiterating this sort of “ideology” and myth as fact, and making it seem like a moral mission on top of it all, constantly increases the risk that words WILL turn into action. I have a problem with batshit crazy people trying to bridge that gap.

  3. johnhaskell says:

    “If you want to spout off about about how President Obama and the Feds are coming for your guns, that’s your right. However, you have the responsibility to give your children a chance at a normal life. This must be considered child abuse.”

    I am really uncomfortable with the State setting the parameters on what is good parenting vs. bad parenting vis-a-vis the values passed on. Remember, to these parents, like the parents who preach intelligent design, or racism even, that is “normal.” The point is, while I don’t agree with it, think it is destructive in a certain sense, it is not abuse as I define it. Also, giving to the State the authority on this issue (regulating what is appropriate to teach your kids) assumes that the State is correct. I am sure not all of my lessons for kids I might have in the future will mirror the State’s thoughts on the issue. Of course, there is the question as to whether my deviation is in line with what is at issue (sound the militia! parenting), but there is some overlap in that I think parents should have the right to impart their “knowledge” on to their children. For instance, how many people helped their parents build a bomb shelter in case of nuclear war against the Soviets at the height of the Cold War? Is that so different from the above example? Would that be considered child abuse? Should it?

    This also bumps up against the issues of religion and freedom of speech. The topic of Intelligent Design is steeped in religion. Do we want to tread into the religious teachings within the family? Then there is freedom of speech. Are we comfortable with regulating non-violent inciting speech? True enough, those who argue that the freedoms of speech and religion (like the second amendment) are not, in fact, absolute and without limitation, but I am not sure that teaching your kids (in my opinion) misguided information/values even comes close to broaching that threshold dividing permissive and impressive freedoms of speech/religion.

    As to your astute observation about what if these kids were Muslim, and how that changes the equation; of course those same folks out in the woods playing G.I. Joe would say it does change the equation (they are for good, the others for evil). But, there is, at least from what I can draw from the article, a distinction. The GI Joe guys are taking a defensive posture, responding to government action–in other words, claiming self-defense. Your example of terrorists advocating murder broaches the above threshold I mentioned above, advocating for violence and harm to others in a an offensive (strategically, not morally) manner.

    • Those are excellent points and I’ll briefly respond. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I recall a case a few years ago where children were removed from their white-supremacist parents custody because the parents legally named their children ‘Hitler.’ I did not personally see anything wrong with removing the children from that environment. You might know better than me, what typically is the threshold used to determine if children are removed from their parents’ custody?

      In the case of defensive vs offensive preparations, I think only the Militia members themselves see what they are doing as self defense. I’m sure a Muslim terrorist sees his actions as self defense to one extent or another. The old saying, “the best defense is a good offense” comes to mind. If there was a Muslim Madrasa teaching Muslim kids infantry tactics and spouting anti US-government propaganda inside of the US, we’d brand it as ‘terrorism’ without a second thought as to their defensive or offensive intentions.

      Who says these militias are actively training to attack and kill solders rather than defend themselves from non-existent tyrannical firearms confiscators? We have to take their word for it. Again, make these guys all Muslim and no one would just accept their activities were defensive.

      I guess my response wasn’t as brief as I intended.

      • johnhaskell says:

        I vaguely remembered that when you mentioned it, so I had to look it up. Apparently the children were removed from the home because of violence in the home (though not necessarily directed at the children)–though, I am sure the New Jersey courts that ordered the children removed you not impressed with the parents’ choice of names for the children.

        “In the case of defensive vs offensive preparations, I think only the Militia members themselves see what they are doing as self defense. I’m sure a Muslim terrorist sees his actions as self defense to one extent or another. The old saying, “the best defense is a good offense” comes to mind. If there was a Muslim Madrasa teaching Muslim kids infantry tactics and spouting anti US-government propaganda inside of the US, we’d brand it as ‘terrorism’ without a second thought as to their defensive or offensive intentions.”

        I was thinking of this when I responding originally. I guess the way I draw the distinction is this: both are claiming self-defense (“S/D”), but one is doing it preemptively, the other is reacting. I am not so worried about how the actor (or reactor) frames their actions, rather, whether they initiate the action.

        “Who says these militias are actively training to attack and kill solders rather than defend themselves from non-existent tyrannical firearms confiscators? We have to take their word for it. Again, make these guys all Muslim and no one would just accept their activities were defensive.”

        True, though I think this gets us into another issue vis-a-vis foreign policy, interventionism, Arab Grievances, etc. However, there is, again in my opinion, a distinction between the Tim McVeigh’s of the world, and the people mentioned in the article. One took action, and the other is stating reaction. And course, you are correct to say that we have to take their word for it, and we will not know whether they are true to their word until the act or react, whatever the case may be.

      • Thanks for clarifying the story about the children. That makes sense. I appreciate all your thoughts, and as usual, you’ve given me something to think about. Thanks again.

  4. john zande says:

    “If the members of the militias were Muslim, took children into the woods with assault rifles, taught them sharia law, and advocated the killing of our soldiers, would you still feel the same way?”

    Supremely good point… but it’s a point missed by these nutters. Gawd is on their side, and Gawd hates socialism.

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