Virginia – We’ve never been ones to listen to internet trolls. And this particular situation is no exception.
Over the past week, we haven’t been afraid to report about the rising numbers of men and women across the country who say they’re joining the militia.
It’s no longer a veiled threat – it’s a reality. The numbers have exploded thanks to what’s happening in Virginia. More on that in a moment.
But first – this message came in Wednesday:
“Your reporting about the growing numbers in the militia create a clear and present threat to America. As part of Congress, I’m giving you fair warning that this is the equivalent of shouting ‘fire’ in a movie theater. If your reporting incites violence, or can even be tied to it, we will make sure to charge your editors with felonies,” wrote the person.
It’s worth pointing out the message came in anonymously – so we’re pretty confident it wasn’t exactly a sitting congressman.
So why cover it? Because the articles we’ve shared on what’s happening with the rising militias have sparked an important national conversation.
And, quite frankly, they’ve obviously pissed some people off.
It’s to be expected when you run a media company like we do, reaching more than 50 million people a month.
As the debate over “Red Flag laws” has exploded, there seems to be a growing divide between not just the left and the right… but also those who are in law enforcement and those who now see law enforcement as an overreaching arm of the government.
We’re seeing a sudden explosion and divide between those in LE and those who have traditionally supported them. And THAT is a “clear and present threat”.
We also believe it’s an unnecessary one – and one that we can fight back again.
That’s why we’ve covered the growing number of people who tell us they’re joining the militia. Because they aren’t just the traditional “three percenters”. They are cops – both active and retired. They are veterans. They are moms. Black, white, straight, gay. It’s been a melting pot of people who have had enough.
So the question remains… is Law Enforcement Today creating a threat? And can we be charged?
The short answer is “no”.
First of all, the First Amendment, which protects freedom of speech and press freedoms, doesn’t distinguish between whether someone is a journalist or not.
Take a look at a recent Washington Post op-ed:
“The First Amendment gives journalists no special rights,” says national security lawyer Elizabeth Goitein. “In prohibiting abridgments of ‘the freedom of speech, or of the press,’ it gives equal protection to those who speak, those who write, those who report, and those who publish.”
TechCrunch writes about the relevance to the Julian Assange investigation, in particular:
In other words, it doesn’t matter whether Assange is a journalist or not.
Under U.S. law, all — regardless of whether a person is a reporter or not — are protected by the same freedoms. With a successful prosecution of Assange, there’s nothing stopping the U.S. government from laying charges against any other American — journalist or otherwise — for receiving and publishing classified information.
“This is not about Julian Assange,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, a prominent lawmaker and member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “This is about the use of the Espionage Act to charge a recipient and publisher of classified information.”
“Assange’s case could set a dangerous precedent with regard to the kinds of activities that the First Amendment does not protect — a precedent that could chill even the most careful, skilled professional journalists from pursuing stories involving national security secrets,” said Steve Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law, in an op-ed.
The Washington Post reported Friday that the Obama administration considered bringing charges against Assange years ago but was concerned that the charges would prosecute conduct “too similar” to that of reporters at established news organizations.
But now that the Trump administration has brought charges against Assange, journalists once branded by the president the “enemy of the people” could soon be treated as enemies of the state.
But here’s the deal.
We’re not sharing any classified information. And we’re not calling for violence.
But let this be a wakeup call. There are conversations that are happening right now that should have been happening a long time ago – and there are people who want to see them shut down.
The first article we dropped about the growing militias was on Monday. Within two hours, we were hit with several massive cyber attacks. The same happened following articles on Tuesday and on Wednesday.
Wake up, America. Understand what’s going on. And start having the conversations that need to be happening.
And so, in case you missed it, here’s the absolute latest.
While Virginia is turning into a whole different kind of “battleground state”, we’re receiving messages from people in Washington, Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, and California saying their own militias are exploding in numbers.
And at the same time, lawmakers are looking into what they can do to stop it… and they’re starting to receive media backing.
Last week, Slate released an article called “How to neutralize a militia”, where they argued that nearly every state “has the legal tools to crack down on paramilitaries” and asking “why don’t they use them?”
The article starts off by seemingly trying to pass off the militias as being nothing but a bunch of crazy people:
“Not so long ago, it was possible to laugh off the American militia movement as a bunch of old white guys and gun nuts playing army in the woods or freaking out about black helicopters.
After the past five years, no one’s laughing: from the Bunkerville standoff to Unite the Right, armed right wing extremists have organized to put on their most brazen displays since the days of the Oklahoma City bombing.”
And in Virginia, the hot bed of the controversy right now, incoming Democrats are looking to use a law passed in 1987 to shut it down. That law states: A person is guilty of unlawful paramilitary activity, punishable as a Class 5 felony.
More on that in a minute. But first, some background.
Monday morning, Law Enforcement Today reported on how Tazewell County, Virginia is crafting a militia to defend the Constitution in the state. And within hours, we were flooded with thousands of emails from people across the state – police officers, veterans, and patriotic Americans – who said they are joining.
But it’s not just in Virginia.
“I always thought these militia folks were nuts,” wrote one man to LET. “As a retired law enforcement officer, I saw them as running against law enforcement. Now I realize that they are often made up of LE and we need to bridge that divide. The nation is turning upside down. That’s why I joined in Oregon.”
A woman who wrote in seemed to share that sentiment.
“I’m the last person you’d expect to see in a group like this. As a black millennial woman, it catches people off guard. But serving as a Marine in Iraq, I saw what happens to a nation when it descends into anarchy. We can’t allow that to happen here.”
It’s a movement that’s gaining traction across Virginia, seemingly for the first time.
Wrote one man:
“I am Vietnam vet, ex-police, retired and am behind your ideas 100% , anything I can do I would like to help.
I live in Franklin County, which voted down being a sanctuary city being the council is Democratic, a moonshine county giving up their guns is dumb.
The South gave up their flag, their statues and now they want their guns, sounds like Hitler’s Germany.”
“There had already been rumblings locally about a militia being formed last month. We started carefully and quietly assembling patriotic Americans who are prepared to defend freedom at all costs.
In the past day those numbers have swelled. We have a very strong military presence here – more veterans and both active and retired LE than you can count.
As of this evening, we’re talking about thousands of people that have expressed an interest in being a part of this movement.”
Here’s the deal. Last week, we reported on how lawmakers over in Virginia were threatening to use the National Guard if members of local law enforcement refused to enforce laws passed in the state that they felt violated the second amendment.
That’s what sparked things in Tazewell County, which said it isn’t going down without a fight.
On top of calling themselves a second amendment sanctuary county, they’re also crafting a militia as well. The Virginia county has taken the movement that has swept across the state and added an element that is sure to trigger pro gun-grabbing politicians in the state.
Just this past Tuesday, on December 10th, the Board of Supervisors from Tazewell County passed two different resolutions in light of controversy circling those who are pro-gun.
The first resolution declared the county to be a second amendment sanctuary.
This is not at all surprising to see, as 76 out of 95 counties, 9 out of 38 independent cities, and 13 towns have adopted second amendment sanctuary resolutions. The second item on the agenda was the proposition of establishing a militia in the county.
When both of the resolutions passed, the crowd cheered loudly in support of the decisions.
Also, the resolutions didn’t exactly pass by a small margin; the votes were unanimous, with more than 200 citizens standing by in support. The motion of the creation of the militia had already succeeded in an unofficial way based on the results of a survey conducted earlier in the month by county officials.
But Board Chairman Travis Hackworth said people have persisted to press for the district to declare itself a second amendment sanctuary.
Hackworth went on to state that there were three attorneys on the Board of Supervisors. Many of the other declarations made from other counties in Virginia were closely checked by the three attorneys to ensure nothing important would be glossed over or left out.
Two of the biggest factors in resolutions such as these can be boiled down to funding and prosecution.
The resolutions in Tazewell County would remove funding for any law enforcement department that would infringe residents’ right to keep and bear arms.
Yet, if the state wanted to combat the resolutions, they could deny the county funding in areas other than law enforcement, or perhaps attempt to evict public officials from their held offices. Those are rather valid fears, considering this week’s warnings from Northam and Congressman McEachin.
County Administrator Eric Young reportedly considered that element, and that’s why they opted for the militia aspect:
“Our position is that Article I, Section 13, of the Constitution of Virginia reserves the right to ‘order’ militia to the localities. Therefore, counties, not the state, determine what types of arms may be carried in their territory and by whom. So, we are ‘ordering’ the militia by making sure everyone can own a weapon.”
Thus, if anyone from the state tries to remove the Sheriff from their elected office because they refuse to enforce unjust laws, those state officials will be faced with a lawful militia composed of citizens within the state.
Caroline County Va Sheriff Tony Lippas comments on 2A. “I know the Sheriff can start a militia if need be.” #2A #Virginia #Constitution #liberty #wehaverights @TuckerCarlson pic.twitter.com/V2aab4DbpN
— SirJames24820 (@james24820) December 12, 2019
The county is taking their militia element very seriously as the new ordinance calls for concealed weapons training for any resident of the county that can lawfully own a gun.
Another couple sent in this message late Monday to LET:
“…my husband and I are die hard 2nd Amendment defenders, and if they want our guns they will have to kill us to get them, but I guarantee that they will not come out of that battle unscathed!!!
We are both disabled but we would be ready and more than willing to fight side by side with all of our like minded brothers and sisters.
We are from West “by God” Virginia and we tell everyone who cares to ask what we think about guns and the 2nd Amendment, that we were born with a gun in our hand and will probably die the same way! Guns don’t kill people, at least not without a trigger person, it is usually by a deranged person or a gang member or a person in the act of robbery or drug running, kidnapping etc .
And usually committed with an illegally purchased or non registered weapon, the leftist, dictator, communistic socialist ‘ idiots need to realize that if they take away legal gun owners weapons , who have been trained to properly handle a weapon, they might as well open the doors and announce to the criminals to come get what they want because the criminals will be the ONLY ones to have a gun which was obtained from the black market.”
The county has also called for schools to adopt firearms safety training programs. Considering the blue wave that hit the state, along with Bloomberg pouring in millions toward the election, this is a massive win that shows gun owners aren’t going to lie down.
And as they’re pushing to ramp up safety and training – officials within the state are trying to get rid of personal defense. And if it’s not bad enough that they’re going after firearms, they’re going after self-defense measures as well.
An amendment to a current law in Virginia has some martial arts companies, as well as some citizens concerned. Known as SB64, the bill, according to Self Defense Company, would “instantly transform all martial arts instructors into criminal felons.”
They also claim that it would criminalize all firearms training classes, including concealed carry classes.
According to SDC, the law would “even criminalize a father teaching his own son how to use a hunting rifle.”
The law, which was initially passed in 1987 relates the following: A person is guilty of unlawful paramilitary activity, punishable as a Class 5 felony if he:
- Teaches, demonstrates to any other person the use, application or making of any firearm, explosive or incendiary device, or technique capable of causing injury or death to persons, knowing or having reason to know or intending that such training will be employed for use in, or in furtherance of, a civil disorder;
- Assembles with one or more persons for the purpose of training with, practicing with, or being instructed in the use of any firearm, explosive or incendiary device, or technique capable of causing injury or death to persons, intending to employ such training for use in, or in furtherance of, a civil disorder;
SB 64 adds the following language:
- Assembles with one or more persons with the intent of intimidating any person or group of persons by drilling, parading, or marching with any firearm, any explosive or incendiary device, or any components or combination thereof.
According to the article in Natural News, the language of the bill as written is too wide open to interpretation, especially in a state that appears to be going hard left like Virginia. We recently published a couple of stories on new confiscatory gun laws that are being proposed in the Virginia legislature.
Did you know that Law Enforcement Today has a private new home for those who support emergency responders and veterans? It’s called LET Unity, and it’s where we share the untold stories of those patriotic Americans. Every penny gets reinvested into giving these heroes a voice. Check it out today.
In fact, numerous counties in Virginia and elsewhere have vowed to become so-called “Second Amendment Sanctuaries” (thank you California and other immigration law sanctuaries for the idea) where any laws that counter the Second Amendment would not be enforced.
The fact that this law is being amended, at the same time when new confiscatory gun laws are going to be put forth, gives gun owners reason to be concerned. As always, laws like this will likely be adjudicated in court. As we are painfully aware, that can be a crapshoot.
It is inevitable that this new law will somehow be tested via a court case. One can understand how people might be concerned. For example, the firearms addendum is somewhat vague.
If a person has a license to carry and happens to be with one or two people and they are involved in a counter protest to something like an Antifa or BLM rally, based on this law, the Antifa thugs or BLM participants could say that someone exercising their Second Amendment rights “intimidated” them and that would result in them getting arrested.
The statute is ripe for abuse. Are some being paranoid? Perhaps. But in 2019, anything goes.
All it takes is a social justice warrior wearing a robe and you could easily see why some people are concerned.
Last Thursday, lawmakers in Virginia threatened to deploy the National Guard to enforce the strict gun legislation they’re pushing for if law enforcement officials refuse to do it themselves.
They said, “the law is the law.”
But apparently that’s a double standard in Virginia. Instead of focusing on what is and what isn’t against the law, it seems as though these lawmakers are only pushing to enforce rules that they believe are right. Is Virginia the place where the battle for our rights will begin? Tell us your thoughts!
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost. Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing! (See image below.) Thanks for being a part of the LET family!