Our Founding Fathers were well aware of the threat of government tyranny and constructed our Constitution to protect the American people.
They urged, when ruled by a tyrannical dictatorship, the American people have an obligation to rise against their government in the name of freedom. The result of such a conviction is the Second Amendment that states:
â€œA well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.â€
Organizations have sprung up around the country that believe this phrase not only protects the right to bear arms but also to wage war. Extremist militia groups like the Hutaree, Arizona Viper Militia and the North American Militia are growing in both number and membership levels.
The Southern Poverty Law Center estimates there are more than 900 organizations nationally. Their threats of violence are inching closer and closer to becoming reality. These self-proclaimed â€œpatriotsâ€ are calling for the second American Revolution.
Indeed, their rhetoric sounds heroic and patriotic. Who opposes restoring freedom and justice to the American people? But donâ€™t be fooled. These fringe groups are misguided.
The anger fueling these groups stems far and wide. Some believe our nation has abandoned its Christian values, calling themselves â€œChristian Warriors.â€
Other groups believe our nationâ€™s government has been hijacked by a vicious socialist dictator. And others just want to play G.I. Joe and wield their weapons.
Many of these militia groups have ties to radical supremacy groups and are blind to the fact that our nationâ€™s intent is to respect and protect all citizens practicing religion of their choice.
They believe this is a Christian nation and would like this belief enforced.
They throw tantrums to invoke fear of an Obama dictatorship and a Congress full of tyrannical politicians. Yet they forget that we elected them in free elections, somehow connecting the desire to create a healthy populace with that of a complete governmental takeover of our lives.
They feel picked on.
Militia groups are responsible for periodic violence, but their training has mostly taken them in another direction. They surely know they donâ€™t have a shot at a successful revolution. So instead, they have mostly resulted to vandalism and death threats.
Occasionally, individual anti-government extremists have resorted to committing serious crimes of terror and violence.
But, like cowards, they use explosives on unsuspecting victims, threatening the lives of innocent civilians. These are not the acts of a popular revolution, but acts of insanity driven by fear and despair.
So is it time for a real popular revolution?
Maybe so, but I would not trade a tyrannical Washington D.C. for a bunch of crazies who believe Jesus demands the violent takeover to restore â€œChristianâ€ values in our nation.
I wouldnâ€™t trade freely elected officials for paramilitary groups bent on violence.
These arenâ€™t the people we want running our country or making decisions for you and me. And these arenâ€™t the revolutionaries who would give the sovereignty back to the people after defeating tyranny.
If they were true patriots interested in the wellbeing of our great nation they would drop their guns and ammo and pick up signs of protest. They would recruit followers not for war, but to remove the tyrannical politicians at the voting booths.
If the calls for a revolution are sincere, these people are clearly insane. It can only beg one question: You and what army?
The reality of the matter is that, even if we were all to agree to revolt, the task would be daunting if not impossible. All the anger, hunting rifles and homemade explosives are not enough to overthrow the leading military power of the world.
Talks of revolution are a pipe dream, and when we wake up, it will be to reckless and scattered acts of misguided violence.
Wade McManus is a senior political science major. His column appears Thursdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.