» The Militia Movement «
Also known variously as the patriot movement, the new militias (As opposed to the National Guard or state defense forces as defined in 32 USCS s.109(c)), and the Unorganized American Militia movement.
This movement was originally part of the various racist groups such as the KKK, the Aryan Nation, Christian Identity, and Posse Comitatus. Many of these groups believe(d) that the UN or communists were going to invade and take over the United States of America. They believe(d) signs of this are the "increasing" dictatorial in nature. Particular issues include regulatory power, income taxes, gun laws, and land-use rules.
Since the 1960's the group has gradually grown to include a wider base than its racist roots, including many more people who mainly believe in the conspiracy theories where the elite establishment was striping away the constitutional rights of citizens, but have at least some opposition to racism. Here is the movement shades into groups like the Libertarian Party, though it must be noted there are some very reasonable and nice people in the Libertarian Party. Also associated now are some groups of Christian fundamentalists, the "Common Law Courts", and even some socialists.
The real growth in the armed portion militia movement occurred due to the rise of the internet (spreading the word) and the Ruby Ridge confrontation between the FBI and white separatist Randy Weaver in AD 1992 August. During the standoff, federal agents killed Weaver's wife and son, and a friend of Weaver's killed a government agent. This inflamed the passions of the far right wing, especially the FBI's secretive handling of the shootings. Soon afterwards the Branch Davidian confrontation in Waco, Texas and the passage of the Brady Gun Control Bill in AD 1993 provided yet more 'proof' to fledgling movement.
In AD 1994 February John Trockman founded the Montana Militia (MOM), believed to be the first group described as an unorganized militia. Another high profile event was the Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, two people with connections to the movement. As of AD 1996 there were over 800 Patriot-oriented groups located in all 50 states and membership is between 15,000 and 1,000,000. A very few put the numbers as high as five million, but I suspect they are either using official militia numbers or are excessively afraid of them.
Most of the groups operate under the theory that there is some sort of common law/constitutional basis for the armed overthrow of the government. As such they are fond of lines like "The tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants" and "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers." Also that the Second Amendment specifically authorizes their formation. (There is nothing against their formation, though if they break the law there is nothing that says they cannot be prosecuted either.)