Southeast Texas commander addresses misconceptions about militias

 David Smith has been a member of the unorganized militia in Southeast Texas for almost two years.  He's now the commander.

"If you have a community that is well armed, then you can defend the community much better," Smith told 12News Saturday.

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution states that "A 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."

According to U.S. Code Chapter 13, there are two types of militias: Organized, like the National Guard, run by the government, and unorganized, run by citizens, like Smith. 

Militias are a constitutionally protected right, but Smith says the word militia has gotten a bad rap. He says the public is somewhat misinformed on the purposes of a militia. He says reports of the U.S. embassy in Libya being evacuated Saturday due to what the State Department is calling "heavy militia violence" is one example of why. 

"That is irresponsible use of the word. We need to just call it what it is, call it a terrorist organization, not a militia," said Smith.

Smith says militias are not about violence or overthrowing the government like some may believe. He says militias are all about keeping their local communities safe, protecting citizens from tyranny, and helping out local law enforcement in emergencies if necessary. 

"That was the Founders' intent, the original homeland security was a militia," said Smith.

Militias have also been in recent news regarding the immigration crisis in the U.S.  Last Saturday demonstrators in Beaumont holding signs reading "Secure the Border" called on Governor Rick Perry to militarize the Texas State Militia, an unorganized militia, and send them to the border to help keep immigrants from crossing over.

"(Militias) can take care of their community along that border, that's fine... but if we leave our communities just to go running down to the border... then we leave our communities unprotected," said Smith. 

The Southeast Texas militia is small, with fewer than 20 members, but Smith says it is growing. He says they've got about 35 to 40 new members joining and that new applications are coming in everyday.


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