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'Freedom's Second Army' is just sanitized name for new militias.

John Moore, commander of the now inactive 1st Missouri Volunteers militia group, contends the idea of a "Freedom's Second Army" proposed by the NRA is nothing new.

He said the NRA concept of a second army--on guard against domestic terrorism in America's post-9/11 environment--is a good one. However, he said there is nothing new about such a force.

"When LaPierre of the NRA talks about a new citizen security force, he is just packaging the militia in a politically correct manner," Moore said. "And that's because the word militia' has, unfortunately, been thoroughly demonized.

"He knows a whole lot of people don't want to get near that word 'militia,'" Moore added. "It's because of the Oklahoma bombing thing and the effort to link what happened in Oklahoma to militias. That effort was wrong, but it was effective."

Moore's militia group was active in eastern Missouri in 1995 and 1996. At its peak, Moore said it had about 85 uniformed members and more than 125 supporters.

Moore is a St. Louis-based security consultant. He occasionally lectures at churches in St. Louis County on terrorism. Moore has instructed private detectives in criminal investigation work, surveillance techniques and is an NRA certified firearms consultant.

Moore said a back-up guard, no matter what it is called, is needed because military and National Guard forces are stretched to the limit, and the civil defense system that the U.S. once had is now "toast." Moore said he doubts that the new federal Homeland Security Agency can address the inadequacies.

"LaPierre is talking to a certain constituency in the NRA that is very concerned about homeland defense," Moore said. "He can call it 'Freedom's Second Army,' but by state and federal statute it already exists. The mechanism is there in the militia.

"If I chose to do so, I could probably start putting such a volunteer group together tomorrow," Moore added. "We are definitely at risk from terrorism, and there are certainly people in our state ready to respond if the situation calls for it."

John Shanks, a 22-year veteran of law enforcement with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said Moore and the NRA are "selling fear" to promote gun sales and a gun culture in America. He said Missouri legislators, who approved "concealed-carry" in defiance of the will of state voters, are simply accomplices in fear mongering.

"We have the largest military and best state militias and National Guard in the world," Shanks said. "It is simply unpatriotic for these people to call into question our military and our law enforcement. The kind of militias your Missouri commander is talking about are paramilitary groups that your citizens don't need and don't want.

"Your commander is right about one thing, though," Shanks added. "The NRA's 'Freedom's Second Army' is nothing more than an unauthorized militia group with a new label. if Missouri legislators, your Missouri commander and the NRA feel our police can't do the job in post-9/11, then why don't they work to pass laws supporting police and to put more of them on the street?"
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Author:Corrigan, Don
Publication:St. Louis Journalism Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2003
Words:515
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