Glossary Term

Militia Movement

An anti-government extremist movement that emerged in the mid-1990s as a reaction to a number of unpopular laws, particularly gun control laws, and to deadly standoffs involving federal law enforcement agencies. The core belief of the militia movement is that the federal government is collaborating with an evil conspiracy known as the “New World Order” to strip Americans of their rights and freedoms, starting with their right to keep and bear arms, after which they will be absorbed as slaves into the New World Order. Militia adherents vow to fight against this conspiracy, typically comparing themselves to the colonists who took up arms against the British during the Revolutionary War. The militia movement originally had a strong paramilitary orientation, but it has expanded beyond paramilitary groups with concepts such as the Three Percenters and Oath Keepers.