Wednesday, January 9, 2013

RE: Building Rapport with the Local Civilian Populace, a Primer for Militia Groups by John Mosby

It seems that John Mosby has taken a trip from the hinter boonies to town and dropped an article titled Building Rapport with the Local Civilian Populace, a Primer for Militia Groups that I plan to discus today. Obviously you should read Johns post because it worthwhile and entertaining. Also what I am going to write will not make much sense otherwise.

The reasons a militia needs to build rapport with the local population should be obvious. Groups that are not integrated in the community can be marginalized then, sometimes under color of law, victimized. SWAT raids with loose fire control are made against fringe groups in addition to various criminals. If your militia supports the local Sheriffs Auxillary/ Search and Rescue/ whatever and they know you are good folks who obey the law (or at least the important ones) the odds your group will be treated how you want are much better. You might even get a heads up if something is brewing. You do not hear about the head of the local Lions Club President or a Sunday School leader from First Baptist getting SWATed very often.

Also groups need to build rapport to garner good will and assistance. A local doctor who is also a member of the local Eagles club that  knows your group from the park restoration might develop into someone willing to teach a couple things, help you get some legal to have but hard to find medical stuff or even be willing to provide discrete medical care. The gas store owner whose kid was found by militia folks  supporting the local search and rescue might fudge some numbers to get the militia fuel to operate if there is rationing going on.

If your militia supports the local Sheriffs Auxillary/ Search and Rescue/ whatever and they know you are good folks who obey the law (or at least the important ones) the odds your group will be treated how you want are much better. You might even get a heads up if something is brewing.

Local folks who would be great militia candidates might who are turned off by a (moderately accurate) impression that militias are a bunch of fat old white racists could see that your group are not those things. These prospective members might see a bunch of reasonably fit people with decent heads on their shoulders worried about the things they are and doing something. This could be a way to help get the kind of recruits a militia really wants.

You get the importance of building rapport. Now onto my ideas about the subject. In no particular order here we go:

- Everyone has certain talents and getting along with people, making friends and bringing in potential sympathizers/ auxillary members/ members are talents. The folks who are best at this task should have (as a primary or additional duty) that task. Waitresses, salesmen, and folks with a gift for gab who are smart enough to say the right things and not say the wrong things are what you need here. Some folks are awesome tactical leaders but should not be put out in front as the face of your group. A dude with an eye patch and a big scar that cannot regulate his profanity is not going to be a good recruiter. Neither is anybody with the personality of a wet blanket. It doesn't matter if they are the lowliest rifleman or a key leader you need the right person for the job.

- Dressing appropriately for the social/ cultural group and event matters. Between decent free image design software and a whole bunch of internet companies you can get shirts screen printed for surprisingly reasonable prices.  A bunch of folks wearing polo shirts with a tasteful symbol and slacks or cargo pants looks a whole lot more appealing than old BDUs. For a volunteer function t shirts and cargo pants or clean newish jeans would be a good option.

[I am talking appropriate and tasteful stuff so no daggers, skulls, guns, snakes, blood or any other stupid Joey junk. Motivational t shirts are cool but some are best kept at home or out training.]

- For information and ideas on building community relations militias would be well advised to look at groups that have successfully integrated into communities. The Boy Scouts of America and various fraternal organizations like the Kowanas, Lions, Eagles, etc all come to mind. These groups have a few characteristics worth discussing.

A) They come from the community. Bob from the hardware store, Jim from the repair shop, Suzie from the local greasy spoon, Tom the propane delivery guy, etc. It is easy to marginalize those wacko's with the compound out in the woods. However convincing folks that Jim who fixes their cars and Tom who makes sure to get propane to folks who need it when the weather is terrible are evil psychos is a lot harder.

B) They are organized and can mass efforts for good causes. Think of the impression you would make on the community if every time a significant event happened the local militia showed up to help. The old ladies who run the community garden would love if 20 volunteers showed up to get things started. The folks at the gun range would love if some folks helped rebuild the sheds and beefed up the facilities. The search and rescue would love 10 teams of 2 with their own 4 wheel drive vehicles and radios that know the local back roads and trails.

C) They fund raise for good causes. Passing the hat is an easy answer. If everybody who can afford it tosses a few bucks in it adds up. Even if your folks don't have much money to donate to causes they can still help. Have a pancake breakfast to benefit a family whose house burned down. Do a raffle for a kid with cancer whose family doesn't have medical insurance. Do an auction to fund the youth shooting group. You get the idea.

The big point of B and C is to be an asset to the community. If your group act decently and help the community folks will start to like, or at least tolerate, the presence. This will of course lead to an increase in your networking, fund raising and recruiting.

Anyway those are my thoughts on that.

2 comments:

Chris said...

It was not surprising to me to see that many of the comments at JM's post dealt with handgun selection.

Seriously, your people skills are way more important than whether you have a 9 or a .45 ACP, or an XD or a Glock.

2heavyb said...

I think the basic idea is to not be a hermit. All of this networking is also good to foster a community spirit. Even if its a very loose, spread out area of properties in the boondocks. The idea of having your bug out retreat and not having any relationships with your neighbors or the nearest town seems short sighted at best, downright dangerous at its worst.

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