Monday, April 12, 2010

Groping toward the Founders' solution:"When do the states stop rolling over for the fed. government?" OK tea parties and lawmakers envision militia.

Al Gerhart, co-founder of the Sooner Tea Party and founder of Oklahoma Constitutional Alliance.

Interesting. A tip of the boonie hat to Irregular Dan. S. for this story.

Okla. tea parties and lawmakers envision militia


OKLAHOMA CITY – Frustrated by recent political setbacks, tea party leaders and some conservative members of the Oklahoma Legislature say they would like to create a new volunteer militia to help defend against what they believe are improper federal infringements on state sovereignty.

Tea party movement leaders say they've discussed the idea with several supportive lawmakers and hope to get legislation next year to recognize a new volunteer force. They say the unit would not resemble militia groups that have been raided for allegedly plotting attacks on law enforcement officers.

"Is it scary? It sure is," said tea party leader Al Gerhart of Oklahoma City, who heads an umbrella group of tea party factions called the Oklahoma Constitutional Alliance. "But when do the states stop rolling over for the federal government?"

Thus far, the discussions have been exploratory. Even the proponents say they don't know how an armed force would be organized nor how a state-based militia could block federal mandates. Critics also asserted that the force could inflame extremism, and that the National Guard already provides for the state's military needs.

"Have they heard of the Oklahoma City bombing?" said Joseph Thai, a constitutional law professor at the University of Oklahoma. The state observes the 15th anniversary of the anti-government attack on Monday. Such actions could "throw fuel in the fire of radicals," he said.

But the militia talks reflect the frustration of some grass roots groups seeking new ways of fighting recent federal initiatives, such as the health reform plan, which requires all citizens to have health insurance. Over the last year, tea party groups across the country have staged rallies and pressured politicians to protest big government and demand reduced public spending.

In strongly conservative states like Oklahoma, some legislators have also discussed further action to fight federal policies, such as state legislation and lawsuits.

State Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso, a Republican candidate for governor who has appealed for tea party support, said supporters of a state militia have talked to him, and that he believes the citizen unit would be authorized under the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

The founding fathers "were not referring to a turkey shoot or a quail hunt. They really weren't even talking about us having the ability to protect ourselves against each other," Brogdon said. "The Second Amendment deals directly with the right of an individual to keep and bear arms to protect themselves from an overreaching federal government."

Another lawmaker, state Rep. Charles Key, R-Oklahoma City, said he believes there's a good chance of introducing legislation for a state-authorized militia next year.

Tea party leader J.W. Berry of the Tulsa-based OKforTea began soliciting interest in a state militia through his newsletter under the subject "Buy more guns, more bullets."

"It's not a far-right crazy plan or anything like that," Berry said. "This would be done with the full cooperation of the state Legislature."

State militias clearly are constitutionally authorized, but have not been used in recent times, said Glenn Reynolds, a law professor at the University of Tennessee and an expert on the Second Amendment. "Whether someone should get a militia to go toe-to-toe with the federal government ... now, that strikes me as kind of silly," he said.

Some conservative legislators in Oklahoma say talk of a militia, which would be privately recruited, armed and trained, goes too far.

"If the intent is to create a militia for disaster relief, we have the National Guard," said Sen. Steve Russell, R-Oklahoma City, a retired Army lieutenant colonel. "Anything beyond that purpose should be viewed with great concern and caution."

Democratic Gov. Brad Henry's communications director Paul Sund also discounted the militia discussion, saying the National Guard handles state emergencies and security.

Federal authorities say that radical militia groups have not emerged in Oklahoma, unlike many other states, in part because of the legacy of the Oklahoma City bombing. On April 19, 1995, an anti-government conspiracy led by Army veteran Tim McVeigh exploded a truckbomb outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 people.

Last month, FBI agents conducted a raid on the Hutaree militia group in southern Michigan and accused members of plotting to kill law enforcement officers.


barnstormer said...

Loving it! This Buckeye will stand with you, Okies!

dennis308 said...

I do believe I will be contacting Gov.Rick Perry and A.G.Greg Abbott and several of my state legislators in Texas about doing the same sounds like a VERY good idea to me and I think the people of the Great State of Texas would agree.


Taylor H said...

No offense to the National Guard, but I wouldn't say they can provide for all of the state's needs. The Feds have shown many times in the past they expect all who wear the uniform to give their allegiance to the President.

I think it's a great idea, and it would appear more legit if it had the backing of the legislature.

Plus, the firearms industry funneled into a state organization could potentially boost the economy.

I personally think veterans would be the best choice to command the group.

Anonymous said...

And so it begins. The several states will once again begin to arm and train official, state sanctioned and funded militias to interpose on behalf of their citizens. Would anyone have imagined just ten years ago that state officials would actually be calling for the return of an active and armed militia (not just toothless so-called state guards)? I know I wouldn't have. We are on the precipice of a great explosion. I wish Oklahoma well and I hope that her people will make this legislation a reality so that others can follow her lead. Finally, the People have begun to understand what the Founders intended all along: government is a beast that must always be chained lest it maul and kill its master.

kazz4006 said...

This is what is needed in this great land of ours!!
the National guard is just that,,National--Owned by the Feds,equipped by the Feds and set to do the Feds bidding!!!They are not a true Constitutional entity, there is no National Guard mentioned in the
constitution only Militia!! This Wolverine stands with you, for the Republic!!!!

Loren said...

Dennis, Texas already has one--the State Guard. You might talk to them about a greater role for the organization, but it is there. I'd imagine any Oklahoman arrangement would be under similar rules. Texas isn't the only state either, but IIRC it's been around the longest, and does have the highest profile.

Snaggle-Tooth Jones said...

Here we go, gentlemen. Yet one more wrinkle in the unfolding rebellion against Rome on the Potomac.

This struggle of ours cannot be separated from the issues of states rights, nullification, and if it comes to it, secession. Coordination with like-minded county and state officials will be key, I suspect.

Take your sheriff to lunch.

Anonymous said...

It will also take a STRONG stand by the Legislature to pass laws that will tell (not ask) the FedGov that "it all stops HERE. There are laws that you can pass to your hearts content, but we will NOT enforce our citizens to obey. And we will forbid you to enter and enforce by arrest, forfeiture, seizure, fines or fees these unConstitutional laws within the State."

Maybe Okla can start something else here. Just a thought. Pass it around - pass it on. An Okla-amended version of the Federal tax return that takes LESS out of the people's pockets, to "starve the monkey" from the excessive taxes from the HELLthKill bill, Medicare, MedicAid, etc, etc. Just a thought.

As for the State Militia, possibly pattern it on the Swiss militia model. EVERYONE who is willing and able gets ISSUED a MilSurp weapon to keep (hey, M16s still work, don't they? Lots of them around.) and a supply of appropriate ammo. The person has to qualify at least once per year. Any ammo expended in practice and qualification get replenished by the State. As I said, works for the Swiss.

B Woodman

Anonymous said...

I've got a new doublethink analogy to remember now.

Federalized state National Guards:disaster relief::Second Amendment:hunting

Even in this politically acceptable (but completely unrelated) phrasing, how are National Guardsmen going to provide disaster relief when they're in Iraq and Afghanistan and not under the control of their respective governors?

III more than them said...

Snaggle-Tooth Jones, you wrote....

"Take your sheriff to lunch."

THAT, sir, is an EXCELLENT idea. Though it has the qualificating thought that each man's sheriff should be evaluated before hand, for obvious reasons.

But I think it's a great idea. I've benefited from knowing the local police officers. Having a good reputation with the LOEs can help a lot, especially when they are in a position to have to make snap decisions during martial law. If they know YOU, you may get to do things others don't.

On the other hand, there are a lot of good men and women wearing the badge. It's just good form to respect them.

I think I'll expand my circle a bit and see about that sheriff..

Anonymous said...

"If the intent is to create a militia for disaster relief, we have the National Guard," said Sen. Steve Russell, R-Oklahoma City, a retired Army lieutenant colonel. "Anything beyond that purpose should be viewed with great concern and caution."

The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power, when thereunto legally summoned, shall never be prohibited; but nothing herein contained shall prevent the Legislature from regulating the carrying of weapons. Oklahoma Constitution: Art. II, § 26 (enacted 1907).

Leaving aside his conflation of "militia" with "National Guard," this Senator and retired Army officer (?!) is evidently unaware that the armed citizenry of his own state are empowered by law to defend "home, person, or property" in addition to existing as an "aid of the civil power".

This provoke two questions: Why does he "viewed with great concern and caution" those laws he is sworn to uphold and defend? Doesn't this example of ignorance and insularity demonstrate the folly of a too-heavy reliance on political officials to defend our God-given and Constitutionally recognized rights?


B said...

It is my opinion that the states are the key to our future 'go time' -- most of our states are financially solvent and the laws in our states generally represent the will of those living within them. We are always going to have government and our grievance as conservatives are not even necessarily about the amount of government we have but rather with an overcharged national government has overstepped its constitutional bounds at the expense of our local and regional (state) governments.

We are destined by our Creator to govern ourselves and dual federalist state governments who each share an equal sovereignty with the national government is what has and what will work best. We as individuals, as taxpayers, as business owners, and has citizens know and influence our local politicians -- local politician is a noble profession. The national government, however, is supposed to bind and strengthen our states, not control them. Lifetime politicians at the national level have gotten us into this Constitutional and financial mess and it is not within their ability to get us out. Only the several states can save us now. I see it clearly.


dennis308 said...

Loren, I don't mean a Texas State Guard(an auxilory force of the National Guard)I mear a Texas State Milita.


suek said...

>>It will also take a STRONG stand by the Legislature to pass laws that will tell (not ask) the FedGov that "it all stops HERE. >>

They could start by managing their budget so that they aren't depend on Federal Government money.

"He who pays the piper calls the tune".

As long as states are dependent on the Feds for money, they cannot stand on their own. Your militia is a dream.

Snaggle-Tooth Jones said...

suek writes:

"As long as states are dependent on the Feds for money, they cannot stand on their own. Your militia is a dream."

Any proposal such as this must be viewed within the context of ultimately getting the states OFF the Federal dole; of re-establishing the old federalism, or of instituting a new confederalism. There are a lot of moving parts here.

Anonymous said...

A state militia would be a good idea if it weren't for the fact that the leadership of such an organization would be subject to infiltration and influence by the Fed. I would always be willing to support such an effort but would only do so as a "flying column" type organization. Small organizations comprised of a few close friends/family members with no one controlling their actions would be much more effective than someone who is secretly controlled by the Feds. When the SHTF, trust in government run organizations will be a commodity No One should buy.

Red Bird

ML Chizedek said...

That's the way you do it folks!!! If every State would only consider this soon. Maybe there's still hope after all.