Oklahoma Tea Partiers Plan To Form Militia (UPDATED)
Some tea party activists are looking to form a militia to combat what they view as 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.
Well, that’s good news, that they’re not going to emulate groups that want to take down cops.
“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?”
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.”
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.”
UPDATE: We spoke with one of the lawmakers cited in the AP report, Rep. Charles Key of Oklahoma City, who clarified his position on the issue. He informed us that while it is possible that legislation authorizing a state-sanctioned militia may eventually be introduced, he currently has no plans to do so.Click here for reuse options!
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