Some Oklahomans want a state militia to resist Washington
Apr 12, 2010
On Deadline - USA Today
Fed up with what they see as Washington's intrusion into their state, Oklahoma "tea party" leaders and some conservative legislators want to create a volunteer militia to defend against the federal government, the Associated Press writes.
"Is it scary? It sure is," said Al Gerhart, a tea party activist who heads the Oklahoma Constitutional Alliance. "But when do the states stop rolling over for the federal government?"
State Rep. Charles Key, a Republican representing Oklahoma City, said he believes there's a good chance that legislation could be introduced next year to authorize a militia.
A tea party leader in Tulsa, J.W. Berry, has been soliciting interest through his newsletter, urging that readers "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."
Lots of details to work out. For instance, how would a militia be organized, and how could it block federal mandates?
Critics point out that the National Guard already provides for the state's military needs. They worry a militia would stoke extremism.
"Have they heard of the Oklahoma City bombing?" said Joseph Thai, a constitutional law professor at the University of Oklahoma, adding that a militia could "throw fuel in the fire of radicals."
Next Monday marks the 15th anniversary of the anti-government terrorist attack by Timothy McVeigh. The former U.S. soldier and militia sympathizer killed 168 men, women and children with a truck bomb at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. He was executed in June 2001.
(Posted by Michael Winter)