The Oklahoma Tea Party-Militia Convergence

So now we have Republicans in the Oklahoma state legislature (state Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso, a Republican candidate for governor, and state Rep. Charles Key, R-Oklahoma City) who think it’s a great idea to set up a heavily armed state militia: Okla. Tea Parties And Lawmakers Envision Militia.

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?” …

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.”

“Oh, no! Nothing crazy about this at all! Carry on, now,” I said, backing away slowly and carefully.

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Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
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