Recent statements of mine regarding an Oklahoma militia have been misrepresented, taken out of context and are badly misunderstood. I have stated that the formation of and participation in, an Oklahoma militia is legal based on both federal and state law.
However, remarks I made in historical context were inaccurately reported as my personal opinion. Specifically, historical speculation about the frame of mind of the Founding Fathers as they wrote the Constitution was reported as if it were my deeply held belief. Then these misrepresentations were used to distort my true beliefs, while implying that I have violent intentions.
So let me set the facts straight about my beliefs on dealing with the federal government, the role of a militia in Oklahoma, and how best to effect change in government.
Both the First and Second Amendments of the U.S. Constitution protect individual participation in a militia. Membership in such a group is a form of self-expression, so our right to free speech comes into focus. The Second Amendment states, "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Our Founding Fathers were suspicious of big, centralized government. However, nobody can mistake this statement as some sort of right to insurrection.
The fact is that Oklahoma state law already establishes and provides for, an "unorganized militia" as an officially recognized part of Oklahoma military forces.
§44-41. Composition of Militia – Classes.
The Militia of the State of Oklahoma shall be divided into three (3) classes: The National Guard, the Oklahoma State Guard, and the Unorganized Militia.
23. "State military forces" means the National Guard of the state, as defined in Title 32, United States Code, the organized naval militia of the state, and any other military force organized under the Constitution and laws of the state to include the unorganized militia (the state defense force when not in a status subjecting them to exclusive jurisdiction under Chapter 47 of Title 10, United States Code).
These statutes are not part of overlooked or arcane law. The legislature has rewritten this section numerous times over decades, most recently in 2007.
So undeniably, a militia in Oklahoma is not only legal – it already exists as a matter of fact.
No, Oklahoma does not need to activate the unorganized militia. If we ever do, it certainly won’t be to invade Washington, D.C. In fact, Oklahoma’s unorganized militia is prohibited from operating outside the state.
I do plan to fight what I consider to be an over-reaching federal government, but I will do it with the Constitutional tools provided by the framers. For years, I have advocated adherence to the 10th Amendment as a weapon against big government.
As a legislator for much of the last decade I have routinely proposed new law. When enough of my Senate colleagues agree with me laws are changed or enacted, peacefully. Yet, this week, some people seem convinced that I would abandon the democratic process to wage actual war on the federal government which is simply bizarre.
I was saddened that some in the anti-militia crowd can be as irrational and violent as those they condemn. As this story developed over the week, I received as many as a half-dozen death threats, not only directed at me but at my family as well. One unpleasant person said they would only be satisfied when I am swinging from a tree. Hopefully, the thought was fleeting. The threats were forwarded to the OSBI for investigation.