The new Oath Keepers organization of mostly current and former military, police, and emergency-service personnel pledged themselves to 10 resolutions to disobey any order to confiscate firearms from law-abiding citizens, assist in warrantless searches, or help to detain American citizens without a trial by jury. The organization drew 400 attendees to the event despite little advance publicity (only a YouTube video and an appearance on the Alex Jones radio show). The rally headlined Oath Keepers’ founder Stewart Rhodes, Walter Reddy of the Committees of Safety, and 29 Palms Survey author Lt. Commander Guy Cunningham.
“The only way a tyrannical government from the left or right can succeed is for active duty personnel to obey unlawful orders,” former Army paratrooper and Oath Keepers’ founder Rhodes told the crowd. “If you took an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution, you have a duty to disobey unlawful orders. When you took the oath, you lost the option to duck out.” Rhodes is also an attorney, Yale University graduate, SWAT magazine columnist, and former staffer for Congressman Ron Paul.
Rhodes stressed that although Oath Keepers’ supporters were about to renew their oaths to the Constitution, the American people did not get their rights from the Constitution. “Where do our rights come from? There was no Second Amendment in 1775,” he told the crowd. “The Bill of Rights protects our rights, it doesn’t grant them.”
The event began and ended with words from the six-foot-six “Patriot Pastor” Garrett Lear, who closed his opening remarks with a rousing call for “No king but Jesus!”
Dave Freeman, a retired policeman from Nevada, read and administered the 10 Oath Keepers’ resolutions to it new members, which included Richard Mack, the former sheriff who fought the Brady Bill all the way to the Supreme Court. Nearly all those in attendance renewed their oaths to limit government to the requirements of the U.S. Constitution.
Tom Moor of the Committees of Safety read a speech by constitutional scholar Edwin Viera (Viera was unable to attend as scheduled).
Organizations like Oath Keepers seem destined for dramatic growth as the Obama administration has targeted political conservatives and military veterans as potential violent terrorists under a new Department of Homeland Security report entitled Rightwing Extremism (pdf). And with the way the Obama administration is targeting the Constitution, the growth of organizations like Oath Keepers will be needed to preserve liberty.
The author wishes to thank Hal Shurtleff for his firsthand reporting on this event.
Photo of Pastor Garrett Lear (left) with Walter Reddy