In an article published by the Idaho Statesman, the author delivers assumptions that need to be corrected. At first, it would seem as if being punctual is lost on the mainstream media. Arriving three days after the start of the campaign, performing minimal research, and formulating assumptions about an organization’s effort is apparently acceptable in the world of journalism today. To begin, we start with the authors observation that Idaho’s III% is a group “pushing for gun rights”. While the Constitution remains the Law of the Land, we do not have to “push for gun-rights”. The right to bear arms is already protected by the document that gives you the right to Free Press. As is stated clearly in our group description; “We intend to maintain our God-given natural rights to liberty and property, and that means most especially the right to keep and bear arms”. The key word here being “maintain”. To state that our collective aim is anything more is a falsehood.
The first step in creating a solid, well-reasoned argument is conducting thorough research. Any statement made in absence of the facts can easily be dismissed as hearsay. Three days into the state-wide campaign to stand guard outside recruiting centers has given rise to such statements. As with most internet, “keyboard Warriors” the claims made are rooted mainly in hate, fear, misinformation, and the relentless desire to have the last word. Nevertheless, our organization will continue to ensure that our goals, mission statement, and intentions are made clear. We achieve this by making these aims readily available for anyone wishing to delve deeper into the Idaho’s III% true aspirations. These can be found at our Facebook page under ‘about‘.
In regard to the cease and desist request, Idaho III% have not formally received a direct request to halt security operations. Our only awareness of the request is what is being circulated through social media and various news outlets. Sources tell us that these orders for Idaho’s military recruiters to have yet to hit their desk. Until such communication is made clear to our organization we will continue this state-wide campaign.
The article also states that as of 9:30 am on Wednesday, July 22, the recruiting center had no members of any group in position. This is untrue. Any successful security operation includes a fail-safe as well as a contingency plan. In regards to this specific campaign, operational security is our top priority.
Members who stand directly in front of the recruiting centers are primary watch. In addition to these members, we have two individuals in separate vehicles who remain at either end of the parking lots to monitor any suspicious incoming activity. These members arrive one hour before the opening of the centers to survey the perimeter and set-up initial observations. Once given the green-light by this auxiliary patrol, members are given the green light to undertake primary positions. In the event of an attack, we are able to react while ensuring mobility and offering support to those on foot. Due to an increased threat level on Wednesday morning, members were advised to “sit-back” until investigations were complete.
There are many negative comments circulating on social media and news sites, we would like to briefly address these. One of the assumptions is that we are “untrained, gun-toting, gun-nuts who pose more of a risk than any perceived threat from foreign nationals. We have qualified specialists in place who are in charge of ensuring that all members maintain a constant state of situational awareness and readiness while having the training necessary to react in the proper fashion. Our primary trainer is a Florida State Certified Armed Guard, Private Security Contractor, NRA Certified Firearms Instructor, a CEO of his personal security company. As for the two gentlemen standing guard who were not III% members, their presence was inspired by Idaho III% efforts earlier in the week. These individuals have expressed a desire to become involved in our organization and gain full membership. There is a national effort to guard the men and women who have given their lifeblood to protect and defend your right to Free press, and our right to defend our community with arms. We are honored to take part in this endeavor. We are not motivated by self-serving interests nor corporate sponsors. It is still our wish that Governor Otter use his Authority to arm the National guard. We appreciate his recent order to lower all flags to half-mast. 5 days late could still be considered patriotic.
In a more recent review of Idaho III%’s efforts in Twin Falls, Magicvalley.com, (powered by Times-news) released a report detailing comments from Staff Sgt. William Ross. Ross had received an e-mail stating that members of the patriot group ‘Oathkeepers’ may be anti-government. While we are unsure of the origin of these statements, we respectfully wish to set the record straight. Now while we cannot speak directly for Oathkeepers, we have aligned
with them during various events and rallies in the past. That being said, both of our groups primary goal is to support and defend the constitution of the United States. That statement alone should dispel any myths about being anti-government. A quick reference into the Constitution will show that we vehemently support checks and balances, states rights, representative government, democratic principles, and equal protection under the law. The support of these mechanisms grants us a pro-government stance. What we are is anti-tyranny, through legislation or otherwise. This type of rhetoric is either based in fear-mongering or ignorance of the facts, both of which are unacceptable in unbiased journalism.
It is considerably easy to arrive late, make uninformed claims, poke holes in a positive community effort, and deliver passive-aggressive attempts to “rain on our parade”. You may sleep knowing full well that we work in all weather conditions, lop-sided, journalism notwithstanding.
Chris McIntire III%