Thursday, March 24, 2011

When You Lie With Dogs

Media Matters reports sometime in the spring of 2009 Schaeffer Cox founded the pro-gun rights Second Amendment Task Force and wrote a "Letter of Declaration" which read

Let it be known that we, the people of Alaska, stand in recognition of the true principle that whenever a government abandons the purpose for which we have created it and even becomes hostile towards that which it was once a defender of, it is no longer a fit steward of the political power that is inherent in the people and lent to this government with strict conditions. These conditions are clearly defined in the United States Constitution and understood by the common man.

Furthermore, to the extent that our government violates these conditions, they nullify their own authority, at which point it is our right and duty, not as subjects but as sovereign Americans, to entrust this power to new stewards who will not depart from the laws we have given them.

This being the case, let it be known that should our government seek to further tax, restrict or register firearms or otherwise impose on the right that shall not be infringed, thus impairing our ability to exercise the God-given right to self-defense which precedes all human legislation and is superior to it, that the duty of us good and faithful people will not be to obey them but to alter or abolish them and institute new government laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to us shall seem most likely to effect our safety and happiness.

The following day, the group met at a Denny's restaurant in Fairbanks, Alaska and in June a video (below) of the event, which Cox claims was attended by 150 people, appeared online. It includes footage of Alaska's sole U.S. Representative, Don Young, signing the Declaration, which Young communications director Meredith Kenney states actually occurred at an open-carry rally held that spring in Fairbanks. (The video shows footage of Young and Cox standing alongside each other, apparently at a restaurant.)

Kenny maintained Young he has always been a vocal and staunch defender of the Second Amendment, though she apparently did not explain why her boss believes "the duty of us good and faithful people will not be to obey them but to alter or abolish them and institute new government" if Washington enacts gun control legislation.

A member of Congress advocates overthrowing the United States government if it implements policies he disagrees with. As Digby has said in other contexts, "what could possibly go wrong?"

Glad you asked. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner has reported that on March 16

Schaeffer Cox was contacted by officers while monitoring the scene of a police search at an Eighth Avenue house at about 8 p.m. The 26-year-old carpenter and business owner is part of a “Liberty Bell” network that sends out mass notifications when someone believes their rights are being violated. The owner of the home had contacted him to complain that police were making an unauthorized search of her property.

While Cox was standing outside the home taking notes, police say he failed to tell them he was carrying a concealed .38-caliber pistol. He was arrested on a charge of fifth-degree weapons misconduct, a misdemeanor.

Sgt. Gary Yamamoto said Alaska statute requires that people immediately tell law enforcement officials about the presence of a concealed weapon after being contacted.

“We want everyone to be safe when we’re dealing with people,” he said.

It’s the second arrest this month for Cox, who was charged with felony assault on March 2, a week after Alaska State Troopers accused him of choking his wife during a trip to Anchorage. Cox, who didn’t have a previous criminal record, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of misdemeanor reckless endangerment on March 5 and received a suspended sentence.

Don Young and Schaeffer Cox, two would-be recruits in Sharron Angle's Second Amendment Remedies Militia.

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