Mike Vanderboegh

Trump Adopts Language Of Gun Extremists With 'Second Amendment' Remedies Comment

Donald Trump has spent his presidential campaign parroting things that he “hears” from others, often with no regard to the reliability of the source or the extremism of his role models.

This afternoon, Trump created yet another controversy when he suggested that violence might be an option if Hillary Clinton is allowed to nominate Supreme Court justices.

If Clinton “gets to pick her judges,” he said, there’s “nothing you can do.”

“Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is,” he added. “I don’t know.”

While Trump may have concocted this idea all on his own, his comment sounds like it could have come straight from the mouth of a certain segment of anti-government, anti-gun-regulation extremists.

A key proponent of the idea that elected officials and judges must always be on the lookout for armed citizens taking matters into their own hands is Larry Pratt, the executive director emeritus of Gun Owners of America, who was a key figure in the rise of the militia movement in the 1990s.

Back in May, Pratt expressed basically the same sentiment as Trump, saying that conservatives might have to resort to the “bullet box” to reclaim the courts if they can’t “solve this matter at the ballot box.”

Pratt made similar comments in March about President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, saying, “the Second Amendment is all about people like Judge Garland, so there is a limit to how far he can go.”

As Brian wrote at the time, this was part of a long pattern for Pratt:

Pratt has a history of saying that the Second Amendment is meant to give people the right to assassinate or intimidate leaders they don’t like.

In Pratt’s view, the Second Amendment was created in order to instill in politicians “a healthy fear” in “the back of their minds” that they will be assassinated so “they’ll behave.”

He explicitly told Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., that she “should do her job in constant trepidation,” knowing that if she tries “to disarm Americans the way the British crown tried 240 years ago, the same sovereign people who constituted this government using the cartridge box someday may need to reconstitute it, as clearly anticipated by the Declaration of Independence.”

When Alan Colmes asked him if he really does believe that politicians “should have a healthy fear of being shot,” Pratt replied: “Sure, that’s what the Second Amendment is all about.

The sentiment of “Second Amendment remedies” is essential to the militia movement’s view of freedom – that they get to impose their own idea of liberty on everybody else using the threat of violent force.

Mike Vanderboegh, who ran a militia group called the Three Percenters, used this talking point at a 2014 rally against new gun regulations in Washington state, saying that the gun rights movement may need to fall back on “Second Amendment remedies.”

Trump has already shown his willingness to embrace this kind of anti-government extremism with his courting of Sheriff David Clarke, a frequent Fox News guest who is involved with the Oath Keepers and other insurrectionist groups.

The language is nothing new for Trump’s campaign, either. One of his advisers, Roger Stone, recently said that people should protest in the streets if Trump is defeated in November, predicting that it could be a “ bloodbath.” In the past, Stone has said that Hillary Clinton should be “executed.” Another adviser said last month that “Hillary Clinton should be put in the firing line and shot for treason.”

The violent words were all his own, but they followed a well-worn path.

Antigovernment Groups Warned Of 'Civil War' In Oregon. Now What?

As we wrote several weeks ago when a group of armed militia members took over a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon, many antigovernment leaders were not on their side. This isn’t because these groups disagree with the occupiers’ cause — outrage at the arrests of two ranchers for arson on federal lands — but because they don’t have faith in the leadership of those who took over the building.

Now that eight of the occupiers — including their leader, Ammon Bundy —have been arrested and one has been killed in a clash with law enforcement, antigovernment groups are caught between a cause they agree with and a leader they don’t trust. These groups are obsessed with the idea of the federal government provoking a “civil war” with “patriots” like them, and they have been worried that they will now be forced to fight a civil war on behalf of Ammon Bundy.

Stewart Rhodes, head of the Oath Keepers, has from the beginning urged his followers to stay out of the Oregon standoff, but has nevertheless warned the government that “there will never again be a free Waco” and that any force against the occupiers could lead to a “bloody, brutal civil war.” Mike Vanderboegh, leader of the Three Percenters movement, similarly warned that Bundy and his allies had “written a check that they expect the rest of us to cash in our own blood in a ghastly civil war” and may have been infiltrated by federal "provacateurs" trying to provoke such a war.

These groups are, at least for now, sounding a note of caution.

The Pacific Patriots Network, an umbrella group of militia groups in the area, including members of the Oath Keepers and Three Percenters, wrote in a press release last night that it was urging its members to “stand by” and that “[n]o mobilization of any kind is to take place until every piece of speculation and hearsay have been verified or dismissed.” It repeated that call today, writing that the group is “working on maintaining a calm presence in town and are still acting as a buffer between the Refuge and the FBI.”

A post on Vanderboegh’s blog yesterday that although the group “disagreed with Ammon Bundy's choice of targets, tactics, timing and ‘friends’ like the sociopath (and probable Fed provocateur) Ryan Payne” (Payne was one of those arrested yesterday with Bundy), the “Feds picked this fight.”

The post concludes ominiously: “We need more information and confirmation of what I have written, but it is apparent that the Feds are giving us all a choice.”

As the Anti-Defamation League’s Mark Pitcavage noted on Twitter, at this point the danger of backlash comes not from these larger groups but from rogue individuals who have been motivated by their ideology:

Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, Harney County Sheriff David Ward, who has been a target of groups that believe he should have turned against the government and sided with Bundy, looked visibly shaken, saying that “it didn’t have to happen” and “there doesn’t have to be bloodshed in our community.”

Militia Leader: Oregon Takeover Possible False Flag That Could Lead To 'Ghastly Civil War'

Stewart Rhodes of the Oath Keepers isn’t the only “Patriot” movement leader slamming the armed militia takeover of a federal building in Oregon. Mike Vanderboegh, the leader of the Three Percenters militia group, wrote on his blog yesterday that the group in Oregon, which is being led by sons of rancher Cliven Bundy, is full of “sociopaths and idiots” and probably includes some who are working for the government.

Nevertheless, Vanderboegh, who warned at the Bundy ranch that the standoff could lead to “civil war on a vast scale” and more recently warned that a new Oregon gun buyers’ background check law could also lead to a civil war, wrote that if the federal government ends the Oregon standoff with force, he will have no choice but to join the Bundys in — you guessed it — a civil war.

In a statement published on his blog, Sipsey Street Irregulars, yesterday, Vanderboegh called the leaders of the Oregon takeover “federal provocateurs, sociopaths and idiots with a John Brown complex” and said that there are “far fewer than is claimed” occupying the building, adding that they have “written a check that they expect the rest of us to cash in our own blood in a ghastly civil war.”

Implying that some on the inside are secretly working for the government to set up a “perfect propaganda opportunity,” and that some are simply setting themselves up to commit “suicide by Fed,” Vanderboegh wrote that nevertheless “we must get across to the Feds that if they do not end this peacefully, if they go for a dynamic raid that gets people killed, that they will start a national conflagration that will be fought using the principles of Fourth Generation Warfare as adapted to an American civil war.”

In an earlier blog post, he quoted a member of his group on the ground at the scene: “The stupid has gone so far that I don't know if it can come back. These f-cking morons have no idea what they've done.”

Militia Groups Warn Oregon Background Check Law Could Lead To Civil War

At a rally in Salem, Oregon, Saturday in protest of a new state law requiring background checks on private gun sales, anti-government militia groups promised to defy the law and warned that it could lead to civil war.

The rally was attended by at least one Republican state legislator.

In a rambling speech, Mike Vanderboegh of the “Patriot” movement group Three Percenters repeated many of the warnings he made last year at the Bundy ranch, reading from a letter he sent to Oregon lawmakers warning that the background check law would eventually lead to gun owners being killed by “state police,” which he said would then compel them to “return the favor.” In the letter, Vanderboegh also threatened to publish the home addresses of legislators who voted in favor of the law, as he once did with a gun law in Connecticut.

“There is no unconstitutional law that can be passed that cannot be defied, resisted, evaded, smuggled in violation of and completely nullified by armed civil disobedience,” he told the crowd.

Waving a copy of a “fiscal impact report” on the Oregon law, he demanded, “What do you think the ‘fiscal impact’ of civil war is? Because when you send the raid parties to the doors of our homes, when you begin killing those of us who resist your raw appetite for power, that is what you’re going to get: civil war. And if it comes to our doors, what makes it think it won’t come to theirs?”

“If they ironically insist on civil war as the proper panacea for ‘gun violence,’” he warned, “then regardless of how reluctant we are, they will be shown after they kill the first of us what gun violence really is, as the founders showed King George.”

Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keepers, also spoke at the rally, boasting that his group recently completed a “security operation” at an Oregon gold mine that had a dispute with the Bureau of Land Management.

He told the crowd that they should start forming armed teams with likeminded citizens to fight threats ranging from drug cartels to government forces, a variation on the far-right Posse Comitatus theory: “Whether it’s the cartels or MS13 or the secret police, it takes a team to fight back.”

Noting that members of the Oath Keepers had come from across the country to resist the BLM at the Oregon mine, Rhodes warned that “there is a storm coming in this country” and “when it hits” people wouldn’t be able to drive across the country to “defend” others.

“No one is a passenger on the good ship liberty,” he said. “Everyone’s crew, everybody rows!”

Anti-Government Leader Promises 'Second Amendment Remedies' To Washington Background Check Law

Leaders of radical anti-government groups and a few hundred activists converged on Olympia, Washington, this weekend for an armed protest against a successful state ballot initiative requiring background checks for nearly all gun purchases. The “I Will Not Comply Rally” was organized by Gavin Seim, an activist who had spent time at the armed standoff at the Bundy ranch in Nevada earlier this year, and drew several speakers who had also spent time with the Bundys, including “constitutional sheriff” Richard Mack and Three Percenter leader Mike Vanderboegh. (Cliven Bundy’s son Ammon was scheduled to speak as well but was a no-show.)

Vanderboegh, who gave a notorious speech at the Bundy ranch promising “civil war on a vast scale,” was similarly unrestrained in his remarks to the Olympia rally, calling supporters of the background checks initiative “domestic enemies of the Constitution” and suggesting that “Second Amendment remedies” may be necessary to combat them if political negotiations fail.

Promising to “win this or die trying,” Vanderboegh warned that “when democracy turns to tyranny, the armed citizenry still gets to vote! So be careful what you wish for or you may get it.”

Vanderboegh's full speech can be viewed here.

Right Wing Round-Up - 7/11/14

  • Alan Colmes: Open Carry Advocate: We’ll Vote With Our Guns.

Mike Vanderboegh Doubles Down on Civil War Warning, Compares Cliven Bundy To Dred Scott

Mike Vanderboegh, the militia group leader who warned in a speech at the Bundy Ranch last month that the United States is on the verge of “civil war on a vast scale” that will involve Sen. Harry Reid having his “balls ripped off,” joined Alan Colmes on Wednesday to defend his now-infamous comments.

“It’s funny, I’ve been warning about the possibility of civil war caused by government bad conduct for the past 20 years, but it wasn’t until I started mentioning the collectivist senators who were putting their own testicles at risk that people started paying attention,” Vanderboegh told Colmes. “I think I must have accidentally put my finger on where you fellows worship.”

He added that the “balls ripped off” expression was just a rhetorical flourish, and that he could just as easily have said “put a bullet in your head”: “I’m saying that if you push ordinary people enough, they will react. And whether they rip your testicles off or put a bullet in your head is sort of immaterial, assuming that you initiate the violence.”

When Colmes asked Vanderboegh if he really thinks Reid wants to “initiate violence,” Vanderboegh responded, “I don’t think there’s any doubt that he would like to do it.”

Completing the civil war picture,  Vanderboegh told Colmes that there’s not “much of a difference” between Cliven Bundy’s stand against federal law and Dred Scott’s.

Later in the interview, Colmes asked Vanderboegh about his call for his followers to throw bricks into windows of Democratic offices in protest of the passage of the health care reform law in 2010.

Vanderboegh doubled down on the comment, saying “you bet your ass” he called for window-breaking and claiming that the move was modeled on the “carefully calibrated violence” of the American Revolution (Vanderboegh’s organization, the Three Percenters, is named after the number of colonists he believes participated in the revolt against the Crown).

“Sons of Liberty tactics, fellow,” he said. “Read your history. Do you think that this republic of ours was born in anything other than very carefully calibrated violence that was counter to government violence at the time? How do you think we got here? Sons of Liberty tactics. We have not tarred and feathered yet, have we? Sons of Liberty did.”

“All I have been arguing is that people should understand that government violence will be responded to by counter-violence on the part of the people,” he continued. “That’s been exactly what I’ve been saying for the past 20 years. I’ve been warning that a civil war is coming. And you know why? It’s because idiots do not understand it’s possible.”

When Colmes asked how the health care bill represented “government violence,” Vanderboegh responded that “The violence was in the threat of the bill” because “you will do what this bill says or things will happen to you,” which he speculated would include an IRS “raid party.”

Here's Vanderboegh's original Bundy Ranch speech:

This Edition Of Paranoia-Rama Is Just A Distraction From Benghazi

RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.

In a desperate attempt to distract from the GOP’s sad and dishonest effort to turn the 2012 Benghazi attack into a political sideshow, we have decided to post Paranoia-Rama today, as we always do on Fridays.

5. Obamacare Death Lists

It’s no wonder that Glenn Beck wants to recruit Rep. Louie Gohmert to run for the U.S. Senate, as the Texas GOP congressman recently warned that health care reform will lead to death lists.

While appearing on The Blaze, Beck’s TV network, Gohmert said that in order to preserve Obamacare, the Obama administration will have to “put people on lists” where they will “die waiting to get the treatment and care.” 

“This is where socialized medicine always goes,” he lamented.

Back in March, Gohmert similarly claimed that as a result of Obamacare, “we [will] see the morality rate start coming down, you die earlier, not because it’s an actual death panel but because you don’t get the treatment.”

4. Sharia Law In The Military

Yesterday, more than a year after he absurdly claimed that the Obama administration has issued a “litmus test for leadership in the military” based on whether prospective leaders “will fire on U.S. citizens or not,” activist Garrow “revealed” another dubious Obama military litmus test: whether service members “support” the “islamic [sic] ideology.”

The "new" Litmus Test of all senior officials of the Federal Government and their agencies.


As many will remember (except those who support Obama) I broke the news on January 20th of 2013 that senior members of the military were being asked a "litmus test" question to determine if they would be allowed to continue in their positions. That question determined if their loyalties lay with Obama.
Well it is now almost a year and a half later and I am now assured by many that the new criteria for senior leadership is their attitude towards and support of muslims [sic] and the islamic [sic] ideology.

Your Christian nation is now fully at the service of islam [sic] and its hateful ideology. The treason is complete and utter in its depth and breadth. Mark this date, May 1, 2014, the day that America was warned that the muslim-marxist [sic] in the White House Barack Hussein Obama is remaking the public service and government agencies into Sharia compliant entities as the next step in the subjugation of America to islam [sic].

- Dr. Jim Garrow -

please share this everywhere - the warning must be given - we are betrayed

3. Donald Sterling Scandal Meant To Distract From Benghazi

Since GOP activists failed in their truly bizarre campaign to link LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling to the Democratic Party (it turns out he is a registered Republican), they have now moved on to attempting to link the controversy over Sterling’s racist remarks to Benghazi.

Fox News contributor and former GOP congressman Allen West denounced the media’s coverage of the Sterling scandal as an attempt to cover up President Obama’s “incessant lies, deceit and abject failures,” particularly about the Benghazi attack.

Media Matters reports that West cited Sterling’s racist remarks in a Fox News Radio interview to call for greater public uproar over Benghazi: “The outrage of the public seems to be totally focused on Mr. Sterling but, you know, you've got this thing with Benghazi and we have an even bigger lie, an even bigger deceit, which is even more impactful on the country that no one is really caring about.”

2. Mass Grave For Cliven Bundy Militia

After suggesting that the military rise up against Obama in response to the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Gordon Klingenschmitt is now warning that the government may begin digging a mass grave as it purportedly prepares to murder Cliven Bundy and his allied militiamen.

“Mass graves dug by the government, this time for the cattle, but next time, maybe for the cowboys, right?” he asked. “I suspect that in some months to come, there's going to be some secret mission by the feds to go in there and punish the people who are standing for freedom.”

1. Bundy Psy-ops

The Oath Keepers, an extremist right-wing group, is attempting to distance itself from a rumor it started that the Obama administration was imminently launching a drone strike against Bundy’s ranch.

The founder of Oath Keepers, Stewart Rhodes, reportedly claimed that “Eric Holder approved a hot drone strike on the Bundy ranch within 48 hours.”

But a new Oath Keepers memo blames President Obama for the Oath Keepers’ own baseless claim, insisting that the drone rumor was actually an Obama “psy-ops” mission to discredit and undermine the Oath Keepers’ presence at Bundy’s ranch. The group says they were merely “indicating that a drone attack was at least ‘possible.’”

“Oath Keepers is tremendously happy that nothing happened and that this was a bad tip, a piece of ‘dis-info’, a ‘psy-op,’” a group spokesman said. “A typical FBI psy-op would plant ‘leaders’ in every militia they could infiltrate. What those sorts of FBI agents or surrogates do is always ‘handled.’”

Thanks for clarifying!

Of course the Bunkerland was filled with plenty of other crazy rants, including one by militia leader Mike Vanderboegh who warned of a “civil war” to protect the Bundy ranch (and also threatened to have Harry Reid’s “balls ripped off”).

Bundy Ranch Speaker Warns Of 'Civil War On A Vast Scale,' Promises Harry Reid Will Have His 'Balls Ripped Off'

In a speech to the militia members still gathered at Cliven Bundy’s ranch in Nevada this week, Mike Vanderboegh, leader of the militia group Three Percenters, warned that the country is “staring a civil war in its bloody face.”

Vanderboegh’s Three Percenters group, named after the number of American colonists they believe fought back against the British in the revolutionary war, was listed in a recent Oath Keepers press release as a stalwart of the standoff at the Bundy ranch. Vandeboegh, who wrote a novel that allegedly inspired a domestic terrorist plot in 2011, is also known for his role in pushing the “Fast and Furious” scandal.

“All over this country, we are still staring civil war in its bloody face,” Vanderboegh warned the crowd, in a video posted by Tom Lacovara, the host of an anti-government radio show.

He claimed that Sen. Harry Reid, who has criticized the Bundy ranch militias, “is promising us all civil war on a vast scale, because state-sponsored violence is they only way they can win an argument with free people, especially free people who are armed and who are willing to use those arms in defense of liberty.”

Vanderboegh then told the legend of an Alabama woman named Jenny Brooks whose husband and son, in Vanderboegh's telling, were killed by state law enforcement collecting taxes for the Confederate government. According to the tale, Brooks went after the men who had killed her family, killed two of them in return, and turned one of their skulls into a soap dish.

Vanderboegh then pulled out a skull and declared that he would present it to Reid as the “2014 Award for Incitement to Civil War.”

He added: “Don’t poke the wolverine with a sharp stick, Harry, unless you want your balls ripped off.”

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