Road Trip To An Anti-Government Gun Rally
The author of this article has no idea what Oath Keepers is about. That is obvious by the first line of the article. Though Andy Poliakoff and Lou Arquer attempt to explain the mission of Oath Keepers, it is apparent the author can’t even conceive of the dangers we face. The article isn’t really a hatchet job, rather, it is a sign of the authors complete ignorance of the realities we face.
Thanks for trying Andy and Lou. – Shorty Dawkins, Associate Editor
The Oath Keepers is one of the fastest growing “patriot” groups on the right. It’s a national, grassroots organization composed of mainly men and women in uniform—cops, soldiers, firefighters, veterans, paramedics—who are wary of what they view as an increasingly tyrannical government, and who revere the Constitution as inviolable. Especially the Second Amendment. The organization’s name comes from one of its battle cries—a callout to fellow government employees who’ve vowed to serve our nation: “Stop Big Brother! Expose unconstitutional actions! Honor your oath!”
To find out whether the Oath Keepers are dangerous nut jobs or just regular guys alarmed by the rise of our national surveillance state and the erosion of civil liberties, I poked around Facebook and reached out to Poliakoff, a massive 36-year-old paramedic and volunteer fireman. When he picks me up in his truck, I scan the inside of the cab. I had assumed he would bring a gun for our trip, but apparently he didn’t feel like exercising his Second Amendment rights that day.
As we drive down the Cross Island Expressway, Poliakoff’s buddy, Lou Arquer, 44, a muscular guy who sells plumping supplies, rides shotgun. Bumper stickers festoon the rear window of Poliakoff’s pickup, emblems of the Oath Keepers and New York Mutual Assistant Group (NYMAG), which teaches combat skills and survival teamwork. One inspiring sticker says “pro choice” above an array of bullets.
The Oath Keepers fancy themselves as an educational group. They use a catchy method of spreading their message called “Reach, Teach and Inspire.” It isn’t long before Poliakoff and Arquer try to Reach, Teach and Inspire me.
Poliakoff and Arquer chain-smoke as they explain what their group is about in thick Long Island accents. The Hair Nation channel plays on satellite radio, with Mötley Crüe, Bon Jovi and Guns N’ Roses providing the soundtrack to my indoctrination. We go through a tollbooth and Poliakoff finds the right amount in a wad of cash. Oath Keepers seem to prefer cash.
“The Oath Keepers are people that every day go out and answer somebody’s cry for help,” Poliakoff says. Oath Keepers train “civilization preservation teams” that conduct exercises with live fire and plastic Airsoft guns. They incorporate logistical radio specialists, nurses and doctors. Others learn how to scout for food. The teams vow to care for one another and create a makeshift settlement, post-apocalyptic-style—not only in the event of a catastrophe, but also in case the federal government clamps down on U.S. citizens en masse.