So, new member here, too… I’m a paramedic, I’m head of the local paramedic degree program, and I can’t seem to find any local OKs in my sphere. Is there a State or regional contact, or should I just get down to business putting a CPT together? I’m intrigued by the idea of a Patriot Fire Team, which I think would work well under this umbrella, but would still like to contribute.
And my two bits to the debate: I’ve talked to exactly two people mentioning the OKs involvement with Craig Sawyer as a motivation to finally pay for a membership. I had been looking into it since a little before Ferguson erupted, but around the same time my wife’s friend was leaving her husband because he got involved with a militia and it scared her how “into it” he was, so I couldn’t even bring up the discussion. I got around to it again and told her I’d like to get involved, and that OK is mostly networking for preparedness and she was ok with that. Then, I mentioned to one of my younger instructors in passing that I was replacing my body armor for working on the ambulance, and that I’d like to make sure it’s in date (soft armor, saving up for level III plates) in case something happens. His response was pretty much that I’m a crazy lunatic that wants to play cop…. My conclusion is that some people understand, and others need to be educated. Doesn’t help that wikipedia says OKs are right wing extremists, heh, but what can we do but consistently demonstrate the sheepdog mentality. If people believe we (individually) care about them, then the stigma to those who don’t know us be da#@ed. I’m probably not going to put the sticker on my vehicle, because I don’t want to pay for vandalism again (NRA sticker, learned that lesson), but that doesn’t mean I’m ashamed to be a member.
I agree whole-heartedly that both sides of the debate have merit, something we all have to decide for ourselves