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The Original #III%-er Dies At 64

Mike Van­der­boegh, a long­time leader in the “Patri­ot” move­ment, died Wednes­day in Alaba­ma after a lengthy bat­tle with can­cer. He was 64.

Van­der­boegh also was founder of the “Three Per­centers,” who vow to use force if nec­es­sary to resist what they see as oppres­sive gun-con­trol laws.

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Van­der­boegh and his sup­port­ers were pro­filed in a 2015 series by The Kansas City Star about domes­tic ter­ror­ism.

The Sec­ond Amend­ment activist and blog­ger from Pin­son, Ala., was known for push­ing the enve­lope when it came to gun rights, from orga­niz­ing an armed protest at the Wash­ing­ton state capi­tol to mail­ing stan­dard-capac­i­ty gun mag­a­zines to gov­er­nors of states that banned them.

He was a voice that this move­ment need­ed,” said Bob Wright, a com­rade and com­man­der of the New Mex­i­co Mili­tia. “Already, we’re feel­ing the loss of that voice.”

But those who mon­i­tor extrem­ist groups say the rhetoric Van­der­boegh used was dan­ger­ous and helped fuel a resur­gence of anti-gov­ern­ment vio­lence in recent years.

Vanderboegh’s pri­ma­ry lega­cy will be as one of the more suc­cess­ful recent pro­mot­ers of anti-gov­ern­ment extrem­ism, help­ing to increase both the anger lev­els and num­bers of such extrem­ists,” said Mark Pit­cav­age, a senior research fel­low with the Anti-Defama­tion League’s Cen­ter on Extrem­ism.

Short­ly before he died, Van­der­boegh donat­ed his papers to the John Hay Library at Brown Uni­ver­si­ty in Rhode Island. Uni­ver­si­ty archivist Jen­nifer Betts said the col­lec­tion would be processed and avail­able to view by sum­mer 2017.

Van­der­boegh first sur­faced in the 1990s as an orga­niz­er for the Sons of Lib­er­ty, then became head of the 1st Alaba­ma Cav­al­ry Reg­i­ment Con­sti­tu­tion­al Mili­tia.

Mike Vanderboegh, of Pinson, Ala., mimicked holding a rifle as he spoke under a Capitol portico during a rally by gun-rights advocates in 2015 in Olympia, Wash. File photo by Elaine Thompson The Associated Press

Mike Van­der­boegh, of Pin­son, Ala., mim­ic­ked hold­ing a rifle as he spoke under a Capi­tol por­ti­co dur­ing a ral­ly by gun-rights advo­cates in 2015 in Olympia, Wash. File pho­to by Elaine Thomp­son The Asso­ci­at­ed Press

In recent years, he had been more wide­ly known for his “Three Per­cent” move­ment, which draws its name from the per­cent­age of colonists said to have tak­en up arms against the British in the Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion.

Van­der­boegh was diag­nosed five years ago with a gas­troin­testi­nal stro­mal tumor. Once a loom­ing fig­ure, Van­der­boegh told The Star in May that he’d dropped near­ly 200 pounds.

Lar­ry Pratt, exec­u­tive direc­tor emer­i­tus of Gun Own­ers of Amer­i­ca, called Van­der­boegh “a man of pas­sion and humor.”

Pratt dis­agreed with crit­ics’ asser­tion that Van­der­boegh incit­ed vio­lence.

Mike’s whole idea has been to make peo­ple aware of our great past and to make it part of our present,” he said. “Maybe they see that as a vio­lent threat.”

Known for his often-incen­di­ary lan­guage, Van­der­boegh direct­ed his crit­i­cism not only at what he said was a cor­rupt gov­ern­ment but some­times even at oth­ers in his own move­ment.

When a group of armed mil­i­tants led by Ammon Bundy took over a nation­al wildlife refuge in Ore­gon in Jan­u­ary, he called them fools.

What Bundy and this col­lec­tion of fruits and nuts has done is give the feds the per­fect oppor­tu­ni­ty to advance their agen­da to dis­cred­it us,” he said.

Vanderboegh’s most recent tac­tics involved lead­ing what he called “armed civ­il dis­obe­di­ence” in response to tougher gun leg­is­la­tion passed after the 2012 shoot­ings at Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School in New­town, Conn.

He smug­gled 30-round AR-15 gun mag­a­zines into sev­er­al states that had out­lawed them, then announced it after­ward. Around Christ­mas last year, he mailed 30-round AR-15 and AK-47 mag­a­zines to politi­cians who sup­port­ed the stricter gun laws.

I told them that now that they pos­sessed these mag­a­zines, they should go arrest them­selves,” he said.

In 2014, Van­der­boegh trav­eled to Neva­da to join oth­er pro­test­ers in a stand­off between fed­er­al author­i­ties and Neva­da ranch­er Cliv­en Bundy, who the gov­ern­ment said owed $1 mil­lion for graz­ing his cat­tle on fed­er­al land.

All over this coun­try, at this moment, we are still star­ing civ­il war in its bloody face,” he said in a speech he gave there.

In 2008, Van­der­boegh attract­ed author­i­ties’ atten­tion when he start­ed writ­ing an online nov­el called “Absolved” and post­ed it on his blog, “Sipsey Street Irreg­u­lars.”

The book, a fic­tion­al sto­ry about gun own­ers and mili­tias who resist fed­er­al gov­ern­ment attempts to con­fis­cate their firearms, con­tains detailed accounts of bat­tles with law enforce­ment, air­plane attacks on gov­ern­ment build­ings and assas­si­na­tions of fed­er­al agents.

The whole point of my work is to make peo­ple under­stand that we’re done back­ing up,” he told The Star.

The book set off alarms at the Kansas City region­al fusion cen­ter, which issued a bul­letin say­ing it might incite anti-gov­ern­ment vio­lence.

Author­i­ties said the book lat­er inspired a group of mili­tia mem­bers in Geor­gia to go on a domes­tic ter­ror­ism ram­page. The group was arrest­ed in 2011 for plot­ting to attack four cities with ricin, blow up fed­er­al build­ings and kill gov­ern­ment employ­ees and local police.

Van­der­boegh also is cred­it­ed with incit­ing fol­low­ers to com­mit van­dal­ism.

After Con­gress passed the health care reform mea­sure in 2010, he called for mod­ern-day “Sons of Lib­er­ty” to throw rocks through the win­dows of local Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty offices around the coun­try in protest. After that, van­dals struck sev­er­al Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty offices.

Van­der­boegh may be most rec­og­nized for his blog posts on “Oper­a­tion Fast and Furi­ous,” a flawed gun-traf­fick­ing oper­a­tion run by the U.S. Bureau of Alco­hol, Tobac­co and Firearms.

David Codrea, a Sec­ond Amend­ment advo­cate who worked on the issue with Van­der­boegh, described him as “a man of unique intel­li­gence and per­spec­tive.”

Mike is dri­ven by a quest for indi­vid­ual lib­er­ty,” said Codrea, who has a blog called “The War on Guns” and is field edi­tor of GUNS Mag­a­zine. “He’s a man who I looked to as an exam­ple of integri­ty and courage. But that does not mean we were joined at the hip.”

Indeed, Codrea said, Van­der­boegh at times could be a “cur­mud­geon.”

Peo­ple don’t have a neu­tral reac­tion to the guy,” he said.

 

Mike Vanderboegh, of Pinson, Ala., mimicked holding a rifle as he spoke under a Capitol portico during a rally by gun-rights advocates in 2015 in Olympia, Wash. File photo by Elaine Thompson The Associated Press

Mike Van­der­boegh, of Pin­son, Ala., mim­ic­ked hold­ing a rifle as he spoke under a Capi­tol por­ti­co dur­ing a ral­ly by gun-rights advo­cates in 2015 in Olympia, Wash. File pho­to by Elaine Thomp­son The Asso­ci­at­ed Press

http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article94813217.html

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ER1C ☠

ER1C ☠

Dedicated Second Amendment Advocate, At-Home Gunsmith, Designer, Blogger, Video Guy, Author, Business Owner & ReloadOne Member.

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