A school superintendent is Sanders County is causing an uproar after he proposed to install armed volunteers in the local school – an idea so ludicrous even the NRA has abandoned it.
When new school superintendent Josh Patterson gathered the townspeople together to discuss his plan Sheriff Tom Rummel, who has made headlines for his extremist views and who the Militia of Montana claims is a supporter, offered to train the volunteers himself. He even said he has an anonymous donor who will donate the ammunition for training and use in the school, the Sanders County Ledger reports (Page 1, Page 2.)
When asked for reasons for the armed volunteers, Josh Patterson and Tom Rummel offered a standard TEA Party cliche “when seconds count, law enforcement are minutes away.” According to one retired teacher who attended the meeting - a proponent of the idea shouted “lets go pistol packin’.”
But even Patterson admits opposition is growing – while he had first claimed that early meetings included only supporters, the opponents now outnumber them nearly 2-1.
What’s more, a committee in the nearby town of Thompson Falls has already declined Sheriff Rummel’s proposal to arm teachers, so why he would propose a more extreme idea in Noxon isn’t clear. Nor is it clear why no one is asking the obvious question – is the anonymous ammunition donor the Militia of Montana? And will members of the militia be among the volunteers?
There are a couple of reasons why this is the obvious question. Tom Rummel made headlines when he urged sheriffs across the country against enforcing federal laws . He went on to write that sheriffs should consider actually blocking federal law enforcement officers from enforcing the law either.
In a 2011 radio interview, Militia of Montana leader John Trochmann says that Sheriffs’ posses are a new face of the militia movement. Trochmann describes the following conversation with Tom Rummel. You can click here to listen to his exact words starting at this portion of the interview when the host asks “what is going on now to give the Militia of Montana hope?”
I was sitting with my sheriff in a meeting–we have a little organization called the Sanders Natural Resource Council–which is going after the forrest service bringing a lawsuit against them right now and it just so happens that our sheriff attended the [Sanders County Resource Council] meeting, and I gave him a MOM calendar–a Militia of Montana calendar. It’s a freedom calendar that we handle. And on the back of it it says our name, and I said Tom, you perhaps only want one because you don’t want to put it up in your office because of the name that’s on the back.
And he looks at the name on the back, and he put his finger over Montana, and he says I wish it said Militia of Sanders County. So that gave us a little hope. But what he’s trying to put together, and we’re working with him, starting with a number veterans and CCW carriers to be under him as his posse– and that’s the safest way to do it until the sheriff gains some ground here to know how to operate properly. And that’s why we’re [the Militia of Montana] sending him to this informational center. Sheriff Richard Mack is putting it on, and that should give you a clue of how well it will be organized…
Are the sheriffs going to actually go out and arrest those people who are under federal authority blocking the roads saying fine, my county, you’re going to jail–the roads are unblocked? Are they actually going to do that and, if so, somewhere along the road we’re going to have a confrontation.
Absolutely, that’s what its all headed to is a confrontation– better sooner than later.
…What happens next?
Federal agents come in to arrest the sheriff and take him away, charge with at least four felonies, under the federal law. But the sheriff knowing his rights doesn’t have to allow that to happen, and that’s where the posse comes in to defend the sheriff. He’s got to have people around him. Our sheriff is looking for at least 300 guys around here. We only have 9 active deputies and they’re not going to do much with all the federal whores that come in.
Presumably the “Tom” that Trochmann is talking about is Tom Rummel because he was the Sheriff at the time of this 2011 interview.
I hope I never get pulled over in Sanders County.