When OK2A President, Don Spencer; spoke to a civic group last month, he summed up his group's civic engagement strategy with this phrase;
“We win at the ballot box, so we don’t have to go to the ammo box.”
That pledge seems to have had an opposite effect on State Senator Lonnie Paxton (R-Blanchard). Paxton is now the public safety committee chairman in the Oklahoma senate. It's a powerful position which allows Paxton a dictator's role to kill any bill assigned to his committee, without so much as a vote. Paxton completely controls the committee agenda of the committee.
The pledge made by Don Spencer evokes the spirit of the 1770s in colonial North America, where citizens spent years seeking protection of their rights under the UK's Magna Carta, only to see parliament and King George oppress the colonies even more.
Some powerful lawmakers seek a docile public who will never pose a threat of revolt, no matter how severe their rights are ignored.
In 1775, it was the King's military mission to confiscate the New England militia's gun powder, which sparked the first colonial bloodshed at Lexington.
Despite the act of war against the colonies, The Continental Congress waited until the next year, to formally secede from the British crown's rule. The patient effort to secure human rights was given full opportunity before the colonies seceded.
The primary author of that declaration of independence, Thomas Jefferson; later told other patriots that liberty will, from time to time; inevitably turn violent, in order to convince stubborn tyrants that the people will value liberty ahead of tranquility.
Jefferson remained a diplomate, having taken his commission in 1776 to be the US ambassador to France.
It was 11 years later, still in France on behalf of the USA, that Jefferson published his 'Tree of Liberty' axiom.
It was Jefferson who would later put down international piracy on the high seas. Jefferson knew the fundamental difference between lawless thuggery and defense of individual and common liberty.
The world needs more leaders preaching liberty and human rights. Both Spencer and Paxton need to emulate Jefferson's passion and principles for broad public policy for securing those liberties our forefathers bled and died for. Went bankrupt for. Suffered displacement for.
But right now, Spencer looks a lot more like Jefferson than Paxton does.
".. if they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty.
Paxton instead, went public with this message..
“Incendiary comments like this could push someone that might be unstable over the edge, resulting in physical attacks on elected members of the Legislature, Congress, or even local officials like city council and school board members.”
" I will always support thoughtful, responsible legislation that protects Second Amendment rights, but individuals in leadership positions have a responsibility of not enflaming an already volatile political environment."
“Don Spencer’s rhetoric is not new. He has been vocally critical of legislators who do not follow his exact lead but calling for pulling out the ammo box as a way to deal with non-compliant legislators is a new low,” Paxton said. “As a state Senator and chair of the Senate Public Safety Committee, I am calling for OK2A to remove Don Spencer as executive director of this important organization. As the leader of OK2A, his shameful and dangerous comments will result in the loss of his credibility and the ability to advance OK2A’s agenda in the Public Safety Committee. I also call on fellow legislators to join me in publicly condemning his comments.”
It seems to beg the question of Paxton's paranoia? Why would a mini-dictator in the senate be worried? Is it because he can kill any bill without a committee hearing or vote? If that undemocratic tactic is a planned strategy of Paxton... should he be worried?
Paxton's Senate District 23 includes most of Western Canadian County, and continues south past Chickasha. But voters will not get to express their views of Paxton at this fall's ballot box. Paxton is not on the senate ballot until 2024. Which may explain why Paxton feels emboldened to attack the leader of one of the state's most active and effective citizen rights groups. Regarding Paxton's safety, the senator is part of the team which affirmed rules and laws which allow senators to carry any and all weapons into the State Capitol building, but ban any citizen of the constitutional right to 'keep and bear arms in public places. Obviously, the senate doesn't see the capitol as 'the peoples' house'. Instead, they see it as their privileged house where they protect their rights while denying our rights.
A person who holds a generalized fear of his fellow citizens, tells me more about his potential abuse of power. Could Paxton be 'projecting' his own dangerous disposition?
So why is Paxton acting so paranoid? Don Spencer has an impeccable record of lawful conduct and he's an effective firearms instructor to thousands who continue to be trained by him.
A member of the Board of Directors for OK2A, which Don Spencer answers to; issued this public response to Paxton's attack on Spencer..
Comments that were made by Mr. Spencer, about a month ago, paraphrasing Founding Fathers quotes is not a violation of ethics for the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association and should not be misconstrued as, in any way, inciting anyone to any type of violence.
Don Spencer has consistently promoted respectful engagement with legislators on both sides of the political aisle and routinely works through the political process in order to enact pro Second Amendment and other liberty issue legislation for the betterment of all Oklahomans.”