By Justin Elliott
A group of nearly 200 “extremely concerned citizens” in a small Montana county are demanding that local leaders fill out a “questionnaire” pledging to form a local militia, prohibit mandatory vaccinations, boot the EPA out of town, allow citizens to bear any type of gun, and require federal government employees to get written approval before approaching “any Citizen.”
Organized in part by a group called Celebrating Conservatism, which is lead by a woman who quit the state GOP after complaining of “fake” Republicans, the questionnaire was presented this week to the county commissioners and sheriff of Ravalli County, according to the local Republic newspaper.
Celebrating Conservatism’s worldview appears to be rooted in the militia movement. Last year it hosted Jack McLamb, head of the Idaho-based Police and Military Against the New World Order, which agitates against “world government rule.”
Ravalli County, population 35,000, sits about an hour south of Missoula in southwestern Montana.
The Ravalli questionnaire, which you can read here, demands that local officials pledge:
- To form and command a county militia of all citizens 18 or older. However, it adds: “Note: Women must serve, but not in a combat capacity unless the men are in danger of being overrun.”
- “To absolutely prohibit all efforts, Federal, State or city, that infringe upon the right to keep and bear arms including the requirement to have a permit to carry a concealed weapon and restrictions on the kinds of weapons one may possess and carry, eg., fully automatic, silenced, length of barrel, length of blade, opening mechanism of a knife, etc.”
- To require federal employees to obtain written permission from the sheriff before approaching local citizens.
- “To prohibit mandatory vaccinations.”
- To prohibit federal employees from collecting census information beyond the number of adults in each home.
- To block all Environmental Protection Agency employees from entering the country. (We should note here that the editor of the Republic tells us he knows of no EPA activity in the county.)
- “To use the term ‘peace officer’ in lieu of the current law enforcement officer.'”
Robert Gairing of Stevensville, a town south of Missoula, told the Republic “we need to know definitively whether or not our public officials will defend their oath and our constitutional rights and be willing to take positive constitutional action on our behalf.”
Reached today by TPMmuckraker, Gairing, who helped compose the questionnaire, said he decided to stop talking to media because “it’s way too complicated to give justice to in an interview.” He added that no elected offiicals have filled out the questionnaire yet.