My Turn by Rick Johnson: About Oath Keepers

Published 12:06 am Monday, December 15, 2014

By Rick Johnson

My phone has been ringing consistently since the Ferguson riots started. It seems the Oath Keepers organization being seen on multiple national news outlets.   Because of the large amount of disinformation being presented I submit the following information concerning our organization. 

Primarily, we are a non-partisan association of current and formerly serving military members, police officers and first responders who pledge to fulfill their oath to “Defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

Our main objective is to educate the public on our Constitution, its history and our Constitutional rights.

The sworn oath, mandated by Article VI of the Constitution itself, is to the Constitution, not to the politicians or the sitting president.  Oath Keepers declare that they will not obey unconstitutional orders.  An example would be an order to disarm the American people, to conduct warrantless searches, or to detain Americans as “enemy combatants” in violation of their ancient right to a jury trial.

Let me say this very bluntly, we are not a militia, unless you use the definition provided by our founding fathers.  This is not well known to the general public. 

“I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.”  — George Mason, in Debates in Virginia Convention on
Ratification of the Constitution
, Elliot, Vol. 3, 
June 16, 1788

“The militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves, … all men capable of bearing arms;…”  — “Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republic”, 1788 (either Richard Henry Lee or Melancton Smith).

The founders declared that the “whole of the people” are the militia.  When together with others in a situation requiring a defensive response, we have the duty to act together in concert to meet the challenge. In times of a natural disaster (i.e. Katrina) individuals may be required to defend their local communities and to help with disaster response.  Obviously it is our duty to prepare and not wait until the danger is “clear and present”. 

We believe the county sheriff is the highest law enforcement agent in the county.   The office of the sheriff has a honorable history dating back thousands of years.  The county sheriff is the only elected law enforcement official in America.  They are the last line of defense for the county citizen. They are the people’s protector and keeper of the peace.  The county sheriff is the guardian of liberty and the protector of our rights.  They are only answerable to the people of the county.

We will stand with the sheriff as long as all of their actions are constitutional and not against our God given civil rights.

Our meetings are public and we are open to everyone.   During our meetings we normally have a discussion on a variety of different subjects. 

We have members who constantly keep up with legislation being considered at all levels of government.   This information is passed on to our members and neighbors during our meetings and on social media.

We believe our members should be involved in school board meetings and county commissioner meetings in order to keep our local government honest and in line with the Constitution of the United States and the North Carolina Constitution.   

We have classes for preparedness in case of natural.  Many of our members are involved with the Rowan County Civilian Emergency Response Teams.  In addition, we have a good number of our members who are licensed in amateur radio (HAM) operations (the Rowan Amateur Radio Society). 

For our members, we have classes which teach survival techniques during a disaster. There are classes in water purification, alternative communications, fire building, temporary shelters and lodging, food preparation (canning, dehydration and storage), firearm safety, hunting, fishing and more.

We believe, in times of emergencies, each neighborhood should be able to take care of itself until outside help can arrive.  We have learned from past experience that the government is often slow to react and inadequate to meet the emergency needs of the community. 

The Constitution is the bedrock of the Republic.  We will not let it be destroyed. 

If you would like more information, please visit our web site


Rick Johnson is the founder of Rowan Oath Keepers.