Every once in a while the problem, otherwise somewhat obscured, becomes clear as a bell. That is what happened when I watched this video.
Wild Bill seems to have some misunderstanding of what an oath is and to whom it is kept. The oath the Oathkeepers seem concerned with is not the one to the Constitution they pledged to on the day they assumed police powers and/or were given the tools of war; the one they swore to all of us, but rather the one on their website listing the 10 orders they will not obey.
Here is the problem (from their website):
1. We will NOT obey any order to disarm the American people.
Disarmament is not just the wholesale confiscation of weapons. A tyrannical force does not act in such a way that would cause a backlash. It doesn't have to. Rather, it is done incrementally, piece by piece. It is in the form of legislation against one type of firearm, then another, then who can own weapons and narrowing that pool to an insignificant few and disarming them. By then, brother, all is lost anyway.
2. We will NOT obey any order to conduct warrantless searches of the American people, their homes, vehicles, papers or effects. Such warrantless house-to-house searches for weapons or persons.
Warrantless searches go on day after day under the very noses, with complicity and even championed by the members of the police forces across the nation. It is done at DUI checkpoints, which detain and inconvenience many more law-abiding citizens than it snares drunk drivers. Any detention of a citizen uncharged with a crime is a violation of the Fourth Amendment, no matter how popular the purpose.
The encouragement now of black boxes being put in automobiles, the TSA's proposals to run checkpoints at interstate on-ramps, public transportation and the new use of drones is far beyond reasonable searches and seizures. Where there is no warrant, upon testimony and describing the specific places to be searched and items to be seized, there is a violation of the Fourth Amendment.
I have heard no uproar, no civil disobedience from Oathkeepers on any of these issues. If they have made them, they have not laid down the gauntlet. Instead, from these officers of the law, sworn to defend the Constitution of the United States, we have heard only cheers from their leadership and rank and file at the new powers to interdict offenders.
In the video, Wild Bill claims that we should be looking to build bridges to the Oathkeepers, while he denigrates "patriot groups" with a broad brush. None of us are looking to start a shooting war with law enforcement, or the military. Were the Oathkeepers to give us heart by their unwillingness to go along with the massive violations of rights undertaken since the passage of the Patriot Act, that bridge would have been built and well trodden by true patriots.
Ironically, patriot groups have gained a resurgence due to the actions of law enforcement and federal agents. Our eyes are vigilant in seeking the day when we, the citizens, are not the only resistance to the federal government run amok. We have, in every instance, stood with law enforcement where that meant following the Constitution, rather than orders from above.
Where law enforcement has taken a stand locally, as certain sheriffs have done, they have been applauded by the patriot/liberty communities.
We are citizens. We are ill prepared and ill equipped to mount any sort of resistance to a modern police force or military organization. It is not our role to step in front of loaded weapons and demand our rights be respected, that is done by the oath taken by those we have entrusted with the many tools of violence we have provided.
We recognize the futility of violence and have had to face some awful truths about our commitment to our rights. In every case, we die. Our only hope is that our deaths might illuminate the enormity of the issue.
The part I think Oathkeepers miss about the patriot/liberty communities is that our rights are not up to the majority, or modern thinking, or the whim of a judge, or the balance of the Supreme Court. Our rights, ably listed in the Bill of Rights, are individual and everlasting. Our rights do not mean one thing in one age and another in a modern age.
Every law passed by the legislature that has limited or restricted gun ownership is unconstitutional. It might be a good idea to keep guns out of the hands of lunatics, but it is not allowed under the Second Amendment. By restricting the right to keep and bear arms they have only disarmed those who would be the victim of a lunatic, allowing much more latitude for mayhem.
It might be a good idea to search every moving vehicle on every street travelling down a road late at night, but without a warrant, there is no justification under the Fourth Amendment to do so. Now, police departments around the nation salivate at the idea of having drones, traffic cameras and face-recognition software. Why? So that their surveillance can go on unrestrained and unchallenged.
If law enforcement has no reason to challenge me, specifically and with testimony that I have broken the law or am about to break the law, they have no justification for looking at me at all. The fact that most of this changed with the passage of the Patriot Act by a nation under duress in the heat of the moment of 9-11, means nothing, except that it was a point at which Oathkeepers should have stood up and refused to participate in illegal searches and seizures.
The very fact that the average citizen has no ally in the fight to abridge their rights, not the police, not the federal government, not the media and certainly not the military gives rise to those of us who have stopped looking for help and who understand that the obligation to stand for these rights has come to their door.
For us, Wild Bill, it is a no-win situation we would much rather not endure.