Michigan Militia plans ‘open carry’ gun tea party to ‘take the stigma out of the word militia.’

Michigan Militia tea partyThis Saturday, on April 10, the Michigan Militia plans to host a tea party “open carry” gun rally. The Militia, which is a successor to the violent anti-government Michigan Militias of the mid-’90s, has come under criticism since the FBI raids of the Hutaree, a Michigan-based Christian militia that had planned to murder police officers. The Michigan Militia cooperated with the FBI to arrest the Hutaree and claimed that although they “had occasional contacts with the Hutaree militia,” they “had never trained with them.” Mike Lackomar, a spokesman for the militia, defended the planned “open carry” rally and again tried to distance himself from the Hutaree:

This event primarily tries to take the stigma out of the word ‘militia,’ and provide information on what we are and who we are,” Lackomar said. “It lets people meet us and see what we’re all about.” […] “I want it to be perfectly clear,” Lackomar said. “(The Hutaree) are not us, and we are not them, and we did not agree with their philosophy.”

However, according to their own website, the Michigan Militia boasts of being joined by their “friends” in the Hutaree shortly before leaving their training session to eat fajitas back in 2007. In a photo gallery published by the Michigan Militia in 2008 (now deleted), they posted pictures of the Hutaree with the caption: “Like ghosts through the woods, The Hutaree close on their objective.” The tea parties, anti-government militia groups, and far right elements of the Republican Party are slowly merging. Gun right advocates are planning rallies on the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing around the country, with even Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) slated to speak at one of the events.