Sonny Shilling an "Oath Keeper," and a high school classmate. He is ready to defend the Constitution as a member of the loosely defined 'Patriot Movement.' (Photo: Sonny Shilling/Facebook)

Sonny Shilling an “oath keeper,” and I attended the same high school. He is ready to defend the Constitution as a member of the loosely defined ‘Patriot Movement.’ (Photo: Sonny Shilling/Facebook)

Editor’s Note: Like everyone else, I have been curious about what’s going on inside the heads of members of the so-called “Patriot Movement,” that band of brothers who believe they know the Constitution better than anyone and are ready to defend their beliefs with an armed rebellion, if it comes to that.

It’s not just Muslim extremists they’re worried about, slipping into the country and causing havoc; it’s the federal government, or more precisely the Obama Administration.

They believe the Obama administration is Muslim-inspired and determined to create a Soviet-style communist government in the United States. Nearly every move by the government is greeted with paranoia and suspicion.

And, they have no qualms about advocating the violent overthrow of the U.S. government in the name of the Constitution.

As it turns out, I went to high school with a very vocal member of the Patriot Movement, at least on my Facebook page. So the next time he posted a hate-filled message, I decided to ask him about his beliefs.

What follows is a verbatim conversation, which was joined by several other “Patriots.”

The following remark and video started the conversation. The order of some responses were changed slightly to preserve the logical consistency of the conversation. Otherwise, everything appears unedited:

Sonny Shilling:

Keith Girard: I know, it’s not like we have a bunch of yahoos with guns here taking over a federal wildlife refuge and threatening to kill anyone who tries to stop them…

Sonny Shilling: Oh please, give me a break. There has been no threats unless threatened. I don’t condone how they did it, but I support why they did.

Sonny Shilling: Why don’t you look into the facts before you state fiction?

Keith Girard at Sonny Shilling: Honestly, isn’t “no threats unless threatened” the same as “kill anyone who tries to stop them?” How else could they be threatened unless someone tries to forcibly remove them? They’ve already been asked to leave peaceably by everyone who lives there, (they don’t) including the sheriff. But they’ve refused. That’s not terrorism?

Sonny Shilling: My statement has nothing to do with Oregon. If you support these people that kill, rape, and destroy you are just as bad as they are. They will be stopped!

Sonny Shilling: They will be stopped by whatever means necessary. You are such a liberal hypocrite. You belong with them

Keith Girard: Well, I’m just drawing comparisons between lawlessness. The point is when you agree with the motives behind lawlessness, it’s upholding the Constitution. When you don’t it’s terrorism. I think the groups in Oregon and Germany should both be arrested and prosecuted.

Keith Girard: Obviously you disagree. So who is the hypocrite?

Sonny Shilling: My last word to you: You better get use to American Patriots taking our country back that so many died to protect. That is a promise and already in the making.

Keith Girard: Right, that’s my point… taking it back from whom?

Sonny Shilling: Islamic radicals that are already here with 28 training camps that is known. Mosques that have weapons and explosives in their basements and tunnels. Why do you hink they have that? One reason only. That is who we are taking it back from.

Chase Camper: Taking it back from whom?? Look around you and ask yourself that question

Chase Camper: Soon. There will be no asking. Just taking.

Sonny Shilling: Right on. Chase.

Dave Braithwaite: Keith, were you born ignorant or did you have to work on it? Not a problem for you to be so careless with our security. Such a pity that men like Sonny and I put our lives on the line for yours. So stick the hypocrisy bull up your ass.

Keith Girard: Well, I’m just trying to understand your point of view… because I thought every “law abiding” citizen had the right to own guns, and run around in the woods playing war.

Chase Camper: There’s a big difference here, Keith Girard. Who we are taking our country back from are those who rape, kill, behead all in the name of Allah. As well as others who try to go around the constitution. The constitution in which we swore to defend

Dave Braithwaite: So Keith, what was your service to our once great nation? I am trying to understand your irresponsible point of view.

Keith Girard: Well, that’s neither here nor there, but if you must know I covered the invasion of Grenada as a war correspondent, was raised in a military family, saw the fathers of my best friends killed in Vietnam, covered the war in Nicaragua, was embedded with the 29th Light Infantry Division in both Maryland and California in anticipation of a U.S. invasion of Nicaragua, covered the first gulf war for CNN and wrote a book about the role of the Marines in Desert Storm, which sold more than 50,000 copies.

Keith Girard: Sorry, they were the only wars we had at the time,

Sonny Shilling: Damn I know now why I never liked you in school. I figured you for a coward, someone we had to protect. You’re a disgrace for the men and women who fought and lost their lives to protect your sorry ass.

Keith Girard: I’m just trying to understand where you are coming from with your point of view. As for being a coward, thanks for the personal attack, Sonny. I would never call you that, even though you’re the one living in fear, not me.

Randy Allen: I don’t think any of us is living in fear I think we’re living in reality.

Michael A Kohrt: The government is the one disregarding our constitution. If you can’t see this, then you’re stupid. You can’t fix stupid! Wonder why obama never said anything about the sailors Iran took.

Dave Braithwaite: May as well worked for pravda, comrade. Most here are not Lenin fans like you, comrade journalist.

Keith Girard: Right, that’s why I’m baffled. This sounds like we’re talking about American democracy here, not communism.

Dave Braithwaite: There is no democracy in the media. Only leftist anti-American spin.

Sonny Shilling: Were you a protester, against any of those wars that you were reporting about. I know correspondents that reported against the wars. I bet you loved Jane Fonda in Vietnam, didn’t you?

Sonny Shilling: Just because you had military in your family, that makes you military? Just a military brat in my book.

Keith Girard: Well, I wouldn’t be there with the troops if I was a protester. And they wouldn’t have accepted me if I was. Doesn’t mean I was a toady for the brass. I was there for the troops. Read my book, it’s in the Library of Congress. Let’s put it this way: I may have not been military, but believe me I know the military.

Dave Braithwaite: Oh, you were there for the Cuban troops. Makes sense now.

Keith Girard: Personal attacks just show the weakness of your arguments.

Dave Braithwaite: Personal attacks? Like the ones you tossed about? I guess you have no idea how inflationary your discussion is? Not buying it, comrade journalist.

Keith Girard: I’m just trying to have a discussion.

Sonny Shilling: No thanks, I’ll pass. Then why are you so against patriots standing up for the constitution which is being taken away from us? Why do you say that the veterans that are tired of what Obama is doing to this country is running around the woods playing with guns?

Chase Camper: You and your arguments are a bit outnumbered.

Keith Girard: I never said I was against “patriots.” I’m honestly just trying to understand where you’re coming from. I’m against lawlessness no matter where it comes from.

Sonny Shilling: There are many of us that will bear arms against terrorist foreign and domestic that includes government terrorism.

Keith Girard at Chase Camper: I’m sure they are …. here. That’s OK. I want to hear a wide range of opinion.

Dave Braithwaite: So you can cherry pick an twist the opinions, go away comrade.

Keith Girard at Dave Braithwaite: Actually it’s inflammatory, but I get it. So what are you saying, you are intolerant, you don’t believe you have to justify your actions to anyone? Because YOU and a few like-minded individuals believe something it’s true. Not that you can’t have your own opinions.

Keith Girard at Dave Braithwaite: Not at all, I ask a question, you respond with a personal attack. That’s not an answer.

Keith Girard: You call names, that’s basically juvenile. But that’s OK. That says something about your character and personality, too.

Chase Camper: Describe to me, your view on what lawlessness is.

Sonny Shilling: Keith, you might not want to go there with Dave.

Sonny Shilling: He is very knowledgeable on this subject.

Dave Braithwaite: Because your question was bullshit, comrade. It was worded to invoke a negative response.

Sonny Shilling: What is your definition of lawlessness, Keith?

Dave Braithwaite to Keith: Strikes me as the sort of guy who sees Orwell’s 1984 as an instruction manual and not a warning as it was intended.

Keith Girard: Well that’s actually a reasonable question. Let’s see what we agree on.

1. We all support the Constitution.

2. The Constitution provides for a system of government based on the rule of law, and majority vote.

3. The MAJORITY has voted and not only elected Obama but re-elected him. Voters have also elected every member of Congress. I know the political system isn’t perfect, but that’s what our Constitution provides.

4. The Constitution makes it a crime to advocate the violent overthrow of the government.

5. The Constitution does not grant the right of citizens to overthrow the government. That’s actually from the Declaration of Independence.

6. The Constitution, not the Declaration, is the Law of the Land.

Keith Girard: It’s like this, you obviously know military doctrine and international law. So let me ask you this question: When is a military blockade legal? Never, unless it’s effective. Same with war and rebellion. When is a rebellion legitimate? When it’s successful. Otherwise, you’re just a bunch of criminals. That’s not my view that’s the law. What were Germany’s generals during World War II? Heroes. What were they afterward? War Criminals. I think you get the drift.

Dave Braithwaite: The founders advocated violent overthrow of a government when it becomes destructive to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Keith Girard: So while I appreciate your patriotism, who, what exactly are you loyal to? I sounds to me like you’re advocating the violent overthrow of the government. Not a good thing.

Dave Braithwaite: This government was never intended to be a source of free stuff that was stolen from the labor of others.

Sonny Shilling: The electoral votes put him in office not the people. The congress can never come together to an agreement on anything to get

Keith Girard: I see, your approval over the will of the government, which was elected not once but twice by the MAJORITY of voters based on a system of government that’s been in place for 200 years. But isn’t that treason?

Ryan Sawyer to Keith Girard: We the people own it. I give my approval to use it so that wipes out your lame ass comment.

Dave Braithwaite: Interesting, the group in Oregon, was blasted as being violent thugs in the media. Once they started talking to the government they were mocked as pussies. Interesting that a group of them paid a visit to the FBI hq just down the road and shook hands with the FBI yet it never made the news…

Sonny Shilling: The government is stripping us of the constitution, going around congress, and signing unlawful executive orders. He was aiding the terrorist with arms which is treason, and did not support our troops in Benghazi do. Need to go on?

Keith Girard to Dave Braithwaite, Sonny Shilling: Right, You must be talking about George Bush. His tax cuts robbed the poor and middle class of TRILLIONS and gave it to the rich. Bush, by the way was the only president in history to be elected without winning the popular vote. Obama won both the popular vote and the Electoral College twice.

Sonny Shilling: Again electoral votes put him there. I can see you are an obama supporter which is your right but not a smart one!

Keith Girard to Sonny Shilling: Have you ever heard of the bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beirut in 1983? Nobody wanted to impeach Reagan over that, but it was a far worse security lapse than Benghazi. Sounds like a double standard to me. Believe me Obama has a team of Constitutional lawyers telling him what to do. Laws and executive orders are only illegal after a judge says so. Seems to me you’re taking the law into your own hands.

Dave Braithwaite to Keith Girard: Spoken like a true socialist Comrade, but we never questioned that he wanted the best for the USA. Obama and his supporters directly worked against the best interests of the USA. Funny it is not Putin, but rather the American left who want the USSR back. You guys want it here on this continent.

Sonny Shilling: Those people are the puppets he put there to get what he wants, he sure has you fooled that’s for sure.

Charles Greer: more like rapemurderandpillage-ugees. Ready to administer the solution, though?

Sonny Shilling: I will take the law into my own hands when its against the “We The People” Constitution! You damn right!!!

Enrique Nieto: That would not happen here…

Ron Seidel: Libtards don’t want you to stand up for Constitutional rights. … until they are gone…or it means no more govt. handouts to them… but it would be too late by then to do anything…. Sonny your right … let the blind go…. they can’t see the light…. and won’t till its too late.

Sonny Shilling: Roger that Ron. One day he will be begging for our help to protect him. What’s sad is, I would.

Ron Seidel: I know same here….. to those who never went over there ….We’ve seen them …up close… and know their agenda.

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