Gun Control – Clip – U S Troops Refused to Confiscate Guns during Katrina Martial Law

Current Events, Inspirational 2 Comments
From: Stewart of the Oath Keepers 
Date: Wed, May 14, 2010 
Subject: Katrina – Martial Law – Gun Confiscation, but not by Utah National Guard


Go Utah National Guard! – Refused to Confiscate Guns after Katrina Hurricane


We know that wholesale gun confiscation happened during Hurricane
Katrina. We watched the Chief of Police of New Orleans declare on
national television that "no one [no private citizen] will be able
to be armed, we're going to take all the weapons." We watched an
old lady being tackled in her own kitchen and disarmed.

In fact, that atrocious event was one of the reasons I started Oath
Keepers. But I also knew, from my service as an Army paratrooper,
that there are men and women of courage, honor, and integrity in
the military who would refuse to obey such orders. My goal with
Oath Keepers is simply to increase their numbers and harden their
resolve. But when it came to Katrina, we did not have concrete
proof that some said no – until now.

A Stand-Up Example from Katrina Emerges

This past week, on Friday May 14, 2010, I had the pleasure of
meeting and interviewing Staff Sergeant (SSG) Joshua L. May of the
Utah National Guard who told me how he, along with the other men
in his military intelligence unit, refused to participate in any
gun confiscation while deployed to assist during Hurricane Katrina
in 2005.

I finally discovered SSG May and his story only because after a
speech I gave in Logan Utah on May 13, 2010, a local resident,
Farley Anderson, walked up and told me about what SSG May had
done. Upon hearing of it, I knew I just had to talk to him, so I had
Mr. Anderson track down SSG May's number and I called him at 11pm
and invited him to breakfast the next morning. Until that night,
SSG May hadn't even heard of Oath Keepers (which is ironic since he
is a shining example of an oath keeper). We met for the first time
that next morning, Friday, May 14, 2010. During breakfast, SSG May
told me his story, and then I asked him if we could go outside and
do a video interview in the restaurant parking lot. He agreed that
his story needed to be told and the below video is the result.

Part 1 of 5:
YouTube Preview Image

This is the first of five parts to that interview we have now posted
on YouTube. This first ten minute segment contains SSG May's main
statement of how, while deployed to assist during Hurricane Katrina,
he, along with the majority of the men in his unit, informed their
commander that they would not under any circumstances participate
in gun confiscation.

Part 2 of 5:
YouTube Preview Image

Part 3 of 5:
YouTube Preview Image

Part 4 of 5:
YouTube Preview Image

Part 5 of 5:
YouTube Preview Image

But I urge you to watch the other three parts which contain further
details of SSG May's experience in New Orleans, how he and his
unit interacted with armed citizens who were simply defending
their property (including a great story of his encounter with
a former paratrooper bar owner who let it be known that NO ONE,
not the President himself, was getting his guns), more details on
how the chain of command reacted to the unit's refusal, what SSG
May thinks of the use of active duty Army during Katrina, about
his experiences in Iraq and how they reinforced his commitment to
enforcing the Second Amendment, and what he thinks about his oath
and the Constitution. SSG May is indeed a shining example of what it
means to honor the oath, and it is important to know that he was not
alone then, and is not alone today. There are many, many other "SSG
May's" out there. The mission of Oath Keepers is simply to increase
their numbers and improve their understanding of the Constitution.

Tipping the Scales on the Side of the Constitution and the Rights
of the People

As I have said from the day I founded Oath Keepers, we know
that some will "just follow orders." That is clear from the sad
history of the human race, and that is also clear from our own
history. The internment of Japanese Americans during World War
II shows that reality. And in the modern context, the result of
LCDR Guy Cunningham's 1994 Twentynine Palms Combat Arms Survey
provided additional sobering evidence, since 26.2% of the Marines
polled answered either "agree" or "strongly agree" when asked in
the infamous Question 46 if they would fire on American citizens
who resisted attempts at gun confiscation. And as already noted,
what happened during Katrina shows that some will actually follow
even such a clearly unlawful, unconstitutional order. And that is
why I started this organization – to do my utmost to keep it from
happening again.

However, I also know beyond a doubt that there are men and women
of honor, deep courage, and true devotion to the Constitution in
service who would refuse to obey such orders. I know this because
I served with some of them. The men I served with in the Airborne
infantry would have been as willing to forfeit their lives or
liberty by refusing such orders as they were willing to give their
lives in combat.

And I know that there are still, to this day, many people of such
honor, courage, and devotion in the military. The number of Bronze
and Silver stars, and even Congressional Medals of Honor, being
awarded today are a testament to the fact that this nation still
has many young lions (and lionesses) of great courage in service.

Army Spc. Monica Brown, Medic with 82nd Airborne. Awarded Silver
Star for courage under fire during ambush in Afghanistan. She
saved the lives of wounded soldiers by treating them while under
enemy gunfire, by dragging them to safety under enemy fire, and by
shielding them with her own body during a mortar attack. They have
the courage. They just need the knowledge.

Enough of them have the courage to do what is right if they know
what is right. The only question I have is whether enough of them
have the necessary knowledge of the Constitution and of their
obligations under the oath to stop another Katrina or worse
from happening. Courage without knowledge is insufficient. A
brave man or woman without knowledge and understanding of the
Constitution can be tricked into becoming a tool of oppression
over fellow Americans. Knowledge without courage and integrity is
also insufficient (which is why I don't waste my time with most
lawyers and politicians – they have amply demonstrated their lack
of either). It takes both courage and knowledge. When a person,
such as SSG May, has both, watch out! That one person can and will
make a difference far beyond what the cynical conventional wisdom
would have you believe is possible, just as SSG May did. He proves
the cynics, who contend that all in the military will always just
follow orders, wrong.

I have long said that it is simply a reflection of human nature
that in an average military unit, at any time in history, there
will likely be some who will just follow orders (sometimes with
bloodthirsty gusto), and there will be some who will not follow
unlawful orders under any circumstances (provided they understand
the orders are unlawful), and then there will be those in the middle
who'll just go whichever way the wind blows. Again, the results of
LCDR Cunningham's survey reflect this. 26.2% said they would fire
on fellow Americans. But 12.0 percent said they "had no opinion"
about that question (how could someone have no opinion about such a
question?). The good news is that 42.3 percent answered that they
"strongly disagreed" and 19.3 percent "disagreed." So, there was
a strong split in opinions, with those disagreeing in the majority.

The whole point of Oath Keepers, its prime mission, is to increase
the number of service members who are awake, knowledgeable about the
Constitution, and committed to saying "hell no!" and thus tip the
scales on the side of those who have both the courage and knowledge
to not go along. Those who blow with the wind will then side with
right, and any possible psychopaths and blind followers will be
significantly outnumbered and will be suppressed.

And it bears repeating that a man in the ranks like SSG May, a
man who has been awakened to the awesome responsibility of his
oath and who has become a student of the Constitution, can tip
the scales on the side of justice and the Constitution in ways
that mere numbers can never quantify. Such a man is a moral and
morale force multiplier. SSG May's story bears this out. He became
a teacher and an inspiration to others, and he was the solid rock
of resolve that they gathered round and drew strength from when
taking their stand. Yes, the majority were in agreement with him
(and I'll bet he certainly helped them see the light) but I think
it was his unshakable resolve that helped the others actually take
a firm stand. Perhaps if he had not been there, another would have
sounded off loudly that the gun confiscation was flat wrong and
that he would not do it. Perhaps another would have stepped up to
be the spokesman for the others to go tell the commander they would
refuse if given that order. But perhaps not. Regardless, one man can
make a difference and there can be no doubt that SSG May's presence
helped tip the scales on the side of refusing to obey any orders
to confiscate guns. And he made it into a preemptive refusal. He
did not wait until the orders were actually given. With him leading
the way, the men made it clear in advance that they would not comply.

SSG May, way back in 2005, was a stellar oath keeper long before
Oath Keepers the organization even existed. The oath – and the
obligation that goes with it – is as old as the Constitution
itself. We here at Oath Keepers certainly did not invent it. The
Founders invented it. And they put that requirement right in the
Constitution, in Article VI. We at Oath Keepers merely do our small
part in honoring the oath by doing our best, to the utmost extent of
our powers (as the motto of my Airborne unit put it) to make sure
there are more SSG Mays out there. Just as SSG May was awakened by
another National Guardsman who made him realize he did not have a
sufficient understanding of the Constitution to adequately keep his
oath, we strive to wake up as many current serving as we can to the
fundamental necessity of understanding and studying the Constitution
if they are to keep their oath to defend it. You can't defend it if
you don't know it. I firmly believe that it is possible to reach,
teach, and inspire enough of the current serving to provide a
tipping point on the side of the Constitution and on the side of
the rights of the people when future unconstitutional orders come
down the chain of command. We can do it.

And now we have SSG May's stellar real world example from Katrina
itself to show the way for others. In honor of SSG May's stand,
I am nominating him for the Oath Keepers 2010 Current Serving
Military of the Year award, and I am nominating his unit for a
counterpart award for Unit of the Year for their stand during
Katrina. I can't imagine a better example coming to light between
now and our national Oath Keepers Conference in October, so I look
forward to presenting both those awards.

We hear so much bad news nearly every day that it is wonderful to
have such a great piece of good news. So, take heart, and remember,
with each and every current serving military, police, or emergency
personnel you talk to, with each brochure, pocket Constitution,
or copy of The 5000 Year Leap handed out, you never know what
effect you have, like ripples in a pond going out from one cast
pebble. Your one act of outreach, teaching, or inspiration could
reach far into the future to a crucial moment in history, into the
hearts and minds of key men and women who may just be in place to
take a pivotal and historic stand. Now go out and make more SSG Mays!

For the Republic,

Stewart Rhodes

Founder of Oath Keepers

PS- Seeing as how this story was unknown to the public and untold
until I happened to meet SSG May, there well may be other individuals
or units, either military or police, who likewise refused to take
part in any gun confiscation during Katrina. Please ask around
through your contacts, and keep a sharp eye and ear out for any more
such accounts. And if you were there, and know of other examples,
it is time to speak up and let it be known. Forward email

"A free people claim their rights
as derived from the laws of nature,
and not as the gift of their chief
–Thomas Jefferson


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Read the "About RJ" page for more information.


  1. Don Barnett May 30, 2010 at 5:34 PM

    I have been in many discussions with family and friends about what the military especially the Guard would do if we the citizens here in america were literally attacked by our government. I took that same oath back in 1967 and it stuck. I will defend my country even today as that oath still rings loudly in my heart. My fear is that we are surely going to have to depend on the military to know that constitution and stand with the American people and push back a marxist government that is attempting to destroy our way of life.

    Thank you SSG May, I appreciate what you do!

    • RJ May 30, 2010 at 9:18 PM

      There is much that is going on and that has been going on that we have not been aware of. I think that most Americans will support and defend the U S Constitution. There are many examples of how the States are still tied to England and the Money Bankster Thugs. I think we ought to choose our battles carefully. I think that Americans will support and defend the Declaration of Independence. The Constitution was designed to bind Government Servants. The Declaration defines that Law in America and our Rights come from God. I would rather submit to God and His laws than any writ by the Legislature and this Constitution. I do my best to share these details, as well as I can. May God Bless America!

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