Sept. 5, 2002 Anchorage Daily News on arrival of militia leader on Kenai Peninsula

Posted: Monday, September 09, 2002

Alaska may soon have to cope with an outbreak of a different kind of hatred. Self-styled Michigan ''militia leader'' Norman Olson announced he is heading here to set up shop on the Kenai Peninsula. Apparently his compatriots in the Great Lakes State have gotten complacent and no longer ''shake the guns in the faces'' of bureaucrats and politicians. He presumes he will find a more hospitable reception here.

He won't. A stray misfit or two may rally to his banner, but real Alaskans don't threaten violence to advance their political views. While Alaskans certainly are well-armed, they are also patriotic citizens who know that the way to resolve political differences is through the democratic process.

Perhaps Mr. Olson doesn't mean it literally when he talks about shaking guns in people's faces. But there's no doubt he has the guns and wants to make the threat of violence seem real.

It may be tempting to dismiss him as a clown, a braggart, an impotent swashbuckler. But his call to arms, fueled by a hatred of government, puts real, live people in the crosshairs. It's not much of a leap from views like his to Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombing.

Mr. Olson, your militia act is not welcome here.

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