Watch out, Ohioans! The Oath Keepers are opening a store in a mall near YOU!
The Sentinel-Tribune reports that a store has been leased in a mall to sell survivalist gear, and presumably the Oath Keepers' message of good Christian cheer.
According to Michelle Beaverson of the Woodland Mall, three people signed the outpost’s lease. She noted, “there won’t be gun sales at the store because Dunham’s already sells guns (and there’s a noncompete agreement at the mall). This (store) is something new for Bowling Green.” The store is located between Queta’s Kitchen and the shuttered World Nail.
Nick Getzinger, state executive officer of the Ohio Oath Keepers, whose wife Tracy will be involved in running the outpost, notes that the store is not owned by, and is a separate entity from, the Oath Keeper organization. The Ohio Oath Keepers is a nonprofit organization.
Getzinger, who lives near Weston, was distributing fliers to mall stores on Thursday that explained who the Ohio Oath Keepers are and what their mission is. Among the key points Getzinger made were, “We are a non-partisan group of Christian Patriots for America. We support, uphold, and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.”
That certainly seems benign, doesn't it? They're just good Christians, selling good Christian things. Oh, and no guns, because there's a noncompete agreement. LOL.
This particular group denies that they are in any way, shape or form a militia group, choosing instead to characterize themselves as "civil defense."
In that spirit, they're planning a training summit at the mall (because it's cushier than the woods) to help all good Christian citizens learn how to be good non-militia members.
When asked why he thought Bowling Green and the Woodland Mall was an ideal spot for a future summit, Getzinger initially noted that Ohio has one of the largest military serving populations in the United States, and therefore has a high number of veterans.
“We had spoken about renting the space for the survival store, and the summit came up after the fact. We have three empty stores in the Woodland Mall, and I know there used to be gun shows here. Our plan is to utilize what is available in the mall. This is a very easy-to-access spot from I-75, Toledo, and the turnpike,” Getzinger said.
“The idea is to bring people into a decent area to conduct this (training summit). The mall is nice inside. Despite what some people might think, we don’t really like living out in the woods,” Getzinger joked.
However, there will be weapons, though possibly not openly carried at the summit.
When asked about the legality of the possibility of concealed carry occurring at the summit, Wasylyshyn noted that would be at the mall’s discretion.
“If you own a business, it’s the business’ discretion whether to allow CCW,” he said.
Well, then. That should make all those parents whose kids hang out at the mall on weekends feel much better, right?
And so it begins. There is nothing benign about the Oath Keepers. They are right-wing extremists with paranoid world views, who are about to open a storefront to mainstream those views.
Here's an observation from someone familiar with the Oath Keepers in that area:
— Mark Pitcavage (@egavactip) April 8, 2016