By David Codrea
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- Mike Vanderboegh passed away peacefully early Wednesday following a long and devastating illness.
The Sipsey Street Irregulars blogger, self-described “smuggler” and patriot was perhaps best known as the founder of the Three Percent movement, and as a citizen journalist who first reported on a link between the murder of a Border Patrol agent and ATF’s criminal Fast and Furious “gunwalking” operation.
As a longtime friend and colleague, and as one who has reported on Mike’s deteriorating health and urged supporters to return value for value received in his time of need, it’s probably expected for me to say something profound about this man who had been such a great influence on my own work over the years. Hell, I expect it of myself.
But the truth is, Mike wasn’t about being praised. He believed in letting the work and the ideas speak for themselves.
True, the man had a strong (some would say “cantankerous” at times) personality. But underlying it was a calling – I don’t know what else you’d call it – and fierce devotion for the truth. It was seeing others ignore that truth – particularly when doing so for gain at the expense and abuse of others – that brought his unyielding sense of justice to the fore.
It’s also true he could at times be impulsive in his response to perceived injustices. There are more affronts to liberty and wrongs to right than any of us could hope to even hear about, let alone do anything about. When one came across Mike’s transom, he was on it like a pit bull, even if already overburdened – and that tendency was something he would not ease up on until the weakness of the flesh stripped him of any choice – and even then he would do what he could to defy.
Where do I begin with a synopsis of all the areas where Mike’s efforts, knowledge, insights, talents and will made a real difference? It’s a bit like coming up with acknowledgments — I’m sure I’ll be forgetting some that others who were touched by the man’s work believe deserve being emphasized.
We’ve already mentioned Fast and Furious: Seeing as how contemporary recognition for his achievements has not been forthcoming (it’s not like establishment media ever wanted to actually dig into that and the guy isn’t even mentioned in the Wikipedia entry), those will need to be the province of historians.
Perhaps the best place to start is with our Journalist’s Guides in which we attempted to influence widespread deliberate indifference, now relegated to the Wayback Machine Internet Archive, awaiting rediscovery or obscurity depending on how history works out. Another (surprisingly) fair synopsis was published a few years back on BuzzFeed.
We shouldn’t overlook Mike’s proud affinity for ”patriotic resistance” smuggling, bringing “banned” magazines into states like Connecticut, Colorado and Washington, and his leadership in the new (old, actually, just not something the rice bowl gun groups have vested interests in promoting) paradigm of the “I will not comply” movement.
We could talk about Mike’s leadership in the militia movement (he was a consulting authority for and subject of Prof. Robert H. Churchill’s “To Shake Their Guns in the Tyrant’s Face.”) We could reflect on his work getting to the hidden truths behind the Oklahoma City bombing, and his investigation into the cover-up behind the related murder of Kenneth Trentadue.
We could look at some of the individuals and groups that earned Mike’s wrath and contempt over the years, but there’s no point in naming names in a memorial. Suffice it to say he was proud to have earned reciprocal scorn, adhering to a maxim by colleague Kurt Hofmann:
“I believe that being despised by the despicable is as good as being admired by the admirable.”
Ultimately what drove Mike was evident in a fundamental question he posed continuously on his blog:
Does The Government Serve The People Or Do The People Serve The Government?
He knew what the answer to that question should be, but was also driven to ensure that those who called themselves “Three Percenters’ were committed to the principles of the movement he founded. Even while he knew his end was near, he was doing everything he could to emphasize the importance of his Three Percent Catechism, and to lay out his vision for those of us carrying on after him in his Valediction.
I could go on – I started this unsure of where it would lead and how to even frame things, and there are plenty of anecdotes about experiences and conversations that could be shared, but the truth is, it’s time for me to go and spend some quiet time reflecting on the loss of my friend, and dealing with a growing sadness that had to be kept at bay while there was this necessary task to be done.
Please join me in sending prayers and love to Mike’s family, his steadfast wife Rosey, his beautiful, strong daughters Hannah and Zoe, his capable and knowledgeable son and blog heir Matthew, and his wonderful mother, now facing a loss no parent should ever have to.
UPDATE: I just spoke with his daughter.
Services will be Saturday at 2 p.m., Kilgroe Funeral Home, 1750 Ashville Rd., Leeds, AL 35094.
The family requests in lieu of flowers donations be made to the American Cancer Society.
- A Patriot has passed on today.
- Longtime militia and ‘Patriot’ leader Mike Vanderboegh dies at 64
- Mike’s last interview.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.
In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.