Tea party leaders in Oklahoma and some conservative members of the state legislature are calling for the creation of a private volunteer militia because they say the federal government is overstepping its powers.
Tonight on 360°, Anderson will talk with one of the politicians who supports the plan. He's State Sen. Randy Brogdon, who is also running for governor. "The Second Amendment deals directly with the right of an individual to keep and bear arms to protect themselves from an overreaching federal government," Brogdon told the Associated Press.
A little history lesson: The Second Amendment was adopted on December 15, 1791, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights. It reads: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
The Second Amendment is, of course, open to interpretation. The courts haven't definitively resolved what it protects. There's also the ongoing battle over state rights vs. federal powers.
There's another issue. 17 states have laws banning militias. Another 17, including Oklahoma, ban paramilitary training. Seven states ban both.
Critics of the proposal to form a private militia in Oklahoma say it could stoke extremism. They also say the National Guard already provides the state's military needs. There's also the question of how would the militia be organized and how would they even block federal mandates.
We'll dive into all of this and keep them honest.
Also tonight, comedian Chelsea Handler. She weighs in on Conan O'Brien's return to the late-night talk show war. And, Anderson puts her through a lightening round of questions.
Join us for all this and much more tonight at 10 p.m. ET. See you then.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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