Madison Cawthorn is accused of not listening to testimony by a House witness on extremism.
Representative Madison Cawthorn, a North Carolina Republican, has been accused of not listening to an expert on US militias during a House hearing on extremism before providing a discordant condemnation of her ideas a short time later.
On Wednesday, Vanderbilt University professor Dr. Amy Cooter testified before the House Veterans Affairs Committee on extreme militia members recruiting veterans. Cooter stated in her opening statement that she was a gun owner who had conducted extensive interviews with militia members.
Cooter stated that “the bulk of militia members are law-abiding people” in her research before voicing concerns about violent “extreme units” recruiting “certain dissatisfied veterans.” Minutes afterwards, Cawthorn denounced the “disgusting” hearing, praising Cooter’s testimony for reportedly “attacking the premise of having militias.” “I just heard Dr. Amy Cooter start blasting the idea of having militias in our society with her opening remark,” Cawthorn added. “I understand she said ‘oh no, I’m not against all militias’ with some unusual words and phrases. Unfortunately, having a militia is a constitutionally protected right under the Second Amendment. And I feel it is repulsive to claim that extremism exists and that we must seek out extremists inside our troops and among our veterans.” “It’s horrible for you and members of Congress to come here and say, ‘oh yeah, you know what—actually it’s a high possibility that folks who are veterans who are in militias are actually radicals,'” he later continued. “Doctor Cooter, I’d like to ask you a question: Are you anti-military?” Cooter responded to Cawthorn by claiming that he had “really missed all of our opening speeches,” while also pointing out that she had been accused of being a “militia apologist,” but that she was only referring to a small number of radicals inside militias.
“I believe you missed all of our opening statements, Mr. Cawthorn, and I would encourage you to examine the footage on that,” Cooter stated. “If you had listened closely, you would have heard me state that I’ve owned a gun since I was 21.” I was up in the Appalachian foothills and had a very close family. This is a condensed version of the information.