The following letter to the editor was written by Ronnie Saunders.
It was recently revealed that Indiana State Senator Scott Baldwin is listed as a member of the Oath Keepers, a far-right anti-government militia group that helped orchestrate the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. At the very least, this should give us pause to dive into something we didn’t know about our representative, again.
When asked, Sen. Baldwin claims that he has had no communication with the Oath Keepers since his $30 donation back in 2010, but has yet to denounce the Oath Keepers. It would be easy for Baldwin to clear his stance with the Oath Keepers by simply saying that he is no longer a member and does not support them or their actions with an unambiguous and direct denouncement.
But he hasn’t. Why?
Back in 2010, the Oath Keepers were described to Baldwin as a “pro-constitution and pro-second amendment” group. Which was clearly a big draw for him. During the 2020 campaign season, we never got a chance to really learn about Baldwin and his beliefs, but we have since learned that Baldwin is all about guns and will back groups that support loosening firearm regulation locally and nationally.
In fact, in his first year in the General Assembly, Baldwin signed a resolution emphasizing the Senate’s commitment “…to protect the constitutional right to keep and bear arms.” Baldwin also cosponsored failed House Bill 1369 which aimed to eliminate gun licenses for handguns. As many remember, he then clumsily promoted his support by sending out a pro-gun email just one day after the mass shooting at the FedEx Ground Center in Indianapolis, the city he once served as a police officer.
The real fear here is the possibility that there are other, equally dangerous sentiments Baldwin and the Oath Keepers align with. It is our duty, as active participants in our own democracy, to explore that possibility fully and transparently.
And we should certainly be concerned if someone aligned with an organization like the Oath Keepers is in a position of leadership or influencing policy development at any level of our government.
For the People,
Vice Chair of the Hamilton County Democratic Party