Updated with response from Akin's spokesperson Rick Tyler.
In 1995, a month before the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people, Todd Akin sent a local militia group what he later called "a courtesy letter."
The now-defunct group, the 1st Missouri Volunteers militia, had invited Akin to speak at a rally but at the last minute he bailed--no harm, no foul. Yet Akin has been asked to explain that letter, and more broadly his relationship to the militia movement, many times since his first run for national office in 2000.
In August 2012, Akin--as he has done repeatedly over the years--dismissed any connection to the group that believed in their right to bear arms to defend against violations of the Constitution.
But that wasn't true. In an article that appeared in the Springfield News-Leader on May 5, 1995, Akin readily admits that he is well acquainted with the 1st Missouri Volunteer Militia and personally reviewed their paramilitary "unit".
John Moore, a radical pro-life activist and the "colonel and commander" of the 1st Missouri Volunteer Militia, said his group was formed to aid local authorities in disaster relief but also to defend anyone whose constitutional rights were being violated.
"If a Jewish synagogue were in trouble, we'd be the first ones there," Moore told Joe Holleman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in a March 19,1995 article. "We'd be there before the American Civil Liberties Union would. And who would you want, anyway? People who would fight for your rights, or people who file lawsuits?"
The militia movement came under fire in April 1995, after Timothy McVeigh, a militia movement sympathizer who was upset at the federal government over its handling of the Waco siege and Ruby Ridge incident. The 1st Missouri Volunteer militia was mentioned in a 1995 Anti-Defamation League report that came out after the Oklahoma City bombing called, "Beyond the Bombing: The Militia Menace Grows."
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