Another Look at Mark McAfees Talk of Guns and ViolenceMaybe Bill Marler Needs a Refresher on the Constitution

The wait is over. The Haphazard Gourmet has named the winner of its raw milk slogan contest, a contest that actually grew out of a comment by Mark McAfee on this site about the “Viagra effect” of raw milk. I commend the Haphazard Gourmet for its good humor on this subject, since its writers disagree with most on this blog. Take a look for the winners.

There is another subject Mark commented on recently that hasn’t evoked nearly as much good feeling—in fact, it’s been only alluded to here and there in semi-hushed tones–and that’s the subject of guns and violence. An Observer and Concerned Person have expressed upset. Now poison food lawyer Bill Marler is tut-tutting on his blog, calling the comment Mark made on this blog in connection with the raid in Ohio on the Manna Storehouse “disturbing.”

Bill Marler’s decision to excerpt the entire comment suggests this feeling: Hey, we may disagree on whether the authorities should have gone after Mark on selling raw milk out of state, but when it comes to violence and guns, only the deranged can go along with this.

Well, maybe it’s time to take a closer look at what Mark really said. And what he said is that while violent resistance is a last-ditch measure, it’s something many could be forced into if recent trends of government heavy-handedness expand. The way I read it is that all Mark is doing is giving voice to the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment:

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.

A few points about the amendment:

–It’s adamant that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

–It’s listed second, only after the right of free speech and a free press of the First Amendment.

–It was just reinforced by the U.S. Supreme Court, in a major decision.

The reason Mark is raising the issue now is because we’re seeing more and more evidence of encroachments on assorted liberties, such as protection from unreasonable searches, in the form of police raids on farmers.

Mark doesn’t make such statements out of thin air. He notes in his comment on Bill Marler’s blog that he made the comments in connection with the raid on the Stowers family in Ohio earlier this month.

Mark comes from a family that has stood up firmly to questionable government actions. His father, Rodger McAfee, bailed out Angela Davis, a civil rights activist, in 1972, before she was put on trial for complicity in a courthouse murder—and acquitted (in link, see section under “Detention”). He raised the bail by pledging the farm from which Mark now produces unpasteurized milk.

This is a discussion that can quickly become highly charged. Mark alludes to the “tipping point,” but suggests quite appropriately that he doesn’t know exactly where it is. Nor do any of us. But wherever it lies out there, our government enforcers seem to be moving closer to it as they raid farms of peaceful families while waiving firearms.

It is also important to remember that our founders had experienced the abuses of an authoritarian government directly from the British, and considered armed resistance important enough to be made a key component of our constitution.

Mark is just giving expression to that, reminding us of the New Hampshire license plate’s admonition: “Live free or die.”


For the record, Mark has set a strong example of working within the system, such as earlier this year, when he was a major part of the effort to pass SB 201 to change the coliform regulation on raw milk in California. Now, he’s just initiated an effort to change the federal prohibitions on raw milk , filing an “FDA Citizen Petition” requesting that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allow an exception to its ban on interstate commerce for raw milk, as follows:

“Raw milk that is tested, state inspected, state regulated, carries a ‘government warning statement’ and labeled for retail sale in one state may be transported to another state if that other state allows the sale of raw un-pasteurized milk and or dairy products.

He and Christine Chessen of CREMA (they filed the petition jointly) argue in part: “Raw un-pasteurized milk that is tested and authorized by a state dairy regulatory agency for retail sale within a state is not the same raw milk that is produced as intended for pasteurization under the PMO (pasteurized milk ordinance). The standards and testing protocols are completely different.”


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25 Comments on "Another Look at Mark McAfees Talk of Guns and ViolenceMaybe Bill Marler Needs a Refresher on the Constitution"

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December 27, 2008 12:52 am

This isn’t the first such reference. The person who goes by Gordon Watson and Gordon Fitzwalter on the Yahoo Group Raw Dairy Site posted on 9/12/08: "…"I’d love to hear from the elders at Mark Nolte’s church how that political activity ought to be carried out …….When do outraged Americans get down to brass tacks .. to the most American of all reactions ? Precious metals : blue steel, brass casings and lead? Of course, that would never be the answer for pacifists. Even though the right to remove tyrants is bloody-well enshrined in the fabric of… Read more »

December 27, 2008 2:07 am

I understand that the government has the authority to regulate commerce,but when the consumer is the producer is there any commerce?When consumers become producers as in a herdshare or co-op,the risk is shared by the people who make up the co-op.When people fill their own container from a bulk source they are taking responsibility that the container is clean.People who are willing to take some of the responsibility for producing their own food can choose to leave the insurance companies and regulatory agencies out of the picture.They need to be aware that this is what it means to be… Read more »

Mark McAfee
December 27, 2008 2:37 am

David….well said.

My father was killed in August 2006 in a car accident just 5 miles from OPDC.

His entire life he fought against corruption and wars. He cut his teeth in the fight against the Vietnam war. A war that proved nothing…and killed much. A war that was about paranoia and McCarthyism. That communism would devour asia if we did not push back the reds. In the end he was right…it proved nothing and now Vietnam is a favored trading partner and is still very much communist. How mistaken and stupid are we??

When my father led the national… Read more »

Blair McMorran
December 27, 2008 3:20 am

This is off-topic but there seems to be a problem with the security certificate for The Complete Patient. It is registered to * – my browser doesn’t like that and won’t let me post here unless I make an exception for this site, which I did, but I saw Don is also having issues so I thought I better bring this to your attention…

Don Wittlinger
December 27, 2008 8:16 am

Prior post " society needs law and order" Yea we sure do but not the LAWLESS usurping of our INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS that TPTB care nothing about! Their toxic SYSTEM is all that matters to them!!! Regulator how can you possible approve and license filthy, confinement dairies where cows stand hoof deep is their own waste material all their lives and never even taste a single blade of grass? Sure the milk is boiled but what do the health care workers have to say about the sickness and disease suffered by the children and the… Read more »

Brian Keeter
December 27, 2008 12:03 pm


Trial lawyers, insurance companies and other forms of private contracted arbitration are great when compared to the violence of swat teams, militarized police, pre-dawn raids and federal prisons.

Whether you agree with it or not, government is ultimately coercion. It is not productive, and it is not voluntary. That is the difference between government and the market place.

An Observer
December 27, 2008 12:10 pm


Interesting perspective, thanks for sharing. This statement especially caught my eye.

"…that to wish for those "simpler times" is not a constructive endeavor. One must deal with the reality of today’s legal world, not one that is long gone."

It often strikes me that at the heart of this raw milk movement is a romantic viewpoint of food and farming. In an exchange with another person on this site, it was suggested that a desire for simpler times (simpler foods, simpler government) drives the movement, and the passions.

Unfortunately, I think you are right…the idea of going back to… Read more »

Blair McMorran
December 27, 2008 1:12 pm

"…that to wish for those "simpler times" is not a constructive endeavor. One must deal with the reality of today’s legal world, not one that is long gone."

It is romantic, nostalgic and old-fashioned. I think it’s been very constructive for my family. To take a non-food example, this Christmas was reminiscent of my childhood Christmases – fewer gifts, less consumption, no VISA bills. Truly liberating!

I am humbled by the Colorado farmers, who offer up this food without liability insurance, with no government support, just old-fashioned agreements, and give me an opportunity to support the old-fashioned farm, and… Read more »

An Observer
December 27, 2008 2:24 pm


I’ll take a stab at miguel’s question with the caveat that I don’t know much about business law. I’ve been a member of grocery store and restaurant co-ops. In the co-op situation, money was exchanged, and helped support operating costs like land, over-head for the individuals who actually "owned" the property, paid the taxes, and would have ultimately been liable if something went "wrong." As a co-op member, I never felt a sense of liability per se, although there was a sense of community and volunteer time to make the co-op work well. Question: … Read more »

Sylvia Gibson
December 27, 2008 3:29 pm

"Rates of infection were higher among closely confined cattle than in free-range animals."

It would appear that if the "confined" methods of dairy farming were changed, it would naturally decreased the incidence of BTB. Unfortunately, that was not done. The govt officials apparently in many cases refused to "retest" cattle and the false positives were killed. So over the years the confined animal factories continue as does the diseases and illness which go along with any animal with poor diet and unnatural environments.

"these industries too must face new regulation (such as removing soda machines from schools; posting… Read more »

Don Wittlinger
December 27, 2008 8:38 pm

UGH I just had another post get sucked into an internet black hole.

Don Wittlinger
December 27, 2008 10:47 pm

I will try posting again…. "Simpler times is not a constructive endeavor" Simpler times did not cause diseases wrong dairy practices did, wrong dairy practices have not been corrected, modern sciences solution, boill the filthy milk and feed it to the public! Simpler times, was there ever such a time?
" Heart of the raw milk movement is a ROMAN-TIC view point" REALLY? I have no ROMAN-TIC view point, and I am not chasing windmills nor do the brave farmers farmers have ROMAN-TIC ideals that have been staring down gun barrels… Read more »

Ken Conrad
December 28, 2008 12:17 am


Goethes statement refers to those who believe that their freedom has been achieved and can be maintained via control, and in this sense he is indeed correct. Freedom cannot be earned; it is a gift that can only be realized with our acceptance of the truth.
If you wish to truly be free then be prepares to fly by the seat of your pants.

Ken Conrad

Concerned Person
December 28, 2008 12:37 am

[The struggle for freedom to choose raw milk is a life or death matter for those of us that HAVE BEEN sick! If we are to survive we can not lose this last vestige of freedom.]

Don, thank you for finally saying what I believe most raw milk advocates believe. Their access to raw milk feels like a life or death situation. If I experienced what you have with your health, I would feel the same way.

[Our old-fashioned bodies still need old-fashioned nutrition – and No, CP,… Read more »

An Observer
December 28, 2008 1:42 am

"Did the spinach growers pay for all the medical bills of those infected a few years ago?"

Settlement of 76 E. coli O157:H7 cases (including three deaths and twenty-two HUS cases) stemming from the September 2006 Dole E. coli spinach case

Making Hay Out of Spinach

Estimated $350 million of reduced revenue suffered by the spinach industry due to the E.coli outbreak

December 28, 2008 2:32 am

How do they make probiotics so that they can be sure that there is no contamination somewhere along in the process?Do they use pasteurized milk in the process?

Sylvia Gibson
December 28, 2008 3:59 am

"The overall toll of the spinach incident was 199 people in 28 states being infected, resulting in 141 hospitalizations, 31 people having kidney failure, and three deaths"

Depending on which report you read, there were "at least" 199 people ill in 28 states. Who paid for the medical bills? If you have an injury and litigation is resulted then you ususally have to repay the health insurance company for any monies they paid. The lawyer "settled" 76 cases, what of all the others? What of those who thought they just had a stomach… Read more »

December 28, 2008 9:20 am

"Why do some regulators treat herdshares and coops as if they are engaged in commerce?Can you tell me when I have crossed the line between producing and consuming my own food and commerce? Or are you claiming authority over activity that is not considered commerce?"

Regulators do not want to debate points of law because they are busy establishing a different type of law.They want to establish that they give the orders and we are bound to comply without questioning those orders.They are asserting ownership of our property and even our bodies.When a large majority of the population… Read more »

Blair McMorran
December 28, 2008 5:23 pm

CP wrote:
"Blair, how do you know beneficial bacteria cant be found in a lab-synthesized probiotic pill? Have you tried this option from a reliable source? Are you denying the possibility that this method may also have positive health benefits?"

CP, No, I don’t deny that synthetic probiotics might be helpful. I just think that real food probiotics are superior, because they are real food, . There are reputable doctors that have written cogent and fascinating books about probiotics. Campbell-McBride’s "Gut and Psychology Syndrome" is my favorite. I can’t find data on human food nutrient absorption, but… Read more »

Concerned Person
December 29, 2008 2:56 am


I think were in agreement. This is what I stated earlier.

In a perfect world where raw milk can be guaranteed 100% pathogen free, I would choose raw milk over the use of probiotics; especially raw milk made into yogurt or keifer. But we dont live in a perfect world. Raw milk pathogen contamination does occur and children are the typically the victims. This is why I choose the use probiotics over raw milk.

I add the probiotics to my childrens pasteurized goats milk yogurt, along with a digestive enzyme. Its a safe alternative to raw dairy and offers… Read more »

Mark McAfee
December 29, 2008 10:06 am

Dear CP,

The world is not perfect and neither is pasteurization.

If I were you I would review the CDC data on pasteurization.

There were three deaths last year ( whittier farms ) and hundreds of recalls and hundreds of thousands of illnesses and many more other deaths.

I respect your choice but do not be fooled.


Blair McMorran
December 29, 2008 10:33 am

Thanks for your response. I’m not sure we agree; I see so many benefits over the commercial options, but whatever you feel comfortable with and works for you is perfect. Every body is different, and belief systems are important to our health and sanity. I just trust Ma Nature more than the popular "science by consensus", plus I love inexpensive whole nutrition. I don’t trust commercial patented sources. But we do agree in theory, if not practice. I respect that.

More questions – your recent post has been more understanding about personal choices, and… Read more »

An Observer
December 29, 2008 10:56 am

I read this in the citizen petition David posted: "Raw milk can not guarantee a perfect promise of safety, neither can any other food…"

This is true. Also, most of the outbreaks linked to retail (licensed) raw milk dairies in recent years have been relatively small in scope (limited to a single state or even just a local geographic area), although there have been tragic outcomes such as HUS cases in children. The petition uses the spinach E. coli outbreak in 2006 associated with 3 deaths and over 200 illnesses as an example of allowable interstate shipment. … Read more »

Concerned Person
December 29, 2008 1:46 pm


Im a health teacher. No financial gains. I found this blog when my students did research on the 2006 Organic Pastures E.coli outbreak. and AB 1735. At the time, it was a current event topic. Health is my hobby and passion. Once a person starts blogging here, it is very addicting. I do enjoy the simulating conversation.


Don Wittlinger
December 29, 2008 7:18 pm

CP Just a suggestion to futher your young students education. Take them on a tour of the filthy confinement dairies let them see and smell but not touch the manured covered cows. Take them on a tour of the feed lots were our nations beef is fattened up. Show them what our regulators license and approve for their dinner table.
Take them on a tour of the local hospital ask them why are these people here, is there any connection to what you have seen on the prior tours?
… Read more »