An extremist, pro-gun, antigovernment blog that has been a nerve center and sounding post for the III Percent movement is closing down, its administrator publicly announced today.
The closure of the Sipsey Street Irregulars blog comes just 42 days after the death of its founder, Michael B. Vanderboegh, who started it in 2009, and became the springboard for the III Percent movement. Three Percenters claim that only three percent (a number in dispute) of the original American colonists fought against the British during the Revolutionary War, and therefore were the "true patriots." The Sipsey Street blog’s founder and followers generally rallied around antigovernment and anti-gun control issues, claiming unrestricted gun ownership was the key to saving the Republic.
Vanderboegh is famously remembered for saying in 2013, “If you try to take our firearms we will kill you” after a gun safety advocate suggested that only police and military personnel should have firearms.
But his son, who took over operation of the blog in April, apparently is walking from that brand of public boldness.
“I’m spiking the guns here on Sipsey Street Irregulars,” Matthew Vanderboegh posted on the blog today, metaphorically announcing its closure.
The sudden-shuttering of the III Percent blog is a bit of mystery, precipitating considerable speculation and some harsh criticism among its followers.
“A couple of days ago, I received some news that ended up shaking me to my very core,” Matthew Vanderboegh wrote. “After a great deal of consideration, I have decided to close the doors of the Sipsey Street Irregulars."
He didn’t elaborate further, but in a Facebook posting said: “I am afraid my reasons are deeper than a simple comment. Call it family related. I'll see you out there when it counts.”
“I'm done. The why of it is not important,” Matthew Vanderboegh continued. “What is important is that you continue fighting for your God given rights. Good bye, and good luck."
His departure from the III Percent stage comes just days after another high-profile leader, Kit Perez, of Washington State, announced her departure after 12 years of activism in the movement.
“This 3% thing will result in deaths if it follows itself to conclusion,” Perez posted on the Patrick Henry Society blog, quoting another blog post written by another movement follower who calls himself "sparks31."
“By adopting that particular term (III Percent), you are implying that you will fight a standing, legally-elected government should it (continue to) engage in certain actions you find objectionable,” the posting said.
The posting Perez referred to said III Percenters could find themselves involved in “insurrection” and ultimately face militia forces if executive orders were signed. “Unless the social and political course of this country alters its course drastically in the future, that’s going to be a hell of a check you’re going to have to cash,” Perez said on her blog, quoting "sparks 31."
Matthew Vanderboegh took over the Sipsey Street blog on April 14 after it was publicly disclosed his father, who lived in Alabama, was terminally ill with cancer. Introducing himself on the blog, Matthew Vanderboegh said he had served in the U.S. Army for 14 years and did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He pledged to follow his father’s footsteps in the III Percent movement.
“As many have observed, it would be a tragedy to simply let this blog go to archive,” Matthew Vanderboegh said in his first post, noting that the blog “was the first of its kind dedicated to the principles of the Three Percent.”
He said his father’s purpose in starting the blog was “to give himself a platform to educate and proselytize a very simple and profound message that no one should to bend a knee” to those who want to disarm American citizens.
David Codrea, another pro-gun blogger and Vanderboegh associate, also wrote about the closure of the Sipsey Street on his blog, “The War on Guns.”
“It's sad new, but not unexpected, and unavoidable, really,” Codrea wrote today. “Without going into details I am not at liberty to share, I support Matthew in his decision to pull the plug,” Codrea said.
“I was not only there for the birth of the blog, I'm the one who badgered Mike into starting it,” Codrea wrote. “We collaborated closely throughout on stories and developments that only time will tell how much of a difference was made. My opinion is he [Mike Vanderboegh] did great work there that deserves a place in the national memory as long as the nation exists to remember.”
The blog’s closure brought various reactions on social media.
“After seeing all the comments criticizing Matt and cursing him and calling him a p----, I'm not surprised he would walk away. Why put up with that shit?” blog follower Mark D. Matthews posted on Facebook.
Elliott James Rose posted that the blog’s closure isn’t “what your father would have wanted but I guess in the end it is your decision, sure didn't take long. Maybe one day [you will] ... share with all of us [why] you're doing this. Just don't let the feds get to you that's all I've got to say."
Blog follower Jay Heathman posted that neither of the Vanderboeghs owed anything to “ungrateful bastards” who read the blog without cost. “Mike was my dear friend for many years, and his family continues to be, so anyone who wants to whine, bitch and moan, do us all a favor, put on your tactical camo and go to your Safe Space and cry into your camo hankie. Matt needs our support, not your self-indulgent ‘waaah waaah,’” Heathman wrote.
Michael Ford added that the Sipsey blog wasn’t about the Vanderboeghs, but “a meeting place and a ‘tree of liberty.’ It'll be missed, but there are other trees in a rapidly growing forest.”