TOPEKA — The Kansas commander of a Civil Air Patrol squadron who resigned after demanding execution of a state legislator for proposing limits on concealed firearms has been reinstated to the volunteer organization, national and state Civil Air Patrol officials said.
Col. Linette Lahan, commander of the Kansas Wing of the Civil Air Patrol, said Jonathan Holder now was cleared to participate in the organization but had chosen not to at this time.
“He is not active,” Lahan said.
Holder, who led a squadron in Emporia, stepped down in January after declaring on Facebook that Rep. Stephanie Clayton, R-Overland Park, ought to die for introducing what he considered an unconstitutional bill to block carrying of concealed handguns in university or college campus buildings.
“This bitch needs to swing from a tree for violating her oath,” Holder said. He affirmed his position after criticized on social media.
In February, the national Civil Air Patrol at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama suspended Holder’s membership in the organization pending investigation.
“CAP does not condone such behavior from its members, especially one in a leadership position,” the national office’s statement said.
The Civil Air Patrol is an auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force created to mentor cadets as young as 12. Adults in the program are expected to promote integrity and self-discipline while encouraging cadets to consider military or aviation careers.
In Kansas, the adjutant general’s office provides oversight of the organization. The state’s adjutant general also condemned Holder’s commentary.
Holder, who joined the Civil Air Patrol in 2001, was promoted to lieutenant colonel last year at the 77th Composite Squadron based at the Kansas National Guard Armory in Emporia.
In social media posts, Holder said Clayton threatened his right to carry guns by seeking to exempt colleges and universities from state law permitting people to carry concealed after July 1. The 2017 Legislature didn’t adopt Clayton’s bill, but legislators and Gov. Sam Brownback did exclude public hospitals from the statute.
Holder said people offended by his opinion were “intolerant social justice warriors who believe free speech only applies to their way of thinking.”
“I stand by what I said and frankly don’t care who doesn’t like it,” he said. “So, go ahead and report me, deport me, unfriend me, block me or demand that the Grand Poobah of the Exalted Order of the Mysterious Rite of the Care Bears remove me from my position as Exalted Honcho of Lodge No. BR-549.”