Name Dropping Gets You Nowhere

CannonIn my final post about the U.S. Department of Homeland Security “Rightwing Extremism” assessment, I made reference to something that was quoted in the report, and I want to make a few clarifications.

At the bottom of page five, the assessment reads,

Many rightwing extremist groups perceive recent gun control legislation as a threat to their right to bear arms and in response have increased weapons and ammunition stockpiling, as well as renewed participation in paramilitary training exercises. Such activity, combined with a heightened level of extremist paranoia, has the potential to facilitate criminal activity and violence.

  • During the 1990s, rightwing extremist hostility toward government was fueled by the implementation of restrictive gun laws—such as the Brady Law that established a 5-day waiting period prior to purchasing a handgun and the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act that limited the sale of various types of assault rifles—and federal law enforcement’s handling of the confrontations at Waco, Texas and Ruby Ridge, Idaho.

In short, the government wants you to think that the threat of recent gun control legislation will push many “rightwing extremists” over the edge creating a heightened level of extremist paranoia, weapon stockpiling, and hostility toward the goverment. They go a step further in their attempt to instill fear by referencing the confrontations at Waco, Texas and Ruby Ridge, Idaho.

Many people remember the events that occurred at Waco but few people I have spoken too remember much about Ruby Ridge. Those who do remember it, usually can’t remember why they do, but they know something bad happened there.

Let’s take a look at the history of events which occurred at Ruby Ridge in August of 1992 and try to ascertain why our government would still be referencing the events there, 17 years after it happened.

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Twenty-Seven Potential Acts Of Violence

Blue GrosbeakWhen we think about the implications of Homeland Security, it’s important to remember that Americans are not the enemy.

As I wrap up my three-part series about the U.S. Department of Homeland Security “assessment” on Rightwing Extremism (PDF), I want to point out several more references included in the report, and touch on some thoughts about the release of this report.

Let’s refresh our memory.

The title of the assessment is “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment”. The targets of the assessment are radical and extremist groups as well as “groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration”, and the government believes some of our fine men and women of the military could be extremists, or even potential terrorists. All of these items are mentioned before the end of page 3. It’s a nine page report.

Page three wraps up by blaming the current economic crisis and the election of Barack Obama as the catalysts for creating more extremist thoughts in our country.

Page four makes it clear that most statements by rightwing extremists have been rhetorical since the election and have stopped short of violent action. The assessment warns us (vaguely) that there were two incidents before the election, but law enforcement interceded. Isn’t it funny they can point to specifics like the shooting in Pittsburgh on April 4th and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, but when it comes to supporting their “imposition of fear”, they can’t state any specifics?

Apparently, the government feels that the “perceived government infringement on civil liberties” leads to domestic rightwing terrorists lashing out. Of course they have to cite an increase in violent acts targeting government facilities, law enforcement officers, banks, and infrastructure sectors, yet, if you remember correctly in the paragraph above this one, they also stated that there has been no violent action.

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Americans Are Not The Enemy

Spring ColorsIn my previous post, I introduced you to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security assessment titled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment” (PDF).

As you know from reading my first post, our government now considers “groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration” to be rightwing extremists and possible domestic terrorists.

If you look at the top of page 3 of the assessment, you will read that our government also feels that the proposed imposition of firearms restrictions and weapons bans would likely attract new members into the ranks of “rightwing extremist groups” and potentially spur some of those people into planning and training for violence against the government.

The second amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads, “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. “

The right to bear arms is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Standing up for your rights under the Constitution is not extremist. Well, it hasn’t been, and shouldn’t be, but apparently the Obama administration and the Department of Homeland Security have something else in mind.

It’s unclear exactly how the Department of Homeland Security defines the term “extremist groups”. For all we know, they may consider anyone who refuses to relinquish their right to bear arms an extremist and if they live in the same town as others who have done the same, they may very well be a “group” of extremists.

The assessment places extraordinary emphasis on “proposed firearms restrictions” which is rather vague and left open to interpretation by the reader, but there is no doubt what the assessment is hinting at. There will come a day when all guns will be banned or the government will require you to report (on the federal level) each gun you own and the quantity of ammunition you are stockpiling (aka storing on the shelf for target practice).

Don’t worry though, they won’t stop there. If you’re a veteran who served your country faithfully, you need to watch your back too.

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The Implications Of Homeland Security

American GoldfinchAs you sit in your chair reading this, what are the odds that someone is watching you? No, don’t look over your shoulder, it’s too late. They already know where you are. They already know what you’re doing. You can’t turn back now, so you may as well finish reading this post.

On April 7, 2009, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security distributed an “assessment” which contained Law Enforcement Sensitive (LES) information to federal, state, local and tribal conterterrorism and law enforcement officials so they may effectively deter, prevent, preempt, or respond to terrorist attacks against the United States.

After reading the title, “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment”, many people probably wouldn’t even turn the page. Why should they? Surely there are no extremists in their neighborhood and everyone knows the radicals are all over in the Middle East, right?

The assessment was completed by the Office of Intelligence and Analysis within the Department of Homeland Security and it was not intended for our eyes. No portion of the document was to be released to the media, the general public, or over non-secure Internet servers. The document itself contains a warning that releasing the information contained in the document could “adversely affect or jeopardize investigative activities”.

I know, I just told you that the document wasn’t meant to be read by someone like you, but I encourage you to read it (PDF). Yes, I know, it’s a radical thought to increase your knowledge, but once you start reading the assessment, it won’t take long to learn the true implications of this Homeland Security “assessment”.

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