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    Hate And The "Patriots": Like Watching One Long Horror Movie, Wondering Who Dies Next.


    In an insightful article about the upsurge in anti-government hate groups and the murderous rampages they spawn, John Avlon calls them "Hatriots"--those people claiming that true constitutional patriotism requires them to disavow, disown, and destroy the United States government--and anyone who gets in their way. 

    Yes, they're crazies, they're loons, they're nasty-wasties.  (They're not sewing circles, they're hate groups)  But they're out there, they have an endless, unregulated supply of firearms, they have the support of dozens of lawmakers commending them for making good use of the First, Second and 10th Amendments, and, with their new-found "legitimacy", their hatred is escalating.

    They're an increasingly violent mob, spurred on by the NRA, by Right Wing radio and television, by Right Wing books and magazines, and worse, by Right Wing politicians who go into politics with the express purpose of taking down the very government currently paying them extraordinarily well for their efforts.

    According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are 939 known hate groups active in the United States. (PDF file list of groups and chapters, state by state)  Adding group chapters to the list brings the numbers up to nearly 2000.  Think about it:  Two thousand chapters made up of multiple thousands of people who have made a conscious effort to validate hate and spread it around.   They see the current government (the liberal Democrat part; the Barack Obama part) as a fascistic, socialistic, communistic, treacherous force to be reckoned with.

    Because the Supreme Court of the United states (apparently "the good guys" now) validated their right to bear arms, because they have been led to believe it's only a matter of time before their religious rights, their free-speech rights, their rights to privacy, their very lives, will be taken away; because they have been led to believe that the current president, Barack Hussein Obama, is the most evil president ever--they believe it's only a matter of time before they'll be forced to start the long overdue, wholly justifiable but messy process leading to revolution and renewal.

    I hate horror movies--I don't find being scared out of my mind entertaining at all--but if I could be convinced this is the plot of a horror movie and not reality, I would embrace it for the sick entertainment it is. I know better, of course, which means I'm far more terrified than I could ever be sitting in a darkened movie telling myself through chattering teeth that it's not real, it's all pretend, it'll be over soon.

    Yesterday I spent about an hour reading Jerad Miller's Facebook posts.  (Jerad Miller, with his wife, Amanda, walked into a pizzeria on Sunday, June 8 and shot two police officers dead.  They ran across the street to a Walmart, where they shot a customer dead before dying themselves.)  His posts, for the most part, were the stuff of a huffy-puffy man/boy full of high-minded "patriotism", interspersed with internet word games, theories about secret chemicals invading our bodies, and quiet calls to rise up and revolt against an out-of-control government.  I've read far worse in dozens of political comment sections.

    A snippet:

    "I know you are fearful, as am I. We certainly stand before a great and powerful enemy. I, however would rather die fighting for freedom, than live on my knees as a slave. Let it be known to our children’s children that free men stood fast before a tyrants wrath and were found victorious because we stood together. That we all cast aside our petty differences and united under the banner of Liberty and Truth.
    May future generations look back upon this time in history with awe and gratitude, for our courage to face tyranny, so that they could live happy and free"

    I’m way beyond just background checks and licensing guns now. I want laws with teeth.  Carrying military-style assault weapons into public places is not normal behavior.  I want Congress and the President and the Supreme Court to put on their brave hats, their battle helmets if need be, and get to work.  Domestic terrorists are operating openly in our midst.  They're strapping on their big guns, strutting among us, forcing us to accept that living out their own bad boy fantasies supersedes our fears. 

    If the law says they're free to take their guns to town, if guns on the streets become as common as cell phones, okay then.  Let's allow them in every city, county, state and federal building in the land--in every chamber, including that of the Supreme Court. Why not?  What is there to fear?

    It won't happen.  Nor will it come to pass--until it's too late--that our leaders will take these threats against our government seriously.  But if our own lawmakers aren't willing to take on the anarchists, there are plenty of  good citizens who will. 

    Lt. Col. Robert Bateman, an infantryman and military historian, is one of them.  After the Las Vegas shooting last week, he wrote a startling piece for Esquire called, "That's It.  I'm Coming Home". (Printed in its entirety with his permission.)

    This is too much. We have Tea Party political activists shooting cops from behind, in the head, then covering their dead bodies with the Tea Party “Gadsden” flag and shouting, “The Revolution begins now!”
    No. I am coming home. I need to be there and be part of the solution. Moms Demand Action is getting some traction, but they can use the lean-in of a few U.S. Army Airborne Infantry Rangers. I am only sorry that I did not stand up to this threat to our nation before. I am sorry. I was busy.
    I have been overseas in Afghanistan and in NATO nations for half a decade while the insanity of the National Rifle Association expanded and exploded, and the NRA became, essentially, the tool of death in the United States. They made mass killings normal.
    Well done, NRA. But this shit is too much.
    Constant cop-killing, by people who echo the NRA talking points and the conspiracy theories of the Internet wackos.
    So I will come home, and perhaps some of those 3,000 nutjobs who sent me hatemail might want to meet up, because I am more than fricking willing, you whining, little boy-toys who need guns. So many of you have threatened me that I am literally booked, but any of you who feel you have been left out, go ahead. Book a date. You bring your gun to try and convince me that you are not a complete and total idiot, and if you bring a gun, let us see which tool works best.
    Wimps need guns. Come and get me.
    Oh, and if you try to go lethal, to convince me that your rhetoric is more intellectually compelling than my own written words, I am going to be giggling at the Las Vegas odds on you, with your guns, and me.
    So there is that. Bring it on, little boys.
    The opinions here are only those of somebody that thinks a “Patriot Movement”—one which executes police officers—is not working in the service of the nation. They are only the opinions of someone who believes that “Tea Party members" who shoot policemen in the head— executing them at point blank range and then declaring that the “revolution” is starting before placing a Don't Tread on Me flag atop the dead bodies of the police officers you just killed in cold blood—are not good.
    You may believe otherwise. If you do, screw you.
    Last December Bateman received death threats from some folks in the "Free Speech, Give Us Liberty, Don't Tread on Us" movement after his column about the Supreme Court's ruling on the definition of the Second Amendment appeared in the Esquire Digital Edition.  It hasn't stopped him from fighting against the lunacy that is the current gun culture. 

    Members of the gun reform group Moms Demand Action have been subjected to spitting stalking and rape threats by bullies who can't for the life of them seem to be able to argue persuasively any other way.  It hasn't stopped them, either.

    Everyone from Gabby Giffords to the families of the Sandy Hook victims have been attacked for their simple pleas for a common-sense approach to gun usage.  It hasn't stopped any of them.

    The "They're coming to take our guns" crowd are cowardly bullies.  Their only argument for open carry is "Cuz we wanna!" Their only weapon is a convenient interpretation of the Second Amendment.  They make a public stand by taking their guns to Target, where they pose for pictures in the aisles with bags of Oreos or in the infant department with an assortment of teethers as a backdrop.  To show, I guess, that they're just like us.  Only they're not.  Some of them are play-acting and some of them are dead serious.  The problem lies in not knowing who is who.
      And when one of their own doesn't realize they're only just funnin' and takes their vast conspiratorial fantasies seriously, shooting to kill, they take no responsibility and accept no blame. They pretend to be patriots but look and act like "homegrown terrorists".   And when they've scared enough people into finally demanding that the government take some action, they hiss and pout and get their feelings hurt.  They're the real patriots and anyone who doesn't agree is a fascist and a commie and a stinkin' liberal traitor.
    Read any of the comment sections to the links I've provided and see if you can come away from them still thinking we have nothing to fear, that we're not at gun nut crisis mode.  I admit their crazy notions terrify me--but what terrifies me more is the thought that they kept on, they got worse, more innocent people died, and nobody tried to stop them.
    (Cross-posted at Ramona's Voices)


    I know people who are fed up with the gun situation and the lack of good laws. Tens of thousands have been killed since New Town. I don't remember the exact number but it was something like 43,000 that have died due to gun violence.  Here we are investigating Benghazi again over 4 death. This kind of stupid is going to catch up with the GOP.   

    I'm a gun owner that hunts regularly. Most of the meat I eat comes from hunting and most of the meat my dog eats comes from hunting. And she eats a lot of meat, at least 70% of her diet is real meat, the rest dry dog food.

    I agree completely with your blog. To many gun owners have just gone crazy.

    I live on an island where I would guess 80% of the people--men and women--are hunters.  I've lived here for 20 years now and I've never seen a crazy gun owner. They're majority Republicans, they hate the DNR, and wouldn't vote for someone named Barack Hussein Obama if their lives depended on it, but I guarantee if someone wandered through town with an assault rifle strapped to his body he would be escorted to the ferry and given a memorable send-off.

    But about the guy in your link: 

    Sanders, who walks with the help of a cane, said he is carrying the rifle to protect himself and his valuables, including copies of the Constitution and the Bible he keeps in a backpack.

    The law says he can carry his big gun "as long as he doesn't threaten anyone".  What if he thinks someone is threatening him?  He already can't see that he owes fines for things he's done illegally.  He's a tragedy waiting to happen.



    I know that Michael Moore has made this point already but there was a time when the NRA was an outright responsible gun ownership organization, one that stressed training, safety and sanity.  That was a long time ago.  It now sits silent about the extremists whereas it once would have condemned people carrying assault rifles in public for no reason at all.  That ship has sailed.

    That said, we all know responsible gun owners -- people for whom compliance with the laws where they live is such the minimum standard of decorum that we need hardly worry.  People who know that every time you carry a gun in public there is a chance, however small, that it will be used and that it is a deadly weapon that can ruin multiple lives with a single shot.

    And, for awhile, I was on the side of the "responsible gun owners" and of the mind that whatever their reasons, they should not be penalized for the actions of a few.  But the few has grown numerous, if not as a percentage than at least in absolute terms.  As with so many other compromises that we make in society.  I'd like to see brandishing in public banned.

    Our constitution and supreme court will not allow for much law making.  We have to win a social fight here. Ostracize the gun geeks!

    [The NRA] now sits silent about the extremists whereas it once would have condemned people carrying assault rifles in public for no reason at all.

    I'm not typically one to defend the NRA, but in their defense, they've recently made this statement:

    The second example comes to us from the Lone Star State, which is second to none for its robust gun culture. We applaud Texans for that, but a small number have recently crossed the line from enthusiasm to downright foolishness.

    Now we love AR-15s and AKs as much as anybody, and we know that these sorts of semiautomatic carbines are among the most popular, fastest selling firearms in America today. Texas, independent-minded and liberty-loving place that it is, doesn't ban the carrying of loaded long guns in public, nor does it require a permit for this activity. Yet some so-called firearm advocates seem determined to change this.

    Of course, the reason I remembered them making this statement is exactly because they typically do stand idly by while the crazies act all crazy.

    Thanks for this.  Glad to see the NRA did say something.  Now, to move the goalpost on them... they created the crazy so they need to own up to that.

    The NRA quickly retreated from sanity.The organization apologized to Open Carry Texas for not supporting the right to carry assault weapons in public. The NRA blamed the moment of coherence on a wayward staffer. The NRA is as trapped by the gun crazies as the GOP is captured by the Tea Party wingnuts

    Thanks for the update. It almost feels like it could've been an article in The Onion.

    Did you see what happened when those long-gun-carrying loonies claimed to tear up their NRA cards after the "insult" that you noted above?  The NRA apologized; said it was a staff member who spoke without authority. So, no, they are still crazy, and when one of their own makes a sane comment they disavow it tout suite. 

    "The NRA apologized; said it was a staff member who spoke without authority."

    "We'd like to apologize, our employee went off half cocked without the safety on his mouth. Move along, nothing to see here."

    Alas, no. It seems the universe is trying to conspire against my optimism…

    And, for awhile, I was on the side of the "responsible gun owners" and of the mind that whatever their reasons, they should not be penalized for the actions of a few.

    I and many other responsible gun owners don't have any problem with some "penalties" in order to make society safer. I'm actually planning to get a higher powered hunting rifle and would have no problems if the process had some annoying delays. Universal background checks? I've passed one before, not a big deal. Waiting period? Two weeks or even a month is fine with me. I can't imagine an emergency that requires me to get that gun I'm buying immediately. Taking away all my guns if I beat my wife or girlfriend? I've never hit my wife or girlfriends.

    I can't think of any proposal made by reasonable gun control advocates that would unduly penalize responsible gun owners. They'd at most be a minor annoyance.

    Our constitution and supreme court will not allow for much law making.

    I think both the constitution and the Supreme Court would allow such laws. Scalia made it clear when deciding individuals have a right to bear arms that the right was not absolute and some gun control laws are legal. As for brandishing in public there is a video out there in which some tv news pundit asked Scalia as an originalist is there any gun law that would be constitutional. He reffered to state and city laws in colonial america banning what was called "a frightening." It was illegal to carry a large ax down city streets since it could be seen as frightening  to peaceful citizens. Seems to me that that would apply to open carry laws as well.

    If I have time I'll try to find the video clip later

    edit to add:


    Here's the video, at about 7 minutes Scalia, as an originalist, expresses his view that there are limitation on guns that are constitutionally permissible because there was gun control in colonial times. While he refuses to get specific at one point he refers to laws banning carrying very dangerous weapons like a large ax. To me that sounds like carrying military style assault weapons so at least that type of open carry could be banned and possibly pass constitutional muster even by Scalia. While I'm sure I would favor more strict gun control than Scalia he does make it clear in this video and in DC v Heller that some limitations are allowed by the 2nd amendment.

    Also since Heller several states gun control laws have been appealed to the Supreme Court and been denied, in effect upholding the lower court ruling that found these laws constitutional. Let's not assume that all gun control legislation would be found unconstitutional even by this extreme right wing court.

    Gun control  kept the murder rate low in the Wild, Wild West. I think many of the citizens in those old west towns would find our laws insane.

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