Wednesday, June 11, 2014

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 house 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.

Bateman, pictured, is an infantryman and a Military Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
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 Dagblog and Alan Colmes' Liberaland, Featured on Mike's Blog Round-up at Crooks and Liars)


  1. The conspiracy theories WOULD be a lot of fun if there weren't such dark things hiding in the corners.

    Conspiracy theories are fun, and in the post-9/11 world, you don't really have to look very far for actual material. You know, scary stuff that actually happens to be REAL? NSA stuff, corporate dictatorship, the collapse of the middle class to the endgame of the global elite?

    You don't need to go as far as saying that Obama is an atheist Muslim who is going to force your kids to be gay to find a conspiracy theory...

    But as with the folks who took to the woods and the Texas hills during the Clinton Administration, we're not dealing with people who operate on research and rational arguments.

  2. Katy, if off-the-wall conspiracy theories weren't so thrilling to the believers there might be fewer of them. The last thing they want to do is think too hard and spoil all the fun.

    The trouble with the gun nut conspiracy craziness is that innocent victims get caught in the crossfire whenever the stacks finally blow..

  3. I'm with Lt. Col. Bateman. I've been a professional gun carrier my entire adult life, Military and Civilian LEO, and I'd put my life and training up against these losers any day of the week. In fact, I see it as my continuing duty, not as a veteran, but as a member of this country. These traitors must be stopped.

  4. No one is more depressing to talk to than a self-appointed hero. Gun fans are the heroes of their own private mythology, and of the Next American Revolution™. More than that, they demand to be acknowledged, recognized, and honored accordingly. Any person or group that admires himself or itself that much, is very, very dangerous.

  5. Hey, Hatriots, why don't you guys get together and take on the US. Military like you did back in 1860-65?

  6. Maybe they need to hear from more responsible gun owners. Loud and clear. They're acting like idiots and that's no way to act when they're carrying guns.

  7. Ha, don't give them any ideas. In Texas, they're already talking about secession. Personally, I would just let them go. They're not worth the bother of a Civil War.


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