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April 14, 2009

DHS Report: “…has likely spurred African Americans—as well as law-abiding Americans…”

by Stephen Gordon

My friend Dave Weigel seems to be less upset with about the DHS reported entitled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Environment Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” than pretty much everyone else in the blogosphere.  He notes:

Seriously, though, I struggle to find anything wrong in a close — not a willfully obtuse — reading of the report. I’m nine days out of a huge machine gun show in Kentucky. I know that all of the gun stuff in this report is true. For example:

Open source reporting of wartime ammunition shortages has likely spurred rightwing extremists—as well as law-abiding Americans—to make bulk purchases of ammunition.  These shortages have increased the cost of ammunition, further exacerbating rightwing extremist paranoia and leading to further stockpiling activity.  Both rightwing extremists and law-abiding citizens share a belief that rising crime rates attributed to a slumping economy make the purchase of legitimate firearms a wise move at this time.

I’ve agreed with Weigel (specifically about the gun show to which he refers, even) about how bad the more extreme folks who tend to show at gun shows can make the movement appear.  However, there is a major distinction between making a movement look bad and breaking a law.

To help Dave find what’s wrong with the report, I’ll suggest a little mental exercise.  Let’s break down one little piece of the report he provided: “…has likely spurred rightwing extremists—as well as law-abiding Americans…”

What would the public reaction be if I had written “…has likely spurred African Americans—as well as law-abiding Americans…”?

The implication is obvious.  Had I written this, I would have suggested that African Americans are not law-abiding Americans.  The same logic applies with “rightwing extremists,”  who are defined elsewhere in the report with such a broad brush that it includes pretty much any believer in small government.

UPDATE: Dave graciously notes that I’ve whacked him upside the head and agrees with me, in part.  He also adds, “I don’t think the political correctness in short government reports is as big a problem as, say, people shooting cops.”

Shooting cops is certainly immediately worse.  However, when the government begins to define lawful political dissent, the slipperly slope begins — one which certainly could lead to catastrophic consequences.

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11 Comments

  1. I went to my very first gun show in February, in Florida. It was huge – held in a County civic center – there must have been thousands of people there.

    I suppose just like a friend of mine who had never attended a church service at any mainstream (e.g, say a Catholic or Lutheran) parish had a lot of pre-conceived notions about what goes on inside a church, based on what he had read about or what he has seen those bible thumping evangalists do on t.v., and who was then very surprised when he went to a Mass….

    I too had pre-conceived stereo-typed notions about what a gun show would be like. I was half expecting to experience the Dueling Banjos scene from Deliverance.

    But I was surprised. Other than it being more white than our local population demographics are (I’d say it was around 90% white, and our local population is I think around 70-75% white), the people wandering around looking at stuff, buying stuff, signing up for concealed carry classes, etc, were just your average cross section of middle class America. Old, young, white collar, blue collar, rural, urban, etc. Well, there were a lot of hunter types, looking at hunting stuff. I did overhear a few conversational exchanges about whether ammo will be taxed throught the roof by Obama, etc. Some anxiety about his intentions.

    But I did not see any “angry” sentiments on display. And amazingly enough, although NRA had a table there (aka “right wing extremist group”) I was not recruited by any survivalist militia groups, and just could not locate the neo-nazi Timmy McVeigh table to save my life.

    Comment by southernjames — April 14, 2009 @ 10:04 am
  2. What exactly does the Obama Administration fear? This is a preemptive character assasination of patriotic, Christian, conservatives that qoutes a few sparatic incidents. It also points out major failures of the Janette Reno/Clinton Adminstration, does that mean we are in for more Ruby Ridge/Waco type activity?
    This article is very anti-white, example it speaks of militias, neo-nazi’s and white extremists as using the military as a training ground. Yet says nothing about the very real problem we’ve experienced with gangs joining the militry for that exact purpose. The gangs in question are almost all “minorities” or of non-U.S. citizenship. Many are forth right in using military service as a stepping stone to achieving a quicker route to a much desired and deserved inclusion as a U.S. citizen. Many “white”, christian, patriotic families have a tradition of service. The true experience of the USMC is that the problems are far, far greater with gang recruitment than white supremists. Any reaction (charges) to true criminal activity of a “minority” is always scutinized by the Equal Opportunity officer, usually because that is the first defense by that individual. If the same crime is done by a white then full speed ahead, even if that charge was brought by a non-white. This article has that same attitude of “lets not anger our highers”. In this case everyone knows that for which this Commander-in-Chief’s” administration is looking, which is why the words, “the first African American President…” are repeated. Is this the criminal’s preempitive defense? This is exactly what the former govenor of Arizona would want written and smacks of some brown noser trying to get ahead, unless you believe the patterns this new executive branch has established. Of course this report is “news worthy” and the one of the extreme left is not.

    Comment by Chief — April 14, 2009 @ 10:23 am
  3. Hmmmm.

    That’s not a “gun show”. It’s a “shoot”. The difference is that the weapons on display are not for sale to the general public.

    There is a vast difference between the two.

    Comment by memomachine — April 14, 2009 @ 11:52 am
  4. “What would the public reaction be if I had written “…has likely spurred African Americans—as well as law-abiding Americans…”?”

    You make up a phony-baloney, make-believe, strawman hypothesis and then go on as it if true.

    It doesn’t say African Americans it says rightwing extremest.

    Many law abiding citizen are buying up ammo because they fear President Obama is going outlaw guns.

    It’s a baseless fear hyped by the rightwing echochamer, but it’s not a crime to legally stockpile ammo.

    They are talking about rightwing extremist who would do violence to our American government or it’s officials.

    With it’s large ratings, all the Obama and liberal bashing on Fox News, it’s a power keg waiting to happen.

    They are talking about people who would commit violence.

    Comment by David — April 14, 2009 @ 1:06 pm
  5. David,

    You are missing the point. The original did not say “people who will commit violence as well as law abiding Americans” it said “rightwing extremists—as well as law-abiding Americans—”. The implication is clearly that rightwing extremists are not law abiding Americans. Replacing rightwing extremists with African Americans was done to make the implication more clear. He could have said butterfly collectors instead, but would not have had the same impact.

    Comment by John — April 14, 2009 @ 1:48 pm
  6. Wonder if DHS will report on the infiltration of the military by the bloods and crips.

    Try googling bloods crips military.

    Comment by Frank H — April 14, 2009 @ 3:41 pm
  7. Stephen,
    I assumed extremist meant someone who would might do violence in the modern vernacular. Your analogy might stand if they said rightwing white people, ideologues or persons.

    I found one definition that stated that an extremist would use violence.

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/extremist

    Comment by VRB — April 14, 2009 @ 3:42 pm
  8. [...] The Liberty Papers, a libertarian blog that hosts this report makes some good points. Law enforcement should consider crime potential from hate groups – and there is nothing wrong with analyzing historic patterns. Where DHS crossed the line in this report is by separating “rightwing extremists” from “law-abiding Americans.” As in: Both rightwing extremists and law-abiding citizens share a belief that rising crime rates attributed to a slumping economy make the purchase of legitimate firearms a wise move at this time. [...]

    Pingback by I’m Still NOT a Conspiracy Theorist | Bearing Drift :: Virginia Politics and Podcasts — April 14, 2009 @ 5:34 pm
  9. Weasel Weigel is a Democrat open supporter of Barack Hussein Obama. How this guy ever got the label “libertarian,” is a complete mystery. He’s an authoritarian supporter in every regard, who writes for an ultra-Fascist on-line publication The Washington Examiner.

    Stephen, PLEASE stop calling this douchebag a libertarian.

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 14, 2009 @ 6:37 pm
  10. [...] DHS Report: “…has likely spurred African Americans-as well as law-abiding Americans…” [...]

    Pingback by Rightwing Extremist Chatter | The Classic Liberal Blog — April 14, 2009 @ 8:18 pm
  11. The fact that there are groups out there classified as “hate” groups smacks of thought crime.

    Comment by John — April 15, 2009 @ 5:26 am

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