By: Don Terry, Southern Poverty Law Center HateWatch Blog
Jan. 3, 2013 - Whether the massacre of 20 Connecticut first-graders and six educators by a madman armed with an assault rifle in December will lead to meaningful gun control legislation is far from certain.
But nearly three weeks after the Dec. 14 bloodbath, the American far right – from elements of the Tea Party to bigoted bloggers to conspiracy theorists – is working itself into an absolute frothy uproar at even the possibility that it may become more difficult to purchase a military-style assault rifle or a magazine that carries dozens of bullets.
It's reminiscent of the reaction that surrounded the 1994 assault weapons ban that expired in 2004. That legislation, which applied only to newly manufactured guns, helped fuel a powerful militia movement – one that has been eclipsed by the recent surge in the anti-government "Patriot" movement, which includes armed militias.
One particular rant that has gained traction on white supremacist websites was posted on Dec. 28 by a blogger named Bob Owens and is entitled "What you'll see in the rebellion." In the piece, Owens speculates about what would happen if the "gun grabbers … confiscatory fantasy plays out." It has already received more than 160 comments on Owens' website, including this one: "Everyone talks of dying for their cause, because it's glamorous. Killing for our cause is what it will take.''
In Owens' vision, the enactment of legislation being proposed in Congress would result in civil war and a targeted campaign of assassination that forces the president to stay in "his gilded cage except in carefully controlled circumstances.''
"Even then he will be forced to move like a criminal. He will never be seen outdoors in public again. Not in this country.''
"The 535 members of the House and Senate in both parties that allowed such a law to pass would largely be on their own; the Secret Service is too small to protect all of them and their families, the Capitol Police too unskilled, and competent private security not particularly interested in working against their own best interests at any price. The elites will be steadily whittled down, and if they can not be reached directly, the targets will become their staffers, spouses, children, and grandchildren. Grandstanding media figures loyal to the regime would die in droves, executed as enemies of the Republic.
"You can expect congressional staffs to disintegrate with just a few shootings, and expect elected officials themselves to resign well before a quarter of their number are eliminated, leaving us with a boxed-in executive, his cabinet loyalists trapped in the same win, die, or flee the country circumstance military regime loyalists, and whatever State Governors who desire to risk their necks as well.''
The racist White News Now website liked the preceding two paragraphs of death and destruction so much that it reposted them, giving the impression at least that Owens was advocating violence.
Tea Party.org is also sounding the alarm. In recent days, the organization has sent out a series of hysterical E-mails warning, for instance, that "the anti-gun coalitions, Communist Party, Neo-Nazis, Washington liberals, politically diseased politicians and the anti-freedom freaks with their feverish lust to remove our fundamental rights will stop at NOTHING."
One E-mail screamed "Obama Communist Coup Underway America in Danger!" The post continued, "‘America's Fraud President' is tightening his deadly grip on America's throat and a catastrophic coup is coming. Obama has yet to be sworn in and already he is preparing his minions for gun grabbing."
Another post on the site proclaimed, "The insane attempt to gun grab is being fueled by the U.N., the Obama Regime, Global Communists and The New Socialist Party – of which, I might add, Barack Obama is still an active card carrying member."
The neo-Nazis at the web forum Stormfront also got into the act. One poster wrote a piece blasting "anti-gun Democrats" and saying they intended to use the so-called "nuclear option" – a parliamentary technique used to circumvent a filibuster – "obliterate the Senate rules and clear the way for 50-vote passage of gun control."
A poster identified as "Brandonavan" was so incensed by this theory that he or she dashed off a threatening comment at 9:05 this morning.
"If these tyrannical SOB's [sic] want to use a nuclear option, they better be prepared to be on the receiving end of a nuclear option as well, with them being ground zero."
By 10:51 a.m., Brandonavan had gone from lion to mouse, posting an edited version of his/her earlier remarks: "If these tyrannical SOB's want to use a nuclear option, they better be prepared to live with the consequences.''
And in another chilling development, well-known neo-Nazi Craig Cobb posted the address of U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, a Colorado Democrat, along with photos of her and her husband, on the racist, anti-Semitic Vanguard News Network after the congresswoman recently proposed a ban on high-capacity magazines.
The Southern Poverty Law Center is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education and other forms of advocacy, we work toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality. www.splcenter.org
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