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Michigan plot shows right-wing militias a growing threat

67 Comments
By JEFF KOWALSKY
Michael Null (L), one of those arrested in the plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, at an April 2020 rally against Covid-19 restrictions Photo: AFP

The arrest of 13 men in a plot to kidnap the governor of Michigan and "instigate a civil war" placed a fresh spotlight on the growth of armed, right-wing extremist "militias" under the administration of President Donald Trump.

The FBI says such groups constitute the greatest domestic terror threat to the country, but Trump has appeared to encourage some, leading to worries of political violence around the Nov 3 presidential election.

Who are the militias?

A subculture of armed right-wing groups with varied motivations has long existed in the United States.

After Trump came to power, many have come out of the shadows, most infamously joining the notorious 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and this year protesting COVID-19 restrictions while heavily armed, and confronting anti-police and Black Lives Matter protestors.

The most prominent groups -- the Three Percenters, Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, Boogaloo Bois, and Patriot Prayer -- coalesce around anti-authority, anti-leftist and pro-gun rights ideologies.

Some are white supremacists with ties to neo-Nazi movements; some see the police and government as authoritarian enemies; others say they are preparing for a national revolution or race war.

Some also subscribe to the QAnon movement embracing unfounded theories of a "deep state" threat to Trump and a global child-kidnapping conspiracy led by Democrats.

No one knows how many followers the groups have, but it is easily in the thousands, in all areas of the country connected by social media and encrypted messaging, according to researchers.

Who were the people in the Michigan plot?

Many of the 13 arrested expressed support for the Boogaloo ideology, and several were members of the recently formed local Wolverine Watchmen armed militia.

Boogaloo is an organizationless, leaderless, loosely-shaped ideology formed around gun culture and the belief of a looming war or insurrection, fought with the left, with a dictatorial government, or over race.

Some of those arrested had joined rallies this year against Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer's coronavirus restrictions, wearing paramilitary gear, carrying multiple weapons, and declaring their rights were being violated.

The Wolverine Watchmen regularly undertook firearms training "to prepare for the 'boogaloo', a term referencing a violent uprising against the government or impending politically-motivated civil war," said a Michigan state court filing.

Since 2019 the FBI has said that right wing extremists, sole actors and militia groups are the country's leading domestic terror threat. They have been responsible for dozens of deaths in the past three years, compared to only a handful from Islamist extremists.

FBI director Chris Wray said in September that white supremacists are the leading violent extremism threat. But so far this year more deaths have been caused by right wing extremists who are primarily anti-authority and anti-government.

That includes the May murder of two policemen in California by a Boogaloo follower.

"It's not just a Michigan problem, it's an American problem," said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

Do the militias threaten the election?

Potentially, yes. President Donald Trump has repeatedly called on his followers to go to polling sites to "protect" the vote.

"I'm urging my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully, because that's what has to happen," Trump said during his election debate against Joe Biden in late September.

During the debate he also told the violent armed Proud Boys group to "stand by." One of the group's organizers, Joe Biggs, answered on social media: "Well sir, we're ready."

In states that allow the open carry of firearms, there are few rules to prevent militia groups or armed activists from descending on a voting station to watch or protest, as long as they do not directly menace voters.

But it could still be intimidating. And Wray said last week that the FBI's big fear is violent clashes between armed, ideologically motivated extremist groups on the right and left before the election.

"Now you've got an additional level of combustible violence," he said.

© 2020 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.


67 Comments

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How do you get rid of the connection between white pride and racism? Extremely difficult ( if not impossible ).

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

The FBI says such groups constitute the greatest domestic terror threat to the country, but Trump has appeared to encourage some,

Trump's pushing to undermine US systems and replace them with national socialism led by him. Trump is anti-democracy, the most anti-American politician ever.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

How do you get rid of the connection between white pride and racism? 

White pride is racism.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

Bunch of unpatriotic clowns but the threat is very real and growing rapidly. Since they are white, the government is only going after some of them and only half-heartedly.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Trump will never leave the WH and the Michigan Militias will guard the WH in case Trump loses and guard his presidency with their weaponry like the Milkor MLG. Trump will never leave the WH.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I do not understand how what they think, and what they do, makes any sense.

How is it that "Christians" in America support the man who supports these groups?

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Confederate Christians of the Trump type believed in slavery. Proof is people like the KKK, white supremacists, Bundies, david Duke, and Dylan Roof vote Trump

10 ( +12 / -2 )

rcch:

How do you get rid of the connection between white pride and racism? Extremely difficult ( if not impossible ).

I don't think you understand the ideology behind the word 'pride'. It is used by downtrodden minorities who continually experience discrimination, violence towards themselves and generally made to feel worthless.

When the day comes when white people are fired from their jobs for being white, when they are discriminated by police officers, when they are physically or verbally attacked on a regular basis, when they are vilified by the church, when they are killed and have their land taken, then I will march with you for white pride.

The man-child has been awfully quiet about this on Twitter, preferring to ramble on and on about other things.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

So, constitutionally the Home of the 'Brave' encourages dangerous midlife inadequates to be better armed than the police, threatening people in public, and the Land of the 'Free' disenfranchises its citizens by ignoring the popular vote. Wow.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

The man-child has been awfully quiet about this on Twitter, preferring to ramble on and on about other things.

So what is he supposed to say? He denounced these fringe groups don't know how many times and if he did it on a daily loop, liberals would still say, "I don't believe him." So the guy doesn't need to say anything, damned if he does and damned if he doesn't and the man is not responsible for these idiots, they have free will just like all of us, they choose to live this life and the Democrat leaders of this State chose to keep her State closed, she chose to hold these people down and I knew with all of the overhype of this virus that sooner or later something bad is going to happen and here we are and as long as liberals continue to stop the average American from working and allowing them to take care of their families and talking about taking away their 2nd amendment rights and come down harder on religious freedoms, I don't see this coming to an end, quite the opposite actually.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

So what is he supposed to say?

Yes he tells them to "stand by" in debate, otherwise he will lose more of his base. Yes he does have to keep his base, so he has no other choice

12 ( +13 / -1 )

midlife inadequates

You sum them up nicely in two words. Bravo!

10 ( +10 / -0 )

White pride is racism.

What about black pride?

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Yet the truth is that the individuals arrested are ANARCHISTS who have also participated in BLM/ANTIFA protests, called Trump a tyrant(in addition to the MI Gov), and one was recently pardoned by the Dem Delaware governor. Interesting that the article failed to mention that.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Mature well adjusted adults don't settle their political differences with guns. Period. Making threats, whether openly or veiled, of using armed force if they don't get their way in a fee election is repugnant to elected representative government. The three little children in the photo represent much of what is wrong with the world and nothing that is right. They don't love the US. They love power. They offer nothing for me to admire and much to loathe. Now hate away if you so choose.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Trump refuses to accept any responsibility for the actions of this group of far-right domestic terrorists...

Yet they began their plan to kidnap and kill Gov Whitmer Governor after he tweeted "Liberate Michigan"...

Cohen was indicted and convicted of executing the illegal Stormy payoff - and Trump has been designated an unindicted co-conspirator for directing it...

This case is no different - these Losers were acting on Trump's direction - and he should be indicted as a co-conspirator for this crime also...

6 ( +7 / -1 )

So what is he supposed to say? He denounced these fringe groups don't know how many times and if he did it on a daily loop, liberals would still say, "I don't believe him." 

He hasn’t denounced the fringe right nearly as often as the dems have denounced the fringe left, but you keep harping on the dems for not doing it enough. Anyone else smell the rank hypocrisy of hyper-partisanship?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

He hasn’t denounced the fringe right nearly as often as the dems have denounced the fringe left,

The Dems haven't denounced anyone of these thugs. Pelosi, Waters, Nadler, Schumer, even Hillary or Obama and neither of these people said, we need to protect our culture, stop destroying your own neighborhoods, stop taking to the streets and we value law and order and fully support the police and will support funding them and we will take our cities back. So which mayor or Democrat governor denounced the violence in the most profound way and daily and consistently? Because they haven't and if they did, it was a tiny mouse peep of a condemnation. If they did denounce it to the breaking point, where are the videos and quotes from some of the top Democrats?

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Yes, they have.

No, they did not.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2020/09/02/why_wont_biden_condemn_antifa_or_blm_violence_144118.html

https://nypost.com/2020/08/19/democrats-stay-silent-on-violence-in-their-cities-devine/

https://gellerreport.com/2020/07/democrats-reject-resolution-mob-violence.html/

Why do you have a different standard for Trump denouncing right wing terror groups?

He did and I don't, but you don't see mobs of criminals destroying Red State cities and the reason for that is, they would never allow it to happen.

Illogical and irrelevant.

Oh, not to the growing anger at these Democrat leaders and it is only worsening by the day, ask Whitmer and I think this is all bad, but what were the Dems thinking and they continue to do this, that Genie won't go back into the bottle.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2020/09/02/why_wont_biden_condemn_antifa_or_blm_violence_144118.html

So what is he supposed to say? He denounced these fringe groups don't know how many times and if he did it on a daily loop, liberals would still say, "I don't believe him." So the guy doesn't need to say anything, damned if he does and damned if he doesn't and the man is not responsible for these idiots, they have free will just like all of us, they choose to live this life

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Yes, they have.

No, they did not.

Sorry, useless "But What About" comments that only dodge the real issue won't fly here....

These far-right domestic terrorists began planning their vile kidnapping and murder scheme only after Trump tweeted "Liberate Michigan"....

He is responsible for inciting their act of violence - just as Bin-Laden or Al-Awaki urged on their terrorists...or as ISIS does now...

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Here are a few examples of dems denouncing fringe left violence:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.usatoday.com/amp/3317862001

https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN25V2O1

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/08/31/trump-allies-keep-accusing-biden-not-condemning-violence-shortly-after-biden-condemns-violence/%3foutputType=amp

I know the response to this evidence will be to say, “Well, Chuck, my democrat neighbor hasn’t denounced the violence. What about Pelosi’s high school intern? He hasn’t denounced the violence.” Unfortunately, that’s not an actual refutation of the evidence, it’s merely changing the goalposts to avoid admitting you are incorrect.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

So what is are the dems supposed to say? They have denounced these fringe groups don't know how many times and if they did it on a daily loop, conservatives would still say, "I don't believe them." So they don’t need to say anything, damned if they do and damned if they don’t and they are not responsible for these idiots, they have free will just like all of us, they choose to live this life.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Isn't it interesting that Trump not only get support from these far-right domestic terrorists, he gets support from international ones as well....

The Taliban, the ultraconservative political and military group in Afghanistan, has offered President Trump’s reelection campaign an unwanted endorsement, CBS News reported Saturday.

“We hope he will win the election and wind up U.S. military presence in Afghanistan,” Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesperson for the Taliban, told the news outlet.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/taliban-endorses-president-trump-report/ar-BB19TWy9

Pretty much says it all, doesn't it...

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Interesting article.

Are all of these armed militia's really dangerous or are they merely a group of people with common interests and pursuits? The difference lies in believing in something and taking illegal actions based on those beliefs I guess. As long as they believe in gun rights and conspiracy theories they are harmless, but if they plan a government overthrow they should be locked up.

Coming from a country where guns are tightly regulated the US gun culture has always fascinated me. Can anyone tell me what assault rifles are these 3 gentlemen in the picture carrying? Is it AR15?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@Pukey2

I don't think you understand the ideology behind the word 'pride'. It is used by downtrodden minorities who continually experience discrimination, violence towards themselves and generally made to feel worthless.

When the day comes when white people are fired from their jobs for being white, when they are discriminated by police officers, when they are physically or verbally attacked on a regular basis, when they are vilified by the church, when they are killed and have their land taken, then I will march with you for white pride.

Excuse me, there's more than one definition of pride. ... ... so what you're saying is that we cannot(!) be proud of being white. Or we don't need to feel pride, because our race has achieved too much since the beginning of Western Civilization but then we'll "have to" ignore such achievements. Fascinating.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Pride? Like Trump doesn't want Americans to wear masks?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Are all of these armed militia's really dangerous 

Yes. Anyone armed is dangerous.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Excuse me, there's more than one definition of pride. ... ... so what you're saying is that we cannot(!) be proud of being white. Or we don't need to feel pride, because our race has achieved too much since the beginning of Western Civilization but then we'll "have to" ignore such achievements. Fascinating.

Who is white?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

What is Western Civilisation?

If someone was a political philosopher who spent his entire life living in Germany, France and the UK, and his ideals inspired people across Europe and the Americas, and whose ideals were a direct cause of things like public education and the end of child labour, would you say that he was a peer of Western Civilisation?

If so, I have good news: Marxism is for you.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

"Yes. Anyone armed is dangerous."

So you recommend disarming all the cops all over the world since they too are dangerous? Coming specifically to my question, where do you draw the line between certain people coming together based on common beliefs and interests (however repulsive these interests might be to you, say gun rights or white supremacy or conspiracy theories or black power or whatever) and calling for a ban on entire groups because of the actions of a few individuals?

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Bunch of thugs. Did bombs explode in the ears of one of the ringleaders?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Isn't it "stand down, stand by" phenomenon?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

So you recommend disarming all the cops all over the world since they too are dangerous?

An unusual conclusion to draw.

Coming specifically to my question, where do you draw the line between certain people coming together based on common beliefs and interests (however repulsive these interests might be to you, say gun rights or white supremacy or conspiracy theories or black power or whatever) and calling for a ban on entire groups because of the actions of a few individuals?

I do not believe that citizens should be allowed to possess guns, since they typically do not have the training or wherewithal to use them properly. As evidence, the USA, my homeland, is the only developed country in the world where firearms can be possessed without training, checks or background examinations. It is also the only developed country in the world where school shootings exist not as an anomaly but as a daily reality.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

A bunch of insecure, fearful, little boys with a huge sense of inadequacy...

They're scared and feel powerless, and think the only thing that can make themselves feel worthwhile is a gun...

individuals with that level of immaturity shouldn't be let anywhere near a firearm...

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Word on the street in America is that these are not right-wingers, they are anarchists. Funny how the majority of commenters here fall right into the cliche liberal catchphrases and labels without the facts. White men with guns and pride are not insecure and weak. A group of them founded America.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Word on the street in America is that these are not right-wingers, they are anarchists.

I’m more interested in the word of law enforcement. We know that many of the members are vehemently pro-Trump, hardly anarchists.

Funny how the majority of commenters here fall right into the cliche liberal catchphrases and labels without the facts.

Funny how you trust the “word on the street” (which street is that, again?) rather than published information.

White men with guns and pride are not insecure and weak.

If you have to tell yourself that you’re not insecure and weak, you probably are.

A group of them founded America.

Slavers, yeah.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

the funny thing is watching the same poor souls watching yet another narrative swirl down the toilet.

We now know that these nut jobs were nothing more than BLM/Antifa supporting anarchists who hate the police and Trump.

Unbelievable that they fall for these hoaxes hook, line and sinker Every. Single. Time.!

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

I’ve never understood this thing of being proud of something that is a matter of chance, not a personal achievement.

Being proud of how your kids have turned out, proud of the house you have bought or built by your own efforts to provide a home for your family, proud of a piece of embroidery/pottery/digital code/whatever that you have created yourself, all these are things to be proud of. (While being aware of and grateful for the family/social support that enabled you to do whatever you did.)

But being proud of a mere accident of birth, like the colour of your skin, something you have no control over and made no contribution towards, seems daft to me. Be proud of your achievements and successes, not some arbitrary accident of birth.

I would add that these white supremacist types, like the nazis, kkk and other such, appear always to be less than sterling examples of the ‘supremacy’ they espouse. Looking at those mugshots, I’d say they were all pretty low-quality specimens.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Doesn’t matter what side you are on. If your compelling purpose in life is waving a flag and an assault rifle, well... you gone done screwed up.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Oh, not to the growing anger at these Democrat leaders and it is only worsening by the day, ask Whitmer and I think this is all bad, but what were the Dems thinking and they continue to do this, that Genie won't go back into the bottle.

People like b4p expect blacks to meekly accept their second class status in the US, accept routine institutionalized discrimination, being murdered by the police, and not say a thing. To the likes of b4p blacks should just shut the heck up and accept white hegemony because, well, they are nothing buy terrorists. Sorry pal, but yes that genie has been out of the bottle since 1865 and it isn't going back. Blacks want to be treated like whites and it is up to whites to help make this happen. Continuing to disparage and suppress black aspirations will only make them rebel that much stronger. The old days are gone.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"I do not believe that citizens should be allowed to possess guns, since they typically do not have the training or wherewithal to use them properly."

 I believe that under certain circumstances responsible law abiding citizens should be allowed to own guns. In my country guns are tightly controlled but crime rates are still quite high. Well connected people who can bend the system (such as politicians and rich businessmen) own guns and criminals who can manufacture guns illegally own guns whereas the cops are useless. Also there is a gun culture in certain parts of my country but all those are illegally manufactured guns.

In any case, in the US the first amendment rights protect free speech and second amendment protects the right to bear arms so gun lovers coming together to form a militia is allowed unless and until they do something stupid like these guys did. So I don't believe that all armed folks are dangerous in your country just like all armed folks are not dangerous in my country. Many of the rich folks are armed to protect themselves from criminals since the cops can not be counted upon.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Whatever you still try, the future was yesterday. Don’t ask what or how I mean that. You know that very well and probably better and more detailed than I.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I believe that under certain circumstances responsible law abiding citizens should be allowed to own guns.

What are these circumstances?

In my country guns are tightly controlled but crime rates are still quite high.

Wha is your home country? How many of said crimes involve a gun?

Well connected people who can bend the system (such as politicians and rich businessmen) own guns and criminals who can manufacture guns illegally own guns whereas the cops are useless. Also there is a gun culture in certain parts of my country but all those are illegally manufactured guns. 

I am also against political graft and illegal firearms. It’s weird that you think this is relevant, but there we are,

In any case, in the US the first amendment rights protect free speech and second amendment protects the right to bear arms so gun lovers coming together to form a militia is allowed unless and until they do something stupid like these guys did.

The first amendment is good. The second amendment is bad.

So I don't believe that all armed folks are dangerous in your country just like all armed folks are not dangerous in my country. Many of the rich folks are armed to protect themselves from criminals since the cops can not be counted upon.

If you carry a firearm, you are dangerous by definition. This is indisputable. One would not carry a gun were one not willing to make threats of lethal violence. Someone willing to make threats of lethal violence is dangerous.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Those assault rifles look like the standard US ARMY M4 Carbine without gernade launchers, they must be AR-15 which the Police uses I think.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Let see if I can pin point those wepons let me launch my Call of Duty Modern warfare game and check my inventory...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Anyone play here play Call of Duty Modern Warfare on PC or PlayStation 5?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"What are these circumstances?"

Corrupt and useless cops who exist only to protect politicians for one. A skewed cop to population ratio where it is not possible for lowly paid cops with bad quality weapons to come to the aid of each and every person who faces danger from criminals.

"I am also against political graft and illegal firearms. It’s weird that you think this is relevant, but there we are"

It is relevant because if guns were not tightly regulated in my country then common citizens could have a chance to defend themselves. Call it a militia or whatever you want. Given the laws, commoners are at the mercy of criminals who do not pay heed to any laws. My country also has a flourishing industry of manufacturing illegal firearms.

"The second amendment is bad."

That is your point of view. I am sure there are enough people even if in a minority in the US who believe otherwise.

"If you carry a firearm, you are dangerous by definition. This is indisputable."

So how about people who carry guns to protect themselves? In my country rich businessmen used to get extortion calls from criminal gangs so many of them used their connections to acquire firearms legally or illegally. Things are much better these days but no one trusts the cops to protect them.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Right wingers are the single biggest threat facing America today. They've already brought their country down so far in the past 20 years, and they're doing their best to bring it down further.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Any idiot can purchase a gun in the US so it should be no surprise that there are a lot of idiots with guns in the US.  To the degree it is easy to buy firearms in the US it is no surprise that criminals have so many guns, including criminals in other countries who find it easy to arrange straw purchases of large amounts of firearms and ammunition from US gun shops. Gun owners have no one to blame for this situation but themselves. They cry they need firearms to protect themselves while being utterly blind to how the very ease of obtaining firearms makes it easy for criminals and the mentally ill to buy and use firearms.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The second amendment is bad."

That is your point of view. I am sure there are enough people even if in a minority in the US who believe otherwise.

The 2nd Amendment has been badly abused. The framers of the Constitution did not envision the US having a standing army. Madison wrote at length about the dangers of allowing the Executive Branch to have a standing army at its disposal. The invitation to engage in war would be too great, and from war springs all the other dangers to self government as the Executive Branch uses the excuse of war to accumulate power and usurp the other branches of government (which is the case in the US today), accumulate debt and raise taxes.

The founders imagined the states would each have a militia along the lines of the Swiss reserve forces that could be called upon by Congress in time of a declared war, noting that under the Constitution only Congress may declare war. We have abandoned that part of the Constitution as well to our detriment. A national army would be formed out of the state militias to fight wars and if you note in the Constitution any army must be reauthorized by Congress at two year intervals while there is no such requirement for the Navy. Any army would be dissolved at the conclusion of any war and members of state militias would return to their member states. The Executive Branch would not have a standing army to engage in foreign mischief with. That whole concept has been turned on its head and now we have both an unregulated Executive Branch with a standing army that this branch uses routinely for foreign adventures with or without Congress declaring war as the Constitution requires and a nearly unregulated gun market that is in no way tied to the requirement for a "well regulated Militia".

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Right wingers are the single biggest threat facing America today. They've already brought their country down so far in the past 20 years, and they're doing their best to bring it down further.

BLM/Antifa riots, murder, death and destruction for 4 months straight, and the usual suspects still think saying the opposite is true.

Doesn't work anymore.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

BLM/Antifa riots, murder, death and destruction for 4 months straight, and the usual suspects still think saying the opposite is true.

Doesn't work anymore.

How much of the "death and destruction" you mention was the work of white right wing bigots working inside the crowds of protesters? Example the USAF member who killed Federal police in Oakland.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"What are these circumstances?"

Corrupt and useless cops who exist only to protect politicians for one. A skewed cop to population ratio where it is not possible for lowly paid cops with bad quality weapons to come to the aid of each and every person who faces danger from criminals. 

English is not your first language, so I will elaborate, as you missed the point of my question: what are the circumstances under which you believe civilians, not police, should be able to carry firearms? What training, qualifications etc. should they go through?

It is relevant because if guns were not tightly regulated in my country then common citizens could have a chance to defend themselves. Call it a militia or whatever you want. Given the laws, commoners are at the mercy of criminals who do not pay heed to any laws. My country also has a flourishing industry of manufacturing illegal firearms.

Without wanting to belabor the point, we are discussing the USA. I don’t know what your own country is like, since you refused to tell me when I asked. You also refused to qualify how much of the crime you mention involves guns.

That is your point of view. I am sure there are enough people even if in a minority in the US who believe otherwise.

Yeah, I’m aware it’s my opinion. When you’re defending your right to have an opinion, rather than justifying the opinion you have, you’ve lost the argument.

So how about people who carry guns to protect themselves? In my country rich businessmen used to get extortion calls from criminal gangs so many of them used their connections to acquire firearms legally or illegally. Things are much better these days but no one trusts the cops to protect them.

Yes, people who carry guns to defend themselves are dangerous. They are trying to make themselves dangerous so that these “criminal gangs” don’t mess with them. That’s the whole point. I don’t know how I can make it clearer to you that, yes, carrying an object designed to kill humans makes you dangerous to other humans.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The fascist-lite militias of 2020 are just the latest bitter fruit of the poisonous right wing kudzu vine of American exceptionalism, a malignant growth that must be torn up by the roots if the Republic is to be saved from being smothered by illiteracy, idiocy and the illiberalism of the science-challenged right.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

We now know that these nut jobs were nothing more than BLM/Antifa supporting anarchists who hate the police and Trump.

Nope.

We do know that their far right extremism is condoned by a Barry County Sherrif

Fox17 showed footage of Null appearing onstage at the rally, carrying a long gun and standing alongside Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf as the sheriff lashed out at Whitmer in a speech to the crowd. In a shocking interview, Leaf said he had no regrets for having appeared at the rally with the recently arrested militiaman. He added that he knew Null — as well as his identical twin, Michael, who was also arrested in the terror plot — and called the brothers “nice” and “respectful.” He also appeared to defend the Nulls’ motive for the alleged kidnapping plot, arguing that there’s a legal argument to be made that Whitmer should be arrested for imposing coronavirus restrictions. What Leaf did not address in his interview, however, is his membership in the right-wing extremist “constitutional sheriffs” movement — a close ally of America’s armed militias — that has gained a concerning momentum during the era of President Donald Trump.

https://www.yahoo.com/huffpost/michigan-militia-dar-leaf-constitutional-sheriff-180828690.html

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I’ve never understood this thing of being proud of something that is a matter of chance, not a personal achievement.

it doesn’t matter, you are entitled to be proud of your racial heritage or ethnic heritage or religious background.

Being proud of how your kids have turned out, proud of the house you have bought or built by your own efforts to provide a home for your family, proud of a piece of embroidery/pottery/digital code/whatever that you have created yourself, all these are things to be proud of. (While being aware of and grateful for the family/social support that enabled you to do whatever you did.)

That is a part of it as well as loving your cultural identity and where you and your ancestors came from, a legacy to cherish, hold on and to pass on.

But being proud of a mere accident of birth, like the colour of your skin, something you have no control over and made no contribution towards, seems daft to me. Be proud of your achievements and successes, not some arbitrary accident of birth.

You might think so, but to millions of people worldwide they have a totally different take and belief.

I would add that these white supremacist types, like the nazis, kkk and other such, appear always to be less than sterling examples of the ‘supremacy’ they espouse. Looking at those mugshots, I’d say they were all pretty low-quality specimens.

Not just with them, but you can also play over to blacks, you can apply that to Jews, Latinos etc....

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

"What are the circumstances under which you believe civilians, not police, should be able to carry firearms"

Already answered. In your country cops are a 911 call away, but not the case where I live. If the police can not protect the common citizen then citizens who face clear danger should be allowed to own guns. Trainings and qualifications can be arranged, and there should be a criteria (like age, mental health) which should be strictly enforced.

"You also refused to qualify how much of the crime you mention involves guns."

Already mentioned that there is a flourishing industry of illegal firearms manufacturing in my country. Not even the government has specific statistics but the point is that strict firearms laws have failed to keep crime rates down.

"When you’re defending your right to have an opinion, rather than justifying the opinion you have"

Already gave my opinion - firearms should be allowed under certain circumstances to certain civilians since sensible firearm laws can go a long way in giving vulnerable folks a chance to defend themselves.

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millions of people worldwide they have a totally different take and belief

Yes, they do. And look at all the grief and mayhem they create in the pursuit of their 'belief'.

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Already answered. In your country cops are a 911 call away, but not the case where I live.

This is the case in many countries, like the UK, where police are under-funded and take hours to respond to calls, but the citizens are not allowed to be armed. The UK also doesn't have mass shootings as a daily fact of life.

If the police can not protect the common citizen then citizens who face clear danger should be allowed to own guns.

No, they shouldn't.

Trainings and qualifications can be arranged, and there should be a criteria (like age, mental health) which should be strictly enforced.

Enforced by who? You just said the police are useless.

Already mentioned that there is a flourishing industry of illegal firearms manufacturing in my country.

That sucks. Would legalizing guns reduce the number of them on the streets?

Not even the government has specific statistics but the point is that strict firearms laws have failed to keep crime rates down.

I doubt this is true. Where are you from?

Already gave my opinion - firearms should be allowed under certain circumstances to certain civilians since sensible firearm laws can go a long way in giving vulnerable folks a chance to defend themselves.

It's a fact that the proliferation of firearms results in increased deaths by shooting. This is just the truth. I don't know what fictional country you live in, since you keep refusing to tell us, but I can assure you that every citizen having a gun would make it more dangerous.

Because, to bring this back to your original question: guns are a weapon of murder. They are inherently dangerous, and anyone wielding them is also inherently dangerous. That's the point of owning a gun. No-one owns a gun to become a better gardener or make their dog healthier. They own them to threaten others with lethal force.

Guns are dangerous.

Gun owners are dangerous.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Not just with them, but you can also play over to blacks, you can apply that to Jews, Latinos etc....

For once I agree with you. Low-lifes of any race/ethnicity/religion who think they are superior to everyone else on account of their race/ethnicity/religion, and think its's a good idea to form an armed militia to 'prove' their supremacy, are certainly the scrapings from the bottom of the barrel.

Thankfully most of the human race (the only 'race' category that matters, as far as I can see, and still not something to be 'proud' of like it was some kind of achievement) are not scuttling around the bottom of the barrel.

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Low-lifes of any race/ethnicity/religion who think they are superior to everyone else on account of their race/ethnicity/religion, and think its's a good idea to form an armed militia to 'prove' their supremacy, are certainly the scrapings from the bottom of the barrel.

Goes without saying.

Anyway, for the so-called "master race", a lot of these bozos aren't very clever or masterful with their er, "patriotic" acts.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

bass4funk is American, though can speak German very well.

Fair enough - it was that comment " as we like to say in Germany" from a few weeks back that threw me.

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we need to protect our culture, stop destroying your own neighborhoods, stop taking to the streets and we value law and order and fully support the police and will support funding them and we will take our cities back.

Uh...Bass, I was kinda under the impression you at least knew why BLM came into existence even if you don’t support the method?

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Sorry, I’m big on the 2nd Amendment, not withstanding the fact that I haven’t owned a gun since the early 90’s. As the old saying goes, “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws and already extremely heavily armed Trump supporting militias would have guns!”

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As the old saying goes, “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws and already extremely heavily armed Trump supporting militias would have guns!”

I really don't buy this line of thinking. "If murder were outlawed, only outlaws would murder". I mean, yeah, but that's not the point. The point is to criminalize dangerous behaviour and actions to reduce their frequency.

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"Enforced by who? You just said the police are useless."

Alternate gun licensing agency can be setup up nationwide. Trainings can be provided by the army or the paramilitary who are relatively more efficient and less corrupt.

"That sucks. Would legalizing guns reduce the number of them on the streets?"

No but legalizing guns can ensure that the number of firearms can be tracked more easily. It would also mean that the criminals would now know that there are chances that the next guy or his family that is on their hit list is armed.

"I doubt this is true. Where are you from?"

Since you are so keen to know where I am from, do your own research. My country has the second highest number of guns in private hands after the US in absolute terms, inspite of having strict gun laws. Most of these guns are either illegal or procured legally by rich and well connected people who have paid off the police and other parties to bypass procedures.

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