Back in April, the Department of Homeland Security released a report warning of a growing threat of right-wing extremism. Naturally, the right took offense. A week before the report was released, Richard Poplawski shot three cops in Pittsburgh. Poplawski, a frequent contributor to various white supremacy message boards, believed that Obama was going to take his guns away. A couple of weeks ago, Scott Roeder, an abortion activist, shot Dr. George Tiller, an abortion doctor, dead in Dr. Tiller’s church. Yesterday, 89-year-old James von Brunn walked into the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and opened fire killing security officer Stephen Tyrone Johns. Von Brunn had a history of anti-Semitism and a record as he spent six years in jail for trying to “kidnap Federal Reserve Board members because of high interest rates.”
In all three cases, these brain surgeons had hate, fear, and ignorance on their side. Setting aside racism, they also separately believed in those classic right-wing values of gun ownership rights (Poplawski), anti-abortion laws (Roeder), and small government (von Brunn). Add fear and stupidity to their core issue and you get men who are willing to take matters into their own hands. What’s worse is that they are not alone. All three were part of networks. Poplawski and von Brunn frequently posted their views to popular racist websites and Roeder worked with the anti-abortion organization Operation Rescue. In fact, Roeder’s contact at Operation Rescue plead guilty and was sentenced to two years for conspiring to bomb a California abortion clinic in 1988.
Riddle me this…two individuals have political motivations to do great harm to an unsuspecting public. Other than body count, what’s the difference between one individual strapping a bomb to their chest, detonating it in a Baghdad market and the other individual walking onto a public area with a gun who begins to indiscriminately fire?
1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.
2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
3. a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.
Based on the definition above, these men are terrorists and should be charged as terrorists. Subsequently, the groups they fraternize with should be monitored as terrorist cells. Yes, they all acted alone, but they received ideas, information, and encouragement from like minded individuals who no doubt feel that these men are heroes. I’m certainly not talking about the entire conservative movement. I’m not talking about people who believe in their Second Amendment rights, or putting an end to abortion, or arguing for a smaller government. I’m not even talking about law abiding racists or anti-abortion activists. And I’m definitely not talking about restricting their free speech. We are blessed to live in a country that allows folks to express their mind, even if that mind happens to be full of shit. No, I’m talking about the few hundred people in this country that seem to think that shooting innocent people is an effective way to get their message across. I say squeeze them. Make them uncomfortable to the point where the rational ones decide to ditch the crazy ones because the crazy ones aren’t doing their movement any good.
This is enough. Too many innocent people have died this year because these idiots believed that this was the best way to send a message. Let’s return the favor by making them an example of what a lawful country does to monsters like these. Maybe that’s too good for them. But we are, after all, a civilized nation and should deal with our criminals in a civilized manner.