On June 26, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court embraced the National Rifle Association’s contention that the Second Amendment provides individuals with the right to take violent action against our government should it become “tyrannical.” The following timeline catalogs incidents of insurrectionist violence (or the promotion of such violence) that have occurred since that decision was issued.
June 26, 2008—The case of District of Columbia v. Heller is decided by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 ruling. The opinion not only endorses the National Rifle Association s individual right interpretation of the Second Amendment; it also affirms that one of the purposes of the right is to “assure the existence of a ‘citizens’ militia’ as a safeguard against tyranny.” The NRA’s amicus brief in the case argues that “the Second Amendment refers to the utility of an armed population in preventing government tyranny.”
July 27, 2008—Jim Adkisson shoots and kills two people at a progressive church in Knoxville, Tennessee, wounding two. Adkisson calls it “a symbolic killing“ because he really “wanted to kill…every Democrat in the Senate & House, the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg’s book,” but was unable to gain access to them.
September 18, 2008—Dick Heller, the plaintiff from the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, provides testimony to the D.C. Council regarding firearm-related legislation. Heller’s written, submitted testimony states, in part: “We the people, armed, are TRULY what the Writers of the Constitution intended for us to be in Art. 1, Sec. 8, para. 15, and that is the CITIZEN MILITIA. If suicide terrorists DO attact our city, ARMED CITIZENS could be the First to counter these hostilities in our individual neighborhoods.”
September 22, 2008—The National Rifle Association launches its GunBanObama website, which predicts that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, “if elected…would be the most anti-gun president in American history.” The website is part of a $15 million NRA campaign to discredit Obama.
December 9, 2008—FBI teams investigating the murder of white supremacist James Cumming, 29, a resident of Belfast, Maine, find supplies for a crude radiological dispersal device and other explosives in his home. Cumming’s wife, who shot him to death after being abused by him repeatedly, explains, “His intentions were to construct a dirty bomb and take it to Washington to kill President Obama. He was planning to hide it in the undercarriage of our motor home.”
December 12, 2008—Bruce Turnidge and his son, Joshua Turnidge, detonate a bomb at a bank in Woodburn, Oregon, killing two police officers. The two were facing the failure of their biodiesel company and hoped to rob the bank before their plan went awry. The Turnidges were vocal about their extreme, anti-government views and “believed that the Obama administration was going to take away their right to keep and bear arms.” Bruce Turnidge cited Timothy McVeigh as an inspiration for his crime.
February 5, 2009—FOX commentator Glenn Beck hosts an hour-long special on Fox called ”We Surround Them,” which he describes as “a grassroots effort to wake up our Nation’s leaders and let them know what many, if not most, Americans truly believe in and stand for.”
February 20, 2009—FOX commentator Glenn Beck hosts a program on Fox News that games a 2014 civil war scenario called “The Bubba Effect.” It involves citizen militias in the South and West taking up arms against the U.S. government.
March 3, 2009—FOX commentator Glenn Beck interviews NRA celebrity spokesman Chuck Norris. During the interview, Beck states, “Somebody asked me this morning, they said, ’You really believe that there’s going to be trouble in the future?’ And I said, ‘If this country starts to spiral out of control and, you know, and Mexico melts down or whatever, if it really starts to spiral out of control, before America allows a country to become a totalitarian country…Americans will, they just, they won’t stand for it. There will be parts of the country that will rise up.’ And they said, ‘Where’s that going to come from?’ And I said, ‘Texas, it’s going to come from Texas.'”
March 9, 2009—NRA celebrity spokesman Chuck Norris writes in an editorial published at WorldNetDaily: “How much more will Americans take? When will enough be enough? And, when that time comes, will our leaders finally listen or will history need to record a second American Revolution?”
March 11, 2009—NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre speaks at the 2009 Conservative Political Action Conference and announces that “Our Founding Fathers understood that the guys with the guns make the rules.”
March 21-22, 2009—Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) states that she wants residents of her state to be ”armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us having a revolution every now and then is a good thing, and the people—we the people—are going to have to fight back hard if we re not going to lose our country.”
March 31, 2009—On the program “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” FOX news contributor Dick Morris says, “Those crazies in Montana who say, ‘We’re going to kill ATF agents because the U.N.’s going to take over’—well, they’re beginning to have a case.”
April 4, 2009—Neo-Nazi Richard Poplawski shoots and kills three police officers responding to a 911 call to his home in Pittsburgh. His friend Edward Perkovic tells reporters that Poplawski feared “the Obama gun ban that s on its way“ and “didn t like our rights being infringed upon.” Perkovic also commented that Poplawski carried out the shooting because “if anyone tried to take his firearms, he was gonna stand by what his forefathers told him to do.”
April 7, 2009—The Department of Homeland Security s Office of Intelligence and Analysis releases an assessment of right wing extremism in the United States. The Department notes that “the economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment.” Recalling the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh, the Department speculates, ”The possible passage of new restrictions on firearms and the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.”
April 13, 2009—Rep. Don Young (R-AK) signs a “Letter of Declaration” drafted by Schaeffer Cox, the head of the Second Amendment Task Force. The Declaration reads: “Let it be known that should our government seek to further tax, restrict or register firearms or otherwise impose on the right that shall not be infringed, thus impairing our ability to exercise the God-given right to self-defense which precedes all human legislation and is superior to it, that the duty of us good and faithful people will not be to obey them but to alter or abolish them and institute new government.” In response to the question, “If any government should decide that we have to register certain of our arms or turn them in, what would your recommendation be?” Young responds, “Don’t do it … I sincerely mean that, don’t turn them in.” Cox is later convicted for plotting to kill federal and state government officials.
April 15, 2009—Daniel Knight Hayden, 52, is arrested by FBI agents after he openly states on Twitter that he is going to turn an upcoming Oklahoma City Tea Party event into a bloodbath. Two months earlier, Hayden had written online, ”The only thing that is keeping the New World Order from destroying this nation is the presence of over 100,000,000 guns in civilian hands. When guns are outlawed, only criminals will have guns. Since we are already criminals in the eyes of the New World Order, and they intend to enslave us all, and to kill those of us who will NOT submit to their slavery, I say to IGNORE gun “laws” and keep your guns (AND ammo) handy.”
April 19, 2009—The Oath Keepers, an anti-government group made up of current and former law enforcement and military personnel, holds its first “muster” in Lexington, Massachusetts, the site of the opening shots of the Revolutionary War. The groups’ members pledge to disobey ten different orders that they deem “unconstitutional” and “immoral,” the first of which reads, “We will NOT obey orders to disarm the American people.”
April 25, 2009—Joshua Cartwright, 28, a member of the Florida National Guard, shoots and kills two Okaloosa County sheriff’s deputies attempting to arrest him on a domestic abuse charge. Cartwright is killed in an enusing gun battle with police. Cartwright’s wife reports that he was “severely disturbed” that Barack Obama had been elected president. Okaloosa County Sheriff Edward Spooner states that Cartrwight was “interested in militia groups and weapons training.”
May 2009—Data released by the U.S. Marshals Service indicates that “threats to the nation’s judges and prosecutors have more than doubled in the past six years, from 592 in 2003 to 1,278 in 2008.” Federal officials blame a number of parties, including the “sovereign citizen” movement—an unorganized grouping of tax protesters, white supremacists, and others who don’t respect federal authority.
May 21-22, 2009—We The People Chairman Bob Schultz hosts a gathering of 30 “freedom keepers” in Jekyll Island, Georgia. The meeting plays “a key role in launching the current resurgence of militias and the larger anti-government ‘Patriot’ movement.” One of the participants, former Texas militia leader Jon Roland, claims the federal government has “been engaging in warlike activity against the American people.”
May 31, 2009—Scott P. Roeder shoots and kills Dr. George Tiller, an abortion provider, in the foyer of Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas. The FBI lists Roeder as a member of the Montana Freemen, a radical anti-government group. In April 1996, he had been pulled over in Topeka, Kansas, for driving with a homemade license plate. Police found a military-style rifle, ammunition, a blasting cap, a fuse cord, a one-pound can of gunpowder, and two 9-volt batteries in his car.
June 3, 2009—Hal Turner, a New Jersey resident and white supremacist blogger/radio host, is arrested on charges of inciting injury after calling for the deaths of two Connecticut state legislators on his blog because they sponsored a bill that would have transferred financial power in Roman Catholic parishes from priests and bishops to lay members. “While filing a lawsuit is quaint and the ‘decent’ way to handle things,” he wrote, ”we at TRN (Turner Radio Network) believe that being decent to a group of tyrannical scumbags is the wrong approach. It’s too soft. Thankfully, the Founding Fathers gave us the tools necessary to resolve tyranny: The Second Amendment. TRN advocates Catholics in Connecticut take up arms and put down this tyranny by force … If any state attorney, police department or court thinks they’re going to get uppity with us about this, I suspect we have enough bullets to put them down, too.”
June 10, 2009—James W. von Brunn, a convicted felon and Neo-Nazi, walks into the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. and shoots and kills a security guard. Von Brunn believed that Western civilization was going to be replaced with a “ONE WORLD ILLUMINATI GOVERNMENT“ that would “confiscate private weapons“ in order to accomplish its goals.
June 24, 2009—Hal Turner, a New Jersey resident and white supremacist blogger/radio host, is arrested again after calling for the murder of three Republican-appointed jurists on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals who had issued a June 2 decision upholding handgun restrictions in Chicago. Writing on his blog, Turner says, “Let me be the first to say this plainly: these judges deserve to be killed,” and includes photographs, phone numbers, work addresses, and room numbers of the judges, as well as a map of Chicago s federal courthouse which points out its anti-truck bomb pylons.
July 11, 2009—At a “Party in the Park” event conducted by Ohioans for Concealed Carry in Liberty Park, state Representative Kris Jordan (R-2nd) speaks to those in attendance and says, “Why is it the Second Amendment? Well, that’s because our Founding Fathers believed so strongly in allowing the people to protect themselves from out-of-control government. I don’t trust the government. It sounds kind of oxymoronical because I am part of the government but I don’t trust it and neither did our Founding Fathers … Let me just say that the biggest gun control advocates in…the history of the world were Hitler, Stalin and now we’re seeing our current administration wanting to go after those same gun rights and without the Second Amendment you can’t really protect all the other amendments that we value so strongly.”
July 13, 2009—Gilbert Ortez, Jr. kills a police deputy in Chambers County, Texas, with an assault rifle. Police were responding to reports that Ortez or his wife had fired shots at utility workers in the area. Police searching Ortez s mobile home after a 10-hour standoff find more than 100 explosive devices; Nazi drawings and extremist literature; and several additional firearms.
July 15, 2009—Katherine Crabill, a Republican candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates in the state s 99th District makes headlines by calling on Americans to resist the course President Obama has set for the country. Appearing at a Tea Party rally, Crabill quotes a 1775 speech by Patrick Henry and states, ”We have a chance to fight this battle at the ballot box before we have to resort to the bullet box. But that’s the beauty of our Second Amendment right. I am glad for all of us who enjoy the use of firearms for hunting. But make no mistake. That was not the intent of the Founding Fathers. Our Second Amendment right was to guard against tyranny.” This thought is reinforced on Crabill s campaign website, where she states the Second Amendment ”was clearly intended for self defense as well as, and more specifically, to keep the government on notice of an armed citizenry.”
July 31, 2009—On WWJB-AM in Hernando County, Florida, talk radio host Bob Haa takes a call from a listener who mentions ammunition, target practice, and Barack Obama. Haa tells him not to waste his ammunition on targets, to save it for the administration. Haa is later visited by an agent for the Secret Service.
August 3, 2009—After being blamed for the murder of Dr. George Tiller, FOX commentator Glenn Beck cautions his listeners that ”just one lunatic like Timothy McVeigh could ruin everything that everyone has worked so hard for.”
August 11, 2009—William Kostric is filmed openly carrying a handgun outside of President Obama’s health care reform town hall meeting in New Hampshire. Kostric holds a sign that reads, “IT IS TIME TO WATER THE TREE OF LIBERTY!” a reference to the following Thomas Jefferson quote: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
August 17, 2009—Chris Broughton openly carries a handgun and AR-15 semiautomatic assault rifle to a health care rally in Phoenix, Arizona. Simultaneously, President Obama addresses a VFW Convention across the street. In a video recorded that day, Broughton states, “What do you think we did in the revolution, in the American Revolution? The British weren’t stealing money from us for health care. They weren’t taxing us the way they are now back then. And what did we do? We forcefully kicked them out of our country, and we will forcefully resist people imposing their will on us through the strength of the majority with a vote.”
August 25, 2009—During a GOP barbecue in Twin Falls, Idaho, an audience member asks Rex Rammell, a candidate in the 2010 Idaho Republican Primary, a question about “Obama tags” during a discussion about state-issued tags for wolf hunting. Rammell responds, “The Obama tags? We’d buy some of those.” In a subsequent press release, he adds, “Anyone who understands the law knows I was just joking, because Idaho has no jurisdiction to issue hunting tags in Washington, D.C.”
August 26, 2009—At a secessionist rally on the state capitol steps in Austin, Texas, gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina states that, “We are aware that stepping off into secession may in fact be a bloody war. We are aware. We understand that the tree of freedom is occasionally watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots.”
September 9, 2009—With President Barack Obama at the U.S. Capitol to address a joint session of Congress on the subject of health care reform, Joshua Bowman, 28, of Falls Church, Virginia, attempts to drive his Honda Civic into a secure area near the building. U.S. Capitol Police stop him and, searching his vehicle, find a rifle, a shotgun, and 500 rounds of ammunition. He is arrested on weapons charges.
September 25-26, 2009—Kitty Werthmann, a speaker at the How to Take Back America Conference in St. Louis, tells her audience, ”If we had our guns [during the time of the Nazis’ reign in Germany], we would have fought a bloody battle. So, keep your guns, and buy more guns, and buy ammunition. Take back America. Don t let them take the country into Socialism. And I refer again, Hitler’s party was National Socialism. And that s what we are having here right now, which is bordering on Marxism.”
September 28, 2009—Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), the Chairman of the Second Amendment Task Force in the U.S. House of Representatives, calls House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a “domestic enemy of the Constitution“ at a health care reform town hall meeting.
September 29, 2009—An editorial at the Newsmax website calls for a military coup to oust President Obama.
September 30, 2009—The Michelangelo Signorile Show, a talk radio program on Sirus, takes a call from Jim from Oklahoma, who claims that he and 200 others are meeting weekly to stage a coup against President Obama. Jim says they want to restore their “a right to bear arms” and bring the country back to where it was 400 years ago, before slavery was abolished.
October 18-19, 2009—Reports emerge that the Secret Service has received an unprecedented number of death threats against President Obama. Ronald Kessler’s account of presidential security, “In the President’s Secret Service,” states that there has been a 400% increase in such threats in comparison with Obama s predecessor. Another source of these reports is an August 5, 2009 study by the Congressional Research Service which finds: “The [Secret] Service s protection mission has increased and become more urgent due to the increase in terrorist threats and the expanded arsenal of weapons that terrorists could use in an assassination attempt or attacks on facilities.”
October 21, 2009—John Brek, a 55 year-old Newark Airport security guard, is arrested for making terroristic threats against President Obama. Authorities find 43 firearms while searching his home, including a stolen rifle. Brek, a National Rifle Association member, is also found to be in possession of illegal hollow point bullets.
November 2009—A billboard is erected on I-70 in Lafayette County, Missouri, that promotes “a citizens guide to REVOLUTION.” It urges Missourians to “LIVE FREE OR DIE” and “PREPARE FOR WAR” with a corrupt government. The billboard is highlighted at the Lafayette County Republicans’ website.
November 11-22, 2009—More than 100 delegates from across the country attend a “Continental Congress” hosted by We The People. Attendees include Neo-Confederate secessionists, “Common Law Court” enthusiasts, adherents of the “Sovereign Citizens” movement, militia backers, and other radicals. Planned at an earlier May meeting in Jekyll Island, the Congress issues a document entitled the “Articles of Freedom” which declares that the federal government “now threatens our Life, Liberty and Property through usurpations of the Constitution.”
November 29, 2009—Conservative web publisher Andrew Breitbart tweets, “Capital punishment for Dr James Hansen. Climategate is high treason.” Hansen, who heads the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, is a noted researcher on the effect of greenhouse gas emissions and an activist who has called for public policies to mitigate the effects of global warming.
December 23, 2009—Warren “Gator” Taylor takes three people hostage at a federal post office in Wytheville, Virginia. He is armed with four guns, including a .40-caliber Glock pistol, despite a criminal record that includes convictions for lewd and lascivious behavior with a 13 year-old and attempted second-degree murder (Taylor shot his ex-wife three times in a parking lot in 1993). Taylor fires at least three rounds before the stand-off ends, including one at the station’s fleeing postmaster. One of Taylor’s hostages reports that he was angry about taxes and “the government taking over the right to bear arms.”
January 2010—A group of nearly 200 “extremely concerned citizens” in Ravalli County, Montana, demand that local elected officials fill out a “questionnaire” pledging to form a local militia, prohibit mandatory vaccinations, allow citizens to bear any type of firearms they choose (including fully automatic machine guns), and require federal government employees to get written approval before approaching “any Citizen” in the county. The questionnaire is organized in part by Celebrating Conservatism, a group with direct ties to the militia movement.
January 2, 2010—More than 300 people attend a rally in Alamogordo, New Mexico, organized by the local Otero Tea Party Patriots and Second Amendment Task Force. The purpose of the rally is to protest health care reform, and many of the rally’s participants openly carry handguns and/or rifles. One attendee states that his handgun is a “very open threat“ to the “socialist communists“ in the Obama Administration. “The government fears the people, and a disarmed people are slaves,” he says. “Political power comes from the barrel of a gun … They re pushing us to our limits.”
January 12, 2010—Mark Campano of Cuyhaoga Falls, Ohio, pleads not guilty to charges of possessing destructive devices not registered with the federal government. Law enforcement are called to Campano’s apartment in November 2009 after he accidentally detonates a pipe bomb and loses parts of two fingers. They find 30 pipe bombs, 17 rifles and handguns, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in the dwelling. Campano’s next-door neighbor states, “He was always trying to get me and another neighbor to listen to anti-government tapes and watch anti-government videos … He was some kind of radical, and he didn’t believe in the government.”
January 12, 2010—Charles Allan Dyer, 29, a former Marine with ties to the Tea Party and far-right-wing organizations like Oath Keepers, is arrested at his home on charges of raping a 7 year old-girl. Sheriff’s deputies find several firearms inside Dyer’s home and a Colt M-203 40mm grenade launcher, which was stolen from a military base in Fort Irwin, California, in 2006. Dyer had been an organizer of militia groups in Oklahoma and told one interviewer, “I’m going to use my training and become one of those domestic terrorists that you’re so afraid of from the [Department of Homeland Security (DHS)] reports.” In another video, Dyer states, “With DHS blatantly calling patriots, veterans, and constitutionalists a threat, all that I have to say is you re damn right we’re a threat. We’re a threat to anyone that endangers our rights and the Constitution of this republic.”
February 9, 2010—Gregory Girard of Manchester, Massachusetts, is arrested for weapons charges after police find 20 firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition, and explosive devices in his home. Girard’s wife says that her husband recently told her, “Don’t talk to people, shoot them instead.” In a January 30 post at a popular website affiliated with the Tea Party movement, Girard stated: “We have been in a state of war and state of emergency of some time for decades uninterupted … The entire body of these War Powers and ‘continuity of gov’t’ plans render our concept of a Constitutional Republic to be little more than thin veil of civility and justice layered over a monsterous, diabolic dictatorship that would break out of political cage but for Americans vigorously exercising their 2nd Amendment rights … As it stands today at start of 2010, there is never a time that our gov’t would find itself without some excuse, no matter how perverse, as the justification for unleashing their murderous ‘War Powers’ monster upon the public, in an attempt to subject us to tyranny.”
February 13, 2010—An unidentified speaker at an event organized by the Lewis and Clark Tea Party Patriots in Asotin County, Washington, tells the audience, “How many of you have watched the movie ‘Lonesome Dove’? What happened to Jake when he ran with the wrong crowd? He got hung. And that’s what I want to do with [Democratic U.S. Senator] Patty Murray.”
February 18, 2010—Joseph Stack of Austin, Texas, flies a single-engine plane into an office building containing nearly 200 IRS employees, killing one and wounding 13. In a suicide note, Stack lays out his grievances with the federal tax agency, stating, “The law ‘requires’ a signature on the bottom of a tax filing; yet no one can say truthfully that they understand what they are signing; if that’s not ‘duress’ than what is. If this is not the measure of a totalitarian regime, nothing is … Violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer.”
February 19, 2010—Johnny Logan, Jr. of Louisville, Kentucky, is arrested and charged with making threats against the president after his poem titled “The Sniper” is found on the website NaziSpace/NewSaxon.org by the U.S. Secret Service. The poem reads, in part: “As the tyrant enters his cross hairs the breath he takes is deep. His focus is square on the target as he begins to release. A patriot for his people he knows this shot will cost his life. But for his race and their existence it is a small sacrifice. The bullet that he has chambered is one of the purest pride. And the inspiration on the casing reads DIE negro DIE. He breathes out as he pulls the trigger releasing all his hate. And a smile appears upon his face as he seals that monkey’s fate. The bullet screams toward its mark bringing with it death. And where there was once a face there is nothing left. Two blood covered agents stare in horror and dismay. Looking down toward the ground where their president now lay.”
February 2010—Pvt. 1st Class Lee Pary, an active duty soldier at Fort Drum and member of Oath Keepers, tells a reporter that he and five fellow service members at the Army base are preparing to take on the U.S. government when it declares martial law, and will turn their guns on their fellow soldiers should it become necessary. “I know their tactics,” says Pray. “I know how they…work their convoys—if we attack this vehicle, what the others will do … If the government continues to ignore us, and forces us to engage, I’m willing to fight to the death.”
March 2010—The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) announces that 2009 saw a dramatic increase in the number of new anti-government “Patriot” groups in the United States. Specifically, the number of Patriot groups jumped from 149 (including 42 militias) to 512 (127 of them militias) in 2009–a 244% jump.
March 2, 2010—FOX News commentator Bill O’Reilly, speaking about the McDonald v. Chicago case before the Supreme Court, declares that plaintiff Otis McDonald’s inability to own a handgun in Chicago amounts to “tyranny.” Predicting that four justices on the Court will side with the city of Chicago, O’Reilly states, “It’s interesting that in America today the far left that wants the government to call the shots, not the folks. In the past, right-wing extremists like Hitler and Mussolini were in the forefront of state control. But with the exception of Burma, today’s totalitarians are primarily on the left.”
March 4, 2010—John Patrick Bedell, a California resident, travels to Arlington, Virginia, and opens fire on police officers at the entrance to the Pentagon. Bedell is armed with two semiautomatic firearms and “many [ammunition] magazines.” Bedell injures two officers before he is killed by return fire. Reports reveals Bedell to be a Truther who believes the U.S. government was taken over by a criminal organization in a 1963 coup. In an Internet posting, Bedell writes, “This organization, like so many murderous governments throughout history, would see the sacrifice of thousands of its citizens, in an event such as the September 11 attacks, as a small cost in order to perpetuate its barbaric control.”
March 19-22, 2010—During consideration of health care reform legislation by the U.S. House of Representatives, vandals attack Democratic offices in Pleasant Ridge, Ohio; Wichita, Kansas; Tuscon, Arizona; Niagra Falls, New York; and Rochester, New York. Mike Vanderboegh, the former leader of f the Alabama Constitutional Militia, takes credit for the violence after posting a blog on March 19 that states, “If we break the windows of hundreds, thousands, of Democratic party headquarters across this country, we might just make up enough of them to make defending ourselves at the muzzle of a rifle unnecessary.” Several Democratic members receive death threats, including Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), who is told snipers will “kill the children of the members who voted YES“; Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), who receives a message saying, “You’re dead; we know where you live; we’ll get you“; and Rep. Betsy Markey (D-CO), whose staffer is told by a caller, “Better hope I don’t run into you in a dark alley with a knife, a club or a gun.” House Minority Leader John Boehner, speaking about Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-OH), says he “may be a dead man.”
March 21, 2010—As the U.S. House of Representatives enters a final round of debate over a controversial health care reform bill, Conservative blogger Solomon “Solly” Forrell calls for the assassination of President Barack Obama on his Twitter account. In two separate postings, Forrel writes, “ASSASSINATION! America, we survived the #Assassinations of #Lincoln & #Kennedy. We’ll surely get over a bullet 2 #BarackObama’s head! … The next #American with a #Clear #Shot should drop #Obama like a bad habit.”
March 21, 2010—Russell Laing, 52, is charged with aggravated assault and making terroristic threats after a four-hour standoff with police at his home in McCandless, Pennsylvania. Officers respond to a 911 call after Laing calls a friend and says he can’t walk. When police respond to the call, Laing points an assault rifle at them and cocks the weapon. After Laing is arrested, officers recover approximately 150 guns and 15,000 rounds of ammunition from Laing’s one-bedroom apartment. “I can’t explain it. In my 40 years, I’ve not seen that type of collection,” said McCandless Police Chief Gary Anderson.
March 23, 2010—After Mike Troxel of the Lynchburg Tea Party and Nigel Coleman of the Danville Tea Party post the home address of the brother of Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA) and urge supporters to “drop by,” someone deliberately cuts a propane gas line at Perriello’s house. Rep. Perriello had been targeted by the Tea Party activists because of his vote in favor of health care reform. Perriello’s brother and his wife have four children under the age of eight.
March 24, 2010—After voting for health care reform legislation, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) receive faxes with drawings of nooses.
March 25, 2010—Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), who voted for health care reform legislation, receives a package containing white powder and an angry letter telling him to “drop dead.”
March 26, 2010—Rep. Vic Snyder (D-AR), who voted for health care reform legislation, receives a letter stating, “It is apparent that it will take a few assassinations to stop Obamacare. Militia central has selected you for assassination. If we cannot stalk and find you in Washington, D.C., we will get you in Little Rock.”
March 26, 2010—NRA Board Member Ted Nugent makes the following comment on FOX News’ “Your World” program: “I’m the expert on the health care bill because I kill pigs and a just shot a monster big pig here in Texas and seeing as how this is a pig bill created by pig bureaucrats to help out American pigs … We gotta kill the pig.”
March 29, 2010—A Northeast Philadelphia man, Norman Leboon, is charged with threatening the life of Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA). Leboon, 38, is arrested by the FBI after posting a YouTube video in which he referred to Cantor’s family and threatened,”bulllets…will be placed in your heads.” Leboon made hundreds of YouTube videos with anti-government themes, and threatened others, including President Barack Obama, the Democratic Leadership in Congress, and the Pope. Leboon has a long history of mental illness, but nonetheless was able to obtain a concealed handgun permit in Pennsylvania, which alarmed his family.
March 29, 2010—Nine members of the Michigan-based “Hutaree” Christian militia are arrested and charged with seditious conspiracy and attempting to deploy weapons of mass destruction. The group had allegedly plotted to kill a law enforcement officer and then detonate improvised explosive devices (IEDs) during the officer’s funeral procession. The group targeted federal officials, members of the law enforcement “brotherhood” and other participants in the “New World Order.”
March 30, 2010—Dozens of sitting governors receive letters from an extremist anti-government group called the Guardians of the Free Republics. The letters demand that the governors leave office within three days or “they will be removed” from office. A page on the group’s website entitled “Rationale” reads, “For those who are concerned about opening the door to satanic forces, permit me to reassure you. The Guardian Elders deliberated with great sobriety the wisdom of sitting on our hands while the march to World War III continues.”
April 1, 2010—CNN commentator Erick Erickson, questioning the legality of the U.S. Census Bureau s American Community Survey (ACS), makes the following comment on WMAC-AM radio: ”We have become, or are becoming, enslaved by the government … I dare ‘em to try to come throw me in jail. I dare ‘em to. [I’ll] pull out my wife’s shotgun and see how that little ACS twerp likes being scared at the door. They re not going on my property.”
April 1-20, 2010—Walter Fitzpatrick, a member of American Grand Jury (AGJ), attempts to effect a citizen’s arrest on grand jury foreman Gary Pettway at the Monroe County courthouse in Madisonville, Tennessee, and is arrested. Nineteen days later, on the day that Fitzpatrick is scheduled to face trial, Oath Keepers member Darren Huff is pulled over by Tennessee state troopers as he attempts to drive to the courthouse to arrest county officials he calls “domestic enemies of the United States engaged in treason.” Huff is armed with a Colt-45 handgun and an AK-47 assault rifle with 300-400 rounds of ammunition. He is indicted on federal charges of traveling in interstate commerce with intent to incite a riot and transporting in commerce a firearm in furtherance of a civil disorder.
April 6, 2010—Authorities charge Charles Alan Wilson of Selah, Washington, with threatening a federal official after Wilson makes several phone calls to the office of Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). Wilson, a concealed handgun permit holder in Washington, was angry about Sen. Murray’s vote for health care reform legislation and told her she had “a target on her back.” He also told Murray, “Since you are going to put my life at risk, and some bureaucrat is going to determine my health care, your life is at risk, dear … I hope somebody puts a…bullet between your…eyes.”
April 7, 2010—Gregory Lee Giusti, 48, of San Francisco, California, is arrested for making threatening phone calls to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Giusti allegedly called Pelosi dozens of times, recited her home address, and told her that if she wanted to see it again, she should drop her support for health care reform legislation. Giusti has a “history of mental health problems” and his mother indicates he was influenced by “Fox News and all of those that are really radical.”
April 7, 2010—Brody James Whitaker, 37, is apprehended and arrested on charges including two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, aggravated fleeing, and attempting to elude. The charges stem from an incident on March 25, 2010 in which police attempted to pull Whitaker over for a traffic violation on I-75 in Sumter County, Florida. Whitaker led officers on a high-speed chase, fired shots at them from a 9mm handgun, and escaped capture. During his arraignment hearing, Whitaker questions the authority of the judge and states, “I am a sovereign. I am not an American citizen.”
April 10, 2010—At a “Second Amendment March” organized by the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, Martha Dean, the Republican-endorsed candidate for Attorney General in Connecticut, tells those in attendance, “If government is legitimate and truly is the voice of the people, it need never fear the people themselves when they re armed. Only a government that uses secrecy and force to impose improper laws [to] which the people do not consent need fear the wrath of its law-abiding citizens at the ballot box or, ultimately, with arms … Our right of free speech and to back it up with arms if necessary if our government becomes tyrannical and unjust as King George s was to the colonists are the most essential of the rights we as Americans have … I will oppose all efforts to create nonsensical distinctions that are nowhere supported by our constitutions between different types of firearms. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that the government gets the effective firearms and the people the ineffective ones. Nowhere in our Constitution does it say that the government gets the modern firearms and the citizens only get the antiquated ones.”
April 13, 2010—Reports surface that state Sen. Randy Brogdon (R-OK) and Rep. Charles Key (R-OK) have met with Oklahoma Tea Party groups to discuss the formation of a new “volunteer militia” to defend against what they see as improprer federal infringements on state sovereignty. Brogdon states that the Founding Fathers “were not referring to a turkey shoot or a quail hunt. They really weren’t even talking about us having the ability to protect ourselves against each other. The Second Amendment deals directly with the right of an individual to keep and bear arms to protect themselves from an overreaching federal government.” One Tea Party leader involved in these meetings, J.W. Berry of the Tulsa-based OKforTea group, has called for the Militia to “launch a thousand guerrilla attacks on the plans that these people have to ruin us and our country.”
April 19, 2010—Pro-gun activists conduct two rallies in the Washington, D.C. area to demonstrate their opposition to an “oppressive, totalitarian government.” Among the featured speakers at the events are current and former militia leaders and others with ties to extreme, anti-government groups. The choice of date is significant, as April 19 marks the anniversary of the first shots being fired in the American Revolution at the Battle of Lexington/Concord, the fiery conclusion to the 1993 siege at Waco, and the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City by Timothy McVeigh. At the “Second Amendment March” in the District of Columbia, Larry Pratt, the Executive Director of Gun Owners of America, states, “We’re in a war. The other side knows they are at war, because they started it. They are coming for our freedom, for our money, for our kids, for our property. They are coming for everything because they are a bunch of Socialists.” Mike Vanderboegh, who made national headlines after taking credit for several instances of vandalism at Democratic offices following votes on health care reform legislation, is the featured speaker at a rally in Fort Hunt National Park in Virginia, where he tells attendees, “Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience … This is what the other side doesn t understand! We are doing backing up! Done! Not one more inch.”
May 4, 2010—A questioner at a Heritage Foundation event asks speaker Rep. Eric Cantor the question, “In light of what Obama has done to leave us vulnerable, to cut defense spending, to make us vulnerable to outside enemies, and to slight our allies … What would he have to do differently to be defined as a domestic enemy?” After smiling and stating that “no one thinks that the president is a domestic enemy,” Cantor is booed by several members of the audience.
May 6, 2010—Dr. Christina Jeffrey, a Republican candidate in South Carolina’s 4th Congressional District, posts a YouTube video where she holds an AK-47 assault rifle and tells viewers, “Why do we have the Second Amendment? The Second Amendment ensures all of our other rights … The Second Amendment was placed in the Constitution, plainly, to ensure that our limited government stayed limited and that we would be able to enforce those limitations if need be … We are a sovereign people. A sovereign people is an armed people.”
May 15, 2010—At the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, 2012 Republican presidential nominee hopeful Newt Gingrich tells the audience, “The Second Amendment is not in defense of hunting. It is not in defense of target shooting. It is not in defense of collecting. The Second Amendment is in defense of freedom from the State.” He goes on to make the following reference to Thomas Jefferson’s “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants” quote: “Anybody who’s historically honest has to admit [the Founding Fathers] understood the right to bear arms because they routinely carried arms. These were tough people in a tough time in a tough country doing tough things and the idea that they would allow some D.C. city government or some Washington federal bureaucrat to get between them and their Constitutional rights, they would have said in Jefferson’s terms was the legitimate justification for a political revolution in every generation which was what Jefferson thought was inevitable to clean out the corruption, the arrogance, and the obsolenscence that government would invariably have.”
May 15, 2010—Referring to a controversial new anti-immigration law in Arizona, FOX News personality Glenn Beck tells the 2010 NRA Convention, “Let’s talk a minute about a ‘well-regulated militia’ and why you might need one because the government isn’t doing their job. Let’s meet people in Texas, Arizona and California.”
May 20, 2010—Jerry Kane, Jr., 45, and his son Joseph Kane, 16, fatally shoot two Arkansas police officers with AK-47 assault rifles during a routine traffic stop on Interstate 40 in West Memphis. The Kanes are killed during an exchange of gunfire with police in a Walmart parking lot 90 minutes later. Jerry Kane, an Ohio resident and anti-government activist, had a long history with police and had recently spent three days in jail for driving with an expired license plate and no seat belt. Kane considered himself a “sovereign citizen” and ran a business that centered on debt-avoidance scams.
May 27, 2010—The Washington Times publishes an editorial claiming that a United Nations treaty seeking to curb the international, illicit trade in smalls arms “would necessarily lead to confication of personal firearms” in the United States. The editorial goes on to say, “Not all insurgencies are bad. As U.S. history shows, one way to get rid of a despotic regime is to rise up against it. That threat is why authoritarian regimes such as Syria, Cuba, Rwanda, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, and Sierra Leone endorse gun control … Governments are a bigger threat to most people than their neighbors.”
May 30, 2010—Sharron Angle, a candidate for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senator in Nevada, tells the Reno Gazette-Journal that a recent increase in gun sales nationwide “tells me that the nation is arming. What are they arming for if it isn’t that they are so distrustful of government? They’re afraid they’ll have to fight for their liberty in more Second Amendment kinds of ways.” These comments echo ones made by Angle in January, when she told conservative radio show talk host Lars Larson, “You know, our Founding Fathers, they put that Second Amendment in there for a good reason and that was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government. And in fact Thomas Jefferson said it’s good for a country to have a revolution every 20 years. I hope that’s not where we’re going, but, you know, if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? I’ll tell you the first thing we need to do is take [U.S. Senator from Nevada] Harry Reid out.”
May 31, 2010—Oath Keeper Rex Nichols, a candidate for sheriff in Montana’s Lincoln County, makes reference to federal agents’ standoffs at Ruby Ridge in 1992 and Waco in 1993 and promises to keep them out of the county if elected. “I am going to take my deputies and stand in the middle of the road and tell them to get the hell out,” says Nichols. “And if they want a war, they got it.”
June 2010—Rick Barber, a Tea Party candidate seeking the Republican nomination in Alabama’s Second Congressional District, runs a campaign ad in which he dicusses contemporary political issues with America’s Founding Fathers. After Barber states “I would impeach him” and rails about the “progressive income tax,” the Internal Revenue Service, and health care reform, a Founding Father replies, “Gather your armies.” Several Founding Fathers are depicted as being armed with pistols.
June 9, 2010—Referring to the Obama administration and the Democratic-controlled Congress, FOX commentator Glenn Beck says, “Tea parties believe in small government. We believe in returning to the principles of our Founding Fathers. We respect them. We revere them. Shoot me in the head before I stop talking about the Founders. Shoot me in the head if you try to change our government. I will stand against you and so will millions of others. We believe in something. You in the media and most in Washington don’t. The radicals that you and Washington have co-opted and brought in wearing sheep’s clothing-change the pose. You will get the ends. You’ve been using them? They believe in communism. They believe and have called for a revolution. You’re going to have to shoot them in the head.”
June 9, 2010—Justine Haynes, 31, of Phoenix is charged with threatening to kill a federal official after making two calls to the office of U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ). Haynes was incensed over Grijalva’s opposition to Arizona’s controversial new immigration law and threatened to come to the Congressman’s office and ”blow everyone’s head off.”
June 27, 2010—Rick Barber, a Tea Party candidate seeking the Republican nomination in Alabama’s Second Congressional District, runs a campaign ad in which he compares taxation and “the tyrannical health care [reform] bill” to slavery and the extermination of Jews in Nazi Germany. “We live in perilous times … We are all becoming slaves to our government,” Barber warns. The “army of voters” depicted in the ad includes individuals who are openly armed with guns. In a follow-up editorial in the Washington Post, Barber makes reference to “the possibility of evil conducted on a grand scale” and states, “Totalitarianism doesn’t come all at once … The road to serfdom is a long one, but I fear that we are well on the way.”
July 1, 2010—In an editorial in the Washington Times, NRA board member Ted Nugent condemns the dissent of four Supreme Court Justices (John Paul Stevens, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Sonia Sotomayor) in the Second Amendment case of McDonald v. Chicago. “Heads up, black-robers,” Nugent writes. “I am in charge of my life, survival, thoughts, statements, writings, religious practices and, without a shadow of a doubt, my God-given individual right to keep and bear arms to defend myself from evil in any shape or form. With all due respect, I see and know clear and present evil in tyranny, dictatorships, emperors, kings, despots, slave drivers and the history of abuse of power. And I defy it out of hand … ‘To keep’ means it’s mine – you can’t have it. ‘Bear arms’ can only mean one thing: I’ve got some on me right here, right now. ‘Shall not be infringed’ also needs no interpretation, unless you just don’t get it. Get it. And get it right.”
July 2, 2010—The Wyoming Department of Revenue suspends sales tax collections at the state’s gun shows because of “increasing animosity” toward field tax agents. Dan Noble, director of the department’s Excise Tax Division, cites one particular incident at a gun show that “crossed the line” and says, “We tend to have more trouble at gun shows than any place … I have 10 field reps throughout the state, and every one of them has experienced some animosity … I don’t want to put my people at risk.”
July 3, 2010—Joyce Kaufman, a conservative radio hosts on WFTL in Florida, tells a crowd of supporters at a Fort Lauderdale Tea Party event, ”I am convinced that the most important thing the Founding Fathers did to ensure me my First Amendments rights was they gave me a Second Amendment. And if ballots don’t work, bullets will. This is the standoff. When I say I’ll put my microphone down on November 2nd if we haven’t achieved substantial victory, I mean it. Because if at that point I’m going to up into the hills of Kentucky, I’m going to go out into the Midwest, I’m going to go up in the Vermont and New Hampshire outreaches and I’m going to gather together men and women who understand that some things are worth fighting for and some things are worth dying for.
July 6, 2010—Herb Titus, a lawyer for Gun Owners of America, tells Religion Dispatches, “If you have a people that has basically been disarmed by the civil government, then there really isn’t any effectual means available to the people to restore law and liberty and that’s really the purpose of the right to keep and bear arms-is to defend yourself against a tyrant.” Titus goes on to cite the “totalitarian threat” posed by “Obamacare” and “what Sarah Palin said about the death panels.”
July 11, 2010—Supporters of Tea Party Senate candidate Joe Miller openly carry assault rifles and handguns during a community parade in Eagle River and Chugiak, Alaska, while young children march alongside them. Miller, who is running against Senator Lisa Murkowski in the Republican primary, is endorsed by former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, who describes him as a “true Commonsense Constitutional Conservative.”
July 18, 2010—California Highway Patrol officers arrest Byron Williams, 45, after a shootout on I-580 in which more than 60 rounds are fired. Officers pull Williams over in his pick-up for speeding and weaving in and out of traffic when he opens fire on them with a handgun and a long gun. Williams, a convicted felon, is shot several times, but survives because he is wearing body armor. He reveals that he was on his way to San Francisco to “start a revolution” by killing employees of the ACLU and Tides Foundation. Williams’ mother says her son was angry at “Left-wing politicians” and upset by “the way Congress was railroading through all these left-wing agenda items.”
July 26, 2010—A proposed ordinance that would prohibit residents from firing air rifles and other low-powered weapons within 500 feet of a building (unless fired in a target range) is pulled from consideration in Exeter Township, Pennsylvania, after the Board of Supervisors receives a number of angry and threatening phone calls from gun owners. Citing a National Rifle Association “Action Alert” that claimed Exeter supervisors were “consider[ing] a broad and overreaching attack on our Second Amendment freedoms,” Exeter Township Police Chief Christopher Neidert says, “This was totally false information that was put out. The anger was building, and I was concerned that someone might actually get hurt.”
July 28, 2010—U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) shuts down his district office in Yuma after staff members discover a bullet hole in one of the office’s windows. Authorities also report that U.S. Judge Susan Bolton receives hundreds of threats at her Phoenix offices after issuing an injunction on a controversial new immigration law in Arizona.
July 29, 2010—Jack Dailey, the founder of the Appleseed Project (which is dedicated to teaching every American how to fire a bullet through a man-size target out to 500 yards), explains that Americans should own an AR-15 assault rifle “because they want to tell us what to do. And we don’t want them to tell us what to do.” James Faire, an Appleseed trainer, states, “The government has quite literally become tyrannical. It is fulfilling the principles outlined in ‘The Communist Manifesto.’ It’s completely out of control from city to state to federal to international law. All predicate their existence on plundering the individual and his rights. The only thing to do now is to organize citizens into a militia to abolish this government.”
July 30, 2010—Camp Hill prison guard Raymond Peake, 64, is charged with robbery and the murder of Todd Getgen. Peake allegedly shot Getgen to death at a local shooting range and stole Getgen’s custom, silenced AR-15 rifle. Investigators follow Peake to a storage unit when they find three firearms: Getgen’s AR-15 rifle, a scoped Remington rifle that had been reported stolen from the range in May, and a second AR-15 rifle. Thomas Tuso is also arrested and charged with conspiracy, receiving stolen property and other crimes. Peake tells police that he and Tuso had been stealing guns “for the purpose of overthrowing the federal government.”
August 14, 2010—Former Arizona sheriff Richard Mack—who gained fame in anti-government circles by joining a mid-1990s lawsuit against the federal government over the Brady Bill requirement that state law enforcement agencies conduct background checks on gun purchasers—addresses the American Policy Center’s 2010 Freedom Action National Conference, stating, “My dear friends, I pray for the day that the first sheriff in this country is the one to fire the shot heard ’round the world and take out some IRS agents!”
August 17, 2010—Patrick Gray Sharp, 29, opens fire on the Department of Public Safety in McKinney, Texas, and unsuccessfully attempts to ignite gasoline and ammonium nitrate in a trailer hitched to his truck. Sharp is armed with an assault rifle, a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol, and a 12-gauge shotgun. He is killed after an exchange of gunfire with police arriving on the scene. Miraculously, no one else is hurt. Sharp’s roommate, Eric McClellan describes him as “a great guy” and states, “We’re Texans. We have a right to bear arms.”
August 19, 2010—Josiah Fornof, 30, of Pasco County, Florida, is arrested after threatening to “bear arms against” local law enforcement officers who were trying to serve him with a warrant. Authorities recover a letter that Fornof had tried to serve the deputies with, which reads, “I have the right to bear arms against such unlawful entities, up to and including the President of the United States, that are coming against me unlawfully, lethally, and genocidally.”
August 23, 2010—Thomas Pidgeon is arrested after he attempts to bring a fully loaded .45-caliber handgun into a Cook County courthouse. Pidegon was supposed to attend a foreclosure hearing that day. His home was to be sold to a lender in North Carolina after New York-based BNY Mellon filed an action against him in the county.
September 1, 2010—James Jay Lee, 43, takes hostages at the Discovery Communications building in Silver Spring, Maryland, while armed with two starter pistols and four improvised explosived devices. After pointing a gun at one of the hostages, he is shot and killed by police. Lee, a radical environmental activist, had previously issued 11 demands that Discovery was to meet “immediately.” The demands involved the content of programming on the Discovery Channel. Lee had also declared on his MySpace page, “It’s time for REVOLUTION!!!”
September 13, 2010—Police stop Richard Scott McLeod, 48, for a traffic violation in Webberville, Michigan, and upon searching his vehicle, discover bumper stickers quoting Adolf Hitler, a picture of President Barack Obama, a loaded handgun, a bullet-proof vest, and bomb-making materials. McLeod is arrested and charged with illegally carrying a concealed weapon and unlawful possession of body armor. McLeod tells officers that he is a member of the Michigan Militia. The group denies any relationship with McLeod.
September 16, 2010—Patricia Stoneking, the President of the Kansas State Rifle Association, tells Fox News, “People need to arm themselves, We have the right to put limits on our government, and that’s what [the Second Amendment] does.” Explaining why America’s Founding Fathers drafted the amendment, she says, “They knew government could become tyrannical. We have the right to defend ourselves from a rogue government.”
September 17, 2010—Victor Dewyane White, 55, opens fire on an oil company employee and two police officers after they go to his property to inspect an oil well to which the company owned rights. White, a member of the secessionist group Republic of Texas, wounds all three men as they retreat to safety. A 22-hour siege follows in which White periodically fires on law enforcement helicopters and officers from a fortified bunker before being arrested and taken into custody. White had a running feud with the county sheriff and told him “he was going to put a bullet in [his] head between [his] eyes.”
September 30, 2010—Kevin Terrell, a self-described “colonel” who founded a group of “freedom fighters” in Kentucky, predicts war with “the jackbooted thugs” of Washington within a year. Referring to the arrest of Hutaree militia members earlier in the year, Terrell says, “There was a lot of citizens out there in the bushes, locked and loaded. It’s only due to miracles I do not understand that civil war did not break out right there.”
September 30, 2010—Steve Kendley, a deputy sheriff running for sheriff in Lake County, Montana, threatens “a violent conflict” with federal agents if “they are doing something I believe is unconstitutional.”
October 15, 2010—Conservative radio show host Glenn Beck lays out a hypothetical scenario where the government is considering taking his children because he refused to have them receive a mandatory flu vaccine. Beck tells his audience that his response to the government would be “Meet Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson.”
October 21, 2010—Pastor Stephen Broden, the Republican candidate for U.S. Representative in Texas’ 30th Congressional District, tells WFAA-TV in Dallas that the violent overthrow of the government is an “option” that remains “on the table.” “Our nation was founded on violence,” states Broden. “I don’t think that we should ever remove anything from the table as it relates to our liberties and our freedoms.”
October 22, 2010—Texas Department of Corrections officers searching for a missing person, Gill Clements, 69, are confronted by a neighbor while on Clements’ property in Henderson County. Howard Tod Granger, 46, points an AK-47 semiautomatic assault rifle at one of the officers, who recalls, “He told us to get off the property or he would kill us all.” Later that afternoon, officers return to Granger’s home with a search warrant and an armored vehicle filled with 13 SWAT members. Granger opens fire on the vehicle, discharging at least 30 rounds before authorities shoot and kill him. Police find guns and “many rounds of ammunition” in Granger’s house. They also find the body of Clements, buried in a shallow grave on Granger’s property.
November 2, 2010—Political cartoonist Ted Rall publishes “The Anti-American Manifesto,” a book which argues that the political left should consider violence as an option to achieve systematic change in American politics. ”No meaningful political change has ever taken place without violence or the credible threat of violence,” Rall writes.
November 2, 2010—On Election Night, supporters of Republican congressional candidate Nick Popaditch shout down and physically confront Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA) and his staff as they exit Golden Hall in San Diego following the announcment of Filner’s victory in the race. “You’re a damn liar. You should be ashamed of yourself,” Popaditch tells Filner, leading the mob. Other Popaditch supporters yell “You’re a scumbag!” “Jew!” and “Don’t tread on me, Bob!” Another Popaditch supporter punches a Filner campaign staffer in the face.
November 3, 2010—James Patock, 66, of Pima County, Arizona, is arrested on the National Mall in the District of Columbia after law enforcement authorities find a .223 caliber rifle, a .243 caliber rifle barrel, a .22 caliber rifle, a .357 caliber pistol, several boxes of ammunition, and propane tanks wired to four car batteries in his truck and trailer. Patock’s former neighbor in Arizona reports that, “He hated the president. He hated everything. He said if he got a chance he would shoot the president.” Patock tells authorities he is a member of the National Rifle Association.
November 4, 2010—On his radio show, conservative host Glenn Beck fantasizes about President Obama being decapitated during a trip to India, saying, “If anybody thinks he was a Muslim over here, well God forbid, they think he was a Muslim over there because he left his religion for Christianity, death sentence, behead him.” Beck then tells his listeners that “God forbid” this should happen, as there would be a “New World Order” overnight in the United States.
November 4, 2010—Fox News host Bill O’Reilly fantasizes about killing a Washington Post reporter while on the air, saying, “Does Sharia law say we can behead Dana Milbank?” O’Reilly also tells co-host Megyn Kelly, “I think you and I should go and beat him up.”
November 9, 2010—U.S. Representative-Elect Allen West of Florida’s 22nd Congressional District hires conservative radio talk show host Joyce Kaufman as his Chief of Staff. On July 3, Kaufman told a crowd of Tea Party supporters, “I am convinced that the most important thing the Founding Fathers did to ensure me my First Amendments rights was they gave me a Second Amendment. And if ballots don’t work, bullets will.”
November 9, 2010—Concealed handgun permit holder George Thomas Lee, 69, of Walhalla, South Carolina, is arrested on the town’s main street for disseminating and promoting obscenity by bearing signs “laden with expletives and taking aim at U.S. foreign policy, President Barack Obama, blacks in general, Jews and the nation of Israel.” Officers also seize literature from Lee that details “the most expedient means of killing law enforcement officers.” The November 9 arrest follows an October 19 arrest for assault after Lee kicked and swung his signs at a group of girls between the ages of 12 and 14.
November 10, 2010—Public schools in Broward County, Florida, go into lockdown after an email threat is received by WFTL 850 AM. The email is sent to conservative radio host Joyce Kaufman in response to remarks she made at a Tea Party event in July (“If ballots don’t work, bullets will“). The email expresses support for her view of the Second Amendment and says that to further “their cause…something big will happen at a government building in Broward County, maybe a post office maybe even a school.” A phone call is then received at the station, allegedly from the emailer’s wife, warning that he is preparing to go to a Pembroke Pines school and open fire.
November 23, 2010—Larry Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America, writes an editorial in The Register Citizen in which he calls for state and county sheriffs to organize large, armed “posses” as “a check on the unconstitutional exercise of federal power.”
November 29, 2010—U.S. Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), the ranking Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, circulates a PowerPoint presentation to his colleagues in which he compares the Obama administration to the Nazi regime in Germany and likens himself to Gen. George Patton, bragging, “Put anything in my scope and I will shoot it.”
December 3, 2010—At “Roe & Roeper’s Miracle on Indianapolis Blvd. Holiday Extravaganza” promoting Toys 4 Tots in Chicago, Illinois, actor and National Rifle Association Board Member R. Lee Ermey (famous for his depiction of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in the film “Full Metal Jacket”) tells those in attendance, “The economy really sucks. Now I hate to point fingers at anybody, but the present administration probably has a lot to do with that. And the way I see it, they’re not gonna quit doing it until they bring this country to its knees. So I think we should all rise up and we should stop this administration from what they’re doing because they’re destroying this country. They’re driving us into bankruptcy so that they can impose socialism on us.”
December 31, 2010—An anonymous threat is posted in the “Rants and Raves” section of the Anchorage Craigslist against Andree McLeod, a citizen activist who has requested—under Alaska s Open Records Act—work-related emails that Sarah Palin sent and received while governor of the state. The threat states, “I think Andre has used up to much oxygen. So I have my scope cross hair on her head! She better watch out, the request may have been her last.” The Anchorage Police trace the message to the AOL account of an Anchorage woman in her 50s, but neglect to verify if she is the one who is responsible for it.
January 6, 2011—John Troy Davis, 44, is arrested after threatening to set fire to the office of Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and shoot members of his staff. The threat comes when Davis calls Bennet’s office to complain about his Social Security benefits, telling a staffer that he is schizophrenic and “may go to terrorism.” “I’m just going to come down there and shoot you all,” he declares. Davis is charged with assault on a federal employee.
January 8, 2011—Jared Lee Loughner, 22, shoots U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) in the head at a “Congress in Your Corner” event at a Safeway supermarket in Tucson, Arizona. He kills six, including federal judge John Roll, and wounds 13, including Giffords. Loughner has an extensive history of mental illness and substance abuse, yet is able to purchase a handgun and a high-capacity ammunition magazine legally at Sportsman’s Warehouse on November 30, 2010. In a YouTube video posted in December 2010, Loughner declares, “You don t have to accept the federalist laws … Nonetheless, read the United States of America s Constitution to apprehend all of the current treasonous laws.”
January 8, 2011—Fearing violence from Tea Party activists, Arizona Legislative District 20 Republican Chairman Anthony Miller, Secretary Sophia Johnson, First Vice Chairman Roger Dickinson, and former district spokesman Jeff Kolb resign from their positions. “I don’t want to take a bullet for anyone,” says Miller, who cites verbal attacks and threatening blog posts from Tea Party members upset that he is a former campaign worker for moderate U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ). Miller also reports an incident in which a detractor made his hand into the shape of a gun and pointed it at him.
January 12, 2011—Charles Turner Habermann, 32, is arrested and charged with threatening a federal official after leaving a series of disturbing voicemails for U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) on December 9, 2010. Habermann, enraged by comments that McDermott made opposing tax cuts for the rich, says, “Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, or George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, if any of them had ever met Jim McDermott they would all blow his brains out. They’d shoot him in the head. They’d kill him, because he’s a piece of disgusting garbage.” Habermann tells McDermott’s staff, “You let that [expletive] scumbag know, that if he ever [expletive] with my money, ever the [expletive] again, I’ll [expletive] kill him, okay. I’ll round them up, I’ll kill them, I’ll kill his friends, I’ll kill his family, I will kill everybody he [expletive] knows.”
January 12, 2011—After it is reported on by the Columbia Free Times, Palmetto State Armory removes an advertisement from its website for a personalized assault rifle accessory. ”Palmetto State Armory would like to honor our esteemed congressman Joe Wilson with the release of our new You Lie AR-15 lower receiver,” the ad reads. A picture of Wilson holding a rifle and standing in the company’s gun shop appears on the same webpage. The ad refers to an incident in September 2009 when Wilson disrupted a speech by President Barack Obama in the U.S. Capitol and claimed that impending health care reform legislation would not provide coverage for undocumented immigrants.
January 22, 2011—Writing on his blog “Red State,” CNN commentator Erick Erickson says, “We will not endorse any candidate who will not reject the judicial usurpation of Roe v. Wade and affirm that the unborn are no less entitled to a right to live simply because of their size or their physical location … The reason for this is simple: once before, our nation was forced to repudiate the Supreme Court with mass bloodshed. We remain steadfast in our belief that this will not be necessary again, but only if those committed to justice do not waiver or compromise, and send a clear and unmistakable signal to their elected officials of what must be necessary to earn our support.”
January 24, 2011—The National Rifle Association (NRA) posts an editorial from the Washington Examiner on its website entitled “Second Amendment is Insurance Against Government Tyranny.” The piece states, “Gun control legislation is back after the Tucson tragedy. Congress must confront the reality that the courts have declared two reasons for the Second Amendment right to bear arms. One is self defense, and the other—whether you like it or not—is enabling the American people to resist tyranny.”
January 25, 2011—Former U.S. Representative Jay Dickey (R-AR), who introduced a National Rifle Association-drafted amendment that stripped $2.6 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) budget for firearms-related research in 1996, tells the New York Times that he did so because “we have the right to bear arms because of the threat of government taking over the freedoms that we have.”
January 27, 2011—The New American publishes an article entitled “Arizona Shooting & the Assault on Rights,” which states: “The ready availability of guns is no more responsible for this or any other such massacre than an all-you-can-eat buffet is responsible for obesity … More to the point is the fact that the government of the United States is a creation of the people of the United States in whom resides the natural right of sovereignty. An integral and unalienable element of that absolute right is the right of self-defense. It is logically impossible that a creature can proscribe the rights of the creator. It is for this reason that defenders of the right to bear arms need neither compromise nor capitulate to those committed to eroding that right.”
February 4, 2011—Montana Rep. Wendy Warburton (R-Havre) introduces legislation to allow state residents to organize armed units called “home guards” that would answer to the governor and sheriffs during emergencies. These paramilitary groups would be formed into “infantry companies” with their own uniforms, flags, and identities, and would not be subject to federal oversight or control. In commenting on the legislation, Gary Marbut of the Montana Shooting Sports Association says, “The question here is where that slider is located on that range between anarchy and tyranny. We’d like to nudge it back a little toward anarchy.”
February 5, 2011—During a speech at a Cullman County Republican Party breakfast, Alabama Sen. Scott Beason (R-Gardendale) rails against illegal immigrants and “big government” Democrats and calls on Republicans to “empty the clip, and do what has to be done.”
February 6, 2011—The Minnesota Republican Party mails out a campaign brochure for state legislative candidate Paul Jacobson that depicts a hunter looking down a shotgun’s sights while urging voters to “take your best shot.” The brochure singles out and criticizes Jacobson’s opponent in the race, Democrat Carly Melin, calling her a “fake” and stating her campaign is “full of holes.” Her photo is included in the brochure.
February 22, 2011—A participant at a town hall meeting hosted by U.S. Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) asks the Congressman, “Who is going to shoot Obama?” After a great deal of laughter, another man in the audience states, “We all want to.” There is more laughter. After the laughter dies down, Rep. Broun then responds, “Next question.” There is more laughter.
February 23, 2011—The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) reports that the number of hate groups in the United States has topped 1,000 for the first time since SPLC began counting such groups in the 1980s. According to the report:”By far the most dramatic growth came in the antigovernment Patriot movement—conspiracy-minded organizations that see the federal government as their primary enemy—which gained more than 300 new groups [in 2010], a jump of over 60%.”
March 1, 2011—Texas Woman’s University is locked down after a 30-year-old student, Christopher Alan Gillette, makes a “terroristic threat” concerning personal grievances with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The lockdown occurs after Gillette talks about riding through the streets of Washington, D.C. in a pick-up truck with an AK-47 assault rifle during a history and government class. Denton Police Department officers detain and arrest Gillette soon after in the parking lot of a VA facility in Dallas. A undated letter that Gillette wrote to U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Lewisville) is released in which Gillette announced, “I will begin preparations to begin offensive combat preparations against the federal government.” In the letter, Gillette also embraced a conspiracy theory promoted by the National Rifle Association (NRA) about the mass confiscation of private firearms in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.
March 10, 2011—Schaeffer Cox, the 26-year-old leader of the Second Amendment Task Force and the Alaska Peacemakers Militia is arrested along with four of his followers and charged with conspiracy to commit murder, kidnapping, and arson. The group had stockpiled firearms and munitions and was planning to kill multiple Alaska State Troopers and a federal judge. Cox had previously made overt threats against the government, bragging, “We’ve got them outmanned and outgunned.” He claimed he told one judge, “I don’t want to put my influence to the test while the lives of you and your children are on the line.” Cox believed the U.S. government was “sliding into tyranny, a police state.”
March 24, 2011—Gary John Mikulich, 42, of Kingsford, Michigan is arrested on charges relating to explosives that were found at the McNamara Federal Building in Detroit on February 26, 2011. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Mihigan reports that, “Mikulich frequently complains to local law enforcement officers about the FBI’s ‘card system.’ This ‘card system’ is responsible, according to Mikulich’s complaints to local law enforcement officers, for the murder of Mikulich’s father and thousands of other people.”
March 31, 2011—John Matika, 67, or Ansonia, Connecticut is arrested and charged with misdemeanor harrassment after making several threatening phone calls to the office of state Rep. Linda Gentile. Indicating his opposition to a bill that would prohibit the possession of high-capacity ammunition magazines, Matika references the January 8 massacre in Tucson and tells Gentile’s staff that if the bill passes she should “duck her head” because “more bullets would fly.” Antonia police search Matika’s home and recover three assault rifles, an Uzi and 11 other firearms. Rep. Gentile issues a statement saying that “threats and acts of violence toward public servants…weaken the very principles of democracy, as well as undermine the public’s welfare and safety.”
April 2011—Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO) publishes an article on its website detailing “The Sixth Reason” why citizens need high capacity ammunition magazines for firearms that hold more than 10 rounds. The article argues that “‘We the People’…must retain the right to overthrow our own government” and states that “The American citizenry must now have, as much as ever, some semblance of parity in regards to weaponry” with the U.S. military. “The somber truth is that freedom’s ‘bottom line’ remains the ‘bullet box,’ not the ballot box,” JPFO declares.
April 29, 2011—Speaking at the National Rifle Association’s 2011 annual meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 2012 GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain tells those in attendance: “I said [to a young man who had recently called into his radio show], ‘Here’s what you can do if you want to help take this nation back.’ When you get to ‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’ [in the Declaration of Independence], keep reading. Because it says when any form of government becomes destructive of those ideals it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it. We’ve got some altering and abolishing to do! Alter…and abolish! … You know your rights, not just your Second Amendment rights—you know all of your rights—and even though we have some people that are trying to rewrite the Declaration of Independence and they’re trying to ignore the Constitution of the United States of America, the patriots of this nation are saying, ‘We will not ignore the Declaration and we will not try to rewrite the Constitution of the United States of America because we will be the defending fathers of this great nation.’”
May 18, 2011—National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent appears on “Piers Morgan Tonight” on CNN and states, “Anybody that wants to disarm me can drop dead. Anybody that wants to make me unarmed and helpless, people that want to literally create the proven places where more innocents are killed called gun-free zones, we’re going to beat you. We’re going to vote you out of office or suck on my machine gun.” Nugent also declares, “The reason the whole world sucks and America sucks less is because the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights outlines an experiment where freedom rules the day of individuality and that that can only be secured by crushing those enemies that would take it away … Anybody who would take away our individual rights and individual freedoms, they’re the enemy. They need to be killed.”
May 30, 2011—Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry (R-York) tells The Morning Call that the purpose of his “Castle Doctrine” bill is as follows: “We must be able not only to hunt but to protect ourselves from an overbearing government that does not do the will of the people.” The bill in question, HB 40, would liberalize the law concerning the use of lethal force with a firearm outside the home by eliminating the duty to retreat safely from a potential conflict if possible. Individuals would be allowed to shoot to kill if they believed they were under threat of “serious bodily injury.”
July 2011—A gun store in Ellettsville, Indiana is closed after its owner, 61-year-old Donald Mullendore, is revealed to have sold guns to convicted felons, transferred firearms without conducting the necessary background checks on purchasers, and failed to keep records of sale. According to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Indiana, Mullendore is alleged to have said to a confidential informant “that he did not believe in paperwork….because that would be, quote, ‘telling the government where you got your gun.’”
July 15, 2011—Jeff Mattox, a South Carolina Republican county co-chair and activist with the Kershaw County Tea Party Patriots, is asked to resign as co-chair after he Likes an article on the Patriots’ Facebook page entitled, “When Should You Shoot a Cop.” The article is taken from the website copblock.org and states: “That’s what it means to have an unalienable right. If you have the unalienable right to speak your mind (a la the First Amendment), then you have the right to KILL ‘government’ agents who try to shut you up. If you have the unalienable right to be armed, then you have the right to KILL ‘government’ agents who try to disarm you.”
August 1-2, 2011—Radio host Alex Jones posts a video to his website PrisonPlanet.com in which he lays out a bizarre conspiracy theory concerning mass gun confiscation. In Jones’ words: “I have confirmed through two Texas gun dealers and through someone in my office that when you buy two rifles, and by the way it’s in this letter, or two handguns, revolver or pistol, that you get an ATF or FBI visit to your house. And they demand to come in your home and see your guns without a warrant. It’s a chilling effect, it’s intimidation, just like in Nazi Germany … The system does not want armed citizens, they want to set a precedent. And as our country goes into designed banker depression, as we implode, they are coming after our guns … The system is having the police and military start a fight where they know gun-owning constitutionalists are not going to along with it. They are going to start responding as things degenerate. And they are going to be called terrorists. The system, the social engineers, are sending the ATF and the Feds on a collision course with law abiding patriotic Americans so they can kick off a civil war in America.” The following day, Jones claims on his radio show that the so-called “Super Congress” established by a recent debt-ceiling deal is a vehicle to advance gun control legislation, calling it “another final nail in the coffin of the American Republic and its replacement with an executive dictatorship run by the political state.”
August 11, 2011—The chairwoman of the Sumter (South Carolina) Tea Party, Shery Lanford Smith, posts a “joke” on her Facebook profile about killing the President and First Lady. In the joke, the Obamas’ helicopter pilot says to his co-pilot, “I could throw both of them out of the window and make 256 million people very happy!” Smith adds in her own comment: “If you’re one of [the] 256 million, pass it on.”
August 15, 2011—Two days after entering the 2012 presidential race, Republican candidate and Texas Governor Rick Perry makes the following comment about Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke at an event in Iowa: “If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I dunno what y’all would do to him in Iowa but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas. Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treasonous in my opinion.”
August 17, 2011—During a tour of northeast Oklahoma, U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) calls his colleagues “career elitists” and “cowards” and states, “It’s just a good thing I can’t pack a gun on the Senate floor.”
September 16, 2011—During a speech to Tea Party members with the Red Mass Group and Empower Massachusetts in Lexington, Conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart fantasizes about employing armed violence against Americans who disagree with him politically: “I’m under attack all the time. If you see it on Twitter, they’re taunting and call me gay. They’re vicious, the death threats and everything. And so there are times where I’m not thinking as clearly as I should and in those unclear moments I always think to myself, ‘Fire the first shot. Bring it on.’ Because I know who’s on our side and they know that. They can only win a rhetorical and propaganda war. They cannot win. We outnumber them in this country and we have the guns. I’m not kidding. They talk a mean game, but they will not cross that line, because they know what they’re dealing with.”
September 25, 2011—Responding to a viral video of U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren speaking with Massachusetts residents about the social contract underlying the establishment of the U.S. government, right wing blogger Michael Laprarie writes the following at Wizbang: “When I hear the word ‘contract’ I
reach for my revolver think of two unique definitions—formally, a legally binding mutual agreement made between two or more parties, or idiomatically, an attempt to hire an assassin to kill one or more of your enemies.”
September 28, 2011—While speaking at a forum on “The Second Amendment and the Right of Citizens to Conceal Carry” organized by the Huntley Area Tea Party, U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (IL-8th) tells the crowd: “The most important issue in that Bill of Rights is the Second Amendment. It protects every other amendment. It is the last line of defense between us and our government.
November 2, 2011—Four men are charged with conspiracy to kill officials of the federal government in Gainesville, Georgia. The men—one of whom is listed as a “captain” in the 440th Squad of the Georgia Militia—had conducted surveillance on IRS and ATF buildings in Atlanta, which they were planning to attack with explosives, firearms, and biological weapons. The ringleader of the group indicates that the plot is based on the self-published novel “Absolved” by former Alabama militia leader Mike Vanderboegh. Vanderboegh, a Fox News commentator, previously made national headlines in March 2010 when he encouraged pro-gun activists to vandalize the offices of Democratic Members of Congress in response to their votes for health care reform.
November 4, 2011—Appearing on the “Real Time with Bill Maher” show on HBO, U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) states, “We have a problem in America which is that we misunderstand, quite frankly, what the Second Amendment’s for. It’s for law-abiding citizens to have a right both to protect themselves and to be protected from living under tyranny. Nobody in this room has lived under tyranny … In Egypt, the only reason there was a change in government is the military backed the protesters. Qadafi kept the military and the only reason that Qadafi is gone today really is their people got guns, their people became part of a popular movement. Now, we may not consider ourselves like Libya ever, but our Second Amendment is one of the reasons we know we never will.” Issa does not respond when Maher and other guests on the show question how civilians would fight and defeat a military armed with nuclear weapons, fighter planes, and other sophisticated weaponry.
November 7, 2011—A Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Florida, Mike McCalister, says the following in a speech before the Palms West Republican Club: “I get asked sometimes where do I stand on the Second and 10th Amendment, and I have a little saying. We need a sign at every harbor, every airport and every road entering our state: ‘You’re entering a 10th Amendment -owned and operated state, and justice will be served with the Second Amendment.'”
December 4, 2011—In an editorial at the Renew America website, Freedom Watch/Judicial Watch founder Larry Klayman responds to a report about an uptick in gun sales on “Black Friday” by writing, “The American people, true to the intent of the Founding Fathers as embodied in the Second Amendment, are largely stocking up on guns during this time of economic and international crisis and peril to protect themselves from the evils of a dishonest, non-responsive and incompetent government that has brought the nation and the rest of the Western world to the brink of total collapse. This so-called government—as seen with Obamacare, the threat of increased taxes and other forms of fiscal confiscation and violation of property and privacy rights, to name just a few ‘atrocities’—is busy invading our individual and family rights and taking away our liberties … It is evident that the people have near lost total hope and now are arming themselves to the hilt for the next revolution … Our Founding Fathers, faced with a similar dilemma, were forced to eventually choose this path by risking, and in many cases sacrificing, their fortunes and lives. Is the past a prologue? With no functioning form of representative government likely to be installed in 2012, it well may be!“
January 24, 2012—Just hours before U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ)–one of the victims (and the primary target) of the mass shooting in Tuscon on January 8, 2011—appears publicly at the State of the Union speech in Washington, D.C., orange stickers with an image of rifle crosshairs are found on the office doors of several Democratic state senators in the Missouri State Capitol. Specifically, the stickers are placed on the doors of all four Democratic women in the Missouri Senate and Sen. Victor Callahan (D-Kansas City), the Democrats’ floor leader. One Republican, state Rep. Scott Dieckhaus, also has a sticker placed on his door.
January 26, 2012—Kansas State Rep. Forrest Knox (R-Altoona), the sponsor of a bill that would allow the carrying of concealed handguns on college campuses and in public buildings (i.e., libraries, city halls, visitor centers, etc.), explains his legislation in the following terms to the Lawrence Journal-World: “The benefits of a well-armed society included not only personal security, but national security and security from a tyrannical government as well. This was clearly the intention of the Founders. We still see that this applies today. A well-armed society is a polite society.”
February 8, 2012—At a gathering of tea party and grassroots organizations in Llano, Texas, Republican presidential candidate (and former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania) Rick Santorum tells the audience that the Supreme Court’s Second Amendment ruling in the 2008 case of District of Columbia v. Heller would be in jeopardy if President Barack Obama is re-elected in November 2012. Santorum is then asked whether the Second Amendment is only for hunting and sports, and responds emphatically, “The Second Amendment is there to protect the First Amendment!”
February 22, 2012—Speaking at a town hall meeting in Bixby, Oklahoma, U.S. Rep. John Sullivan (R-OK) makes the following reference to a budget plan by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) that had passed earlier in 2012 in the House of Representatives: “Like I said, after this last election, the first order of business is pass a budget. Now, I believe that. I supported the Paul Ryan budget and sent it over to the Senate. Now I live with some Senators, I yell at them all the time, I grabbed one of them the other day and shook him and I’d love to get them to vote for it—boy I’d love that. You know but other than me going over there with a gun and holding it to their head and maybe killing a couple of them, I don’t think they’re going to listen unless they get beat.”
February 29, 2012—During a legislative hearing, the Republican Chairwoman of the Georgia House’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee, Ann Purcell, reveals that she is receiving death threats by individuals upset with her lack of action on a bill that would allow Georgians to carry concealed handguns in public without a permit (and therefore, without any screening or training). Commenting on this revelation, the bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Jason Spencer, states, “Some of these gun activists are a bit radical. I can understand their frustration in the bill not moving, but making threats to the chairwoman is not helping.”
March 19, 2012—The Greene County, Virginia Republican Committee publishes a newsletter calling for violence should President Barack Obama be re-elected in the November 2012 presidential election. In the “Whitehouse Watchdog” column, editor Ponch McPhee writes, “We have before us a challenge to remove an ideologue unlike anything world history has ever witnessed or recognized … The ultimate task for the people is to remain vigilant and aware that the government, their government, is out of control, and this moment, this opportunity, must not be forsaken, must not escape us, for we shall not have any coarse but armed revolution should we fail with the power of the vote in November. This Republic cannot survive for 4 more years underneath this political socialist ideologue.”
April 9, 2012—During an interview with the Fox Business Network, billionaire Foster Friess says of 2012 Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney, “There’s a lot of things that haven’t been hammered at because Rick and Mitt have been going at each other. Now that they have trained their barrels on President Obama, I hope his teleprompters are bullet-proof.”
April 14, 2012–During a live interview at the National Rifle Association s annual meeting in St. Louis, NRA Board Member Ted Nugent says, “If you don’t know that our government is wiping its ass with the Constitution, you’re living under a rock someplace … We got a president and an attorney general who doesn’t even like the Constitution. We got four Supreme Court Justices who don’t believe in the Constitution … Four Supreme Court justices signed their name to a declaration that Americans have no fundamental right to self defense.” He then adds, “And if you want more of those kinds of evil, anti-American people in the Supreme Court then don’t get involved and let Obama take office again. Because I’ll tell you this right now, if Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.” Continuing on the topic of the 2012 presidential elections, Nugent looks directly at the NRA members in the convention hall around him and says, ”Our President and Attorney General, our Vice President, Hillary Clinton, they’re criminals. They’re criminals … Remember we’re Americans because we defied the king, we didn’t negotiate and compromise with the king, we defied the emperors. We are patriots. We are Braveheart. We need to ride into that battlefield and chop [Democrats’] heads off in November. Any questions?” In the wake of Nugent’s comments, the Secret Service places him under investigation and meets personally with him. The campaign of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney—who sought and received Nugent’s endorsement—releases a statement saying, “Divisive language is offensive no matter what side of the political aisle it comes from. Mitt Romney believes everyone needs to be civil.”
April 17, 2012—At an Illinois Chamber of Commerce appearance by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in Springfield, a protest is conducted in response to the governor’s labor and economic policies. Speaking at the protest, Rev. T. Ray McJunkins of Springfield’s Union Baptist Church shouts to a cheering crowd, “Scott Walker, we send you back to Wisconsin, as David did Goliath. We cut your head off and go back into town singing a new song.”
April 24, 2012—John Harris, the executive director of the Tennessee Firearms Association, sends out an email alert targeting Tennessee House Republican Caucus Chair Debra Maggart, who the group blames for holding up a bill that would have barred employers from punishing workers who keep firearms in their cars in company parking lots. “Rep. Debra Maggart’s political career needs to end much as the Romans crucified criminals—not just to end her tenure but as a glaring example to other Republicans that you cannot take the grassroots groups or the rights of citizens for granted,” Harris writes. “It is time to display a used crucifix at the entrance to the General Assembly as a warning.” NRA lobbyist Darren LaSorte responds to the email by saying, “One thing that John Harris has going is he is critical of the leadership—no doubt about that—and that is part of the political discourse. It’s part of how politics works.”
May 2, 2012—Christopher Hecker, 41, is arrested in Waynesboro, Virginia, and charged with the federal crime of threatening to take the life of President Barack Obama. Sending emails from his cell phone while hiking the Appalachian trail, Hecker makes death threats against the President and threatens to bomb the White House, hotels and other places, including Philadelphia City Hall and the site of the former World Trade Center. In one email, Hecker writes, “Sooner or later I will grab someone, maybe in the woods, on the trail, and beat the life out of them … [Obama] is the one that is destroying patriotism in the U.S.A. Ted Nugent is right. So, Obama is allowing me to be tortured to the point that I may murder someone, rather than deal with the mess he made. Your president is a coward.” NRA Board Member Ted Nugent made national headlines on April 14 when he said, “I’ll tell you this right now, if Barack Obama becomes the President in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year … We need to ride into that battlefield and chop [Democrats’] heads off in November. Any questions?”
May 9, 2012—U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) authors an email on behalf of the National Association for Gun Rights that contains a banner image of a rifle pointed at President Barack Obama’s head. The email’s subject line is “Obama just banned 1 million firearms” and Paul warns readers of “a series of anti-gun schemes from the Obama Administration” and “President Obama’s deep seated hatred for gun rights.”
May 2012—The Daily Caller initiates a program to give away a free handgun each week until Election Day to someone subscribed to its email lists. The handguns are “engraved with the Bill of Rights” and manufactured by Jim Pontillo of FMK Firearms. Pontillo has a history of extreme politics, having warned, “I can’t imagine how much more insult the American people are willing to endure under the ‘enterprises of ambition’ by our politicians, but I do know, gun ownership and an understanding of our American Founders’ vision will have positive and deliberate effect on the psyche of our populace and can subdue the overzealous and prejudicial effect of this ambition. When law is abused to achieve political ends where do the gallant citizens turn? Quite possibly to their guns.” Pontillo also claimed that those who advocate for secession are acting “in the Founding tradition.”
June 18, 2012—Samuel Wurzelbacher (AKA “Joe The Plumber”), a Republican candidate for the House of Representatives in Ohio’s 9th congressional district, uploads a campaign video to YouTube in which he is shown loading and firing a shotgun while a narrator says, “In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were exterminated. In 1939, Germany established gun control. From 1939 to 1945, six million Jews and seven million others, unable to defend themselves, were exterminated.” “I love America,” Wurzelbacher then says, smiling. A caption on the video page states, “History also tells us [the Second Amendment is] our last line of defense in the face of an out-of-control government.”
June 28, 2012—Moments after the U.S. Supreme Court rules to uphold the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, former Michigan Republican Party spokesman Matthew Davis sends an email to colleagues entitled, “Is Armed Rebellion Now Justified?” The email reads, in part, “In 2008, we the people elected Barack Obama as president, and the 100-year progressive trek to tyranny begun in 1912 with Woodrow Wilson’s election was complete … If government can mandate that I pay for something I don’t want, then what is beyond its power? If the Supreme Court’s decision Thursday paves the way for unprecedented intrusion into personal decisions, then has the Republic all but ceased to exist? If so, then is armed rebellion today justified? God willing, this oppression will be lifted and America free again before the first shot is fired.” Davis explains his email by saying, “You can’t have people walking with lattes and signs and think the object of your opposition is going to take you seriously. Armed rebellion is the end point of that physical confrontation.”
June 28, 2012—Former Alabama militia leader Mike Vanderboegh responds to a Supreme Court ruling validating the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by threatening violent insurrection on his blog, “Sipsey Street Irregulars.” In the blog, entitled “Black Thursday,” Vanderboegh writes, “You may call tyranny a mandate or you may call it a tax, but it still is tyranny and invites the same response … If we refuse to obey, we will be fined. If we refuse to pay the fine, we will in time be jailed. If we refuse to report meekly to jail, we will be sent for by armed men. And if we refuse their violent invitation at the doorsteps of our own homes we will be killed—unless we kill them first. … I am on record as advocating the right of defensive violence against a tyrannical regime.” Vanderboegh was the subject of national headlines in 2010 when he urged readers at his blog to respond to the passage of the Affordable Care Act by vandalizing Democratic offices. He then took credit after vandals struck several offices, including that of Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.
June 29, 2012—The day after the Supreme Court issues a ruling upholding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Mississippi Tea Party Chairman Roy Nicholson releases the following statement: “When a gang of criminals subvert legitimate government offices and seize all power to themselves without the real consent of the governed their every act and edict is of itself illegal and is outside the bounds of the Rule of Law. In such cases submission is treason. Treason against the Constitution and the valid legitimate government of the nation to which we have pledged our allegiance for years. To resist by all means that are right in the eyes of God is not rebellion or insurrection, it is patriotic resistance to invasion. May all of us fall on our faces before the Heavenly Judge, repent of our sins, and humbly cry out to Him for mercy on our country. And, may godly courageous leaders rise up in His wisdom and power to lead us in displacing the criminal invaders from their seats and restore our constitutional republic.”
July 17, 2012—Anti-government extremist Rex Michael Sherwood, 48, takes his own life after a firefight with tribal and state police at a gas station on the Jicarilla Apached reservation in Dulce, New Mexico. Sherwood is armed with an AK-47 assault rifle and wearing a t-shirt bearing the name of a “right wing milita group.” It is Sherwood’s second violent confrontation with law enforcement in the span of a week. On July 10, he exchanged gunfire with tribal police who pulled him over during a traffic stop. Sherwood led officers on a 10-mile chase before leaving his vehicle and escaping into the woods. “Homemade bombs” were found in the back of his abandoned truck.
August 1, 2012—In a letter to the Biloxi Sun Herald, Ron Williams, a congressional candidate from the Libertarian Party of Mississippi, expresses his opposition to comments from mayors in Boston, Chicago and other U.S. cities, who vowed not to allow Chick-fil-A restaurants in their municipalities because of anti-gay statements made by the franchise’s chief operating officer, Dan Cathy. “Let me make it clear,” Williams wrote. “The [COO] is being punished by government officials because he exercised his First Amendment right of free speech. The Constitution is very clear. When government restricts and punishes the people for exercising their First Amendment rights, then we are to default to the Second Amendment (right to keep and bear arms). These two mayors need to be introduced to the Second Amendment ASAP. The correct response to these mayors would be to send troops or whatever to remove these men from office, by whatever means is necessary.”
August 2012—The Tea Party group We the People posts billboards in Indiana, Minnesota and other states that depict Navy Seals alongside the slogan, “THE SEALS REMOVED ONE THREAT TO AMERICA … REMOVE THE OTHER IN NOVEMBER.” When asked if the billboard might encourage violence against President Barack Obama, Don Nunemaker, the head of We the People in Marshall and Fulton counties, says, “Heavens no! If someone goes and does something stupid, they already had that in mind.”
August 2012—Speaking at a National Rifle Association and Iowa Firearms Coalition “Second Amendment Rally” in Searsboro, Iowa just one month after the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado, Iowa State Senator Joni Ernst declares, “I have a beautiful little Smith & Wesson 9 millimeter and it goes with me virtually everywhere. But I do believe in the right to carry, and I believe in the right to defend myself and my family−whether it’s from an intruder, or whether it’s from the government, should they decide that my rights are no longer important.”
August 15, 2012—Floyd Lee Corkins II, 28, walks into the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the Family Research Council and shoots a security guard after a brief altercation. Corkins—who volunteered at a local support center for the gay community—said “I don’t like your politics” just before brandishing his Sig Sauer 9mm pistol. In Corkins’ backpack, authorities find 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches, suggesting he might have been upset about the Family Research Council’s support for the fast food chain’s vocal stance against gay marriage.
August 17, 2012—In an editorial at the Daily Caller, retired U.S. Army Major General Jerry Curry comments about recent ammunition purchases by the federal government and engages in wide-ranging speculation about its motives, writing, “The Social Security Administration (SSA) confirms that it is purchasing 174 thousand rounds of hollow point bullets to be delivered to 41 locations in major cities across the U.S. No one has yet said what the purpose of these purchases is, though we are led to believe that they will be used only in an emergency to counteract and control civil unrest. Those against whom the hollow point bullets are to be used-those causing the civil unrest-must be American citizens; since the SSA has never been used overseas to help foreign countries maintain control of their citizens … Obama is a deadly serious, persistent man. Once he focuses on an object, he pursues it to the end. What is his focus here? All of these rounds of ammunition can only be used to kill American citizens, though there is enough ammunition being ordered to kill, in addition to every American citizen, also every Iranian, Syrian or Mexican. There is simply too much of it. And this much ammunition can’t be just for training, there aren’t that many weapons and ‘shooters’ in the U.S. to fire it. Perhaps it is to be used to arm illegal immigrants?” The National Rifle Association issues a press release on the same day, making it clear that the ammunition purchases are perfectly normal and to be used for “training, mandatory quarterly qualification shooting and duty use.”
August 20, 2012—Lubbock County Judge Tom Head, in a television interview with FOX-34 News, voices fears about the potential re-election of President Barack Obama in November 2012, saying, “He’s going to try to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the UN, and what is going to happen when that happens? I’m thinking the worst. Civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war maybe. And we’re not just talking a few riots here and demonstrations, we’re talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms and get rid of the guy. Now what’s going to happen if we do that, if the public decides to do that? He’s going to send in U.N. troops. I don’t want ’em in Lubbock County. OK. So I’m going to stand in front of their armored personnel carrier and say, ‘You’re not coming in here.’ And the sheriff, I’ve already asked him, I said, ‘You gonna back me?’ He said, ‘Yeah, I’ll back you’. Well, I don’t want a bunch of rookies back there. I want trained, equipped, seasoned veteran officers to back me.”
August 25, 2012—Speaking at a “Second Amendment Rally” co-hosted by the National Rifle Association and the Iowa Firearms Coalition, U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) suggests that it’s important to train childen in the use of firearms so they can be prepared to confront their government on the battlefield. “Raise our children with gun safety and bring them out to the range, get them comfortable with guns and make sure they understand both the danger and the responsibility with it,” says King. “And they understand the danger of a country that could be taken over by tyranny one day if we fail to do our job.”
August 27, 2012—Four Army soliders based at Fort Stewart—Pvt. Isaac Aguigui, Sgt. Anthony Peden, Pvt. Chrisopher Salmon and Pfc. Michael Burnett—are indicted on charges of malice murder, felony murder, criminal gang activity, aggravated assault, and using a firearm while committing a felonly. Prosecutors allege the four are part of a anarchist militia group called FEAR (Forever Enduring Always Ready) that plotted to assassinate President Barack Obama and stockpiled $83,000 worth of semiautomatic assault rifles in preparation for a series of anti-government attacks. Prosecutors also allege the four shot and killed a former soldier and his 17-year-old girlfriend in order to keep their plans secret. In a videotaped interview with military investigators, Aguigui calls himself “the nicest cold-blooded murderer you will ever meet.”
September 27, 2012—Stratasys, a desktop manufacturing company, reclaims a 3-D printer it leased to Texas law student Cody Wilson after Wilson announces that he is going to use the printer to manufacture handguns. “It is the policy of Stratasys not to knowingly allow its printers to be used for illegal purposes,” the company tells Wilson, citing existing federal firearms laws. Wilson, the director of Defense Distributed, the online collective overseeing the “Wiki Weapon Project,” had described its purpose on his website:”How do governments behave if they must one day operate on the assumption that any and every citizen has near instant access to a firearm through the Internet? Let’s find out.” In a video circulated by Defense Distributed, Wilson also sought to raise money for his project by stating, “Every dollar is a statement to these international kleptocrats that, ‘This isn’t in your control anymore. You want to announce treaties and new legal regimes announcing greater and greater eras and stratas of gun control, but listen it’s over. You don’t understand the world you’re living in. We’re bringing something else into being.'”
September 28, 2012—Brad Staats, a Republican candidate for Congress in Tennessee’s 5th district, posts a photo of his handgun to his campaign page on Facebook with the following message: “Many people in Tennessee keep asking me about my opinion on Second Amendment rights. Apparently Tennesseans are part of that crazy crowd that Obama says ‘cling to their religion and guns.’ Well, then I must be part of that crazy crowd. Here is something that I usually have with me. Welcome to Tennessee Mr. Obama, where we appreciate our 2nd Amendment rights and the Constitution that was wisely given to us by our founding fathers.” When asked to explain the posting, Staats tells WKRN-TV, “I do want President Obama to know as well as the rest of Congress and everyone else regarding our constitutional, rights don’t tread on America’s Constitution. I think that your liberties, your life can be defended by the proper instructed use of a handgun.”
October 3, 2012—During an interview with the Ames Tribune editorial board, U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) King is asked about remarks he had made suggesting that the original purpose of the Second Amendment was not to assure hunting rights or allow for individual self-defense, but “to guard against tyranny because our Founding Fathers understood that if we did not have an armed populace, an armed tyrant could take over America.” When asked whether such a threat was legitimate, he said, “We don’t have that threat now because we have an armed populace.” King added that he doesn’t think the military, National Guard, police, CIA, FBI, or any other government-run force should be solely responsible for national security: “All of those groups that you’ve talked about, most all of them wear uniforms and they do take orders from somebody. That’s a different concept than it is to have just a populace that has the capability of self-defense. That’s what our Founding Fathers wanted. They had been invaded by the British, and they knew they could pick up their muskets and go defend themselves. Down the road, if we’re wrong on that, it’s too late.” When asked who he envisioned as the “armed tyrant,” King said, “I don’t see it as our own federal government. I wouldn’t rule it out down the line in a generation or two. I wouldn’t say that’s not part of it.”
October 12, 2012—At approximately 3:00 p.m., a shot is fired into the field office for the campaign of President Barack Obama in Denver, Colorado, breaking one of the office’s large front windows. No one is injured despite the fact that several people are inside when the incident occurs.
November 6, 2012—Tweeting moments after Barack Obama is re-elected President of the United States, American business magnate Donald Trump reacts by stating (incorrectly), “He lost the popular vote by a lot and won the election.” He then adds, “We should have a revolution in this country.” Trump follows up with a series of tweets threatening violence, including “More votes equal a loss…revolution!” and “We can’t let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty.”
January 10, 2013—In an opinion piece for the Washington Post, Judge Andrew P. Napolitano—who is also a Fox News Contributor—states that the Second Amendment is the ”linchpin of resistance to tyranny” as “it protects the right to shoot tyrants, and it protects the right to shoot at them effectively, with the same instruments they would use upon us.” Napolitano goes on to say, “If the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto had had the firepower and ammunition that the Nazis had, some of Poland might have stayed free and more persons would have survived the Holocaust.”
January 10, 2013—In an op-ed in Forbes magazine, Dr. Lawrence A. Hunter, the chairman of the Revolution 2.0 PAC and author of “My Individual Declaration of Independence from the Fascist Welfare State of America“ argues that gun control represents “government’s ability to demand submission of the people.” ”Guns are individuals’ own personal nuclear deterrent against their own government gone rogue,” declares Hunter. “Therefore, a heavily armed citizenry is the ultimate deterrent against tyranny.”
January 13, 2013—Walter Williams—a professor at George Mason University, syndicated columnist, and substitute host for The Rush Limbaugh Show—tells the Daily Caller that most Americans ”misunderstand [the] point of the Second Amendment.” ”We have the Second Amendment [in order] to allow the American people to protect themselves from the United States Congress—that is, government,” states Williams. He then asks the question, “Are we under any less a threat of tyranny from Washington than we were in 1787?” and responds “No.” Finally, Williams warns, ”If push comes to shove, Americans would at least have a means to offer some kind of resistance, as people have done around the world.”
January 17, 2013—In a letter sent to President Barack Obama, the Utah Sheriff’s Association makes reference to a package of proposed gun policy reforms from the White House and writes, “We are prepared to trade our lives for the preservation of [the Second Amendment’s] traditional interpretation.” “As you deliberate, please remember the Founders of this great nation created the Constitution, and its accompanying Bill of Rights, in an effort to protect citizens from all forms of tyrannical subjugation,” state the sheriffs. “We pray the Almighty will guide the People’s Representatives collectively.”
January 20, 2013—Speaking to a reporter, freshman Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL-3rd) explains that his constituents do not want him to give in on anything on gun control because it is the birthright of every American to have “the same equipment as the military to protect them against the tyrannical government.” Representative Yoho adds, “It s more important today than ever, that we uphold our Second Amendment rights.”
January 23, 2013—At the SHOT (Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade) Show in Las Vegas, National Rifle Association Board Member Ted Nugent calls President Barack Obama “an evil, dangerous man who hates America and hates freedom“ and warns, “If you want another Concord Bridge, I got some buddies.”
January 30, 2013—While testifying in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre is asked the following question by Senator Dick Durbin: “Your NRA members say, ‘You just don’t get [the Second Amendment]. It’s not just about hunting. It’s not just about sports. It’s not just about shooting targets. It’s not just about defending ourselves from criminals … We need the firepower and the ability to protect ourselves from our government, from our government, from the police, if they knock on our doors and we need to fight back.’ Do you agree with that point of view?” LaPierre responds, “I think without any doubt, if you look at why our Founding Fathers put [the Second Amendment] there, they had lived under the tyranny of King George and they wanted to make sure that these free people in this new country would never be subjugated again and have to live under tyranny.”
January 2013—After receiving threatening calls and emails from pro-gun activists, Washington State Representative Sherry Appleton (D-Poulsbo) withdraws legislation she had introduced to repeal the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Callers tell Appleton, ”We will be watching you,” or that she will be sorry. “These people when it comes to guns, they can be really threatening,” says Appleton. “People like that, you can’t talk to. I mean, it was shocking to me.”
February 11, 2013—Following Beaufort County, North Carolina’s adoption of a ”Federal Gun Laws Nullification Resolution” on January 18, 2013, conservative groups in Franklin and Guilford Counties introduce similar resolutions. Roger Lytle of We The People of Franklin County Patriots introduces a ”Second Amendment Resolution,” stating that the county should ”defend the Second Amendment and not bow down to unconstitutional laws, executive orders“ because “the right of the people to bear arms was, and remains, the ultimate barrier to government tyranny.” Jodi Riddleberger, the founder of Conservatives for Guilford County, expresses support for the resolutions, adding, ”Exact statistics identifying how many people were murdered by the government in Germany under Hitler, China under Mao, Cambodia under Pol Pot and Russia under Stalin are hard to nail down. But, it’s been reported elsewhere that the numbers of people brutally killed in these nations by their governments could have ranged from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of millions.”
February 12, 2013—At the National Rifle Association’s Wisconsin State Convention, members receive an article entitled “What Would Davy Crockett Say” by The Reality News. The article calls for Wisconsin to secede from the union and start ”a combo Civil/Re-Revolutionary War“ to “restore the Rule of OUR Laws.” “ELECTIONS ARE NOT THE SOLUTION TO OUR PROBLEM; ELECTIONS ARE THE PROBLEM,” adds author Karl P. Koenigs.
February 13, 2013—In an interview with WND’s “Radio America” program, National Rifle Association Board Member Ted Nugent states, ”Defiance is the heart and soul of the American experiment in self-government. We had to defy the king. We had to defy the emperor. We had to defy the tyrants, and sometimes we had to meet them at Concord Bridge and blow their brains out. I like defiance.”
February 14, 2013—Four weeks after sending a detailed death threat to California State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco), Silicon Valley engineer Everett Basham is arrested in his Santa Clara home. Basham was angered by gun control legislation introduced by Senator Yee. ”The threat was unlike any of the other ones I’ve received in the past,” states Yee. Court documents indicate that Basham had past sniper training and was planning on assassinating Yee with an AR-15-style assault rifle outside the State Capitol. When Basham is arrested, police recover explosives and three assault weapons from his apartment.
February 18, 2013—Speaking to conspiracy theorist/radio host Alex Jones, Milwaukee County (Wisconsin) Sheriff David Clarke warns that executive orders issued by President Barack Obama in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school could trigger “the second coming of an American Revolution, the likes of which would make the first revolution pale by comparison.”
April 19, 2013—In an editorial entitled “Scathing” in the newsletter of the Republican Party of Benton County, Arkansas, Chris Nogy (the husband of Benton County GOP Secretary Leigh Nogy) criticizes Republicans in the Arkansas state government who supported the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Nogy describes their support for the law as a “betrayal” which, in his words, “deserves a quick implementation of my 2nd amendment rights to remove a threat domestic.” Continuing, Nogy adds, “The 2nd amendment means nothing unless those in power believe you would have no problem simply walking up and shooting them if they got too far out of line and stopped responding as representatives.” Responding to criticism of his piece, Nogy says of Republican lawmakers, “We most likely won’t try to kill them or harm their families.”
April 20, 2013—Speaking at a rally organized by the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, former Alabama militia leader Mike Vanderboegh voices his displeasure with new gun laws passed by the Connecticut state legislature in the wake of mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school. In response to the regulations, Vanderboegh urges the crowd to “Defy. Resist. Evade. Smuggle.” He adds, “If we wish to avoid armed conflict, get this message across to the collectivists who have declared their appetites for our liberty, our property and our lives: ‘When democracy turns to tyranny, the armed citizen still gets to vote.’”
April 23, 2013—After the terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon, examiner.com columnist Kurt Hofmann—who had previously used his column to instruct readers to make their own improvised explosive devices—accuses the government of carrying out a “systematic, and apparently uncontested campaign of illegal searches and flat out authoritarian bullying” during the search for the Tsarnaev brothers. Hofmann then asks his readers to “Imagine, after all, what even a small militia group of perhaps a dozen members could do, if the battle were…between a determined and angry citizenry who will no longer submit to enduring a long train of abuses and usurpations, and the government perpetrating those abuses. Now imagine a couple dozen of those militia groups. Now imagine hundreds of them.”
May 20, 2013—The Secret Service investigate threats made during an angry rant by Internet radio host Pete Santilli. During the broadcast in question, Santilli claims that he wants to “pull the trigger…to shoot [former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton] right in the vagina.” “I don’t want her to die right away,” he adds, because “I want her to feel the pain.” During the same broadcast, Santilli states that “[President] Barack Obama needs to be tried, convicted, and shot for crimes against the United States of America. And if anybody has a problem with that, then you are an enemy of our state.”
June 17, 2013—Speaking about a group of pro-immigration activists from Sunflower Community Action that had protested outside his home two days earlier, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) states, “It’s important we recognize there’s a reason we have the Second Amendment. There are situations like this where you have a mob and you do need to be able to protect yourself.” The activists were peacefully protesting policies of Kobach’s that they claimed were unjustly separating families.
July 2013—Police Chief Mark Kessler of Gilberton, Pennsylvania publishes a series of profanity-laced videos to Youtube.com in which he fires fully automatic assault weapons and threatens, “If you f***ing maniacs want to turn this into an armed revolt, knock yourselves out.” Kessler heads a private militia called the Constitution Security Force (CSF) whose members swear an oath to “respond to the call if…needed to resist tyranny that seeks to destroy our republic.” Kessler openly recruits CSF members at his website ChiefKessler.com. After receiving intense criticism for his videos, Kessler publishes a post to his Facebook profile page in which he states, “I will not stand idle while tyrants attack the constitution … If they want to fire the first shot let it begin right here in Schuylkill county … Every militia , every csf member who can attend please do … So come with your flags n your firearms. MOLON LABE … democrats are the true enemy of our country, our freedoms, our constitution, along with liberal news agency’s , liberal news reporters, much like hitlers nazis , time we clean these antiamerican thugs from office.”
July 16, 2013—Christopher Wade Briggs, a 31 year-old resident of San Antonio, Texas, is arrested near the White House with a .45 caliber semiautomatic handgun, two hunting knives, and nearly 200 rounds of ammunition. After his arrest, Briggs allegedly tells police, “I was only going to fire a couple of shots if no one confronted me.”
August 4, 2013—Rockne Newell, 59, of Ross Township, Pennsylvania attacks a municipal meeting, shooting seven people there and killing three. Newell had been in a longstanding dispute with the township over a junkyard he kept on his property without proper zoning permits. “I wish I killed more of them,” he said after being tackled and taken to a hospital. After the shooting, a posting is recovered from Newell’s Facebook page from February. Entitled “The Safe Family Gun Guide,” it depicts an assault rifle with the words, “This one for people who try to take them away. The Second Amendment: When they tell you don’t need it, that’s when you really need it.”
August 11, 2013—During the 2013 Wisconsin State Fair, the Wisconsin Republican Party sells a t-shirt at their booth with an image of an assault rifle and the words, “GIVE ME LIBERTY. OR I WILL GET UP AND GET IT MYSELF.”
August 12, 2013—South Florida business owner Jason D. Simione is arrested and charged with three counts of solicitation to commit first-degree murder, one count of threatening to throw, place or discharge a destructive device, and one count of child abuse. A SWAT team searched the 39-year-old’s Dania Beach home and recovers 68 rifles, shotguns and handguns, including a .50 caliber sniper rifle; and approximately 60,000 to 70,000 rounds of ammunition. Detective Ricky Libman of the Broward Sheriff’s Office states, “[Simione has] made statements to me and his employees about how unhappy he is with government policy, specifically [President Barack Obama].” Broward Judge John Hurley tells Simione, “[Your] employees said you repeatedly have threatened the President of the United States, saying that he should be murdered.”
August 16, 2013—The Pennsylvania Republican Party forwards a photograph of a flyer to reporters that was allegedly taken from the Greene County Democratic Committee’s booth at the Green County Fair. It depicts Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett’s face inside a shooting target with the words, “Think safety first … Let’s make him one-term Tom” with a picture of a turkey (an adult male turkey is called a “tom”) at the bottom. State Sen. Tim Solobay (D-Greene) claims his party had nothing to do with the flyer, explaining that their booth was closed when it was found. “We believe this was someone other than committee or candidates or elected officials that took advantage of a situation,” he adds.
August 22, 2013—Las Vegas Metro Police arrest David Allen Brutsche and Devon Campbell Newman, a couple who devised a plan to abduct, torture and execute police officers in order to bring attention to their anti-government “Sovereign Citizens” movement. Brutsche, a registered sex offender from California, told an undercover officer in July, “Blood or no blood—it doesn’t matter. I will kill anyone that tries to stop the cause of liberty. I have no qualms about it.”
August 23, 2013—David Marsters, a retired Massachusetts police officer and a candidate for selectman in Sabattus, Maine, posts a photo of President Barack Obama along with a link to a story about a Republican push to impeach the President. Marsters adds the caption, “Shoot the N***er,” provoking a visit from the Secret Service. Marsters tells the Portland Press Herald his posting was taken out of context. “I think it’s a lot of hogwash,” he states. “What I really meant to say is, ‘When are we going to get rid of this [expletive]. I should have said, ‘I hope the bastard dies’”
August 26, 2013—Police Chief Mark Kessler of Gilberton Pennsylvania posts a new video to his YouTube page in which he fires assault rifles at shooting targets named “Eric” and “Dan,” the names of the Gilberton Borough Council’s president and vice president. The video is released during a 30-day suspension imposed on Kessler by the council for improperly using police department weapons outside of duty. Responding to the possibility of federal intervention in Gilberton, Kessler warns, “God help them if something should happen to me. I believe that could spark the next American Revolution.”
September 26, 2013—During an interview with the radio program “Wallbuilders Live,”evangelical Christian minister and former vice chair of the Republican Party of Texas David Barton declares that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own virtually any type of weapon one can imagine. “The belief of the Second Amendment was you as a citizen have a right to defend yourself whether it be against a thug, an aggressor, a crook, or against your government,” states Barton. “Now this is where a lot of liberals go through the roof; are you saying that you think individual citizens have a right to own a machine gun? Yeah. And an Abrams tank, and a bazooka, and a F-16 because you’ve got a right to defend yourself with the same size of weapons that might be brought against you … You have a right to fight back with whatever you can get your hands on to defend your life, your property, your possessions, your family, your whatever.”
October 11-13, 2013—Right wing radio host Pete Santilli, Birther Zeeda Andrews and Georgia trucker Earl Conlon organize a “Truckers for the Constitution” rally in Washington, D.C. The organizers call on truckers to descend on the nation’s capital, tie up traffic on the I-495 “Beltway,” and arrest “everyone in government who has violated their oath of office.” On his radio show, Santilli threatens “a bloody battle” against the U.S. government, stating, “If we were to respond violently with the Second Amendment it would be the equivalent of us going out and doing a preemptive strike on our foreign enemies. That that would be justified at this point because of the war that has been perpetrated upon our American people.” The actual event fizzles, with few truckers participating, in part because of disagreements among the organizers.
October 19, 2013—Open Carry Texas, DontComply.com, Texas Open Carry, Gun Rights Across America, and Come and Take It America conduct a “Line in the Sand” rally at the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas “to take back the rights that [San Antonio Police] Chief [William] McManus and his officers in the San Antonio Police Department are trying to take away from law-abiding Texans.” “We can no longer stand in silence as the SAPD is allowed to get away with abuses of their authority under the color of law,” states a release from Open Carry Texas. “They have been left unchecked for far too long.” At the event, which draws approximately 400 armed protesters, conspiracy theorist and Infowars host Alex Jones declares, “These scumbags are all the same. They’re bullies that think we’re going to lay down to them and lick their boots … My ancestors on both sides of my family started the Texas revolution, and I’m here to tell you that that revolution was a continuation of human beings fighting against bullies and tyrants in every civilization throughout history … We’re not going to lay down if you offensively attack us. If it’s a war they want, it’s a war they’ll get.”
November 4, 2013—While headlining a rally for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul declares, “The Second Amendment was not there so you could shoot rabbits. Right now today, we have a great threat to our liberties internally.” “I’ve been working on the assumption that nullification is going to come,” Paul adds. “It’s going to be a de facto nullification. It’s ugly, but pretty soon things are going to get so bad that we’re just going to ignore the feds and live our own lives in our own states.”
November 19, 2013—Everest Wilhelmsen of the Christian American Patriots Militia posts the following to Facebook: “We now have the authority to shoot Obama, i.e., to kill him. His willful violations and alienation of our Constitution, constant disregard for our peaceful protests and corruption of all the three branches of government, (i.e., rogue and illegitimate government), reveal the dictator that he is … The authority to kill Obama comes from the 2nd Amendment of our Constitution: He is levying war on the United States and aiding and comforting our foreign enemies—the 2nd Amendment gives us the right and duty (authority) to engage an enemy of the United States that does so with the design to reduce us under absolute Despotism.”
December 3, 2013—While testifying at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on “The President’s Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws,” Michael Cannon, the Director of Health Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, opines that under the Affordable Care Act President Barack Obama has no authority to issue Exchange subsidies or to impose taxes in states that refuse to establish Exchanges themselves. He adds, “There is one last thing to which the people can resort if the government does not respect the restraints that the Constitution places on the government. Abraham Lincoln talked about our right to alter our government or our revolutionary right to overthrow it. That is certainly something that no one wants to contemplate. If the people come to believe that the government is no longer constrained by the laws then they will conclude that neither are they. That is a very dangerous sort of thing for the President to do, to wantonly ignore the laws to try to impose obligation upon people that the legislature did not approve.”
December 23, 2013—Michael Scheuer, a frequent guest on Fox News and Fox Business, pens a column in which he endorses the assassinations of both American President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron. “As they head further down the road of losing wars and wrecking Anglo-American liberties,” writes Scheuer, “Messrs Obama and Cameron and their supporters in all parties would do well to read the words of the great 17th century English republican Algernon Sidney, a man who was revered on both sides of the Atlantic, who greatly influenced America’s founders, and who was executed by the British Crown for what it described as sedition. ‘There must therefore be a right,’ Sidney wrote, ‘of proceeding judicially or extra-judicially against all persons who transgress the laws; or else those laws, and the societies that should subsist by them, cannot stand; and the ends for which governments are constituted, together with the governments themselves, must be overthrown … If he [a political leader] be justly accounted an enemy of all, who injures all; he above all must be the publick enemy of a nation, who by usurping power over them, does the greatest and most publick injury that a people can suffer. For which reason, by an established law among the most virtuous nations, every man might kill a tyrant; and no names are recorded in history with more honor, than of those who did it.'”
January 11, 2014—During a speech at a rally for U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) sponsored by Texans for Freedom and Liberty, conservative blogger Bill Whittle suggests that California families visiting Texas should be shot and killed because of their political views. “You will see a lot of cars coming from the west heading east on Interstate 10, and they’re going to have California license plates on them,” says Whittle. “Now, if you see these cars pull into rest areas or motels or restaurants, that’s fine. Wave goodbye, make sure they go out on the Louisiana end, but if you see them pull off into residential areas, you need to open fire on these vehicles immediately. Immediately. And not with 9mm or AR rounds; you need to put mortars on those things. You cannot take any chances … Californians are coming here because of the awesome job opportunities, the incredible economy, the great conservative government, and they will change it and mess it up. Don’t let it happen. Just start shooting … What is the worst that could happen to you? I mean, honestly, this is Texas, right? You’ll stand in front of a Texas judge. He’ll say, ‘Did you shoot up that car full of Californians?’ You’ll say, ‘Yes.’ He’ll say, ‘Why?’ You’ll say, ‘Well, your honor, they needed killing.’ And he’ll say, ‘OK, well strike a medal in your honor and off you go.'” Citing the fact that he was from Los Angeles, Whittle urged that he be allowed to enter the state, stating he would have “a long-handled spade and my AR 15, and I’m going to say, ‘Texans, I can shoot and I can shovel, please let me in. I promise I’ll do more good than harm.'”
February 4, 2014—While speaking at a pro-gun rally at the Maryland state Capitol, Delegate Michael Smigiel (R-36th) encourages sheriffs not to enforce new gun laws enacted during the previous legislative session and remarks, “We’re not out here watering the liberty tree yet, but it’s parched,” a reference to Thomas Jefferson’s quote, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
February 16, 2014—Todd Staples, a candidate for Lieutenant Governor in Texas, releases a campaign ad entitled “Not a King.” In the ad, Staples tells President Barack Obama, “Mr. President, you’re not a king, and Texans bow to no one.” He then declares, “I’m Todd Staples and I’ll fight Obama’s liberal agenda” as the ad shows him handling and pointing a shotgun. “So Mr. President, if you still want to mess with Texas, we’ve got a saying for you,” Staples says as the ad concludes. “‘Come and take it.'” The latter is a reference to Texans’ violent defiance of the Mexican Army during the Texas Revolution.
March 2, 2014—During an interview with radio host Bill Cunningham, Gun Owners of America (GOA) executive director Larry Pratt relates a story about how a female Member of Congress once asked a GOA member, “You want to shoot me, don’t you?” Commenting on the encounter, Pratt says, “Well that’s probably a healthy fear for them to have. You know, I’m kind of glad that’s in the back of their minds. Hopefully, they’ll behave.”
March 27, 2014—Robert James Talbot, 38, of Katy, Texas is arrested on federal charges of attempted interference with commerce by robbery, solicitation to commit a crime of violence, and possession of an explosive material. Talbot, the creator of a Facebook page entitled “American Insurgent Movement (AIM)” had allegedly been plotting to use C-4 explosives and military-style assault rifles to kill police officers, rob banks and attack government buildings and mosques. On March 24, 2014, Talbot left the following message at the AIM Facebook page: “We no longer have a Constitution and if you cannot see that then go get arrested for walking down the street with your weapons or get pulled over and see how that works out for you … Show you’re a True Patriotism by stopping the tyrannical powers and joining our Operation, Operation Liberty … Its up to you to stand forward and bring back this nation pre-constiuttionally.”
April 12, 2014—A deadly showdown between federal agents and heavily armed followers of rancher Cliven Bundy begins in Bunkerville, Nevada. The showdown originated from a dispute between the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Bundy, who owes the government more than $1.2 million in unpaid grazing fees. Federal agents suspend a round-up of Bundy’s cattle after a confrontation with angry Bundy supporters outside the BLM compound. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officers intervene to protect the federal employees. Metro officers report they fear for their lives “because of the assembled firepower, and because many in the crowd had pointed weapons at [them], taunted them, told them they should be ready to die.” Officers also indicate that “many [men] with guns set up behind women and children.” In the wake of the incident, the FBI launches an investigation into alleged death threats, intimidation and weapons violations. Residents of Bunkerville and the surrounding areas also report being stopped at checkpoints and intimidated by armed members of Bundy’s group.
May 1, 2014—After receiving death threats from pro-gun activists in response to his plans to sell a new “smart gun” that blocks access by unauthorized users, Engage Armament LLC owner Andy Raymond of Rockville, Maryland posts a video to the gun store’s Facebook page. In the video, an angry Raymond makes the following statement: “If you’re going to kill somebody, shoot the politicians who make these fucking [gun violence prevention] laws. If that’s who you want to fucking go at, shoot the people who make these laws. Take ‘em out in the street, and gun ‘em the fuck down. There’s a goddamn reason why we got [guns]. There’s a fucking reason why we got ‘em. And that’s to defend our fucking freedom.”
May 5, 2014—While being interviewed on the Tea Party Express’ radio program, John Stone, a Republican candidate for Congress in Georgia’s 12th congressional district, recites a quote falsely attributed to George Washington and says the following about the Second Amendment: “As long as we have that, we can’t have a dictator like a Adolf Hitler or a [Joseph] Stalin take over here because we can take up arms against the government if we have to. Now, because we have the right, we don’t have to. It’s a lot easier to go to the polls and vote. But while that right exists, that’s what preserves our right to vote and the democratic process of the country.”
May 9, 2014—In a column at WorldNetDaily, Judicial Watch Founder Larry Klayman calls for the overthrow of the U.S. government, writing, “In the name of liberty and freedom, now let us, We the People, sound our own battle cry … Let us do so with the memory of over 6 million Jews, Catholics, other Christians, and mentally and physically infirm who were tortured, raped, gassed and burned alive in Adolf Hitler’s concentration camps. Never again! Never again! Never again will government power and evil officials get free reign to use the power of the state to destroy liberty and freedom and annihilate the people. To [President Barack] Obama, [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid and their henchmen, including the National Security Agency and Central Intelligence Agency, who undoubtedly are digging up dirt as we speak to give to government authorities like the FBI to smear and destroy the [Cliven] Bundys, their supporters and all of us who stand tall against their government tyranny, I say, ‘Go to Hell.’ We will not back down from defending our rights and saving our country, no matter how you attempt to coerce and intimate us into remaining silent … Let us hope the Empire and its Darth Vaders like Obama, [Attorney General Eric] Holder, Reid and [the Bureau of Land Management’s Neil] Kornze get the message so we can avoid bloodshed and the sad consequences of what has now sadly become the Second American Revolution.”
May 23, 2014—While guest-hosting the conservative radio program “The Sean Hannity Show,” Dr. Ben Carson—an author and retired pediatric neurosurgeon—states that “the real reason that [our Founding Fathers put the Second Amendment in the Constitution] is recognizing that there could come a time when our government itself could go off the rail, and could try to dominate the people, and the people would need a mechanism of defense for themselves.” “I would never allow the Second Amendment to be jeopardized,” he added.
May 29, 2014—Samuel Wurzelbacher—known to the public as “Joe the Plumber” since his nationally televised conversation with then-Presidential candidate Barack Obama on the 2008 campaign trail—authors a column at his blog in which he writes, “Guns are mostly for hunting down politicians who would actively seek to take your freedoms and liberty away from you. Google ‘Hitler, Mao, Kim Jung Il, Castro, Stalin’ just for starters.”
June 5, 2014—Gerald Haddock, a prominent local attorney, claims that three people, including a man with a handgun, cornered him after a rules committee vote at the Republican state convention in Texas and “coerced, bullied and threatened him.” “This had such an effect on me that my wife would not let me go back [to the convention],” Haddock reports. “I could not sleep the whole night.” A person familiar with the incident identifies Andrew Holley, a member of the group Open Carry Texas, as the man with the handgun. Holley explains he was carrying a black powder revolver and denies trying to intimidate Haddock.
June 5, 2014—Aaron Jordan, the founder of the “French Quarter Minutemen” group in New Orleans, Louisiana, is booked into Orleans Parish Prison on charges of stalking after a Municipal Court employee claims he harassed her and threatened a Municipal Court judge and his family. The judge in question convicted Jordan of trespassing in 2009. Jordan’s Minutemen group had made news recently after announcing plans to provide armed civilian escorts to restaurant, bar and club workers.
June 6, 2014—A Davy Crockett impersonator takes the stage at the Republican state convention in Texas and declares the following to the audience: “We must protect the rule of law in this nation. In the early 1800s at the Alamo, it ran red with the blood of the freedom fighters. In November of 2014, I want Texas to run red with the greatest candidates that has [sic] ever been seen by any state anywhere as we come and make Texas red again. Now, I’m a little disappointed. I came down from Tennessee to fight with the great republic of Texas against a narcisstic [sic], tyrannical dictator and here a hundred and seventy-six years later I have to come back and fight against a narcisstic [sic], tyrannical dictator again?” The crowd bellows and applauds as he asks, “Who’s gonna help me do that?”
June 8, 2014—Jerad Miller and his wife Amanda ambush two police officers—Alyn Beck, 41, and Igor Soldo, 31—in a Las Vegas pizza restaurant and shoot them, killing them. The Millers then drape the officers’ bodies with a Gadsden Flag (“Don’t Tread on Me”) and Nazi swastika, confiscate their weapons and ammunition, and tell onlookers they are witnessing the start of a “revolution.” They move on to a nearby Wal-Mart, where Amanda shoots and kills a concealed handgun permit holder who tries to intervene. The episode ends when police shoot and kill Jerad and Amanda, in response, takes her own life. The Millers were in Las Vegas because they had recently traveled to Bunkerville, Nevada to participate in rancher Cliven Bundy’s armed confrontation with law enforcement agents in April. On his Facebook page, Jerad’s Likes included the National Rifle Association, the National Association for Gun Rights, Rand Paul, and Three Percenter Nation. He posted/shared a long litany of pro-gun memes on his Wall and attempted to obtain a rifle in order to “reach out and touch evil tyrant bastards.”
June 11, 2014—On a broadcast of his internet show, libertarian pro-gun activist Adam Kokesh (who was previously convicted of weapons charges after carrying a loaded shotgun in downtown Washington, D.C.) defends a Las Vegas couple, Jerad and Amanda Miller, who killed two police officers and a civilian in cold blood three days earlier. “Authority has become a homicidal institution against freedom,” Kokesh states. “Let’s say someone is going around stabbing people, like just stabbing people. It’s not murder to kill someone in that situation. And has been pointed out about the Vegas shooting, when you have police officers that are going around and doing violent things all day long, and then they take a break for lunch, well, it doesn’t mean all of the sudden they’re innocent or they’re being peaceful because they’re taking a break from all of their other anti-freedom, rights-violating violence. Think of how many lives might have been saved by this incident. How many people would these cops have killed had they not been killed? We can only hope that some of the officers in America are listening—if you care about your own safety—to understand that you are hurting people, and you can only push them so far before they hit a breaking point.” “Violence begets violence,” Kokesh concluded. “Turning to the institution of government to deal with these problems, an institution that is based on violence, is guaranteed to make the problem worse.”
June 14, 2014—During a confrontation in the Tahoe National Forest in Nevada County, California, Brent Douglas Cole, 60, exchanges gunfire with a Bureau of Land Management ranger and California highway patrolman, wounding them both. He is wounded in turn, and taken into custody. Previously, Cole had posted a meme on Facebook stating that Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s armed standoff with law enforcement agents in April 2014 was “the proper use of a well-armed militia.” On his Facebook page, Cole also wrote, “Everyone agrees the 2nd American Revolution is far overdue. We have waited to [sic] long and been to [sic] timid in the defense of liberty and justice, both now gone, we witness the horror of the unfolding police state.” He also advocated that Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy be “executed for treason” for supporting gun violence prevention legislation after the Sandy Hook massacre.
June 21, 2014—Speaking at the annual conference hosted by the Faith and Freedom Coalition, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal declares, “I can sense right now a rebellion brewing amongst these United States, where people are ready for a hostile takeover of Washington, D.C. to preserve the American Dream for our children and grandchildren.”
June 21, 2014—Speaking at an Open Carry Texas “Big Spring Meet & Greet,” former Alabama militia leader and “Three Percenters” founder Mike Vanderboegh states, “We like to think that all our fellow Americans, even those who plainly state that they are committed to stealing our liberty and our property and attempting to control our very lives, are merely suffering from differences of opinion that can be overcome by the right mix of persuasion or electoral politics. Yet how many of us have tried such methods with every fiber of our being and fallen short?” Not because we were wrong, but because those of the other side were impervious to such arguments, to such tactics, for they believe completely in their right to their appetites for our liberty, our property, and our lives with all the religious fervor of a pagan worship of naked power wrapped in a catechism of lies … Let us first be honest enough to admit first to ourselves and then to proclaim to those domestic enemies of liberty—and thence to the world—that failing all other appeals to peaceful means, that the Founders’ solution to such tyranny is still available, still potent, and still waiting, for when democracy turns to tyranny, the armed citizenry still gets to vote.”
June 24, 2014—Asked about how former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would fare in Arkansas if she received the Democratic nomination for President in 2016, Johnny Rhoda, an Arkansas Republican Party official, replies, “She’d probably get shot at the state line … Nobody has any affection for her.”
July 23, 2014—In an “Open Letter to [New York] Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney” published on the Gun Owners of America (GOA) website, GOA executive director Larry Pratt mocks the Congresswoman for alerting the Capitol Police about threatening comments Pratt made in a March 2, 2014 interview with radio host Bill Cunningham. “Since you apparently do not ‘get it,’ let me explain the obvious,” Pratt writes. “Should you attempt to disarm Americans the way the British crown tried 240 years ago, the same sovereign people who constituted this government using the cartridge box someday may need to reconstitute it, as clearly anticipated by the Declaration of Independence.”
August 21, 2014—Speaking to News21, Wicomico County, Maryland Sheriff Mike Lewis states, “As long as I’m the sheriff in this county,” he says in the video, “I will not allow the federal government to come in here and strip my citizens of their right to bear arms. I can tell you this, if they attempt to do that, it would be an all-out civil war, no question about it.”
September 19, 2014—During an interview with Gordon Klingenschmitt on his “Pray in Jesus Name” program, Gun Owners of America (GOA) executive director Larry Pratt refers to earlier comments he made about potentially shooting Members of Congress, saying, “[Democrats] clearly want to exercise power that, in their judgment, would cause enough push-back to stop them from doing what they’re doing. And I just said in a nice way that they’re afraid of getting shot and they ought to be! That’s what the Second Amendment is all about. They ought to be afraid of an armed people so that they don’t get into a situation where they would actually provoke violence.”
September 19, 2014—Omar J. Gonzalez, 42, is arrested after scaling the White House fence and sprinting inside the building. More than 800 rounds of ammunition are found inside his car. Virginia State Police report that they had previously arrested Gonzalez on July 19, 2014 for having an illegal sawed-off shotgun and attempting to elude police. During that arrest, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents found a cache of weapons in Gonzalez’ car, including two semiautomatic assault rifles, three .45-caliber handguns and multiple loaded ammunition magazines. Gonzalez also had a map of the District of Columbia with the White House circled.
November 2014—As the residents of Ferguson, Missouri await the decision of a grand jury in the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown, Jr., the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan distribute flyers in the St. Louis area threatening “terrorists masquerading as ‘peaceful protesters.’” “Your right to freedom of speech does not give you the right to terrorize citizens,” one flyer warns. “We will use lethal force as provided under Missouri law to defend ourselves.”
November 17, 2014—During an appearance on Newsmax TV’s “America’s Forum,” Gun Owners of America executive director Larry Pratt warns that President Barack Obama “clearly doesn’t like the fact that the American people can own guns because we might just want to use them to keep people like him from becoming tyrants.”
November 18, 2014—Gun Owners of America executive director Larry Pratt is asked by radio host Alan Colmes if “politicians should have a ‘healthy fear’ of being shot.” “Sure,” Pratt answers. “Because otherwise we have fear from them cause they have guns and when they start imposing their will tyrannically, when they start doing things such as what happened at the Bundy ranch in Bunkerville, Nevada, then it’s time that the people, in this case, the [Bureau of Land Management], be put on notice that you are not going to be allowed to do that.”
November 19, 2014—Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn warns of violence if President Barack Obama signs an expected executive order on immigration, stating, “The country’s going to go nuts, because they’re going to see it as a move outside the authority of the president, and it’s going to be a very serious situation. You’re going to see—hopefully not—but you could see instances of anarchy … You could see violence.” “Here’s how people think,” adds Coburn. “‘Well, if the law doesn’t apply to the President, then why should it apply to me?’”
December 7, 2014—During an appearance on Armed American Radio, Oathkeepers founder Stewart Rhodes discusses gun laws enacted by Connecticut in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary mass shooting with host Mark Walters. “We have yet to see the state of Connecticut act to enforce their unconstitutional laws,” Walters says to Rhodes. “What the hell happens if they try?” Rhodes responds, “I think it will be a civil war, frankly. I think it’ll depend upon whose door they go to first, but eventually they’re going to run into a veteran, or just a hardcore gun owner, a Three Percenter, who’s going to say, ‘I’m not going to give them to you. You’re going to get them bullets-first.’ And that’s how it’s going to go … [Law enforcement officers] have a duty to defend the Constitution and keep your oath. And it’s more important that you do that than your pension, it’s more important than your job, because you’re not going to have either one if it turns into a civil war and we open the gates of hell. And that’s just the bottom line.”
December 10, 2014—U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Senator David Vitter (R-LA) and Rep. Martha Blackburn (R-TN) host a meeting of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) at the Russell Senate Building. CSPOA is an organization led by former Arizona sheriff Richard Mack that embraces radical Posse Comitatus theory. During the event, activists affiliated with Operation American Freedom rally outside the White House in support of CPSOA. One of them shouts, in reference to President Barack Obama, “Hang the lying Kenyan traitor terrorist piece of s***! He’s a traitor! Hang him!” Mack hugs the activist in question after emerging from the event in the Russell Building.
January 14, 2015—Open carry activists rally at the Texas State Capitol to lobby in support of H.B. 195, a bill that would allow Texas residents to openly carry loaded handguns in public with no permit, background check, or training. Members of the group Come and Take It manufacture 3D-printed firearms on location at the Capitol, without the federal license required to manufacture firearms. Members of Lone Star Gun Rights and Open Carry Tarrant County (who are allowed to bring concealed firearms into the Capitol) visit the office of state Rep. Poncho Nevárez. The meeting becomes tense, with one activist calling Nevárez a “tyrant” and another telling him, “You won’t be here very long.” Rep. Nevárez, “unnerved,” calls the Texas Department of Public Safety. The following day, the Texas House of Representatives approves new rules allowing panic buttons to be installed in legislators’ offices.
February 4, 2015—Responding to reports that Senate Texas leaders are unlikely to pass a bill that would allow individuals to openly carry handguns in public without a permit, Open Carry Tarrant County leader Kory Watkins posts a video to his Facebook page in which he states, “I don’t think they want to mess with us too much longer. They better start giving us our rights or this peaceful non-cooperation stuff is gonna be gamed up. We’re going to step it up a notch. I think here in Texas we’re tired of jacking around with people in suits who think that they can take away freedoms in the name of safety … We should be demanding [Texas legislators] give us our rights back, or it’s punishable by death. Treason. You understand how serious this is, Texas? We need to start sticking more than foots in doors. This is treason against the American people. You don’t sell my rights back to me? You’re going to find trouble.”
February 19, 2015—Former Graham County, Arizona sheriff Richard Mack, who heads the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, tells radio show host Steve Deace, “I will tell you this…if the counties and cities and states do not exercise their proper constitutional authority, known as state sovereignty and the 10th Amendment, if they do not enforce their own state sovereignty and secure their state sovereignty, then America will die. If we do not exercise the 10th Amendment and state sovereignty, we will lose liberty in America, and we will not get it back unless there’s bloodshed.” Later in the interview, Mack adds, “It is so scary how many similarities there are between Nazi Germany and the Obama administration … You’d have be stupid not to know that he’s a Marxist.”
March 25, 2015—Federal authorities arrest William Krisstofer Wolf of Bozeman, Montana on charges of buying a converted, fully-automatic long gun from an undercover FBI agent. In a webcast on July 2014, Wolf stated, “When the war starts, there won’t be anyone who is safe. Just because you have a badge or black robe isn’t going to protect you.” Then, on January 29, 2015, Wolf held a meeting with other anti-government extremists and announced, “My preferred method, I’m serious; my preferred method would be to drop 500 pounds of napalm through the roof of the [Gallatin County] courthouse and burn it to the ground and roast some marshmallows on it.”
April 2015—Larry Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America, appears on Roger Fredinburg’s radio show and tells the host, “The Second Amendment was designed for people just like [President Barack Obama] and his administration. And yes, if the New York Times and the Rolling Stone, and whoever else wants to have a hissy fit, yes, our guns are in our hands for people like those in our government right now that think they wanna go tyrannical on us. We’ve got something for ‘em. That’s what it’s all about. The Second Amendment is not about hunting, it’s not about target shooting, it’s about Democrats who want to take our rights.”
April 2015—Heavily armed members of the Oath Keepers, Idaho III Percenters, Central Oregon Constitutional Guard, and Michigan Militia gather at the Sugar Pine Mine in Josephine County, Oregon in response to a dispute between the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the mine’s co-owners, Rick Barclay and George Backes. The two men claim to have surface rights to the plot of land. BLM notes that the surface rights to the land were ceded to them by previous owners in 1961 and states, “[Barclay and Backes] had …begun putting up a house on public land; and had failed to file appropriate mining plans with the BLM.” The Oath Keepers and affiliated groups block access to the mine and death threats flow into local BLM offices and citizens who oppose the armed contingent at Sugar Pine, such as the group Together for Josephine.
April 10, 2015—Former Tennessee congressional candidate Robert Doggart is arrested after plotting an attack on a small Muslim community in Hancock, New York. Doggart was wiretapped discussing plans to recruit a private militia in Nashville and Greenville, South Carolina to travel with him to the town, known as Islamberg. Doggart described the plan as follows: “When we meet with this state, the people that we seek will know who we are. We will be cruel to them. And we will burn down their buildings…and if anybody attempts to harm us in any way, our standoff gunner will take them down from 350 yards away. The standoff gunner would be me … We’re gonna be carrying an M4 with 500 rounds of ammunition, light armor piercing. A pistol with three extra magazines and a machete. And if it gets down to the machete, we will cut them to shreds.” In a Facebook post, Doggart noted, “We shall be warriors who will inflict horrible numbers of casualties upon the enemies of our Nation.”
April 16, 2015—In a fundraising email sent to supporters, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)—a Republican candidate for President—writes the following: “The 2nd Amendment to the Constitution isn’t for just protecting hunting rights, and it’s not only to safeguard your right to target practice. It is a Constitutional right to protect your children, your family, your home, our lives, and to serve as the ultimate check against governmental tyranny—for the protection of liberty.”
May 28, 2015—As the Texas legislature debates whether to allow residents to openly carry handguns in public without a permit, background check or training, Open Carry Tarrant County leader Kory Watkins posts a message to Facebook “calling for the arrest of every elected official in Texas that voted against open carry.” Watkins adds, “They should be arrested, charged with treason and should face a punishment that could result in being hung from the tree of liberty.”
May 29, 2015—Approximately 250 individuals—many of them heavily armed—gather outside the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix to protest Islam, Sharia law, and terrorism. The protest is organized by former Marine Jon Ritzheimer in response to an armed attack on a “Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest” event by two young men who had attended the Islamic center. The center, however, denounced the young men’s actions, and claimed no knowledge of their plans, a claim echoed by law enforcement authorities who investigated the incident.
June 2015—In response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act, Pete Lanteri—a former U.S. Marine and the organizer of Counter Jade Helm—posts the following on Facebook: “6 Supreme Court justices need to die a horrible death!!!!” Lanteri also urges his Facebook followers to make “lists of all commie/marxists/islamists in your neighborhoods. All the teachers, school board members, politicians, etc who are anti US Constitution need to be identified and addresses known so that when it comes time to round them up we know exactly where to start looking. They will be arrested and tried for treason!!!” Finally, Lanteri muses about his desire to “kill thousands of [Liberal] fucks.”
June 5, 2015—Six shots are fired at a camp occupied by three surveyors with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in northeastern Clark County, Nevada. The remote area is at the northern tip of Lake Mead where insurrectionist rancher Cliven Bundy continues to graze his cattle in defiance of federal law. BLM responds by issuing an advisory reading, “all personnel and contractors are not to work in the Gold Butte area at this time.”
June 29, 2015—U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) meets privately with insurrectionist rancher Cliven Bundy for 45 minutes following a presidential campaign event at the Eureka Casino in Mesquite, Nevada. Bundy tells Senator Paul that he believes that Nevada is a sovereign state with no obligation to recognize federal law. Bundy made national headlines just two months earlier after initiating an armed standoff with Bureau of Land Management and Las Vegas Metro Police officers at this ranch in Bunkerville, Nevada.
August 3, 2015—Documents are unsealed in the case of three men from Gaston County in North Carolina—Walter Eugene Litteral, Christopher James Barker and Christopher Todd Campbell—who conspired to arm themselves with firearms and explosives to combat Operation Jade Helm, a U.S. military exercise that is the subject of intense conspiracy theories. The men are arrested after Litteral orders military equipment from a tipster, including 60 rounds of ammunition for a .338 caliber long-range rifle, Kevlar helmets, and body armor.
August 5, 2015—Heavily armed members of the anti-government group the Oath Keepers gather at the White Hope mine near Lincoln, Montana in response to a dispute over a claim held by George Kornec and Phil Nappo. The dispute concerns the fact that the two men “illegally opened a road, cut down trees, built a garage and denied the public the right to access the White Hope mine.” The Oath Keepers state that “the immediate aim of this operation is to act as a buffer between the miners and any unlawful action by the United States Forest Service.”
August 6, 2015—During a Republican presidential debate, candidate and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker notes that he frequently turns to Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke for advice on “proper training, particularly when it comes to the use of force.” Clarke made headlines in 2013 after telling conspiracy theorist and radio host Alex Jones that executive orders signed by President Barack Obama dealing with gun violence could trigger the “second coming of an American Revolution, the likes of which would make the first revolution pale by comparison.”
August 14, 2015—In a column for WorldNetDaily, right wing legal activist Larry Klayman makes reference to “Donald Trump and other anti-establishment presidential candidates” and warns, “If real, honest, non-establishment leaders fail to get elected [in 2016], such as a president who can arrest the downward spiral of the nation, revolution will break out as it did in 1776. All political persuasions in this country have had it, and the judicial, legislative and executive establishment will figuratively be taken to the guillotines.”
September 2015—The radical anti-government group the Oath Keepers offers to “protect” Kim Davis, a county clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky who became embroiled in national controversy after refusing to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples. In a statement, Oath Keepers head Stewart Rhodes writes, “We believe Federal District Court Judge David Bunning [who jailed Davis for failing to comply with the law] grossly overstepped his bounds and violated Mrs Davis’ due process rights, and in particular her right to a jury trial … That is a dictatorship, whether done by a president or by a judge … We must stand against this. And so we will protect her and prevent it from happening again.” However, days later, the Oath Keepers website is updated with the following: “Due to Kim Davis’s Legal team, on her behalf, declining our offer of protection we are standing down.”
September 15, 2015—During an interview on The Alex Jones Show, Gun Owners of America (GOA) president Larry Pratt says, “The Second Amendment requires an adversarial relationship with the federal government. The Second Amendment says, ‘Federal government, you can go here and no farther and if you try then the Second Amendment comes into play. To put it a little more crudely, we’ll point your guns at you if you try to act tyrannically.'”
September 21, 2015—Bald Knob, Arkansas police chief Erek Balentine resigns his position after pro-gun activists burn and vandalize his truck in the middle of the night, spray painting “2 Amendment” on its side. This act of intimidation was in response to an arrest made by Balentine on August 21, 2015 in a McDonalds restaurant. Balentine arrested open carrier Richard Chambless, who was then convicted of disorderly conduct and illegally carrying a weapon by a White County district court and given one year of probation, 15 days in jail, and $2,400 in fines. Balentine later explained, “I don’t see any other way than what I did to protect the citizens and the community. If this subject had gone in and shot that McDonalds up or killed a bunch of people then I would have had to live with that for the rest of my life.” In explaining his decision to step down, Balentine writes, “I feel that I am bettering the safety of my family and my new born child. If someone could stoop as low enough to burn my truck then I don’t want to take that chance to endanger my family.”
September 24, 2015—Thomas David Deegan, 39, is arrested for plotting to overthrow the state government in West Virginia. Deegan is accused of sharing his plans in a series of conference calls where he called on armed individuals to join him in abducting state government leaders, charging them with treason, and replacing them with sovereign citizens. “We’re at war,” Deegan states. “If you see the police coming and pulling up in a vehicle [during the coup], I suggest you shoot them.”
October 8, 2015—Speaking to host Wolf Blitzer on CNN, Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson says, “I think the likelihood of [Nazi dictator Adolf] Hitler being able to accomplish his goals [of murdering 6 million Jews] would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed. I’m telling you there is a reason these dictatorial people take the guns first.” Six days later, Alan Steinweis, the professor of history and Holocaust studies at the University of Vermont responds by writing that Carson’s comments are “difficult to fathom” because Jews at the time understood that the vindication of their rights “would be accomplished not through the individual acquisition of firearms, but rather through the establishment of a Jewish state with an army to defend it.”
October 20, 2015—The National Rifle Association (NRA) tweets a link to an article by pro-gun blogger Bob Owens, titled, “Gun Confiscation Fantasies are Fast-Tracking the Democratic Party to Destruction.” In the article, Owens writes, “The Founding Fathers knew that would-be tyrants like this would come … I merely hope that we get to the 2016 elections … We do not want a civil war against the radical left wing of the Democrat Party, but let it be made abundantly clear that if they start one, they will be utterly destroyed by armed free citizens, as the Founders intended.” Accompanying the article is a photograph of gallows and the caption, “This is where the survivors of the Democrat rebellion will meet their end.”
November 18, 2015—Tyrone Paul Ponthieux, 55, of Las Vegas is indicted by a grand jury on charges of threatening to kill and kidnap federal officials after he posts the following violent rant to his Facebook page: “I think we all need to get our guns and shoot all of these out of control congressmen and senators and [President Barack] Obama! Any survivors, hang them, then try their dead bodies for High Treason! Then after they hang in the streets for a week, run over them then to the tree chipper to finish the job…” Authorities discover that Ponthieux owns seven guns.
January 2, 2016—The headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Oregon is occupied by a small group of armed anti-government militants led by Ammon Bundy, the son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy. The occupiers state that their action comes in response to the sentencing of Dwight and Steven Hammond, Oregon ranchers who were convicted on two counts of arson on federal land. The two ranchers, however, disavow the occupation. The Malheur occupiers demands that the federal government turn over control of the refuge to locals and invite armed militants from across the country to join them.
March 16, 2016—Conservative writer Matthew Vadum posts the following threat on Twitter targeted at individuals who would consider protesting at events organized by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump: “Note to MoveOn anti-free speech thugs: Our side has guns, tens of millions of them. Behave yourselves.”
May 28, 2016—Speaking on the “Gun Owner News Hours” radio program with host Robert Knight, Gun Owners of America (GOA) executive director emeritus Larry Pratt commented on the prospect of a Democrat winning the presidential race in the November 2016 election. “At that point, we would have to come to an understanding, which we’ve been sort of taught, it’s been taught out of us, that the courts do not have the last word on what the Constitution is,” said Pratt. “They decide particular cases, they don’t make law. Their decisions, unlike the Roe v. Wade usurpation, don’t extend to the whole of society, they’re not supposed to. And we may have to reassert that proper constitutional balance, and it may not be pretty. So, I’d much rather have an election where we solve this matter at the ballot box than have to resort to the bullet box.”