According to a new law enforcement survey, the number one threat of terrorism in this country comes from our own sovereign citizens. (The general term “sovereign citizens” is most often associated with right wing extremist groups.) The survey was conducted by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). And they found that “52 percent of respondents agreed and 34 percent strongly agreed that sovereign citizens were a serious terrorist threat.” This is compared to the 39% who believe that Islamic terrorists are our biggest threat.
A similar survey was taken back in 2006-2007. But back then the threat of sovereign citizens was down at the number eight spot. Islamic terrorist held the number one position in this earlier poll. So, in the past 8 years the perception of right wing extremist groups who call themselves sovereign citizens has changed dramatically in the eyes of law enforcement.
Ironically, over those same 8 years, the threat posed by many individual groups has actually declined, while the threat of sovereign citizens has increased.
“[A]lthough estimates about some groups were a serious terrorist threat increased comparing the two time periods, (e.g., Left-Wing Revolutionaries; Extreme Anti-Abortion Extremists), the concern about whether most groups were a serious terrorist threat actually declined for most groups (e.g., the KKK; Christian Identity; Neo-Nazis; Racist Skinheads; Extremist Environmentalists; Extreme Animal Rights Extremists).”
“The change is interesting as there was significant concern about the resurgence of the radical far right (as evidenced by the 2006 – 07 survey, as well as additional concerns raised after the 2008 election of President Barack Obama), but it appears as though law enforcement is, at present, less concerned about these groups,” they wrote.
So what really has changed in this country over the past 8 years to make law enforcement believe that our biggest threat is right wing extremists? Well, I can think of one obvious change. Barack Obama.
Now I’m not saying that all of these sovereign citizens are a direct result of America’s first black President, but it certainly seems more than coincidental. And as these groups continue to grow larger, so too does the open carry movement. According to OpenCarry.org there are now 30 states who have open carry laws. While only 6 states prohibit openly carrying firearms.
So now the right wing extremists are most likely packing heat. And what could possibly go wrong there??
|Mindy Fischer is a lefty-liberal, freelance political writer. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter.|