The protests in Ferguson, Missouri, this month presented a dilemma for the anti-government Right. The activists and elected officials who spent the spring fawning over lawless Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s stand against what they saw as an overbearing federal government changed their tune or just went silent when a police force armed with military weapons cracked down on mostly peaceful protesters in Ferguson.
On Tuesday, Gawker’s Adam Weinstein examined the “inherent contradiction” in the membership of St. Louis police officer Dan Page — who was suspended after he shoved a CNN reporter and the video of a violent rant he made came to light — in Oath Keepers, a group whose entire founding purpose is a fear of violent government overreach against unarmed citizens.
…For all their delusions, the Oath Keepers seem tailor-made to counter the surreal overarmed police state that may have played a role in Michael Brown's death by cop in Ferguson, and that has ebbed and flowed through the streets there ever since. The oath that Oath Keepers keep is to disobey a set of orders they believe may be given by government authorities . Hence they swear, in part:
- We will NOT obey any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.
- We will NOT obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies.
- We will NOT obey any orders which infringe on the right of the people to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances.
As Weinstein notes, the Missouri chapter of the Oath Keepers has sent a “letter of warning” to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon in opposition to police tactics against the protesters. But the Oath Keepers’ opposition seems to be based less on principle than on strategy — in a separate blog post, the national group objects to the police failure to stop looting while it took aim at peaceful protesters. The blog post also notes that Oath Keepers on the scene in Ferguson were “talking consensus for the benefit of the police and the people equally.” This role of self-appointed mediator is in sharp contrast to the group’s show of force at the Bundy ranch.
Ferguson has exposed some common ground between the anti-government Right and mainstream civil liberties groups — for instance, both the extreme right-wing Gun Owners of America and the American Civil Liberties Union have signed on to a plan to end the program that sends discount military equipment to local police departments.
Gun Owners of America’s executive director Larry Pratt, however, has been uncharacteristically quiet about Ferguson, linking on Twitter to the Missouri Oath Keepers’ letter to Nixon, but also to an article claiming that Michael Brown wasn’t unarmed because he was “young and strong.” GOA sent out an email arguing that violence in Ferguson was just another reason why people should be allowed to own AR-15s.
Sheriff Richard Mack, the founder of a group that believes that county sheriffs are the highest law enforcement officers in the land, has also been strangely silent on Ferguson, despite having spent time rallying against the federal government at the Bundy ranch with armed militia groups that he compared to Rosa Parks.
And then there’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a Bundy ally who, as the situation in Ferguson escalated, crowed about the combat supplies that he had amassed for his own department.
Yes, the relative silence of the anti-government Right on Ferguson is inconsistent, but so is their view of the Ferguson protests: In the view of many right-wing activists, the protesters in Ferguson weren’t standing up to the government, they were themselves tools of the government.
There is a school of thought among right-wing commentators that the protests in Ferguson were orchestrated — or at the very least encouraged — by Attorney General Eric Holder and the Obama administration in order to stir up racial resentments and increase Democratic chances in the 2014 midterm elections.
This paranoid scenario is in line with Pratt’s fear, expressed last year, that President Obama is on the verge of starting a race war against white people.
The Ferguson protests exposed a key fault line in the anti-government "Patriot" movement: they are against government overreach, but their definition of what counts as government never seems to be quite clear.
If the anti-immigrant protests in Murietta, California, and the gathering of militia groups at the border remind you of the anti-government standoff at Cliven Bundy’s ranch, that might be because the events are attracting some of the very same people.
Far-right radio host Pete Santilli, who we last saw harassing a Mexican-American reporter at Bundy’s ranch, has been broadcasting from Murietta for the past week or so and has mentioned that he has also driven down to join some groups along the Southern border, who he has been working with in an effort to shut down the Tijuana border crossing.
In fact, yesterday, Santilli interviewed Bundy himself about the similarities between the Bundy ranch standoff and the events in Murietta and at the border.
Calling the Bureau of Land Management “dirty rotten buggers,” Bundy told Santilli that the groups who faced off with the BLM at his ranch were “successful in bringing back freedom to America, at least in this area.”
Speaking of the militia groups gathering at the Southern border — including groups like the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters, who were strongly represented at his ranch — Bundy said that like at his ranch, federal agents are “pointing their guns at we the people” and not at the “enemy,” who he said is the “encroacher that’s illegally coming in here.”
RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.
In a desperate attempt to distract from the GOP’s sad and dishonest effort to turn the 2012 Benghazi attack into a political sideshow, we have decided to post Paranoia-Rama today, as we always do on Fridays.
5. Obamacare Death Lists
It’s no wonder that Glenn Beck wants to recruit Rep. Louie Gohmert to run for the U.S. Senate, as the Texas GOP congressman recently warned that health care reform will lead to death lists.
While appearing on The Blaze, Beck’s TV network, Gohmert said that in order to preserve Obamacare, the Obama administration will have to “put people on lists” where they will “die waiting to get the treatment and care.”
“This is where socialized medicine always goes,” he lamented.
Back in March, Gohmert similarly claimed that as a result of Obamacare, “we [will] see the morality rate start coming down, you die earlier, not because it’s an actual death panel but because you don’t get the treatment.”
4. Sharia Law In The Military
Yesterday, more than a year after he absurdly claimed that the Obama administration has issued a “litmus test for leadership in the military” based on whether prospective leaders “will fire on U.S. citizens or not,” activist Garrow “revealed” another dubious Obama military litmus test: whether service members “support” the “islamic [sic] ideology.”
The "new" Litmus Test of all senior officials of the Federal Government and their agencies.
As many will remember (except those who support Obama) I broke the news on January 20th of 2013 that senior members of the military were being asked a "litmus test" question to determine if they would be allowed to continue in their positions. That question determined if their loyalties lay with Obama.
Well it is now almost a year and a half later and I am now assured by many that the new criteria for senior leadership is their attitude towards and support of muslims [sic] and the islamic [sic] ideology.
Your Christian nation is now fully at the service of islam [sic] and its hateful ideology. The treason is complete and utter in its depth and breadth. Mark this date, May 1, 2014, the day that America was warned that the muslim-marxist [sic] in the White House Barack Hussein Obama is remaking the public service and government agencies into Sharia compliant entities as the next step in the subjugation of America to islam [sic].
- Dr. Jim Garrow -
please share this everywhere - the warning must be given - we are betrayed
3. Donald Sterling Scandal Meant To Distract From Benghazi
Since GOP activists failed in their truly bizarre campaign to link LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling to the Democratic Party (it turns out he is a registered Republican), they have now moved on to attempting to link the controversy over Sterling’s racist remarks to Benghazi.
Fox News contributor and former GOP congressman Allen West denounced the media’s coverage of the Sterling scandal as an attempt to cover up President Obama’s “incessant lies, deceit and abject failures,” particularly about the Benghazi attack.
Media Matters reports that West cited Sterling’s racist remarks in a Fox News Radio interview to call for greater public uproar over Benghazi: “The outrage of the public seems to be totally focused on Mr. Sterling but, you know, you've got this thing with Benghazi and we have an even bigger lie, an even bigger deceit, which is even more impactful on the country that no one is really caring about.”
2. Mass Grave For Cliven Bundy Militia
After suggesting that the military rise up against Obama in response to the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Gordon Klingenschmitt is now warning that the government may begin digging a mass grave as it purportedly prepares to murder Cliven Bundy and his allied militiamen.
“Mass graves dug by the government, this time for the cattle, but next time, maybe for the cowboys, right?” he asked. “I suspect that in some months to come, there's going to be some secret mission by the feds to go in there and punish the people who are standing for freedom.”
1. Bundy Psy-ops
The Oath Keepers, an extremist right-wing group, is attempting to distance itself from a rumor it started that the Obama administration was imminently launching a drone strike against Bundy’s ranch.
The founder of Oath Keepers, Stewart Rhodes, reportedly claimed that “Eric Holder approved a hot drone strike on the Bundy ranch within 48 hours.”
But a new Oath Keepers memo blames President Obama for the Oath Keepers’ own baseless claim, insisting that the drone rumor was actually an Obama “psy-ops” mission to discredit and undermine the Oath Keepers’ presence at Bundy’s ranch. The group says they were merely “indicating that a drone attack was at least ‘possible.’”
“Oath Keepers is tremendously happy that nothing happened and that this was a bad tip, a piece of ‘dis-info’, a ‘psy-op,’” a group spokesman said. “A typical FBI psy-op would plant ‘leaders’ in every militia they could infiltrate. What those sorts of FBI agents or surrogates do is always ‘handled.’”
Thanks for clarifying!
Of course the Bunkerland was filled with plenty of other crazy rants, including one by militia leader Mike Vanderboegh who warned of a “civil war” to protect the Bundy ranch (and also threatened to have Harry Reid’s “balls ripped off”).
The Oath Keepers, one of the groups organizing the armed standoff at Cliven Bundy’s ranch in Nevada, issued a bizarre, meandering “advisory” today claiming that a rumor that the group promoted that Attorney General Eric Holder had authorized a drone strike on the ranch was in fact a “psy-op” meant to discredit the protesters.
An Oath Keepers "editor" who calls himself "Elias Alias" writes:
Yes, it is true: Oath Keepers received a bizarre bit of leaked info which could not be verified but which also could not be ignored. Our contact is connected with the Department of Defense – or “was”. The info we received stated that Eric Holder of the Department of Justice had okayed a drone strike on the Bundy ranch near Bunkerville, Nevada, within a 48 hour period over the weekend of April 26/27, 2014.
This mis-info came from a trusted source, a former Special Forces soldier with significant connections inside DOD. Though the info was unbelievable, in the present climate generated by the BLM and Senator Harry Reid (who called the ranchers and their friends “domestic terrorists”), Oath Keepers decided that the info must be regarded as indicating that a drone attack was at least “possible”.
Knowing that this sort of info is at least bizarre, Stewart and our Board members who were there at the ranch finally, after painstakingly going over all possible angles, decided that this should be handled just as the authorities would handle a bomb threat at a school – evacuate the kids from the school immediately and then sift for the bomb, if indeed one turned out to exist there. Stewart knew this was a potential trap for Oath Keepers, but felt that he could not remain quiet about the info which had come to us. Better safe than sorry, in a nutshell, defines his thinking on this. Oath Keepers is tremendously happy that nothing happened and that this was a bad tip, a piece of “dis-info”, a “psy-op”.
"Elias Alias" then claims that conflicts among militia groups at the ranch can only be the result of FBI infiltration of militias in another “psy-op” on behalf of the “UN’s Agenda 21 domestic usurpations.” The group repeats the debunked rumor that Sen. Harry Reid is working on behalf of a Chinese energy firm. “This is United Nations covert activity inside the United States and it involves the planet’s largest Communist nation, China,” the advisory states. “The Bundy connection connects also the relationship of the BLM to the Reid family. It is deep stuff.”
Oath Keepers is happily hosted at the Bundy Ranch by the Bundy family. A film/video is en route to Montana right now, riding by car with Stewart, for editing and subsequent posting to our YouTube channel. That video will feature Stewart himself in powerful expressions of the principles on which Cliven Bundy stands, and the direness of the hour in our Republic’s history, and the need to overcome the UN’s Agenda 21 domestic usurpations carried via now-stolen “federal agencies and departments” such as the Forest Service and the BLM. The BLM’s policy is mirrored in Agenda 21, and the entire Bundy Ranch affair traces back to corruption in internationalist-federal deal-making in the name of the People’s government. Chinese management of Nevada land is at the bottom of this, as Alex Jones exposed Senator Reid’s connections with a Chinese firm wanting to operate a solar energy farm on land related to the eco-plans for developing that site, which included moving a population of desert tortoise from that site to the area where Bundy’s cows graze – and that was a problem for EPA as well as the Endangered Species Act, which caused seriously-armed federal force to move in to make sure that the Bundy cattle were removed from the new home of the tortoise – correct me if I’m wrong. This is United Nations covert activity inside the United States and it involves the planet’s largest Communist nation, China. The Bundy connection connects also the relationship of the BLM to the Reid family. It is deep stuff.
And that is why suddenly, as Oath Keepers is getting into gear to ramp up and build upon this defense of the people against the BLM’s tyrannical forces, and as we are making awesome strides, all hell suddenly breaks loose with the militias, who in a surprising twist of fate, have decided to destroy Oath Keepers at the same time we’re hit with a rumored leak about a drone attack being possible. Sheesh. The militias are being unruly about it, and somewhat rude, assuming that the word “rude” includes threatening to shoot Stewart or his officers in the back “for desertion” – if you can believe that. Some of the alleged militia leaders are threatening to accost Oath Keepers’ leadership if leadership step foot on the Bundy Ranch. That is fairly rude, but that has actually been said.
A typical FBI psy-op would plant “leaders” in every militia they could infiltrate. What those sorts of FBI agents or surrogates do is always “handled” . Some of the purported “leaders” of the militia at the ranch are doing exactly what any agent provocateur would do after having infiltrated the militia and claimed a role in leadership. Did you notice the massive ego about who is going to command who? Did you notice the drama in the tendency to speak of Oath Keepers as if we were a militia, which we are not. These militia “leaders” would judge us by battlefield standards even though there has not been a “battlefield” since April 12, 2014? They would shoot us for desertion? Really? That is amazing, and is the kind of bumbling consciousness which a conditioned and programmed special warfare officer or a federal agent would offer if he had to think on his feet of a sudden.
He adds that the Oath Keepers are in fact the upstanding citizens in this “classic” situation by backing Bundy, who “is a patriarch of our American heritage” with a “vision.. in harmony with that of the founders”
We understand that the Bundy affair is classic and that Mr. Bundy himself is a patriarch of our American heritage and as such he is to be protected by the people at all costs. His vision is in harmony with that of the founders, and we all know it. When Oath Keepers brings in to the Bundy Ranch out-of-State legislators, and when CSPOA and Oath Keepers bring in men and women from our Peace Officer community to stand by Mr. Bundy, the power in the unique outreach style of Oath Keepers becomes clear.
Larry Klayman’s effort to launch a Second American Revolution is fueled by all kinds of conspiracy theories, in addition to some reality-based concerns like the extent of the NSA’s electronic snooping. At Klayman’s rally last week, the now-expected invocations of tyranny and gun control fascism appeared alongside more esoteric theories, such as one about American sovereignty having been destroyed by an act of Congress in 1871 that changed “The Constitution for the United States of America” to “THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES,” and in the process turned the U.S. from a country to a corporation in the service of nefarious bankers.
One speaker topped the conspiracy theory charts. Thomas Robert Lacovara-Stewart, an Oath Keeper who set his theatrical speech against a backdrop of patriotic music, said that the Department of Homeland Security “blew up Boston” and committed murder to hide it.
“Because we now truly do fear our own government. The words fill sadness in my heart. I am a true son of liberty, born into it by my own bloodlines direct. And that is exactly what they have sought to destroy with multiculturalism forced, to disintegration of morality and of the family. It has become presidentially acceptable to not only embrace immorality but promote it with spectacles such as we have never seen, time and time again, attacked by progressives, another word for communists…
Lacovara-Stewart encouraged people to visit his website, Libertyimprovementandcare.org. The website, which calls itself The Holy Order of the Sons of Liberty, promotes a remarkable collection of conspiracy theories, in addition to the charge that the Boston bombing was a “false flag” operation. Many are focused on conspiracy theory staples: Zionism, the Rothschilds, the Federal Reserve. Others are more creative. Lyme disease is biological warfare being carried out by former Nazis that were allowed entrance into the U.S. And speaking of Nazis,
Does it not bother anyone that the German people submitted to Hitler? Well here is why. The Nazis fluoridated the water of the people. And it made them passive and not able to do more than whine and complain but never have the nerve to do anything when faced with hard choices. Oh and by the way, they fluoridate ours too.
On his website, Lacovara-Stewart warns, “We must realize that these devils exist among us…continuing their one world government Nazi/Soviet Socialist bankers dream!”
At Klaymen’s rally, Lacovara-Stewart’s message for President Obama: “We are here to tell you that your eviction notice is served!”
At last week’s Reclaim America Now rally, a placard next to the speaker’s podium featured a Thomas Jefferson quote that many speakers cited: "When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny." But there is apparently no evidence that Jefferson ever said this: the website of Monticello, Jefferson’s home, lists it among “spurious” quotations attributed to him.
Larry Klayman repeatedly described the Second American Revolution he is launching in nonviolent terms. He says massive peaceful civil disobedience will lead to the downfall of the current government and patriots from across the country will convene in Philadelphia to convene a new one. In recent weeks, though, Klayman has repeatedly warned that if the nonviolent approach doesn’t work, the people and the military will rise up and resort to “another recourse.” He has said that “violent revolution…looms on the horizon, if we cannot find a way to peacefully settle the score with the political establishment…”
A similar theme was heard at last week’s rally from speaker Manny Vega, who was identified as a retired marine and a Three Percenter. Three Percenters take their name from their belief that during the American Revolution only three percent of colonists took up arms against the British. The Anti-Defamation League reported a few years ago that Three Percenters, like the Oath Keepers, “promote the idea that the federal government is plotting to take away the rights of American citizens and must be resisted. The two groups are apparently trying to make inroads in the U.S. military.”
Vega, who said he served multiple tours in Iraq, said he thinks war is “abhorrent” and he wants peace to prevail. But he also said the Virginia Three Percenters are “planning and getting ready to mobilize if anything comes down.”
“But I’ll tell you what. There are a lot of men and women across this country who are willing to give it all, ok? Our forefathers, they fought for less. I am willing to fight today, ok? And, God, we don’t want violence, but if it should ever come to that, I can tell you what. I was willing to give my life in Iraq, over there, today I am more than willing to give my life over here, and I hope the president of the United States understands that. There are many more men and women like myself who are more than willing to give their lives here at home. Spread the word.”
A Republican official who is running to be Texas’ next attorney general has defended white supremacists, Mormon fundamentalists and a militant Jewish group that plotted the assassination of a US congressman, the Texas Observer has found.
The Texas Observer reports that Texas Railroad Commission chairman Barry Smitherman penned a letter to his daughter’s school last year criticizing them for using literature from the Southern Poverty Law Center in a lesson on intolerance in conjunction with the book “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
In the letter, Smitherman accused the SPLC of “intolerance” specifically because of its opposition to the Crusaders for Yahweh, the Jewish Defense League, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), Border Guardians and the Oath Keepers. So who are these innocent, patriotic groups?
Here’s Smitherman’s letter, courtesy of Forrest Wilder:
This is Barry Smitherman, [name omitted]’s dad. I am presently helping [name omitted] with this project. While I’m incredibly supportive of reading and analyzing “To Kill a Mockingbird,” an American Classic set in the early part of the 20th century in the rural south, I’m troubled by the “Us and Them” study material provided by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). “To Kill a Mockingbird” not only shows us the tragedy of the Jim Crow south of 60 years ago, played out horribly in the conviction of Tom Robinson for a rape that he didn’t commit, the book also highlights the strength and integrity of Atticus Finch, some of the townspeople of Maycomb, and even apparently a few of the jury members who struggled with their verdict. At the conclusion of the book, Harper Lee has given us hope that the South is moving away from discrimination based upon skin color and toward judging a man (or woman), as Dr. King would say, “not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center, however, has a more radical view of racism, hate, and intolerance. A quick review of their website shows that the SPLC considers many patriot, mormon, and judeo-christian religious groups across America, including some in Texas, to be hate groups. For example, the group “Crusaders for Yahweh” is labeled by the SPLC to be a “Christian identity” group and is placed on the SPLC’s national “hate map.” The same with the “Evangelical Latter Day Saints” (mormons), the Jewish Defense League, which SPLC calls “anti-Arab”, and the Border Guardians, which is labeled by the SPLC as “anti-immigration.” Equally disturbing, the SPLC calls out groups like “We the People”, “patriots”, The “Constitution Party,” and “oath keepers” as groups which subscribe to unfounded conspiracy theories and are “opposed to one world order”.
I identify myself as a Christian and find it intolerant for the SPLC to label me as intolerant. Same with many of the patriot groups that have organized in Texas over the last several years. I personally know members of these groups and they are focused not on racism, but on balancing the federal budget and reducing or eliminating our $16 trillion national debt.
Perhaps you are unaware of the tenants of the SPLC; I encourage you to research it thoroughly during this exercise and to explain to your students that SPLC, which allegedly fights intolerance, is itself often intolerant. Thanks for your consideration of this issue. Barry
The far right’s reaction to the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut continues to side into over-the-top rhetoric and conspiracy theories. The extremist group Oath Keepers released a statement claiming that the government is “complicit in the deaths of these children, and in fact an accessory to their mass murder” by promoting gun control laws:
This shooting is yet another tragic example of the failed, grotesque insistence on helpless victim zones where any crazed gunman can be assured of a large number of disarmed, undefended, helpless victims, all crammed into one place, where he can kill many children before an armed defender arrives from elsewhere. It is disturbing and sick that the federal government so hates the right of the American people to bear arms, and so hates their natural right to self defense, that the government insists on making them helpless, disarmed victims for anyone who cares to kill them. And in this case, all of the teachers and staff were willfully disarmed by the Federal Government, by force of law and threat of prison, to ensure that they would be disarmed and incapable of saving the lives of the children entrusted to their care.
That makes the Federal Government complicit in the deaths of these children, and in fact an accessory to their mass murder, by forcibly disarming (with the very real threat of prison) all the teachers, all the staff, and any parent who may have been on school property. That stupid law guaranteed the shooters would meet no immediate armed resistance, which is exactly what is needed to stop such an attack.
Randy Thomasson of Save California said that the shooting is “another example of societal degradation, a deadly consequence of promoting murderous abortions, godless evolution, and gratuitous violence,” urging schools to begin “teaching the fear of God” and arming “every school official”:
More than asking why this evil happened, we need to work diligently to prevent it. The innocents killed at Newtown are double the number of Columbine victims in 1999. We should be all the more grieved and all the more resolved to stop murders before they start. The answer is teaching the fear of God and love for God in schools and throughout society. Because mass murder is another example of societal degradation, a deadly consequence of promoting murderous abortions, godless evolution, and gratuitous violence. How opposite of teaching children that all people are worthy because they were created by God, that all innocent human beings deserve protection because they're made in God's image, and that every person is accountable to God when He judges the world.
Every school official should be armed and trained to repel these attacks upon schoolchildren. And every parent and every media industry decision maker should absolutely prohibit children from enjoying scenes that glorify violence and desensitize them to the taking of innocent human life.
WorldNetDaily columnist Vox Day didn’t play down the gun imagery in a column about “firing back at gun controllers,” insisting that the government is using the shooting to acquire dictatorial powers and “assassinate [Americans] at will”:
The television is full of weeping parents and pictures of angelic children. Facebook is afire with solipsistic women attempting to co-opt the tragedy for their own emotional gratification. Politicians wipe away fake tears and thunder about the need for “meaningful action.” Psychologists blather about the killer’s motivation and wonder if his murderous rage stemmed from inadequate toilet-training, psychotropic medications or his parent’s divorce. Conspiracy theorists note inconsistencies in the news stories and mark the suicide that always seems to be accompanied by reports of a second gunman.
We know the drill. This isn’t our first rodeo.
Americans who value freedom know that they cannot permit ignorant comments from the overly emotional about how “we must do something” to stand unchallenged. The political elite that seeks to disarm the American people is getting increasingly desperate, seeing how public support for gun rights has consistently grown in keeping with the federal government’s assertion of its right to fly armed drones over their heads and assassinate them at will. They are alarmed by the way in which all of their attempts to emotionally manipulate the American people into submitting to a blatantly unconstitutional disarmament have not only failed, but backfired.
The ruling elite is presently embarking upon a full-court press for gun control, the likes of which have not been seen since George W. Bush’s administration used the 2008 financial crisis to ram TARP down the throats of an unwilling American people and bail out his friends on Wall Street. But it isn’t working. It isn’t working because we know the drill.
Don’t give them an inch. Cut them no slack. Punch back twice as hard. When they bring the knife of emotional blackmail to the argument, draw your .50 caliber Desert Eagle of facts, logic and history and blow them away without mercy.
Ask them this: 800,000 law enforcement officers have killed 525 unarmed citizens with guns so far this year. Approximately 310 million private citizens killed an estimated 10,500 of their fellow citizens with guns over the same period of time. Given that a law enforcement officer is 19.4 times more likely to shoot and kill an unarmed American than a private citizen, if you genuinely care about reducing gun deaths, why aren’t you calling for the disarmament of law enforcement?