Folks, a lot of this stuff is related; eerily so. The NRA, ALEC, and the billionaires (and transnational corporate interests) that fund them are forming highly organized networks of what could eventually become fascist right wing posses used to intimidate targeted groups.
Although Arizona's Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio represent the most blatant example of how loose groups of right-wing gun-nuts that share certain traits, including authoritarianism, nativism, and racist views about the causes of crime, the attempt at organizing these folks across the nation is being done very methodically across the country.
In this rapidly-growing threat, at one end of the causality spectrum you have powerful (but hidden) corporate forces ordering their political hacks that make up most of our politicians in both parties to implement policies deliberately design to create hardship in the poorest and more vulnerable communities (often times populated by minorities).
Other policies of course are related to the pillaging of the national treasure by Wall Street, aided by the government.
All these things combined result in social dysfunction, especially for the most vulnerable communities. Some of the consequences include crime.
At the other side of the spectrum, the same forces pushing austerity (knowing what the effects will be), then use the opportunity to move their agenda forward.
Folks, I don't know if they will succeed, but this is honest-to-goodness fascist stuff. These "forces" are doing this very deliberately, right before our eyes. It is extremely dangerous that somehow some people don't understand what's going on.
In a Salon article by Chris Feliciano Arnold published today, he exposes some of the real dangers of Arpaio's posse: Sheriff Joe’s posse invades Guadalupe: The controversial sheriff puts his "good guys" with guns around Arizona schools. They might be the real threat
Just days after the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre proclaimed that only “a good guy with a gun” can prevent horrors like the Newtown massacre, America’s most notorious sheriff announced that armed members of his volunteer posse would soon patrol schools in the Phoenix area.By now, many readers have heard accounts about how sometimes police officers who live in the suburbs (i.e., not inner-city) request to be assigned to minority (and immigrant) neighborhoods where they abuse residents, driven by racist sentiments.
“This is immediate,” said Joe Arpaio, the Maricopa County sheriff. “I don’t need a new law to send out my posse.”
If this can happen in regular police departments, imagine when you're talking about a bunch of gun-nuts animated by the paranoia-laden trash put out by the NRA, acting as a front for the gun industry?
Residents of Guadalupe – which contracts with the MCSO for policing because the town is too small to afford its own force – were already spooked. In September, one of Arpaio’s deputies joined Tempe police in responding to an attempted burglary call – and shot and killed a teenage suspect. A deputy said he felt threatened and saw a knife; eyewitnesses in the neighborhood say he was putting his hands in the air to surrender when he was shot, and wonder why the deputy didn’t simply use a Taser.The very alarming thing is that this idea of creating armed posses around the country in order to protect children at school against bad guys is obviously an utterly absurd subterfuge. Is one of those things you would hear the media parrot in a tin-pot Banana Republic dictatorship--with a straight face.
“We are paying him to have certified deputies here, not to bring a circus and not to use our town as a political platform,” said Guadalupe councilman Andrew Sanchez.
In red states and red towns across America, this is the response to Sandy Hook. And if the NRA gets its way, the number of armed volunteers in schools will only increase. But if the “good guys with guns” can’t be trusted and sheriffs like Arpaio are better at publicity stunts than policework, who will protect the kids then?
As Feliciano points out in the article, the most disturbing aspect about these posses is that they are highly structured and well-resourced.
These possemen may not be sworn deputies, but the most committed among them have been through hours of training and are fiercely loyal to Sheriff Joe. They are no more or less likely to be corrupt or trigger happy than anyone else in the MCSO, but that might not be saying much. They’re essentially a private police force operating within the police force.The emphasis is mine.
One of the most disturbing aspects about this "posse" concept (being push by astro-turf business interests) is the "ambiguity" about exactly what type of authority these right wing vigilante militias have.
As the total-information-awareness police state takes hold, as citizens, we are not only to accept the premise that the government can execute people extra-judicially, but that any police officer around the country can punch you straight in the face with brutal force, repeatedly, or grab you by the collar of your shirt, and smack you against a wall or the ground with all his might, and you can't do anything about it whatsoever.
That's already been established and accepted by the population... But now, how do we deal with these right wing gun nuts fanatics with a badge?
Does a posseman have authority to pull you over, run your license plate, issue a citation or draw his gun? Few people know the answers, and Arpaio thrives on the ambiguity, taking every opportunity to tout his posse’s size, firepower and enforcement capabilities, even if some of those claims don’t hold water.It is this type of ambiguity that could eventually be exploited by these thugs in the future.
Hopefully things will improve in the country; the economy will get better; there will be more jobs. We all hope that. But if that happens it will be against great odds (and common sense). Right now the Republican party is engaged in a no-holds-barred attempt at sabotaging the entire economy. There is nothing more they want than to create havoc--because it is under "shock doctrine" or "wrecking ball" havoc that their real bosses (nefarious corporatist forces, ALEC, NRA, etc.) will be able to push their fascist agenda forward.
If they succeed, we'll go into another recession; the criminal lying banks could collapse, and society may go into shock (similar to what's happening in Greece).
It is in this type of environment that ultra-nationalist, nativist/racist right wing militias thrive.
In this scenario, not only minorities, gays, and immigrants could be targeted for harassment and intimidation, but liberals/progressives, intellectuals, and social justice activists.
The right wing world view is almost identical in every country. They are authoritarian; they tend to be racist, jingoistic, religious fundamentalists, close-minded and obtuse in their thinking.
That is why they abhor intellectuals, and social justice and anti-corruption activists; and that's why when the conditions are right, they are always targeted by the right wing.
These things are not happening haphazardly, by happenstance. There is a coordinated, well-orchestrated, well-throughout, strategic approach to the spreading of these posse-type militias across the country.
This can no longer be ignored. All these posses must be dismantled; all of them. Only regular law enforcement officers should carry badges and have "police-like" authority, including the authority to detain people, legal searchers, etc.
This should be a top priority of social justice activists; otherwise, we're just sitting ducks. Either that, or think about starting to form your own self-defense groups.
If nothing is done, these right wing militias will spread through the country and eventually will be used to intimidated the Left.
- Mother Jones: How the NRA and Its Allies Helped Spread a Radical Gun Law Nationwide
- Media Matters: ALEC Has Pushed The NRA's "Stand Your Ground" Law Across The Nation
- Huffington Post: NRA pushed 'stand your ground' laws across the nation