From 202 to 276 since 2014

Talking Points Memo addresses this whole “why did the Feds let Cliven Bundy get away with it?” question.

The situation presents a complicated challenge for authorities seeking to end the standoff peacefully but armed militia members itching for a confrontation. But some observers caution that once it is settled — however it is ultimately resolved — those involved must face consequences, unlike Bundy himself, who was never sanctioned for his armed showdown with the government and still owes some $1 million in disputed public grazing fees that triggered the initial incident.

“These folks are militant extremists and they need to be treated as such,” Jessica Goad — advocacy director at the Center for Western Priorities, a conservation group which has monitored the rise of anti-government groups — told TPM. “They need to be brought to justice in order for this thing not to keep occurring in the future.”

Because here’s the thing – if you just shrug and walk away when they do it, they’ll keep doing it.

Soon after the 2014 dispute dissipated, Alex Jones of the right-wing conspiracy website InfoWars bragged to Reuters that it was a water-shed moment for the anti-government movement.

“Americans showed up with guns and said, ‘No, you’re not,” Jones told Reuters. “And they said, ‘Shoot us.’ And they did not. That’s epic. And it’s going to happen more.”

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there has been a 37 percent rise in militia groups since the Bundy showdown in 2014, with the center identifying 276 militia groups – up from 202 in 2014– in its annual count released Monday.

Bad trend. Very bad trend.


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