If America has the seeds of home grown terrorism, it is not in the form of radicalized Muslims. It is in the form of our gun culture—specifically, those at the far edge of it; those who consider themselves “libertarian” and “constitutionalist.” I don’t see there being any problem with your average guy who likes to enjoy nature by killing the animals in it. That’s a thing that people like to do. I don’t get it, but I sort of see the way it works. It is like dogs chasing after cats. Dogs don’t hate cats, but it is fun to chase after things that are hard to catch. That’s the basis of most video games. When it comes to American gun culture, that is the vast majority.
What is of concern are those who think they must have guns to protect themselves from a tyrannical government. Before discussing them, let’s start by noting just how delusional these people are with regard to their potential success. Among these kinds of people, Randy Weaver is a hero, even though he was a very dangerous bigot. But they respect him because he “stood up” to the ATF. But if the government was really all that tyrannical, it would have just bombed the compound and that would have been that. Yes, these people could do some minor damage if they used guerrilla tactics, but it would be limited. If you allow a society to get to the point of armed conflict, you’ve already lost.
What greatly concerns me is what these people are claiming with their rights to armed revolt. What is it that justifies them to start killing other people? Would universal background checks be enough? Or would it take concentration camps for registered gun owners? Based upon the rhetoric of the supposedly mainstream National Rifle Association, it is much closer to universal background checks. And that’s frightening. Because just about no matter how you look at it, that would be terrorism.
It doesn’t help that the American media and government allow the public to think that Islamic terrorists just hate us. There’s little acknowledgement that these people at the very least feel aggrieved. They think they are fighting tyranny. So such American terrorists could blithely assume that they weren’t terrorists because they had a grievance. I don’t think most people would doubt our drone killing of innocent children is a more just reason for an terrorist than the fact that the government is limiting the supply of large capacity magazine clips.
So I really do worry what would throw these supposed freedom fighters over the edge. The whole Oklahoma City bombing did push many back from the precipice. But that memory seems to have faded. Since Obama took office, I’ve heard a lot more talk of tyranny. This is interesting when you consider how quiet it was during the Bush administration. But in a sense, the two administrations work together. Bush convinced them that there really was an existential threat to the United States. And Obama (because he’s a Kenyan socialist) convinced them that he was that threat.
These people really represent a terrorist gunpowder keg, just waiting for anything to set them off. But you can be certain the mainstream media won’t call them terrorists, because clearly, they don’t hate us for our freedom.