Pro-rights activists occasionally like to make not-so-funny jokes about how the government undoubtedly has a large number of us on “lists” due to our hobbies and practices, and anti-rights cultists turn that around and ridicule us for believing that the government monitors people to that degree (while simultaneously demanding that citizens’ rights be abridged due to their name being on those non-existent lists… go figure). Unfortunately for both sides of the spectrum, the government does keep lists and it is watching:
These federal trainers describe the dangers of “extremists” and “militia groups” roaming the community and hiding in plain sight, ready to attack. Officers are instructed how to recognize these domestic terrorists by their behavior, views and common characteristics. State data bases are kept to track suspected domestic terrorists and officers are instructed on reporting procedures to state and federal agencies. The state I work in, like many others, have what is known as a “fusion center” that compiles a watch list of suspicious people.
So how does a person qualify as a potential domestic terrorist? Based on the training I have attended, here are characteristics that qualify:
• Expressions of libertarian philosophies (statements, bumper stickers)
• Second Amendment-oriented views (NRA or gun club membership, holding a CCW permit)
• Survivalist literature (fictional books such as “Patriots” and “One Second After” are mentioned by name)
• Self-sufficiency (stockpiling food, ammo, hand tools, medical supplies)
• Fear of economic collapse (buying gold and barter items)
• Religious views concerning the book of Revelation (apocalypse, anti-Christ)
• Expressed fears of Big Brother or big government
• Declarations of Constitutional rights and civil liberties
• Belief in a New World Order conspiracy
So how do I score? Check (My car has no bumper sticker, but my house proudly flies a Culpeper Minuteman Flag, and there is this whole weblog thing…), check (Two permits, NRA membership, and again this weblog.), check (I have not read the ones mentioned, but I plan to, and I have cracked the covers on others.), semi-check (We have a rotating stock of a fair bit of food, and enough ammo to last me a while, but one always needs more, and we are light in other areas.), check (Firearms and ammunition definitely count as “barter goods”, and, at this point, economic collapse is pretty much unavoidable.), meh (Not really a whole lot of planning I can do for Armageddon, so no point in worrying about it.), check (Have you read this weblog?), semi-check (I was homeschooled, but am not engaged in the practice now.), check (Again, see the thousands of posts here.), and semi-check (Do I believe in a shadowy supergovernmental organization guiding the world’s fate? Nazzomuch. Do I think various organizations are unintentionally heading to the same distasteful future? Youbetcha.).
Hm. 7.5 out of 10. Does that make me a “domestic terrorist”? Well, I guess I did not fail the “test”, so the odds are fairly good I am on a list somewhere.
And, please, explain to me what is so bad about any of those bullet points? Well, I will save you a wall of text and cut to the point – from the government’s point of view, all of those items reduce your dependence upon it, which is an atrociously heinous thing indeed. Never mind that many of those individual items, when put together, will help you or your family survive run-of-the-mill natural disasters like what recently transpired in Japan. Never mind that the majority of those items are factually/historically-based, and just sound judgment. Never mind that we are free citizens, and the government exists at our pleasure. Nope, each of those things, individually and collectively, reduce our reliance on the government, which, in turn, reduces its control over us, and that is something which simply cannot be tolerated.
So you demonize those who would attempt it. As Robb says, if you cannot win by logic (and they cannot), bring to bear the always-applicable fear and emotion.
But wait, it gets better:
A recent training session I attended encouraged law enforcement agencies to work with business owners to alert police when customers appear to be stockpiling items. An example was given that a federal agent was monitoring customers at a well known hunting and fishing retail outlet and noting who was purchasing certain items. This is something to remember the next time you purchase a case of ammo at one of these popular outdoor sports retail stores.
Yes, Big Brother really is watching, and I would strongly suggest that you distribute your stockpile purchases, both over time and over retailers. While the article only mentions local ones, I would imagine tracking such information through online commercial entities would be even easier, given order tracking and inventory control systems, and it is doubtful that the stores in question have to announce their complicity with this program.
*sigh* So rather than address the perfectly justifiable and reasonable concerns these people have over the direction our country is going, the government decides to vilify them and label them as “domestic terrorists”, even though the vast majority of them have committed no crime or executed any action of actual “terrorism”.
For that matter, if they do not want me to have “fears of Big Brother or big government”, why are they so intent on offering cause?