2nd amendment advocates depicted as domestic terrorists during drill
Last January, Infowars reported on a “safety” exercise involving police, national guard and emergency management officials in Portsmouth, Ohio. The premise of that exercise was that individuals “disgruntled over the government’s interpretation of the Second Amendment” plotted to use weapons of mass destruction to terrorize the local community.
On Monday the investigative non-profit Media Trackers posted documents released by the Ohio National Guard’s 52nd Civil Support Team a full year after the exercise. The documents reveal a deliberate effort to portray Second Amendment supporters as racist right-wing terrorists who use chemical weapons on school children.
“On the chalkboard as well as the tables there were several statements about protecting Gun Rights and Second Amendment rights,” a scenario document received by Media Trackers dated January 17, 2013 states. According to the fictional account used in the exercise, the leader of the Second Amendment group was a white nationalist going by the name William Pierce.
“No apology to Ohioans who supported limited government and the Second Amendment appears to be forthcoming,” writes Jesse Hathaway for Media Trackers. “Scioto County Emergency Management Agency director Kim Carver refused to comment, telling Media Trackers she was ‘not going to get into an Ohio Army National Guard issue that you have with them.’”
Ohio National Guard Communications Director James Sims II said Media Trackers had inferred the scenario demonized gun owners and Second Amendment activists.
The Department of Homeland Security’s “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment” document leaked to Infowars in 2009 contributed to the current political environment where gun owners are increasingly demonized and portrayed as mentally ill right-wing terrorists.
The Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) also produced a document in 2009 warning about the danger of a purported “Modern Militia Movement,” including the likes of Ron Paul, Bob Barr and Chuck Baldwin. MIAC and fusion centers around the country coordinated with the DHS to “collect, evaluate, analyze, and disseminate information and intelligence” on the supposed threat posed by libertarians and constitutionalists, including Second Amendment advocates. Between 2004 and 2007, the DHS provided $254 million to fusion centers engaged in surveilling Americans considered a terrorist threat by the government.
In 2013, the DHS released a report, “Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States, 1970 to 2008,” that employed the phrase “extreme right-wing, ethno-nationalist/separatist” to describe individuals and groups it claimed represented a domestic terrorist threat. The report takes its definitions from a 2011 study entitled Profiles of Perpetrators of Terrorism, produced by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism.
On May 1, 2013, Infowars posted a video portraying a mock news report produced by the Department of Homeland Security depicting American gun owners as terrorists.
The documents obtained by Media Trackers provide more evidence that the government and its counterterrorism infrastructure consider American gun owners at the top of the list of domestic terror threats.