Call to Arms
I think conservatives are justifiably upset by the Department of Homeland Security’s recent report on right-wing domestic terrorism. It’s not that I find the idea of violent extremism totally implausible (I don’t!), I just think that releasing something like this in the midst of a tumultuous political climate is unnecessarily provocative, particularly when the report itself includes no hard evidence on increasingly violent right-wing extremism.
Dave Weigel counters by noting that gun sales are up, the woefully schizophrenic Tea Party movement has self-consciously appropriated the language of revolution and, oh yeah, he went to a really scary gun show the other week. This is all true, though gun ownership is hardly concrete evidence of an impending insurrection, and revolutionary imagery is not exactly unknown in American politics. The Ron Paulites and the antiwar Left, for example, are no strangers to revolutionary chic, but aside from a few odious restrictions of political expression, I don’t recall anyone labeling them a threat to civil order.