Frazier Glenn Miller, accused of killing three outside two Jewish Community Centers in Kansas the day before Passover, embodies many features of the extreme gun rights movement – notably its persecution fantasies and insurrectional hatred of the government. Mr. Miller “knew enough of the law, enough of American history, enough of the thinking of the founders that he could craft this bastardized notion of liberty and this notion of states’ authority and states’ rights,” Michael L. Williams, Texas commissioner of education who as a federal prosecutor investigated Mr. Miller, told the New York Times.
States’ rights like bills to nullify federal gun laws and to arrest and jail federal agents trying to enforce them and a murderous hatred of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive (ATF) are prominent features of the gun rights movement.
Mr. Miller has written that the white race is “drowning literally in seas of colored mongrels” a remark that is disturbingly close to longtime NRA Board Member Ted Nugent’s depiction of President Obama as a “sub-human mongrel.” Nugent retracted the remark – kind of.
The NRA supported Ronald Reagan when, as California governor, he led new gun laws to keep Black Panthers and other black power activists from having firearms. In promoting the Mulford Act which he signed in 1967, President Regan said, “There’s no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons.” What a difference a few decades – and the change in color of the carrying citizens – makes. Many say gun laws would change overnight if the “law-abiding citizens standing their ground” were African-Americans and not George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn (the “loud music” killer).
This is hardly the first anti-Semitic gun attack in the US. In 1998, former Aryan Nations guard Buford O’Neal Furrow Jr. fired more than 70 rounds from a submachine gun at a Jewish community center in Los Angeles. In 1999, in Skokie and Rogers Park, white supremacist Benjamin Nathaniel Smith went on a racist shooting rampage killing Northwestern University Men’s Basketball Coach Ricky Byrdsong and Won-Joon Yoon, a computer science doctoral student. He also wounded nine Orthodox Jews and an African-American minister. Mr. Smith was issued a gun owner’s ID card despite an order of protection filed by an ex-girlfriend. The hate spree spawned the annual Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate.
Wade Michael Page, who fatally shot six people and wounded four others at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., in 2012, was another white supremacist. He was reportedly a member of the Hammerskins and played in neo-Nazi bands. He founded the band End Apathy in 2005 and played in the band Definite Hate, both considered racist white-power bands by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The Southern Poverty Law Center monitors such hate groups, which are some of the nation’s biggest gun advocates, preaching insurrection and stockpiling weapons. David Duke, one of the nation’s best known Ku Klux Klan members, for example, is a big fan of the NRA. “National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre has a new rallying cry to spotlight the importance of every American’s right to keep and bear arms,” he wrote on his website, quoting a LaPierre speech.
There is nothing quieter than gun advocates after a mass shooting. After April’s Fort Hood and Jewish Community Centers shootings, the normally belligerent gun fanatics turn meek and mute. Their only remarks tend to be that we should not “legislate on top of fresh graves.”
But of course legislating on top of fresh graves is the NRA’s marketing plan. Screaming that Congress would pass restrictions on semiautomatic rifles after Sandy Hook, the NRA induced a profit party for gun makers in 2013 and convinced the Frazier Glenn Millers of the world to acquire yet another weapon.