WV – GUN RIGHTS – They are not all racist nut jobs – and four other observations about the patriot militia movement

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The so-referred to as patriot movement is grabbing headlines as soon as once more, as its members pledge to guard Trump supporters at the president’s campaign rallies across the nation. For the previous 3 years, we have studied the rise of the patriots though reporting, writing and editing a nonfiction book, “Up In Arms: How the Bundy Household Hijacked Public Lands, Outfoxed the Federal Government and Ignited America’s Patriot Militia Movement.” The patriot movement is a fragmented and fractious coalition of groups that distrust the federal government. Members think the government is impeding their “land rights, gun rights, freedom of speech and other liberties.” As the book took shape and we talked about our reporting with pals and colleagues, most have been dismissive of the men and women at the center of the story: Cliven and Ammon Bundy. The Bundys are Mormon ranchers who became the movement’s guiding lights right after the 2014 standoff at Bundy Ranch and 2016 occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Our pals and colleagues saw the Bundys and their supporters as “racist nut jobs” and practically nothing extra. As reporter Kevin Sullivan wrote in a 2016 story for the Washington Post, law enforcement agrees with this assessment, calling the patriots “dangerous, delusional and often violent.” Though these descriptors undoubtedly match person patriots, our take on the movement is much less black and white. Here’s what we discovered:  [full article]

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