A social trend can lie dormant for years, gradually expand and then suddenly explode as if following a hidden exponential growth curve. Revolutions work this way, and so do religious cults. Most of the time the curve is nipped in its early phase, but not always. It isn’t a good idea to assume a fringe movement will always remain fringe.
Which brings us to the topic of right wing militias, people who carry assault rifles, study military tactics, go target-shooting in the woods and live in an end times epistemological bubble. They’ve been around for decades, occasionally getting in the news, and gradually getting more numerous and influential. Read this recent report in the New York Times, which documents the mainstreaming of armed freelancers aligned with the Michigan Republican Party, and ask yourself whether we are approaching an inflection point.
So what would a counter-strategy look like? I don’t think an attempt to suppress all extreme right wing thought and expression would work—it’s too unfocused—and in any case empowering the government and tech monopolies to carry it out would be suicidal for free thinkers of any sort. The answer has to center on the militias themselves.
I suggest gun control legislation at the state and national levels that explicitly targets militias. The idea is that it would be a felony to use firearms for any political purpose, where “use” means carry as well as pull the trigger. No arms at demonstrations or rallies. No armed political meetings. No “second amendment solutions” to political conflicts. I’ll leave the legal language to the lawyers.
Simply discussing such an idea would drive the militia folks crazy. It’s their worst nightmare, liberals taking their guns away to prevent any resistance to their politically correct tyranny. They will fulminate and foam, waving their guns in our face. Let them, and let their threats of violence be a reason for suppressing them.