Enforcers Count on Provoking Low-Hanging Fruit to Advance a Discrediting Narrative

With all this talk about lockstep and leverage and force multipliers, it’ll be interesting to find out how much of the chatter was internet tiger talk before the feds got involved and started offering “suggestions.” (FBI/Facebook)

U.S.A. – -( “FBI: Militia group planned to kidnap Gov. Whitmer & overthrow government,” an Oct. 8 NBC 25 News report headlined. “According to court documents, the alleged plot involved reaching out to members of a Michigan militia.”

More “rightwing extremists,” eh? Just the kind we’re told “rank as the top terrorist threats,” more than violent Islamists, more than Antifa, more than Marxist-founded BLM…

The DHS says its “white supremacists.” FBI head honcho Christopher Wray agrees, telling the House Homeland Security Committee:

“Within the domestic terrorism bucket, the category as a whole, racially motivated violent extremism is, I think, the biggest bucket within that larger group. And within the racially motivated violent extremist bucket, people subscribing to some kind of white supremacist-type ideology is certainly the biggest chunk of that.”

Some of us tried telling people anybody who used the same language as Richard Blumenthal on guns was a hiring mistake.

The message, bottom line, if you listen to Democrats, is that Republicans are racists. That’s what voters are hearing in louder and more shrill tones as the election approaches.

So we see claims like:

I could do this all day, but you get the point. And the voting public gets a similar message from those yard signs Democrats are putting up next to campaign signs proclaiming “Hate has no home here.” The implication is that hate resides in all those homes with Trump/Pence signs that don’t put racial virtue signaling on display. After all, “Silence is violence.” And don’t get ‘em started on signs that appropriately counter “Socialism has no home here.”

The thing is, on seeing the NBC headline, my first thought was “Way to let CIs and provocateurs prompt you into helping generate narrative-bolstering headlines and making a tyrant look like a victim!” Sure enough, within moments, I’d posted an “update” link to an Ohio Capital Journal reporter’s tweet confirming “15 people met in Dublin, Ohio, including a FBI informant…”

And then we find “At Least Two of Gretchen Whitmer’s Kidnapping Conspirators Appear to Be Anti-Trump Anarchists” and “BLM Supporter Tied to Michigan Gov. Whitmer Kidnapping Plot.”

An as-yet-unknown number of infiltrators/informers/provocateurs managed to talk some low-hanging fruit (communicating on social media!) into making potentially incriminating statements and plans and then swooped in just in time to save the day and garner headlines to scare the cud-chewers.

Where have we seen overreactions before?

How about in the Hutaree case where the feds were willing to destroy lives and ride the publicity for all it was worth over violence conspiracy charges that turned out to be legally unfounded? How about in the Malheur “takeover”?

“Your FBI Will Entrap You,” Angelo M. Codevilla, a senior fellow of the Claremont Institute and professor emeritus of international relations at Boston University, concludes in an American Greatness analysis of the Whitmer case where he predicts no jury will convict if it comes to trial. “Is the nation’s top law enforcement agency protecting society from sociopaths or is the bureau itself sociopathic? Evidence and experience suggest the latter.”

It’s safer and easier going after low-hanging fruit for dramatic headlines than it is infiltrating the really bad actors. And that brings us to a dilemma of sorts since our government wants nothing to do with its obligation to equip and train “the Militia of the several States” and since armed citizens training in concert with each other in anticipation of emergencies, disasters and potential social breakdown are ripe for infiltration by confidential informants and provocateurs, just looking for someone to say something stupid or plan something stupider.

I’m reminded of a response I gave a contact over 20 years ago on our old GunTruths site, asking “Is there any organization of armed citizens?  And if there is some loose organization, will people actually move to snipe a government leader gone awry?”

Unfortunately, my correspondent did not appreciate being told:

For all I know, you are an ATF agent trolling for loose-lipped idiots. And for all you know, GunTruths is an elaborate snare set out to identify enemies of the state.

So what are we to do?

Some states have laws on “private militias,” so it is incumbent on citizens to know what they are. That said, there are workarounds to allow for group training and to hone skills, and being savvy to avoid entrapment is critical. Don’t say stupid stuff. Don’t plan stupid stuff. Even if you think you know everyone, you can’t forget that some individuals may find themselves entrapped and offered deals to play Judas. The best policy is to treat suggestions to initiate plots the same way an FFL would handle a “buyer” asking them about workarounds to machinegun laws.

It’s codified in the late Mike Vanderboegh’s “Three Percent Catechism,” where “we are bound by an ironclad commitment to no first use of force.” Read it and absorb it. Disagree if you like, but then don’t be surprised to see your name in the papers. That some of these (alleged) violence-planning plucked fruits called themselves “Michigan III%ers” just shows that like so many who do the same, they have no idea what the founder of the concept had in mind, something that concerned Vanderboegh and that he tried his best to make clear before he died. (Hell, many so-called “Three Percenters” have never heard of Mike and the websites they frequent make no mention of him.)

The Founders themselves acknowledged “all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.” That’s not cowardice, and you’ll note the door swings both ways, as evidenced by the absence of widespread confiscation directives. Even the most rabid gun-grabbers aren’t trying that (yet) because they don’t dare. Even though pressed and battered, the ultimate deterrent of the Second Amendment is yet working as intended.

If and when the “long train of abuses” reaches a junction where we have lost all other means of redress and tyranny has become so insufferable as to warrant resistance, you’ll know. Taking yourself off the board before then will do no one any good, least of all you and those who depend on you.

Don’t be that low-hanging fruit, playing into the hands of those who, when they perceive the time is right, would offer no alternatives but surrender or be destroyed.

About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

David Codrea

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