The popular image of the Golden State is that it’s a hotbed of liberalism; it’s the “left coast” of the country in conserve-speak. The Republican Party is all but irrelevant, and even Orange County, the former bastion of conservatism is no long safe for the GOP. It would seem that, having been defeated in the electoral arena, some right wing activists are moving into the grey areas of political activity.
So it may come as a surprise to some that a report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) issued yesterday names California as the national leader when it comes to the number –82–of conspiracy-minded anti-government so-called “Patriot” groups. Such groups have seen substantial growth since the 2008 election of President Obama and are described as becoming increasingly militant.
In 2008 there were 149 such organizations nationally, rising to 512 in 2009, jumping again to 824 in 2010, to 1,274 in 2011 and increasing yet again in 2012 to 1360. The report warns:
Now, in the wake of the mass murder of 26 children and adults at a Connecticut school and the Obama-led gun control efforts that followed, it seems likely that that growth will pick up speed once again.
Inside: Has the NRA Gone Too Far for Firearm Manufacturers?, Yes We Can Kill; Here Come the Drones, Letter Talks About Hoteliers’ Damage to San Diego, Food Riots Likely to Become the New Normal [Read more…]