When guys like Lou Dobbs go spewing their racist venom on national television, I'm sure it never crosses their minds that there might be consequences for the hate they spew. First, they deny adamantly that it's hateful, sort of like "who you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?"
But most of all, they don't care. This is about ratings. Lou Dobbs is selling outrage on his broadcasts, by God, and too bad for anyone who's the target of it.
But it ripples, you know. And while no one can ever make a direct connection, you know that this environment they're creating is also creating people like this:
- A Casper man who threatened to kill illegal immigrants coming into Arizona will spend six-and-a-half years in federal prison for firearms violations, according to court records filed Tuesday.
Chief U.S. District Court Judge William Downes on Oct. 23 sentenced Richard Serafin to 18 months imprisonment for possessing unregistered firearms, another 60 months for possessing firearms in furtherance of a crime of violence.
Downes also sentenced Serafin to three years supervised release with conditions that include paying child support, participating in substance abuse treatment, abstaining from alcohol and being submitted to searches.
On Aug. 3, a jury convicted Serafin of one count of possessing firearms in furtherance of a crime of violence after a week-long trial in federal court in Casper.
The week before, he pleaded guilty to the possession of unregistered firearms -- two AR-15 type rifles with barrels less than 16 inches -- and desired to go to trial on the other charge.
It's one thing when they start forming vigilante border-watch outfits like the Minutemen; even when they start making videos in which they act out their fantasies about shooting a Mexican.
It's quite another when they start stocking up on silencers:
- In March 2006, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives began investigating Serafin after the Atlanta office of the agency learned he illegally bought a silencer over the Internet from Germany, Special ATF Agent Steve McFarland wrote in court documents.
McFarland found Serafin's last known address was in the 2200 block of South Richard Street in Casper. The agent conducted a Google search, which indicated Serafin was a member of an anti-government militia type group.
McFarland, operating undercover, contacted Serafin via the Internet and expressed an interest in learning more about militias.
The two met on Nov. 2, and Serafin explained his racist views and how he ran a militia, McFarland wrote.
They met again on Dec. 12 at his house in the 1200 block of West 13th Street, whereupon Serafin sold McFarland a handgun and showed him some other weapons including two sawed-off AR-15 .223-caliber rifles, and a fully automatic Fabrique Nationale, FAL, .308-caliber assault rifle, McFarland wrote.
In January, he told the undercover agent he intended to travel to the Mexican border and harm illegal immigrants after drug runners allegedly burned down his brother's house in Arizona, McFarland wrote. "He added that he has a 'bad feeling' about what might happen in Arizona, once he gets there. Serafin also said that there may be fewer illegal Mexicans coming into the U.S. after he is there."
He was arrested on Feb. 7 after selling one of the AR-15 rifles to McFarland while armed himself.
This is the second militia-related bust in which the plan was to kill Mexicans; the first we're aware of was the arrest of five militiamen in Alabama last May who were planning a terrorism spree against Latinos.
It looks like this character was a militia of one. But you know that if some of them are taking steps like buying silencers, there are going to be some doing likewise who aren't caught. Again, just tiny numbers of people. But as Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols proved, you don't need a lot to wreak hell on earth.
Hope those ratings are worth it to Lou. Because he's not only making a living parody of himself, but his karmic payback is gonna be a bitch.