Thursday, December 11, 2003

Patriots marching onward

I'm a little late posting on this case, but it's well worth noting, from South Carolina:
STANDOFF ENDS: 2 Abbeville lawmen killed; gunman captured

ABBEVILLE -- A county sheriff’s deputy and a constable with the magistrate’s office were killed Monday in a standoff with a gunman at a home along S.C. 72. At midnight, investigators were still trying to make sense of Monday’s violence, but discovered enough to suggest the standoff was not the act of a desperate man.

According to State Law Enforcement Chief Robert Stewart, evidence collected at various sites around the county point to a carefully planned event.

Killed Monday were Deputy Dan Wilson and Constable Donnie Ouzts, 63, a former sheriff’s deputy.

Both men reportedly went to the home of Steven Bixby, 36, to serve a warrant that morning.

Ouzts was shot outside the home, officials said. Wilson’s body was later discovered inside the home, but Stewart said it was unclear how long he had been dead.

When the 14-hour standoff came to an end Monday night, Bixby and his parents, Rita and Arthur Bixby, were both in custody. Arthur Bixby was wounded when law enforcement officials stormed the home, while Rita Bixby was arrested following a less-dramatic standoff at Abbeville Arms, a nearby apartment complex.

In fact, the standoff was a carefully planned event -- as was, apparently, the murder of the two lawmen. The perpetrators, the Bixbys, in fact are members of the "Patriot" movement -- in particular, a legalistic subset . They originally hail from New Hampshire, where the family had a rather colorful career as leading movement figures in the Northeast. In fact, she was what is commonly referred to as a "paper terrorist":
Years before she and her husband moved to Abbeville at the end of 2000 to be with her fugitive son, the Bixby matriarch had terrorized neighbors and public figures with sham lawsuits and fanciful legal arguments based on "Common Law" rights, according to court documents, government officials and those familiar with the family.

... When the Bixby’s lived in a three-bedroom, one story house on a small plot of land on route 25 in the town, Mr. and Mrs. Bixby typed up a "Notice and Demand" to the town’s selectmen, similar to a city council, claiming "our God given inalienable Right/Duty to defend our own Life, Liberty and Property at whatever peril to the thief or robber who assaults those rights."

She attached a "notice by affidavit" asking for a deduction on taxes for money spent by the "securalist" school district and the planning and zoning board that she didn’t recognize as legitimate.

They recently relocated to South Carolina because that is where Steven Bixby fled to in order to escape an arrest warrant on a probation violation for driving without a license.

For those unfamiliar with Patriots, it's useful to know that many of them believe that once they've declared themselves "sovereign citizens," they no longer need bother with licenses and other permits from the "illegitimate" government. They also believe that their property rights are supreme and will gladly shoot anyone who tries to take it from them, even if they are lawful authorities (see, e.g., the Montana Freemen standoff).

I won't even ask my usual rhetorical question about how this story would have been handled had these perps been Islamist radicals. But I will observe that, as usual, this case is being treated by media and law enforcement as an "isolated event."

Hey, whaddya know? Here's another "isolated incident," this time from Utah:
Metro unit hits Aryan gang with indictments

A federal indictment unsealed Wednesday accuses a dozen Utah men of carrying out violent crimes both inside and outside of the state's prisons as members or associates of the Soldiers of the Aryan Culture, a gang that operated a methamphetamine ring throughout the state.

... However, Robertson says, racial concerns are not the primary motive for the Utah gang. The main objective of members, many of whom are well-educated, is to promote meth use and sales.

The attempted murders, extortions and threats alleged in the indictment date to 1997. The victims are all identified as John Does.

Well, it's Orrin Hatch-land. What do you expect?

And, hey! Lookit here in suburban Maryland. Another "isolated incident":
Leaflets Spreading Message Of Hate

The leaflets -- which usually have been enclosed in plastic, weighted with pebbles and distributed at night by members of a white supremacist group called the National Alliance -- advertise politics of total racial segregation.

The fliers have cropped up in Crofton, Arnold and Edgewater, and in several neighborhoods in Annapolis, including Admiral Heights, Germantown, Murray Hill and Eastport.

Police cannot take any action against the fliers because they are constitutionally protected speech.

The leaflets have appeared off and on in the county over the last several years, but the National Alliance's widespread campaign in the past two months has jolted residents who might not have thought of Anne Arundel as a magnet for the attention of racist groups.

... While the numbers are not large compared with those in neighboring counties -- in the same year, Baltimore County reported 55 hate crimes and Howard County reported 24 -- Anne Arundel has nonetheless gained a reputation for racial tension.

In just the past few years, the former schools superintendent was subjected to a racially motivated death threat, a church was defaced with swastikas and pro-Ku Klux Klan graffiti, and monuments to "Roots" author Alex Haley and the county's first black legislator, Aris T. Allen, were vandalized.

A few months ago, Tucker Carlson -- in a Salon interview with Kerry Lauerman -- voiced the conventional right-wing wisdom about extremists and the problem they represent:
How many white supremacists are there in America? There are about nine, and they're all mentally retarded.

If only.

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