The LA Times reports:
Since 2000, members of the [Sovereign Citizens] movement have killed six police officers, and clashes with law enforcement are on the rise, according to the FBI. The deadliest incident came in 2010, when a shootout with a member left four people dead, including two police officers, during what began as a routine traffic stop in West Memphis, Ark.
Since then, in a notable shift in policy, federal officials have stepped up their attention on sovereign citizens.
“We are focusing our efforts because of the threat of violence,” said Stuart R. McArthur, a deputy assistant director in the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division.
In two recent unpublished studies, the Homeland Security Department and the National Counterterrorism Center ranked the sovereign citizen movement as a major threat, along with Islamic extremists and white supremacists. The FBI assigned a supervisor to coordinate investigations of the movement last year.
“This is a movement that has absolutely exploded,” said Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit organization based in Montgomery, Ala., that tracks domestic terrorists and hate groups. More than 100,000 Americans have aligned themselves with the sovereign citizens, the center said.
So let’s do some math.
Let’s take the lying sack of shit that calls himself Mark Potok at his word and assume that there are 100,000 sovereign citizens in the US. Over the course of a decade, 6 killings are attributed to members of this supposed terrorist organization. (The other people killed who were mentioned in the story were the Sovereign Citizens themselves. They were “left dead” by police retaliation.)
According to the FBI’s own website, the murder rate for all US citizens is 4.8 per 100,000 annually. Over the course of a decade, 100,000 citizens would average 55 murders according to FBI statistics. That means Sovereign Citizens are 9 times less violent than your average group of citizens.
Of course, the FBI takes those 6 murders much more seriously than the 55 murders of civilians because those 6 people happened to be cops. In other words, the State is spending all your money on defending itself from a peaceful group of people because that peaceful group of people is directly targeting the State with their protest actions. It is a shame that 6 cops were killed by people who saw them as threatening their private property and person, but clearly this is not justification for targeting a massive group of people who are statistically 9 times less likely to kill than average citizens. This is the State waging war against its own population with your money for the sake of suppressing a tax resistance movement.
At the bottom of the story, I noticed one particular comment that struck me as so asinine that I figured you’d all get a kick out of reading it.
Commenter ”Cheese_Wonton” states:
The funny thing about these so-called sovereign citizens is that no aspect of their lives would be possible without the nation they live in. Our ability to live in a first world society like ours depends on millions of other people whom we will never know gettin up each day and doing their jobs. These sovereign citizens do not build their homes, cars, computers, furniture, do not sew their own clothes or grow or hunt their food. If they turn on the tap and water comes out, many thousands of people had to do their job to make that happen, from the people who built the water system to the people who operate it today. Ditto electricity and gas. They are as dependent on the rest of the nation to which they belong functioning properly so they can live their lives as all the rest of us our. We are all linked to each other in a complex web of dependency.
But the sovereign citizens movement denies all of this, and in the process denines they have any obligation to contribute to the success of this complex web by being good citizens, obeying laws and paying their taxes. I see this in a lot of the right wing, a denial that along with the rights enumerated in our Constitution comes some responsibilities to our communites and to our nation as a whole. Our standard of living doesn’t spring out of thin air, we all rely on each other and our government to make it possible.
Clearly we would not have food, clothing, homes, cars, computers, or furniture if the State wasn’t there to rob and kill people at every turn.
The Sovereign Citizens movement doesn’t deny that free markets create prosperity, they deny that the violent looting of the State is a morally just way to organize society. They refuse to accept paying for unjust wars through the tax money that is stolen from them. They refuse to pay for locking up peaceful people for smoking dried flowers. They refuse to pay for crony-capitalist bank bailouts with their tax money. They reject the violence of the State, and some view it as their duty to resist that violence.
While I’m personally a pacifist that grudgingly pays his taxes, if I was on a jury where one of their members was charged with defending his property from the State, I would vote INNOCENT.
So suck on that Cheeseface.