Cops Confirm BLM Shooters Were Walking Right-Wing Stereotypes: Racist, Anti-Government Gun Nuts

While Republicans continue to do damage control after an anti-Obama gun nut took their violent anti-abortion rhetoric at face value and went on a shooting spree in a Planned Parenthood clinic, another group of right-wingers were busy reminding America that the right’s toxic comments about race are equally dangerous.

Police have begun releasing details about the young men responsible for shooting multiple Black Lives Matter activists at a protest in Minneapolis. It’s not a pretty picture, but it isn’t surprising. The four men were consumed with anti-government and racist ideologies, and obsessed with guns. The mixture directly led to the violence against African American protesters.

From Gawker:

According to the complaint against Allen “Lance” Scarsella, above right, his phone contained racist images and “many photos of himself with guns” when police searched it after his arrest last week. Scarsella is accused, along with Nathan Gustavsson, Daniel Macey, Joseph Backman, in connection with the shooting of five people at the scene of protests against the police killing of Jamar Clark in Minneapolis on the evening of November 23. The victims, all black men, were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

One of the shooters, Allen Scarsella, had the bright idea to film himself heading to an earlier Black Lives Matter protest donning a mask and spewing racist hate speech while he and his friends waved around their guns. The group seemed eager to initiate violence against the protesters — echoing the agenda of Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who killed 9 innocent African Americans in their church in an effort to start a “race war.” Scarsella and his friend Nathan Gustavsson allegedly texted each other on the night of the shooting that they “[knew] how to make big news or get them to disperse.” Later, Gustavsson added, “I have an idea to really stir shit up.”

Once caught and right on cue, however, the group of white supremacists claimed they had no intention of actually starting a fight with the protesters. Instead, they claimed they got scared after a few African Americans confronted them over shouting racial slurs. Their legal defense appears to be that they were shouting racial slurs until they provoked a reaction then got so scared that they started shooting. It’s unclear if their defense attorneys can find even a single potential jury member who would be dumb enough to buy that.

And while racism was clearly the catalyst to their shooting spree, the group was able to cause such chaos because of their other obsession: Guns. According to Gawker, Scarsella and his friends were well-known members of 4chan’s /k/ message board, which is devoted to talking about guns. One fellow poster got the rest of the users up to speed:

4chan in the news again. A bunch of /pol/lacks+/k/ommandos in Guy Fawkes masks just shot up a Black Lives Matter protest. Apparently the BLM protestors tried to assault them, the Anon’s ran off and when the BLM protestors chased after them the /k/ommandos shot them.

5 BLM supporters confirmed in the hospital.

Media hasn’t mentioned 4chan by name yet but these guys were on /pol/ a few days ago telling everyone how they were trolling BLM by attending their protests and open carrying.

“Sovereign citizens,” racists, and gun nuts: The unholy trinity of the dangerous new breed of right-wing terrorists that experts warn are growing in number and becoming emboldened by the relentless propaganda being spread and endorsed by the mainstream Republican movement. And while the GOP continues to fear-monger over the non-existent threat of Syrian refugees, the violent extremists living in their own backyards continue on unabated.

[R]ight-wing extremists averaged 337 attacks per year in the decade after 9/11, causing a total of 254 fatalities, according to a study by Arie Perliger, a professor at the United States Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center. The toll has increased since the study was released in 2012.

Other data sets, using different definitions of political violence, tell comparable stories. The Global Terrorism Database maintained by the Start Center at the University of Maryland includes 65 attacks in the United States associated with right-wing ideologies and 24 by Muslim extremists since 9/11. The International Security Program at the New America Foundation identifies 39 fatalities from “non-jihadist” homegrown extremists and 26 fatalities from “jihadist” extremists.

How many of these events need to occur before we can safely dismiss the idea that these are lone wolves? This is a pack and they are clearly listening to a very strong dog whistle.

Feature image via Gawker