We now find out that the guy who shot it out with police last week was on a mission.
Everybody in America would have found out about the Tides Foundation last week if Byron Williams had had his way. He’s the right-wing, government-hating, gun-toting nut who strapped on his body armor, stocked a pickup truck with guns and ammo, and set off up the California coast to San Francisco in order to start killing employees at the previously obscure Tides Foundation in hopes of sparking a political revolution.
Thankfully, the planned domestic terrorist attack never came to pass because California Highway Patrol officers pulled Williams over for drunk driving on his way to his killing spree. Williams quickly opened fire, wounding two officers during a lengthy shootout. Luckily, Williams wasn’t able to act out the ultimate goal of his dark anger — fueled by the TV news he watched — about how “Congress was railroading through all these left-wing agenda items,” as his mother put it. Williams wasn’t able to open fire inside the offices of the Tides Foundation, an organization “nobody knew” about until Glenn Beck started targeting it.
And thankfully, Williams wasn’t able to take his place alongside a growing list of domestic, anti-government terrorists, such as the recent Pentagon shooter, the Holocaust Museum gunman, the kamikaze pilot who flew his plane into an IRS building in Austin, Texas, and the Pittsburgh cop-killer who set up an ambush because he was convinced Obama was going to take away his guns.
The dangerous hypocrisy of Glenn Beck and his ilk is that while they call on their listeners to not act in violence, they keep on feeding the anger and madness with hate-filled rhetoric. A sampling of the kind of language Beck uses on a daily basis:
Progressives “are sucking the blood out of the republic” and are “gonna start getting more and more violent.”
“To the day I die, I am going to be a progressive hunter.”
“[Y]ou will have to shoot me in the forehead before you take away my gun” and “before I acquiesce and be silent.”
“This game is for keeps”; “[Y]ou can shoot me in the head … but there will be 10 others that line up.”
“There is a coup going on. There is a stealing of America”; “God help us in an emergency.”
You know it’s only a matter of time before one of the crazies hits his mark and when they do, you can thank Beck, Limbaugh, Savage, Levin and the rest of the hate-mongers.
Indeed, the relentless message that right-wing audiences hear is unequivocal and inescapable: Do something! Take action!
And last week, Byron Williams, likely inspired by Glenn Beck’s Tides obsession, grabbed his guns and set out to do just that.
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