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Anti-Government Treason

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Perry Steele

Perry Steele

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They're not jihadists. They are white, right-wing Americans,  with an obsessive attachment to guns, who may represent a greater danger to the lives of American civilians than international terrorists.

The Southern Poverty Law Center,  has been tracking hate groups for 30 years, released its latest report on the growth of these organizations this week. Its findings were, to say the least, alarming. The center divides its subjects into militias, which are mostly groups of weekend warriors who train for combat against imaginary foes; hate groups, which target minorities; and "patriot" groups, whose beef is with the U.S. government. Patriot groups first began surfacing after the massacre of a bizarre sect by federal agents in Waco, Texas, in the early 1990s. They showed their teeth in 1995, when a patriot adherent blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City.

Since then, the patriot movement has been growing at a blistering pace, especially following the election of President Obama in 2008, . From just 149 groups in 2008, the number jumped to 512 in 2009 and has been rising sharply since. In 2012, it hit 1,360. Now that Obama is seriously pushing for tougher gun laws. The result? There's no knowing, but some kind of serious attack is increasingly possible.

Patriot groups are motivated by a host of anti-government attitudes, but their primary focus is guns. They are convinced that the government is out to seize their weapons, even though most legislation is focused on keeping guns out of the hands of criminals or restricting the types of weapons that can be sold.

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