I don’t think it’s a coincidence that recent clashes between militia groups and the feds all involve the BLM, and not the ATF. I think a lot of people are probably scratching their heads and thinking, “back in the 90’s and earlier, it was all about anti-ATF outrage, so why the miltia hatred for the BLM?” But the only reason there’s confusion is because the vast majority of the country is so well insulated from the serious water issues facing us. Of course, we’re all starting to read the headlines now about Vegas and CA and TX, but it’s still abstract — even here in Austin, all it really means for me is that I can’t water my lawn very often. But rural people in drought-afflicted areas are, right now, living through a catastrophe that is as dramatic as Katrina. They’re losing everything — whole communities and farms that have been in families for generations are being wiped out.
One year ago this month, when I drove from San Francisco to Austin by way of LA (or a little north of that, actually), I recall seeing the homemade road signs everywhere in California’s central valley and being shocked. I wasn’t really aware of the water crisis, but driving through these areas it was clear there was this entire swath of the state that was absolutely enraged about water, and their only way of venting was making these homemade signs about the drought — how it was a political creation and the government’s fault and so on.
So yeah, my theory is that this anti-BLM stuff is the new anti-ATF stuff. And as the drought drags on and continues wiping out entire rural communities, look for it to get a lot worse. Sure, Obama’s ascension has no doubt helped militia recruiting, but I’d bet that the drought, which again none of us really see and the real human impact of because it’s just not a story that the media is interested in telling every single night on the news, is a larger factor.