The wider scope of domestic threats to civil society
Another item we must not forget in the discussions of ideological violence is that the militant left's actions must not be forgotten. As David French writes in National Review, the press has a long, terrible history of covering such violence. And it has not changed a bit in the last week. French recounts a few incidents that were not, for whatever reason, included in a recent GAO report on domestic terrorism:
The report does not include, for example, the following well-known incidents:
Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley’s politically motivated ambush killing of two New York City police officers on December 20, 2014.
Micah Johnson’s politically motivated ambush killing of five Dallas police officers on July 7, 2016.
Black separatist Gavin Long’s ambush killing of three police officers in Baton Rouge, La., on July 17, 2016.
Those three incidents are far from the only cases of deadly leftist anti-police violence. In fact, an internal FBI report indicated that “an anti-police wave following the 2014 police shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., . . . drove most of those accused of killing law enforcement.” In fact, in 2016 ambush killings of police hit a 20-year high.
Why is it so hard for the media to tell the truth? Why is it so hard to acknowledge the facts that stare us all in the face? At home, while it’s nowhere near as violent as it was during the depths of the late 1960s and early 1970s, extremists on both sides have killed their enemies. We’ve seen left-wing riots in cities from coast to coast. Alt-right “proud boys,” Nazis, and neo-Confederates are instigating wild and vicious street melees. One of them even rammed his car into a group of innocent protesters. Violent extremists left and right threaten American lives. Yet neither group is as dangerous as jihadist terrorists.
Given all these threats, it’s vital that Americans shed the temptation to “fit” any new violent act into their partisan narrative. Now’s the time, rather, to stand first for the rule of law and then to sort out the politics. Any other approach will only lead to more fury, more tribalism, and ultimately more violence and death.
This formula puts things in their correct -- and essential -- order. Civil society has no room for, and liberty cannot abide, murderous thugs -- regardless of their grievances, talking points, or manifestos.