Attack on FBI’s Cincinnati office the latest example of right-wing extremism
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 12, 2022 — The following statement can be attributed to Brady President Kris Brown in response to yesterday’s attack on the FBI’s Cincinnati office by a right-wing extremist:
The gunman who opened fire on an FBI building in Cincinnati, Ohio appears to have ties to extremist groups, including one that participated in the January 6 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol. This is Second Amendment extremism at work. And these threats are growing.
The gunman, who was armed with an AR-15, posted on social media that he was “ready for combat” after the FBI raided Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. His armed attack comes a day after FBI Director Christopher Wray warned against threats of violence against agents and the Justice Department following the Mar-a-Lago raid.
These threats are fueled by extremist politicians like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene — who called FBI informants "traitors" — and Trump supporters who are calling for a civil war. This is contextualized amid increasing threats of domestic terrorism in America, including a growing “boogaloo” movement that encourages the use of firearms to threaten violence and insurrection.
Let's be clear: The Constitution does NOT protect the right to use firearms to overthrow the government. Violence is ensured when the gun lobby — and its mouthpieces in the U.S. Congress — misinterprets the Second Amendment to encourage citizens to take up arms against the government.
Encouraged by insurrectionist gun lobby rhetoric, government officials at all levels, from local school boards to Congress, have faced increasing threats from disgruntled constituents who view valid public safety and national security measures as ‘tyranny.’
Five years ago this week, white supremacists in the "Unite the Right rally" invaded the University of Virginia’s Charlottesville campus, where counter-protester Heather Heyer was killed. Trump chose not to condemn this extremism. In the time since, domestic terrorism has continued to grow. And gun sales have soared, breaking all-time records in 2020.
Our peer countries also struggle with extremism, but they do not suffer from daily gun violence and mass shootings. Easy access to firearms here in the United States is what makes extremism deadly.
The weaponized terror caused by America's lax gun laws will continue to threaten our democracy and safety until Congress and state and local lawmakers take action.
It is imperative that our leaders:
Pass state and federal gun violence prevention laws
Support a reasonable construction of the Second Amendment
Direct the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to crack down on the criminal gun market
We wrote about this worrying trend of Second Amendment extremism in our recent Brady report, which every citizen and elected official should read. Our leaders must act now.
About Growing Right-Wing Extremism in the United States
In 2020, there were 23 percent more extremist-related terrorist attacks plotted than in 2019.
One in three Americans believe violence against the government can be justified at times.
In 2020, over one in five right-wing domestic terrorist incidents targeted police officers or government officials and politicians.
At the beginning of 2021, the FBI was investigating 2,000 cases involving domestic terrorism, a significant increase from recent years.
The gunman, Ricky Shiffer, who today opened fire on an FBI building in Cincinnati appears to have ties to extremist groups, including one that participated in the Jan. 6 insurrection.— Kris Brown | President, bradyunited.org (@KrisB_Brown) August 12, 2022
This is Second Amendment extremism at work. And these threats are growing.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.