“The so-called ‘sovereign citizens’ movement — men and women who believe they are exempt from most state and federal laws, regulations and tax codes — is spreading like a prairie fire.” So sayeth the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), who’ve been “keeping an eye on the right” for forty years. To be charitable, the staunchly pro-gun control organization has shown a remarkable disinclination towards facts when making its arguments . . .

In the last six months, members of virtually every department SPLC has visited [number unspecified] have reported contacts with sovereign citizens. In places as disparate as Georgia, Indiana, Nevada and Virginia, law enforcement officers are coming up against [number unspecified] sovereigns allegedly scheming to steal houses, pry loose money from the government that isn’t theirs, and harass their enemies with crippling property liens and other forms of “paper terrorism.'”

House stealing? I bet you can see a fleeing house felon a mile away. And if we stopped every citizen who tried to “pry loose money from the government that isn’t theirs,” the welfare state as we know (and love) it would cease to exist.

Back to facts, or the lack thereof . . .

[Murdered Arkansas police officers Bill] Evans and [Brandon] Paudert were the latest of at least 32 law enforcement officials murdered by right-wing extremists since the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

Citation? Hello? I guess the SPLC used the same methodological care that makes their “hate map” such a reputable resource. Or not.

7 Responses to Sovereign Citizens?

  1. Robert what is your point that 32 police have not been killed by right wing nuts over those years? Are you saying the SPLC is making this stuff up or exaggerating it?

    Can't you disagree with their gun policies and still agree that the right wing fanatics are a problem. That's the point isn't it?

    • My main point: the SPLC plays fast and loose with the facts, undermining their credibility. As for the danger posed by right wing extremists, sure, it's real. No question: it deserves police investigation. But the SPLC is like the drunk guy looking for his car keys under a streetlamp because the light's better. Our most potent and dangerous enemies are Muslim terrorists and good old fashioned criminal gangs, not home grown political extremists on either side. In short, the SPLC is misleading, exploitative and fundamentally dishonest.

  2. In case you're interested, we had some house stealing in Montana last year:

    A California woman who allegedly moved into an unoccupied Lolo home earlier this month and claimed the digs as her own may have been influenced by websites promoting the extremist "sovereign citizens" movement. http://missoulian.com/news/local/article_235a317a

    A Lake County jury convicted a transient of stealing a house in foreclosure by removing "for sale" signs, changing the locks and filing strange paperwork with the county claiming he purchased the house from Yahweh. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38242178

  3. sutton,

    I was being facetious (don't tell my Mom, she hates it when I do that). I lived in the UK for 18 years, during which time I became all-too-familiar with "squatter's rights." Tens of thousands of properties were "stolen" by people who had not legal right to them—except for the rights granted to them by sympathetic left-leaning Councils.

    Again I would caution anyone concerned about the "Sovereign Citizen" movement that anecdotal evidence is no substitute for statistical analysis. There is no proof that the movement is spreading like a "prairie fire." While lawlessness in all its forms is worthy of our attention, some lawlessness is more worthy of our attention than others. Just as we would in a gunfight, we need to devote our resources to the most dangerous threat first, and then focus on whatever threat's next.

    I would imagine that illegal immigrants, for example, are a more dangerous threat to our society's safety than so-called Sovereign Citizens. How many police have been killed by "undocumented Americans"? Somehow I don't think the SPLC will be discussing that issue any time soon. Click here <a href="http://(http://www.escapingjustice.com/march2.htm)” target=”_blank”>(http://www.escapingjustice.com/march2.htm) for a list of 23 police officers murdered by illegal aliens. Note: the list hasn't been updated since 2004.

    The SPLC is a political body. As Benjamin Franklin would have said, they have an axe to grind. The extreme left wing organization's nexus with law enforcement is worrying. And yes, I'm just as concerned with the NRA getting involved in policing. Or the ATF lobbying for "closing the gun show loophole." Law enforcement should be about enforcing the laws. Period.

  4. These groups are no more right wing than the SPLC is. To label them that is an attempt to smear all right wing conservative groups. House squatting is inherently anti-property rights, and individual property rights is one of the main pillars of conservative thinking. The guilt by association attempt is ridiculous.

  5. The SPLC and its guru, Morris Dees, have done a tremendous amount of good by fighting the Klan and other racist groups for almost 40 years. I think that the SPLC has gone a bit off the rails now, by equating everything on the right with racism. We know that's not true, and I'm sure that the SPLC knows it, too. So why are they doing this? I believe that the radical left is now providing most of the SPLCs operating capital and, in an effort to remain relevant and continue to do good work, the SPLC is pandering to the Soros crowd to keep the money flowing. Who is using who I cannot say, but I want to trust the SPLC even though I totally disagree with them on this issue.

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