One possible way to at least try to slow down right-wing violence would be if law enforcement agencies took the threat seriously and were willing to clamp down on it. However, the FBI has known for almost two decades that U.S. law enforcement has been infiltrated by far-right extremists and extremist organizations. Many in law enforcement are sympathetic to far-right organizations, and some actively coordinate with them. We saw this on video as police palled around with Kyle Rittenhouse right before he gunned two people down in Kenosha, Wisconsin. White supremacy is a unifying thread through these stories of police ties to right-wing militias and hate groups. Even the Secret Service, which requires full lifestyle polygraphs, has coordinated with the far-right Oath Keepers group. Expecting law enforcement to protect against right-wing violence is a bit like putting the fox in charge of guarding the chicken coop.
All of this adds up to a dangerous situation. Assault rifles and ammunition are readily available to everyone. The Republican base is convinced that leftists are the real threat of violence and political repression, despite the massive quantitative evidence to the contrary. GOP leadership downplays violence, glorifies it, or blames it on “those people” when convenient. The de facto leader of the conservative movement is a big fan of violence and has a pattern of inciting it. Law enforcement is permeated with links to right-wing extremist groups. There’s a federal election coming up, and Trump is facing jail time if he doesn’t win. If he is defeated, he will be in a position where he has nothing to lose from inciting more violence: Either his scheme succeeds and he avoids prison, or it fails and he spends the rest of his life there regardless of how many new charges are added.
We are going to see more stochastic political violence regardless of what happens with the election. It is a foregone conclusion. Too many deluded, angry people with guns being egged on by conservative media and leadership, constantly being told “those people” are destroying “their country,” means that the pace of such violence will only continue. The bigger question, to my mind, is if, and when, does this metastasize into something more directed?
— Brynn Tannehill in Violence Is Coming? Sorry, It’s Already Here—and Getting Worse.