New Polls Shows 73 Percent Of Americans Distrust The Government

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A new poll shows that 73 percent of Americans distrust the decisions made by the federal government – a number that has been steadily increasing throughout the last two administrations.

At its highest point, which occurred during President Obama’s first term, 80 percent of Americans lacked faith in the federal government. While former President George W. Bush fared slightly better, his administration witnessed a steady decline in trust that began in 2002, according to the new data from the Pew Research Center.

The data, which was collected from a survey conducted in January, shows that all demographics and political groups have seen a rise in government distrust.

“However, there are disparities. More than twice as many Hispanics as whites (44 percent vs. 20 percent) trust the federal government, and more blacks (38 percent) than whites trust the government,” Pew Research writes about the data.

Those with a higher rate of government distrust include older Americans, independents and Republicans.

Distrust in the federal government has seen its highest numbers in the past decade. During former President Bill Clinton’s two terms in office, Americans increasingly had a favorable view of the US government. Right before Clinton left office, nearly 60 percent of Americans trusted the US government, while only 40 percent had lost faith. Trust was also particularly high, nearing 80 percent, during former President John F. Kennedy’s term.

But not only has trust in the federal government steadily declined since Obama took office, but public perception has also gone down, particularly among Democrats. Only 33 percent of Americans have a positive opinion of the federal government and 69 percent said that Washington should only conduct operations that can’t be handled by individual states.

“Since Barack Obama’s first year in office, public assessments of the federal government dropped nine points,” Pew’s press release stated, citing findings from a survey conducted in April of 2012. “Most of the change was among Democrats and independents, as the level of favorable views of government among Republicans was already low.”

Pew Research found that the highest favorability ratings were of local governments that were closest to Americans’ homes. More than 60 percent of Americans said they had a favorable view toward their local government, with 52 percent having faith in their state government.

But over the past decade, favorability ratings of federal, state and local governments have all been on the decline, during both the Bush and Obama administrations.

 

Article By: RT

 
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Militia Groups Reaches All Time High In US

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Efforts to limit gun violence and to bring about immigration reform have led to a growing backlash from the extreme right, including the so-called patriot and militia groups, a civil rights group said Tuesday.

In its latest report, the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extreme right-wing and hate groups, said that it had counted 1,360 patriot groups in 2012, up about 7 percent from the 1,274 active in 2011. But that is also a rise of 813 percent since 2008, the year Barack Obama was elected the nation’s first African-American president.

The groups include 321 militias, far more than the movement’s previous peak in the 1990s, when militias were inflamed by the 1993 Brady Bill to control guns and the 1994 assault rifle ban, the center said.

Picking up speed
 “Now, in the wake of the mass murder of 26 children and adults at a Connecticut school and the Obama-led gun control efforts that followed, it seems likely that that growth will pick up speed once again,” the center noted.

The report also cites the election of Obama, efforts to grant more than 11 million undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship, and a troubled economy as contributing factors in the growth of the far-right groups.

“We are seeing a real and rising threat of domestic terrorism as the number of far-right anti-government groups continues to grow at an astounding pace,” said Mark Potok, Southern Poverty Law Center senior fellow and author of the report. “It is critically important that the country take this threat seriously. The potential for deadly violence is real, and clearly rising.”

Constant vigil
 Founded in 1971, the center has been the leading watchdog of the extreme right ever since, monitoring a diverse collection of groups that includes neo-Nazis, White nationalists, Black separatists, Holocaust deniers and the patriot and militia movement.

In general, the patriot and militia enthusiasts believe that the U.S. government is seeking to disarm them as a first step to destroying personal liberty and then turning the country over to foreigners seeking world domination.

From 149 organizations in 2008, the number of patriot groups shot up to 512 in 2009, jumped again to 824 in 2010, and then skyrocketed to 1,274 in 2011 before hitting an all-time high last year, the center said.

First inkling
 For many Americans, the first inkling of the militia movement came in the August 1992 standoff at Ruby Ridge in Idaho, where three were killed, including a U.S. marshal, in a dispute that involved an illegal-weapons charge.

By February 1993, the U.S. government found itself in another battle over illegal weapons, this time in Waco, Texas, against a group known as the Branch Davidians. In an initial confrontation, four agents and six members of the group were killed in a shootout. On April 19, the government attacked the compound, which caught fire, killing 76 more members of the group.

Citing Ruby Ridge and Waco, Timothy McVeigh, a militia movement member, launched a homemade truck bomb attack on the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995. At least 168 people died and 680 were injured in the attack. McVeigh was convicted and executed.

In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, the center warned of the potential for current domestic terrorism and urged the creation of a new interagency task force to assess the adequacy of federal resources devoted to the threat.

‘Ominous threats’
 “As in the period before the Oklahoma City bombing, we now are seeing ominous threats from those who believe that the government is poised to take their guns,” wrote Richard Cohen, the center’s president and a member of the Department of Homeland Security’s Countering Violent Extremism Working Group.

In October 1994, the center wrote to then-Attorney General Janet Reno about the growing threat of domestic extremism; the Oklahoma City federal building was bombed six months later in the country’s deadliest act of domestic terrorism, the center said.

In the wake of a series of gun attacks in recent years, the government has moved to toughen its gun laws on both the state and federal levels.

Some states, such as New York, have already passed tougher laws and the issue is being debated in Congress. Some are seeking a new assault weapons ban and there is support for universal background checks.

The effort was renewed in the wake of the attack by a lone gunman on a Connecticut elementary school last year where 20 children and six adults were killed before the gunman committed suicide.

Potok said the December school shooting and subsequent gun control debate created a “white-hot rage” among extremist groups and a political climate “very reminiscent” of the period leading up to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

 

BY MICHAEL MUSKAL
LOS ANGELES TIMES / MCT

 

A Growing Revolution: 50 Firearms Companies Join Forces To Oppose New Gun Control Laws

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At a recent trade show in Nampa, Stacey Nagy of Idaho-based Primary Weapons Systems exhibited one of the company’s firearms.

 

Firearms companies ranging from gun shops to machinists are joining forces to oppose new gun control laws. Some are threatening to move away from states that crack down on guns, others are refusing to sell gear to police that can’t be sold to citizens.


By Patrik Jonsson | Christian Science Monitor

 

A growing number of firearm firms in the US are vowing to reverse-boycott local and state governments that enact any new infringements on the Second Amendment.

Vowing to close what they’re calling “the police loophole,” at least 50 US companies, ranging from gun machinists to gun shops, are now saying publicly they’ll refuse to sell weapons and gear to police in places where governments have banned the use of the same gear by civilians.

Quality Arms, located in Rigby, Idaho, writes on its website that it “will not supply any firearm or product manufactured by us or any other company, nor will we warranty, repair, alter or modify a firearm owned by any state, county or municipality that infringes on the right of its citizens to bear arms under the 2nd Amendment.”

How much do you know about the Second Amendment? A quiz.

The move comes as Congress and some state houses are considering new gun controls in the wake of the Dec. 14 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The most direct target of the “police loophole” movement seems to be New York State, which put into law a raft of new gun control regulations, including limiting the size of magazines, last month.

“Based on the recent legislation in New York, we are prohibited from selling rifles and receivers to residents of New York [so] we have chosen to extend that prohibition to all governmental agencies associated with or located within New York,” York Arms of Buxton, Maine, writes on its website.

So far, none of the major gun manufacturers have joined the list, and it’s an open question whether the smaller companies are bluffing or would even have occasion to sell directly to governments in New York State, for example.

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“Unless S&W, Springfield Armory, Ruger, Remington, etc. get on board, these boycotts are practically useless,” writes an anonymous poster on the Sipsey Street Irregulars blog.

Meanwhile, the push for more gun control continues across the country, led by President Obama.

On Friday, Obama’s political advocacy group, Organizing for Action, held over 100 events across the country, including letter-writing parties, rallies with police chiefs and mayors, and candlelight vigils, to push for Obama’s federal gun control plan, which includes beefing up background checks and banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

Nevertheless, at least one of the companies on the “police loophole” list, Predator Intelligence of Phoenix, Ariz., says its pushback against new gun control laws is having an impact.

“We have police from LA and NYC that contact us about purchasing Magazines if they provide proof,” the company wrote recently on Facebook. “Why should we consider sending them to states that want to enforce laws that are unconstitutional?”

Indeed, the lack of support from police may have led the Minnesota State Senate this week to drop proposals to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

“The assault weapons ban and high-capacity magazine ban proposals are highly divisive,” Sen. Ron Latz, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, noting that those proposals had not received strong support from police.

While Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, for example, has said it’s time for new limits on some guns and ammunition, threats by a major Colorado arms manufacturer, Magpul, to take hundreds of jobs out of state if the governor signs such laws appears to have given Mr. Hickenlooper some pause.

After the House passed four specific gun control bills recently, including limiting the kind of magazines that Magpul builds, Hickenlooper has not yet signaled whether he’ll sign the measures into law. (The Colorado Senate has yet to vote on the package.)