America’s Militia Threat

This April marks five years since the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was bombed. The Oklahoma City tragedy awakened Americans to the threat of domestic terrorism. As officials dedicate a memorial to those brutally killed, many Americans will ask, will it happen again?

The use of domestic terrorism to effect political change is not new to America. During the turbulent 1960s and ’70s, some student activists believed that only violent protests could lead to real social change. An extreme leftist group known as the Weathermen detonated bombs to protest the war in Vietnam and various social problems. These young revolutionaries wanted to overthrow what they considered a flawed U.S. government. I remember clearly the uneasiness of those times. But that era now seems long ago. Most maintain only fond memories of those difficult times.

Now, more difficult times are upon us. After several decades of relative calm, the use of violence as a means of protest is back in vogue. The most shocking single violent act to take place on American soil happened on April 19, 1995, with the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The carnage was incredible: One-hundred sixty-nine lifeless bodies were carried away from the rubble. Why the bombing? Several extremists, this time from the far right, were protesting against the federal government. This April marks the fifth anniversary of that dark day. An architecturally designed memorial will be dedicated to the memories of the innocent people who lost their lives that day.

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