President Obama’s push for tighter gun control legislation in the wake of the Newtown school shootings has led to an increase in anti-government rhetoric that parallels the rise of militia groups in the early 1990s, according to experts.
“The response to Obama’s talking about gun control has been enormous,” said Mark Potok, senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks domestic extremist groups.
Potok sees parallels between the political discourse today over gun control, and a period in 1993 and 1994 when militia groups began forming after shootouts between federal officers and extremists at Ruby Ridge, Idaho and Waco, Texas.
“There’s been a huge amount of rage and it’s been at enormous volume. It’s come from state legislators, county sheriffs and even congressmen,” Potok said. “A lot is coming from the militia groups where the rage is white hot.”