A training drill conducted by the 52nd Civil Support Team of the Ohio National Guard positioned supporters of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms who expressed "anti-government" opinions as domestic terrorists, Media Trackers reported Monday.
The scenario of the drill conducted last year envisioned a plot from local school district employees to use biological weapons in order to advance their beliefs about “protecting Gun Rights and Second Amendment rights.”
At the time, Portsmouth Chief of Police Bill Raisin told NBC affiliate WSAZ-TV in Huntington, W.V., that the drill accurately represented “the reality of the world we live in,” telling the station that such training “helps us all be prepared.”
Documents acquired by Media Trackers indicates that two Portsmouth Junior High School employees poisoned school lunches with mustard gas, acting on orders from a fictional white-nationalist leader named William Pierce.
Media Trackers added:
The ONG team discovered biological weapons being produced in the school, requiring activation of containment and decontamination procedures.
Participants in the disaster drill located documents expressing the school employees’ “anti-government” sentiments, as well as a note identifying Pierce as the fictional right-wing terrorists’ leader.
Media Trackers said a similar drill involved a fictional attack by left wing activists. Officials apologized for that scenario after a backlash from local environmentalists, but the ONG did not apologize for assuming supporters of the Constitution and the Second Amendment would engage in acts of domestic terrorism.
Worse yet, Media Tracker said ONG Communications Director James Sims II dismissed concerns conservatives would have about the scenario.
"After excerpts of the report were read to him, Sims said it was 'not relevant' to understand why conservatives may feel unduly targeted by ONG’s training scenario," Media Tracker said.
“Okay, I’m gonna stop ya there. I’m going to quit this conversation,” Sims reportedly said. “You have a good day.”
According to Media Tracker, local lawmakers refused to respond to questions about the drill, which Jesse Hathaway said was just "one of many instances" where officials have assumed those who support a limited government and the right to keep and bear arms as potential threats.
Buckeye Firearms Association spokesman Chad Baus called it a "scary day indeed when law enforcement are being trained that Second Amendment advocates are the enemy.”
“The revelation of this information is appalling to me, and to all citizens of Ohio who are true conservatives and patriots, who don’t have guns for any other reason than that the Second Amendment gives them that right,” added Tom Zawistowski, executive director of the Portage County Tea Party.
Hathaway reminded readers of a 2009 Homeland Security report warning local law enforcement that “right-wing extremism” would be fueled by “proposed imposition of firearms restrictions and weapons bans” and “the election of the first African American president.”
Hathaway also said history shows acts of domestic terrorism are far more likely to come from the left.
"Throughout modern history, groups and individuals associated with left-wing causes have proven far more likely to commit acts of domestic terror," he said.
"In 2012, members of the anarcho-socialist Occupy Cleveland movement were arrested and prosecuted for attempting to destroy the Brecksville-Northfield High Level Bridge with explosives, to commemorate International Workers’ Day," he added.
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