It happened AGAIN. Yesterday, the U.S. military was fired on by an unidentified white male at Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The training camp is where right-wing conspiracy theorists believe President Obama is training the Army to begin their Jade Helm 15 mission to enact martial law on the country and take all of their guns away. On Wednesday, troops at the camp reported shots fired into the air for the second day in a row, by the same suspect in Tuesday’s drive-by shooting.
The right has been going crazy online over the Jade Helm conspiracy theory. They really believe that the president has some sort of nefarious plot to attack them and they have spread their anti-government rhetoric far and wide. This nonsense is what led to the shots being fired by domestic terrorists, two days in a row. The National Guard has reported no injuries in either of the shootings, but the Republican governor of Mississippi has used the shootings as a way to score political points among the Republican base.
Governor Phil Bryant said that the shooting underscores the necessity for his recent executive order to allow the National Guard to be armed in his state:
“The soldiers at Camp Shelby and across the state can and should take appropriate steps to defend themselves as necessary,” Bryant said in the statement. “This is one of the reasons I signed an executive order directing certain National Guard personnel to be armed.“
Bryant signed an executive order allowing certain military personnel to be armed, shortly after the shooting in Tennessee that took the lives of five service members.
The irony is that, in this case, the more than 4,000 military members training at Camp Shelby would not have to worried about being shot, if it were not for the rhetoric from the Republican party. Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rand Paul (R-KY) and Bryant’s fellow Republican Governor, Texas’ Greg Abbott have all fueled the flames of the “Jade Helm 15” conspiracy theory. This has led to unstable, conservative lunatics to patrol the area around Camp Shelby to “prevent” a government takeover and led to a terrorist firing on the training facility; but don’t expect Governor Bryant to mention that.
The right will likely ignore this incident and pretend, as they do every time their rhetoric leads to violence, that they have nothing to do with the violence. Bryant is trying to look like a savior, while ignoring the role his party has played in the incidents. Hopefully none of our troops are murdered, because if they are, their deaths will be laid squarely at the feet of the conservatives who encouraged this behavior.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.