A couple of days ago in what residents insist is a “quiet neighborhood” in Grayson County, Texas, white milita member Charles Carter was gunned down by fellow militant, Vincent Smith, apparently in self-defense. Carter, who was said to be intoxicated, lunged for Smith’s holstered gun – whereupon Smith whipped out a spare gun and shot Carter once in the head, killing him.
We recently reported that Texas became an open carry state on January 1, allowing guns to be carried without concealment into institutions such as psychiatric facilities and churches – terrorizing mental patients. Texas’ Catholic bishops expressed similar fear for churchgoers. While it is indeed a violation of Texas law for licensed gun owners to carry firearms when intoxicated, no charges have been filed against Smith. The Grayson County sheriff’s office has not released details of the shooting. Unofficial accounts are being reported by Bill Williamson, a right-wing militant associated with the Bundy-militants, who continue to illegally occupy the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. Williamson claims to have been in touch with Carter moments before Carter shot Smith, and from this source flowed the brief explainer “act of self-defense.” Williamson, who was the organizer of the failed 2 Million Bikers 2 DC, said on Facebook:
Another friend and supporter, Keith Williams, commented “that OUR fellow patriot and brother Charles Carter is no longer with us. He gone to be with Jesus.” Joe Bleaugh, another member of the 3% Idaho militia group (which is participating in the ongoing occupation of the Oregon wildlife refuge), paid “tribute” to his friend by saying Carter “violated one of the first rules of firarms (sic) safety…NEVER mix guns & booze.”
Somehow, the point-blank murder has been ruled “self-defense,” leaving Bleaugh to note in a matter-of-fact way that “Charles got drunk and belligerent and took away his friend’s sidearm and threatened him with it…Guns and booze do not mix. End of story…” Of course, we cannot know if this incident might not have occurred in a state that did not allow open-carry, but Texas being Texas, this new law made greatly increased the probability.
Not surprisingly, Carter and Smith were co-organizers of the Paul Revere 2016 Final March To Restore America, which according to its Facebook page was:
“…planned as a march/caravan starting from multiple points on the west coast, and advancing across America gathering steam and troops, with its final destination Washington DC and Final Aim at removing the corrupt leadership that has taken over our beloved country and ousted her God and constitution.”
Ironically, while the intention of the march was to “remove President Barack Obama and congressional leaders from office ahead of November’s elections,” Smith has not made it clear whether he intends to continue with his plans in the wake of his friend’s death. Additionally, Raw Story is reporting that “the rally’s ‘national road captain,’ Glen Estes, of Maryland, also stepped down over the weekend for unspecified reasons.”
We have frequently shared news of the proliferation of these militant white militias in recent years, which is a specific byproduct of white outrage over the fact that we have a black president. President Barack Obama has turned out to be one of the great transformational figures of our times. However, the exponential growth of these right-wing Christian hate groups has been steadily encouraged by the vile and anti-American rhetoric of the Republican Party and the praise they receive from Republican officials who celebrate them as “patriots”. There is some irony that their love of guns – fostered by states that facilitate gun-ownership – and their love of
patriotism and freedom anarchy has also precipitated all hell breaking loose between and among their members. These men represent a danger to our nation and to themselves.
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.