The Feds arrested a right-wing extremist last week:
When ATF agents arrested Kevin "K.C." Massey III at a Brownsville-area hotel last week on charges that he had been illegally carrying weapons while leading border-militia patrols in Texas, they found more in his hotel room than just guns and ammo. There was also a container of ammonium nitrate and fuel -- a potent bomb in the making.Just days before the arrest, Massey met with the attorney general of Texas, Greg Abbott, who's on his way to becoming the state's next governor:
According to an inventory of items taken during Massey’s arrest, an “ammo box filled with ammonium nitrate (suspected) and fuel” was found in the room....
As the San Antonio Express-News noted in a report on the arrest, ammonium nitrate, which can be purchased as a farm fertilizer, can make a potent explosion when mixed with diesel fuel and detonated. It was the explosive Timothy McVeigh used in his 1995 terrorist attack on the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City....
Four days before federal authorities arrested him on federal weapons charges and found ammonium nitrate in his South Texas hotel room, border militia leader Kevin Lyndel "K.C." Massey chatted and posed for a photo with Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott at a campaign event in Brownsville.Did I mention that Massey and an ally of his who was also arrested are felons, and thus aren't legally allowed to have the weapons in their possession?
The photo, taken at Brownsville restaurant Cobbleheads on Oct. 16, shows Massey wearing an "Abbott for Governor" sticker on his military fatigues and shaking hands with the smiling candidate.
Video footage captured by Fox 2 News in Brownsville also shows Massey taking photos of Abbott while wearing a GoPro camera on his head, which was later confiscated during the raid.
Massey was arrested in connection to an Aug. 29 incident during which a Border Patrol agent fired four shots at a man pointing a weapon at the agent near the Rio Grande while pursuing a group of immigrants east of Brownsville, according to documents from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Brownsville.Now, I won't hold it against Abbott that Massey showed up at an Abbott event:
During the incident, agents seized a pistol from the man, identified as militia member John Frederick Foerster, and two firearms -- a pistol and rifle -- carried by Massey, who was in the vicinity with another militia member.
Foerster, who was arrested Oct. 21, and Massey have each committed prior felonies, which prohibits them from carrying firearms under federal law. Both have been charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, a class C felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Massey was sentenced to five years in prison for felony burglary in Dallas County in 1988, court records show. That incident revoked his probation from a 1985 arrest of another burglary charge.
Foerster was arrested by Brownsville police Feb. 14, 2001, on three counts of burglarizing a building, a state jail felony punishable up to two years in prison, Texas Department of Public Safety records show. He later pleaded guilty to all three charges.
Abbott deputy communications director Amelia Chasse said Abbott and his campaign did not know who Massey was when the candidate posed with the militia member....However, this is outrageous:
"This individual was part of a photo line at a public event and Greg Abbott took a photo with everyone who was in the line at that event," Chasse said, adding the two exchanged only "pleasantries" during their brief encounter.
Chasse declined to say whether Abbott supports the group....Seriously? You're on track to win your election by 15 points and you're afraid to denounce these people? I know, I know: it's Texas, so a lot of people think felons ought to be allowed to pack heat:
The campaign did not respond to a follow-up question regarding whether Abbott, an avid gun rights advocate, is concerned that some militia members are allegedly patrolling the border with weapons that, under federal law, they are prohibited from carrying.
Massey's arrest has inspired a fresh round of paranoia among the ranks of his fellow "Patriots" on the border, who appear to be claiming that laws precluding felons from owning weapons are "unconstitutional." One of his supporters on Facebook, in the midst of a long rant supporting Massey, argued: "What part of "shall not be infringed" do you not understand? any law made to keep a person from owning a gun is UNLAWFUL,and invalid from its inception!"But where's the limit? These felon had the makings of a bomb. Do they actually have to blow up the daycare center of a federal building before Abbott will allow as how they really are a tiny bit beyond the pale? Or would it be conservatively incorrect for a future Republican governor to denounce the group even then?
All Abbott's communications director would say is this:
"Greg Abbott places his trust in the Department of Public Safety, border sheriffs, the National Guard and local law enforcement to do the job necessary to keep Texans safe," Chasse said.Notes that she omits the feds.
I guess the Abbott campaign would have denounced these guys if they'd blown up a federal building and the death toll included people who weren't federal employees. If they'd just shot and killed an ATF agent or two? Your guess is as good as mine.