The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


April 20, 2009

ZACHARY HUBBARD | Confessions of a right-wing extremist

I can just picture my first group therapy session at RE-Anon (Rightwing Extremists Anonymous). The first step toward recovery occurs when the patient acknowledges his or her illness:

“Hello. My name is Zachary and I’m a rightwing extremist.”

“Hi, Zachary,” the other group members respond in unison.Thus begins the healing process.

My moment of enlightenment occurred recently when the Department of Homeland Security informed me that I’m a rightwing extremist. I hadn’t fully understood this previously. Before my enlightenment, I’d considered myself many things – constitutionalist, conservative, veteran, gun owner, right-to-life advocate and Christian.

It took Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to show me what I really am – a whacked-out, rightwing extremist holed up in the remote mountains of western Pennsylvania, clinging to my guns and religion.

Thank God and Janet, I finally saw the light!

For those who haven’t been paying attention, I’m talking about a leaked document from the Department of Homeland Security that has attracted a lot of interest from the media and blogs in recent days.

According to The Washington Post, the document was sent to police and sheriff’s departments across the country on April 7 under the headline, “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.”

According to the document, just about anyone who isn’t a so-called political progressive falls into a rightwing extremist category. Page 2 has a footnote explaining that such extremists include groups that are primarily hate oriented and “those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely.”

This includes groups that are mainly “dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.”

The document also warns about lunatic veterans returning from a combat zone, since rightwing extremist groups want to recruit these individuals for their special military skills. Remember Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombing?

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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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