I guess this is where I plead age: The BATF, which had gotten in the habit of excessive force against extremists, used excessive force against extremists and killed a mom and son with sniper fire. A year (TO THE DAY!) later, the BATF used excessive force and caused a whole bunch of people to get killed by sniper fire ( same sniper BTW). This caused reprisals and, on the part of the BATF, introspection.
This may be controversial for me to say, but if you were a right-leaning patriot with a casual disrespect of government authority, the police state was out to get you in the '90s. There were legitimate criticisms of the way the BATF, DOJ and FBI, under the direction of the Democratic Clinton administration, approached policing of right-wing extremism. This caused over-reaction by the right wing and by the Clinton administration, whereby the Clinton administration started pussy-footing around Nazis and the right wing splintered into the Tim McVeigh wing
and the Alex Jones wing.
9:26 for the lazy; both clips were filmed at Waco in the same week, not sure about the same day.
The Tim McVeigh wing was at "do something" and something they did, expecting it to ignite a civil war as the Turner Diaries have long assured them it would. It did not and they were largely disillusioned. The Montana Freemen, the Bundys, every separatist movement on the Right went "well, I guess it's us, best keep our heads down 'cuz the cavalry ain't comin'." The Alex Jones wing was at "shout about it" and shout they did, acknowledging that the inability of the Tim McVeigh wing to accomplish anything meant they had a bulletproof grift until the end of time, the ability to bark at pedestrians from the safety of the couch because mommy was never going to open the screen door and force an interaction with the evil monster on the sidewalk. I find it extremely ironic that Tim McVeigh sold bumper stickers, determined it wasn't doing anything, and proceeded to murder nineteen children, 40 HUD employees, 35 SSA employees, eleven DOT employees, 5 DEA agents and assorted other innocent bystanders who were in no way anywhere on Janet Reno's org chart. I find it unironic as hell that afterwards, Alex Jones proceeded to build a career around secret cabals.
From my perspective? Crazy rednecks STOPPED taking up arms after Oklahoma City.
April 19, 1992: Ruby Ridge
April 19, 1993: Waco
April 19, 1995: Oklahoma City
'96 and '97 were calm, '98 was Kip Kinkel, '99 was Columbine and from that point forth, the violence was crazy angry teenaged boys. And see, that's just it - fuckin' militias were a real thing growing up. Organized adult males hell-bent on crime and white supremacy? it was just the water we swam in. The fuckin' Proud Boys are a bunch of cosplayers compared to The Order and considering how toothy forensics has gotten in the age of DNA, social media and smart phones, shit ain't never goin' back.
So yeah. "their lives could be threatened." But we've seen what the average deathwish MAGA is capable of.
If you want a taste of what White Privilege violence really looks like, I have a book recommendation.