To paraphrase the Washinton Free Beacon‘s Stephen Gutowski on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, I’m happy to see more Americans exercising their Second Amendment rights, but that doesn’t mean I’m thrilled for the reasons why. In Provo, Utah, groups on both sides of the Black Lives Matter protests have been arming up, which is good, but they’re doing so in mutual distrust of one another, which is not great.
The Guardian‘s Nicolle Okoren reports that in the weeks since a protester shot and wounded a motorist nearly a month ago at an anti-demonstration in downtown Provo, a group called the Utah Citizens Alarm has been standing guard at protests organized by Black Lives Matter and the local group Insurgence. UCA was founded by 47-year old Casey Robertson as an ad hoc response to the shooting.
“I was like, ‘We need to stand together as citizens and go down there and show these people that we’re not going to allow violence, and that we are not going to allow these anarchist violent groups to tear down Provo,” Robertson told the Guardian. “It’s not going to happen without a fight.’”
Utah Citizens’ Alarm has since organized regular military-style trainings for its members. Robertson says he has been tipped off “by secret sources within the government and law enforcement” that underground organizations like antifa are being funded by Isis, and are using groups like BLM to wreak havoc in the community to destroy American cities and ideals. Even if none of these theories stand up to scrutiny, he is dead set on not letting it happen.
Robertson was born and raised in Provo. His dad was a Provo police officer and his mother a police dispatcher. He has voted both sides of the political aisle – he voted for Clinton and Obama, although he now considers himself a conservative. To him, this is not about politics, but good and evil, and he is ready to die for this cause.
“My biggest fear, probably, is my children being brought up and having to grow up in a country that has completely lost its freedom, and that is under attack, and that is turning into this cesspool of violence and chaos,” he said. “Our enemy is now within, and that’s really scary to me.”