Judge Agrees To Terrorism Enhancement For Lobby Day Plotters

AP Photo/John C. Clark

To say 2020 was an eventful year is putting it mildly. That was surprising, too, because for so much of the year the only real event worth talking about was the pandemic. Yet one thing many forget is how close we came to seeing domestic terrorism targeting gun owners.

Early in 2020–it really feels like it was three or four years ago at this point, but it wasn’t–thousands of gun owners converged on the Virginia Capitol to voice their displeasure with the direction Gov. Ralph Northam intended to take the state.

Yet many who planned on attending didn’t know they were being targeted.

A group of white supremacists planned to attack the protest in hopes of sparking a civil war. Luckily, the authorities caught onto the plot and prevented it from happening.

Now, two of the plotters is about to have an even worse time of things than he would have.

A former reservist with the Canadian Armed Forces convicted of gun charges linked to what the FBI called a neo-Nazi plot to attack a gun-rights rally in Virginia is facing up to 25 years behind bars, a judge decided Monday.

Patrik Mathews, 28, of Beausejour, Man., showed little emotion when U.S. District Court Judge Theodore Chuang agreed to the prosecution’s request for a “terrorism enhancement” at sentencing later this week.

Mathews, sporting long brown hair that reaches past his shoulders and a scruffy beard underneath his face mask, looked fully engaged throughout the daylong hearing but had no visible reaction to Chuang’s ruling.

Mathews’s co-defendant, U.S. army veteran Brian Mark Lemley Jr., slumped his shoulders and later slouched out of the courtroom after Chuang decided that the pair’s crimes fit the criteria of “promoting” a federal terrorism offence.

Since their arrest in January 2020, court has heard ample evidence of the pair talking in stark terms about killing federal officials, derailing trains and poisoning water supplies as part of a violent, disruptive scheme to exploit political and social tensions and trigger a race war in the United States.

The attorneys for the defendants will try to argue that the pair were just talking a lot of smack.

If they can do it successfully, the men will walk. If not, well, I don’t much care that they’re looking at 25 years. These were our people these tools wanted to target, all in hopes that it would spark some race war they think would be absolutely glorious or something.

A civil war in the United State would be ugly, bloody, and I suspect these two wouldn’t survive the first week of it, but what do they care, right?

Well, I care a great deal. These are my fellow Americans that would die, and the first would be gun owners who simply wanted to stand up for their right to keep and bear arms.

In other words, there’s literally nothing about these two that doesn’t completely disgust me.

If they did indeed plot to slaughter innocent people simply trying to exercise their First Amendment rights to protect their Second Amendment rights, they deserve everything they’re facing and more.

If not, well, they still stand for things I vehemently despise, but no one should go to prison for what they didn’t actually do. That doesn’t mean I want them as part of the gun community, though.

Dec 08, 2021 12:30 PM ET