Retired four-star General Stanley McChrystal claims grassroots groups like CRL coupled with “fundamentally dishonest” leadership are the “greatest threat to American democracy.”
CRL also likes to invoke a lot of Sturm und Drang over drag queens, and the LGBTQIA+ community accusing them of being “groomers” and creating “indoctrination playgrounds” at public schools. Taylor, in his capacity as commissioner, wants to strip parents of their right to choose what their children read and along with his cult followers ban and burn books and purge local libraries of literature they/the Christian right deem “inappropriate.”
All of this, presumably, is to protect children. Yet here is the irony, the number one cause of child fatality is gun violence, more than automobile accidents and more than infectious diseases. According to the CDC firearms accounted for almost 20% of all deaths in children 18 and younger. As of late May the US has experienced 263 mass shootings and more than 14K people have died including almost 600 children. Nonetheless, Taylor will not entertain reasonable gun legislation to protect children, nor will he stop wearing a sidearm in public.
There is a body of scholarly work that suggests that Christian nationalism is working to redefine masculinity towards a more toxic gun-toting image of manliness. Freud might claim guns are a phallic symbol that bolsters an otherwise insecure male ego. Taylor, who is of short stature and sports a cropped white beard which helps to disguise a recessive chin may fall into this category.
Regardless, people are becoming more vocal about their discomfort with Taylor and his friends wearing sidearms to public meetings, with good reason. Taylor claims at a recent town hall meeting, “In no way would I ever condone a threat against any person.”
Taylor is a liar. Bandon Police were called because Taylor used his gun to menace an unarmed parent at a peaceful family-friendly demonstration. He’s already demonstrated he cannot be trusted to comport himself safely and the public has no idea what sort of impulse control or firearms training he may or may not have for dealing with crowds. Considering it is unlikely he is going to shoot one of his fellow commissioners it is safe to assume he is prepared to shoot a member of the audience. If he does, surely the county is liable.
More reason to be concerned for public safety is the company Taylor keeps. Through his association with MAGA propagandist and talk radio host, Rob Taylor, he has ties to convicted traitors belonging to violent militias such as Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, Patriot Prayer, and Three Percenters.
These photos taken from rallies organized by Rob Taylor circa 2018-2020 are indicative of the types of people attracted to their movement. One individual, David Ruozi, a meth user later committed suicide by cop in Reedsport after allegedly killing a man in Springfield in early 2021.
Then there is a collection of masked “security’ dressed in t-shirts with official looking arm insignia meant to look like Oregon State Police.
These are types of people attracted to groups like CRL and illustrative of why McChrystal regards them as a threat to our democracy.
Coos County is under siege by extremists like Rod Taylor who cannot be trusted to behave themselves with firearms.
UPDATE: Coos Bay Police and the Coos County Sheriff are reporting on an incident involving two shooters and three adult victims.