OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Author Jeffrey Toobin has come out with a brand new book that focuses on a significant topic, gun violence. Toobin, in his book, links the deadly mindset of Timothy McVeigh with current acts of gun violence seen nationwide.
The book is titled Homegrown: Timothy McVeigh and the Rise of Right-Wing Extremism. In the book, Toobin puts the attack in the context of an extremist, anti-government movement that has accelerated in the Internet age and eventually led to the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Toobin covered the 1997 trials of McVeigh and stated he was extremely close to the action in the courtroom.
McVeigh was pulled over by police 70 minutes after the bombing occurred for not having a license plate. He was then arrested because he was carrying a weapon without a permit.
In the book, Toobin writes the current Oklahoma gun law is permitless, so McVeigh would not have been arrested directly after the bombing.
“Yes, if he was pulled over today he would have been given a ticket, told to come back for court, and then released right there on the spot,” said former FBI Special Agent on the McVeigh case, Bob Ricks.
Ricks was one of the first on the case and has been one of the more outspoken officials after the bombing.
“He would have been caught though,” said Ricks. “They had his name and everything, he would have eventually been caught.”
The author goes on to link right-wing extremism to the McVeigh mindset.
While Ricks disagrees with much of what was brought to him about the connection between the McVeigh case and of current mass shootings, he agrees with some of it.
“Yes, his brand of right-wing extremism has bled through to today,” said Ricks. “But, McVeigh’s extremism was really different than many of the mass shooters too. McVeigh would’ve hated Neo-Nazis, they tend to confiscate guns. McVeigh thought that the Second Amendment was a person’s inalienable right. He was just scared that the government was coming in to take it. He wanted to start a revolution.”
“He pointed a finger specifically at the federal government,” said Ricks. “That’s a common case with extremists like that. His main focus was the Second Amendment so I guess, the connection to today’s mass shooters is that. The only similarity seems to be that they both love the Second Amendment.”
Ricks says that after McVeigh was arrested, conspiracy theorist groups began popping up on their radar.
“Really the only ones were the very extreme right-wing that came to the surface after the bombing, the so-called moderate groups pretty much disappeared,” recalled Ricks.
He said that McVeigh would’ve hated a lot of the shooters from modern times – specifically speaking to the Allen, Texas mass shooter from one week ago who was found with Nazi tattoos and was wearing a patch during the shooting that read “RWDS” — short for “Right Wing Death Squad” — a phrase that has been embraced in recent years by far-right extremists who glorify violence against their political enemies.
“McVeigh would probably be opposed to the Neo-Nazis,” said Ricks. “Nazis were known to confiscate all of the guns in Germany, he wouldn’t have been up for that. That is the complete antithesis of what he stood for.”