A letter to the editor of USA Today is drawing considerable attention after it calls on protesters to consider using their "Second Amendment-sanctioned guns" to "storm Wall Street and our nation's capitals."
The author, Rich Latta from Austin, TX, is upset over a USA Today editorial that characterizes the Occupy movement as "fading into a whimper."
"But with the recent clearing of encampments in Washington, D.C.— one of the last cities in which they still existed — a movement that came in with a bang appears to be going out with a whimper," that original editorial reads. "Future political operatives might view it as a case study in how not to organize a lasting movement."
It continues: "They did nothing day after day, week after week, under the mistaken belief that camping in public plazas would prompt some kind of action from others. ... The Occupiers lacked identifiable leaders and clear goals. And they presented bewildering messages to the public, epitomized in the irony of people sitting idle to protest those who had made fortunes."
For Latta, though, that just wouldn't do.
"Anyone who claims the 'Occupy' movement has no clear message is either trying to discredit it or simply isn't paying attention," he writes in his response, the passion nearly visible in his keystrokes. "This protest always has been about economic injustice and the fact that a small handful of people have corrupted our system in their favor."
He then boils over:
USA TODAY's editorial is right to say that Occupy might lack clear goals on how to move forward, but the movement has accomplished its main original goal: to protest these injustices, not by simply holding a rally and going home, but by keeping the rally going to underscore the seriousness of this problem. Your piece accuses the protesters of sitting around and doing nothing. So maybe they should take up their Second Amendment-sanctioned guns and storm Wall Street and our nation's capitals. If our country doesn't change, it could very well come to that one day. [Emphasis added]
Ironic for a movement that has claimed to be so peaceful to attract someone who would make such a suggestion. And on top of that, it's worth pointing out the letter is dated February 15, which means it's over a week old. Jim Treacher explains why that is curious:
It’s headline news when a Tea Party guy gets arrested for going to the airport and trying to check in an unloaded, registered weaponin a lockbox as part of his luggage.
But an Occupier publishes a letter in a national newspaper about “storming Wall Street” with guns, and I don’t find out about it until a week later. It’s not seen as a credible threat, despite the fact that Occupy’s rap sheet dwarfs that of the Tea Party.
So who exactly is Rich Latta? We did some digging and found a Rich Latta from Austin, TX that's a regular reviewer on Amazon. In fact, he has 405 reviews posted, many of obscure music albums; he has a birthday coming up (April 5); and in his "Interests" section he lists his "personal obsession" as "exposing the fallicy [sic] and harm of deity-based religions."
"I believe our world can never hope to find peace until these religions are exposed and refuted by a courageous, truth-seeking public," he writes. "In the meantime, I write music reviews for my own amusement to stay in practice when I'm not writing creatively."
Could this be the same Rich Latta that wants to "maybe" take up arms against Wall St.? Maybe. We emailed the Rich Latta associated with the Amazon account and have yet to hear back. We'll let you know if we do.
Or maybe you'll see him on the news.