The chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security is asleep on the job, or worse, too busy picking on Muslims to notice the real terrorist danger to America: lone extremists with guns.
In the wake of Sunday's deadly attack on American Sikh worshippers in Wisconsin by a white supremacist gunman, it's time for Washington to reframe its debate about fighting terrorism to address all its forms. But before that can happen, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) must step down from his position as chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.
The now-obvious truth is that King, known as Congress's iron-fisted champion of all things security in this frightening post-9/11 era is, in actuality, soft on terrorism -- at least where it counts. Since his tenure as chairman began in 2011, he has repeatedly refused to devote serious attention to the threats posed by white supremacist groups and right-wing extremism, opting instead to focus nearly all of his committee's time and resources to Muslim extremism, a statistically minimal threat by comparison.
Since 9/11, right-wing extremist groups have committed twice as many attacks in the United States as jihadist-affiliated groups, according to research conducted by the New America Foundation. Even more startling, 53 reported acts of violence, the majority comprised of assaults and murders, were carried out by white supremacists between January 2007 and November 2009 alone. In light of last Sunday's attack, it's clear that King's refusal to thoroughly examine the threat that these groups represent is, at best, an outright failure in his responsibilities as committee chairman. At worst, his inaction may have cost lives.
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