Fulton isn't a crazy person -- you don't have to be a lunatic to like guns and cool survival gear. But, when you operate a store that sells that kind of stuff -- especially in Alaska -- you're going to get militia. "I'm the Libertarian type," says Fulton, "but, like ... the pro-gay-rights sort of Libertarian type. Because my customers were essentially far right-wing, the political events I went to, the candidates I donated to, were all far right-wing. Being seen at the Democratic caucus for Anchorage would not have helped my business at all."
So, Bill Fulton, savvy businessman, finds himself in a community of loons who think President Obama's FEMA death squads are just waiting for the order to commit #WhiteGenocide. Hey, we've all got bills to pay. "I think militias are stupid ... but, if a bunch of guys want to put on camouflage and run around the woods with guns, go ahead. Just don't become a threat."
Mark Lester/Alaska Dispatch News
To others. Among yourselves, whatever.
But, one of the guys Fulton knew, Schaeffer Cox, decided he wanted to become a threat. Cox, then 28, was founder of the "Alaska Peacemakers Militia" and a former (failed) candidate for the House Of Representatives. He looked like the human embodiment of 4chan's /pol/ board:
"A chicken in every pot and a doxxing for every dissident."
Cox immediately rubbed Fulton the wrong way. Then, he and his awful hat started traveling around the country, speaking at public events about murdering government officials. " ... he sure told everybody in the speeches that he had 3,500 [men in his militia]. That's how he got on the FBI's radar. They have these Freedom Rallies in, like, Montana. Or, Liberty Rallies. He said some things during those speeches like, 'We have engineers that are building claymore bombs, and we have rocket launchers,' which, of course, is illegal."
Fashion ended up being his least offensive crime.