In 1993, federal agents raided the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, and generated a legacy that continues to shape antigovernment groups today.

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Why Waco is Still a Battleground in the 2nd Amendment Debate

In 1993, millions of Americans watched as federal agents laid siege to the Mt. Carmel compound of the Branch Davidians, after a shootout with the ATF left four agents and six Davidians dead. Fifty-one days later, the FBI sought to end the standoff by tear-gassing the compound. It went up in flames. Seventy-five Davidians died, including its self-appointed messiah, David Koresh.

Independent investigators later determined the Davidians had set the fire themselves, but after two decades the images continued to endure as a powerful symbol. Today, “Waco” is still a rallying point for antigovernment groups, militia, and self-proclaimed patriots who continually fear government aggression.

Memories of Waco Siege Continue to Fuel Far-Right Groups by Clyde Haberman

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