The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

WND and Glenn Beck Want YOU to Build an Untraceable Assault Rifle

By Leah Nelson on May 3, 2013 - 8:27 am, Posted in Extremist Commerce

We live in frightening times. In Boston, a college student who appears to have been radicalized online may face lethal injection for his alleged role in a terrorist attack that left four people dead and more than 260 wounded. Just a few months ago, in Connecticut, a young man killed 20 young children and six adults before shooting himself with one of numerous guns borrowed from his mother’s arsenal.

While America is searches its soul, attempting to make sense of these and other horrific attacks that have rocked the nation with disturbing regularity over the last several years, gun rights absolutists have flooded the Internet and airwaves with wild-eyed talk of sinister government plans to undermine the Second Amendment and disarm harmless American patriots.

At the bottom of the barrel are those who seek to profit off these national tragedies. That’s where you’ll find Caleb Lee, a veteran huckster who has partnered with WorldNetDaily, Glenn Beck and others to offer anyone with $27 information on how to built a completely untraceable AR-15 assault rifle in the comfort of their own garage.

Lee is the proprietor of UndergroundAssaultRifle.com, a Virginia-based business whose sole product is a set of videos and do-it-yourself manual which purports to tell purchasers everything they need to know about crafting copies of the assault rifle used recently in massacres in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo.

A self-described “red-blooded American” and proud “capitalist” (not, he emphasizes in his online ad, “a ‘spread the wealth’ socialist like those fools in the Whitehouse for crying out loud”), Lee has partnered with far-right media outfits including the online “news” site WorldNetDaily (WND) and Glenn Beck’s TV network and website, TheBlaze, to promote his new business. As of Thursday evening, WND, whose editors never met a conspiracy theory they didn’t like, featured a link to Lee’s ad on its front page, where it shared space with headlines warning direly of a “Saul Alinsky plot to vilify guns” and speculating that the nasty weather that scuttled plans to hoist a spire to the top of theWorld Trade Center on Monday was sent by an angry God to punish America for abandoning Him.

Beck’s site, meanwhile, featured its own front-page link to Lee’s ad (“See how to get an untraceable AR-15 before it’s banned”), along with a promotion for his upcoming keynote address at this weekend’s National Rifle Association (NRA) convention in Houston, a video about “Obama’s private army,” a think piece on whether the late Ronald Reagan would have supported gay marriage, and a “must-read” item about the “mysterious Jesus-era stone” that’s sparked “major debate among scholars.”

Lee, whose site is emblazoned with WND and TheBlaze’s logos, fits right in. His long-winded ad is replete with references to “crooks and fat cat lobbyists” in Washington, who together with their friends, the “power-hungry anti-gun puppets,” are even now “making serious headway at turning the country against Second Amendment supporters like us.” (“Serious headway”? Last time we checked, about 90% of Americans supported some kind of restriction on gun rights, but the U.S. Senate – which supposedly represents them – couldn’t overcome pressure from the gun lobby to muster the votes necessary to pass the most innocuous of gun control proposals.)

Near the beginning of his pitch, Lee warns watchers who “think I’m some far right wacko who is making a big deal out of ‘common sense’ gun control laws” to “LEAVE this page right now.”

We stayed anyway.

Lee’s pitch is simple. He explains that the key component of an AR-15 is a part called the “stripped receiver,” which holds the guts of the weapon – “the actual part of the AR-15 that’s considered the ‘firearm’ by the ATF.” Stripped receivers are hard to come by these days, and they are typically manufactured with serial numbers. But Lee claims to have uncovered a source that sells unfinished receivers, which, “because they still need some holes drilled and other modifications … [are] NOT considered firearms by any authority!”

Channeling Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s increasingly unhinged executive vice president, Lee urges his fellow Americans to stand against the government’s “jack-booted thugs” by buying his system today.

“Underground Assault Rifle is a simple, step-by-step system that puts YOU in control of your Second Amendment rights and frees you forever from slavery and servitude to the lawmakers in Washington … so you can protect your home and family no matter what happens,” Lee boasts in his ad. Buy today and you’ll get six videos, a how-to manual, and a “special report” on “the only place to hide your guns that the government will never find!”

This apparently isn’t Lee’s first rodeo. When Hatewatch typed his name into Google, the search engine’s helpful auto-complete function suggested we might be looking for “Caleb Lee superdiet scam.” It appears that a couple of years ago, Lee irritated customers who bought the first few books in his “superdiet” scheme by sending repeated E-mails insisting that they purchase additional items from his online store.

UndergroundAssaultRifle.com, which Lee registered just this Feb. 19, does not have an online reputation to speak of.

Not yet, anyway. But a quick perusal of a portion of Lee’s do-it-yourself manual suggests that buyers who shell out $27 for Lee’s “system” may be disappointed – not least because, like most information these days, it’s available for free online. As it turns out, Lee doesn’t offer direct access to suppliers at all. Rather, he rather instructs readers to use Google to search for unfinished stripped receivers, jury-rig a drill press and use it as a mill. (A word to the wise: A 2002 discussion thread on an AR-15 fan site suggests that using a drill press to machine an AR-15 is a very, very bad idea which could result in injury to both you and your drill press.)

Lee suggests that his readers use the Internet to buy or barter for the remaining parts of their homemade assault rifle. Easy as pie, right?

Lee thinks so. “At this point, there’s really only three simple choices. … You can bury your head in the sand [and] continue ignoring my warnings and my offers of help and still be stuck without a AR-15 that is 100% ‘off the books’ – FOREVER”; “You can try to figure all this out [on] your own”; or “you can TAKE CONTROL of your life and get the guidance and advice I’m offering,” he writes.

“Do that now, and I’ll see you on the other side in just minutes!” Signing off, “For our freedoms, Caleb Lee.”

  • aadila

    Meanwhile, over half a million guns are stolen from homes of fearful people per year, adding to their fear and creating an endless loop.

  • Reynardine

    The number of home invasions that result in the slaughter of all the residents is minuscule, especially when drug wars are not involved. Wanton strafings of civilians? Someone strafed a Mothers’ Day parade in New Orleans this last Sunday. That is the last one I heard of. The chances are good that the next time I scan the news, there’ll be another one.

  • Ignorance 101

    Interesting how we can get plans for potentially illegal firearms and the anarchist cookbook off the internet but still have the ACLU fight to keep up a NAMBLA pedophile guide that teaches how to successfully avoid detection while serial molesting children, and how to flee authorities once discovered, citing constitutionality.

    I think probably more people would support a well drafted proposal on reform rather than a law to strip law abiding citizens of their ability to defend themselves. The vast majority of gun crimes are perpetrated by handguns or shotguns and not “Assault” weapons. Christopher Koper did an in depth study on the previous ban and stated that because the use of Assault Weapons constituted only about 2% of overall gun crime that the effects of the ban would be difficult to legitimize as far as impact on crime itself. He did state that having more than the 10 years he had to complete the study would have helped him come to better conclusions, but since his study was only for the 1994-2004 period, the numbers themselves were hard to attribute.

    @ ben “if you cannot defend your home from intrusion with a hand gun you should not own weapons.”

    Defend your home against whom? Last time I checked criminals didn’t consider how to keep the fight even before they committed a crime. What if your house is broken into by 3-4 armed intruders and your children are asleep in the other room? I hope you never have to make the choice on whether or not to fire a bullet into another human being, however if it ever comes to that and you fail to overcome those assailants, just remember that the rest of your family/potential witnesses, don’t have a very long life expectancy.

    Noone needs to have fully automatic mac 10′s or uzis, but people are reluctant to support anything after California passed their mess of a law and became the punchline of a bad joke and the whipping boy of every right wing gun nut in America. That’s why gun legislation is so hard to pass even despite the pro gun Lobby. Hard to give them too much credit though, since there’s the Anti-gun lobby to counteract them.

    Lobbyists are the enemy of every citizen in the United States. They make large corporations the constituency our politicians work for and directly usurp the power and right of every citizen in this country. If we were serious about making change we’d demand some changes in our government, I’ve got a few suggestions…

    Abolish the electorate system. This system more closely resembles a Republic than a Democracy and detracts from the rights of Citizens to freely elect the candidate of their choice. As in the case of John Quincy Adams(Actually elected by the HoR after a tie in the electorate, but nevertheless after he lost the popular vote), Rutherford B. Hayes, Benjamin Harrison and George W. Bush. Politicians should not elect other politicians.

    Topple the 2 party system. We should not be relegated to voting for the lesser of two evils when voting for the president. Having a 2 party system that supposedly represents the views of even the majority of the citizens is an absolute joke. I’ve become so disenchanted by seeing one overprivileged Elite replaced by the next I seldom bother to vote for president anymore.

    Force campaign finance reform. Large corporations should not be able to flood candidates with millions of dollars of legalized bribery. We cannot expect our politicians to work for us when they are inundated by outside interests and led by others who have been on the bribery bandwagon for years.

  • Aron

    I volunteer at a hackerspace where several 3D printers live. As such, I’m quite concerned with Defense Distributed, and their ‘liberator.’ I’m worried that someone might produce the gun, seeing as the plans are definitely still out there.

    I emailed the president, and I’m currently awaiting a reply.

  • Kiwiwriter

    “DDB9000 said,

    on May 10th, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    I’m always amused when these RW nutjobs say things like “Saul Alinsky plot to vilify guns”, especially as I think most liberals/progressives had never even heard of Alinsky until the right started vilifying him. I know I’d never heard of him.

    Having said that, Beck and WND are about as anti-American as you can get…”

    Me, too…I didn’t know who Saul Alinsky was until some of the now-banned junior Fascists mentioned him. So I looked him up. As usual in the age of the internet, it took about 30 seconds, and I see why right-wing nut-jobs are obsessed with him….come to think of it, they follow most of his doctrines anyway.

  • Reynardine

    My understanding is that these “weapons” will fire six rounds, tops, before permanently defecting, and the one reason to use this enormously expensive technology to make this enormously gimcracky firearm is to get through a security check and assassinate somebody

  • Sam Molloy

    As of 5/10/13, the downloadable plans for this plastic, disposable, extremely dangerous device, have been removed from the Internet.

  • DDB9000

    I’m always amused when these RW nutjobs say things like “Saul Alinsky plot to vilify guns”, especially as I think most liberals/progressives had never even heard of Alinsky until the right started vilifying him. I know I’d never heard of him.

    Having said that, Beck and WND are about as anti-American as you can get…

  • CM

    Kiwiwriter,

    Well, “John” may not be that particular pseudonymous troll, but a pseudonymous troll he (?) is, nevertheless, as demonstrated in this thread in which you and I both participated:

    http://www.splcenter.org/blog/.....vely-high/

    There’s a fairly obvious typographical tell..

  • Reynardine

    Kiwi, that’s true, but there are ways to get around it.

  • Kiwiwriter

    “Thanks as always for the compliment, and for responding appropriately to “John,” who is of course that same sawdust-stuffed troll who posts here as Jason, Annie, Eugene, etc. ad nauseam.”

    Actually, CM, Mark Potok and the moderators have finally taken action against “Lon Chaney” and his thousand faces (my name for “Jason/Annie/Edward/Eugene/Emma Reynardo”) and some of the other more serious trolls and anti-social folks.

    But John’s philosophy is similar, just watered-down.

  • aadila

    Erika’s right. And the missile industry too.

  • CM

    Aron,

    Sorry for the delay in responding, but I’ve been out of circulation for a couple of days. A Whois search is always a good starting point, although all these private registration services have limited their usefulness, curse them. But even so, you can still sometimes get a line on someone through their site’s nameserver, as in this case. As for things like corporate registrations and online court records, I’ve just been bookmarking the websites in my browser since about 1995.

    Reynardine,

    Thanks as always for the compliment, and for responding appropriately to “John,” who is of course that same sawdust-stuffed troll who posts here as Jason, Annie, Eugene, etc. ad nauseam.

  • Erika

    rey, i’ll believe that the NRA is finally telling the truth when they admit that their unlimited Second Amendment right to bare arms is really about their right to compensate for penile issues.

  • Reynardine

    Those 3D printers cannot work with metal, and though there are plastics that will stand up to short term firearms use, they will not sustain long periods of high-powered, hot-loaded, rapid fire of the sort required by real combat. They would basically be useful, at most, for the short burst use needed to kill theater patrons, Unitarian congregations, gynecologists, and little kids.

  • aadila

    Sam, no one is trying to pigeon hole you. I am just challenging you to think.

    What I am talking about is taking benefit from the status quo at the same time as others get screwed, and claiming this is somehow good for everyone (i.e. white kids in the educational system). If you claim not to be racist, how can you accept the racism of paying teachers of white kids more than teachers of non-whites?

    Racism isn’t (just) about burning crosses any more. Racism is about defending a racist status quo and accusing anyone who steps up as playing the race card. You claim you are not a racist, but I have yet to see take any stance against racism.

    I am talking about joining hands and singing kum-ba-yah with racists, fascists, and haters but all the while claiming to shun racists, fascists and haters, or claiming taxes are the issue when the agenda is about extreme social conservatism (i.e. the TEA Party).

    Last time I checked nobody in this country is particularly fond of paying taxes, but the reason why taxes will go up is because our national wealth has been squandered by war mongers, not because of gay people, sick people, disabled people, abortion clinics, a handful of socialists, or single mothers on welfare.

  • Alan Aardman

    What percentage of right-wing extremists actually have the equipment and skills required to build their own rifle?

  • Sam Molloy

    Aadilia, I can assimilate some of your better ideas but I am not a Buddhist. I can support the SPLC in general but I am not a socialist like many of it’s supporters. I can support the Taxed Enough Already aspect of the Tea Party without being a racist or Theocratic Nutball who imagines they are a Christian. You of all people should understand the concept of melting away the pigeon holes and forming a reasonable, if cloudlike, philosophy.

  • Reynardine

    Hold it: the NRA’s insistence on their “unlimited Second Amendment rights” is now specifically not about hunting or home defense. Out of the mouth of the new president of that august organization himself:

    http://www.politicususa.com/nr.....dment.html

  • John

    Sam, well put..The fact that someone would claim racism when the other person disagrees w/ the President is imbecilic to say the least….good point on the NRA as well

  • aadila

    Sam, it is true however that being a racist does tend to make one against the current Administration. And the people who are against the Administration have not done a damn thing about the racists in their ranks. Case in point was the Ft. Bend, Texas Tea Party president who was also Propaganda Minister for the American Fascist Party, as I exposed here some time ago. Imagine all the Tea Partiers who sputtered, “but, but, but Glenn Beck said fascists were lefists!”

    Couple this kind of patting racists on the head for opposing Obama, with the fact that racism does not necessarily mean wearing a Klan robe. It can also mean merely supporting the status quo within certain racist institutions such as public education and the penal justice system. The portrait that emerges is rather damning.

    Basically, Sam, I feel that unless you are taking an active, direct stance against racism in America, unless you are willing to see that all the racists in America seem to gravitate toward the Tea Party and similar organizations, and yet remain part of such a group, you are contributing to racism.

  • Sam Molloy

    John, I agree with your basic precepts. Being against the current administration’s Collective oriented mindset does not make someone a racist. I am disappointed with the NRA’s choice of president and believe that a less inflammatory tone could accomplish more, such as universal CCW recognition. Wasting political capital defending Assault Rifles and huge clips does nothing to ensure decent people’s safety, and suggesting the need to take up arms against our own government just feeds the paranoia of the law abiding majority.

  • Reynardine

    Still the same old culocentricity, John. Does it ever occur to you that, even if that sort of thing had been original with you, the spearment would have lost its flavor on the bedposy overnight?

  • Reynardine

    CM, damn, you’re superb!

  • John

    ben, I’m now about to take apart your silly post..I can see why Reynardine would agree w/ it.. You typed:

    the second amendment was created 200 years ago to allow white europeans to create and keep the status quo at gun point.e.g steal land from the native americans and keep the slaves in check..

    “Source for this info, please”..

    You typed:

    Today the white right is afraid of the political emergence of the minority especially with the election of Barack Obama and they don’t like it,they want to take back at gun point if need be what they cannot achieve with the vote.

    “An ASSumption at best”..

    and my favorite, you typed:

    if you cannot defend your home from intrusion with a hand gun you should not own weapons..

    Possibly..but if your intruder has something bigger you better be an expert shot

    and lastly you typed:

    Glen Beck is a racist moron and people who listen to what he says are cut out of the same mold as he,i think that they tune him in more for his racist beliefs than because they actually believe any of his dillusional rants.

    Perhaps, I don’t watch GB so I can’t comment but this sounds more like an opinion than actual fact

  • Aron

    CM, I simply MUST KNOW how you are able to find these things out? Are you using a Whois? Or something more complicated?

  • CM

    The author of this apparently inept how-to is actually Caleb Lee Osborne, a serial Internet huckster whose other online ventures have included 5tipstolosestomachfat.com, FlatBellyReport.com, RealMuscleReport.com, Superhealthsystems.com and Pain-relief-101.com. I’m guessing he learned his sales techniques through joining multi-level marketing schemes. And personally I wouldn’t rule out steroid abuse as a factor in his incoherent writings.

    Osborne obtained a concealed weapon carry permit in January from the Circuit Court in Fredericksburg, Va., which is sort of interesting in light of the fact that the address that comes up in connection with his website registrations is in another jurisdiction. But maybe he moved recently.

  • Reynardine

    Ben and Ash, I agree with you both, but when you try to pin them down, they Gish- gallop all the smirky, supercilious lies they memorized from the cheat sheet.

  • Ash

    The real goal of all these “culture warriors” is an attack on civility and the very fabric of a democratic society. We need to get in their faces and ask who will they shoot first. Gays, blacks, progressives, government officials – who ? Put them on the spot to explain the logical endgame of their insane ideology

  • http://yahoo ben

    the second amendment was created 200 years ago to allow white europeans to create and keep the status quo at gun point.e.g steal land from the native americans and keep the slaves in check.Today the white right is afraid of the political emergence of the minority especially with the election of Barack Obama and they don’t like it,they want to take back at gun point if need be what they cannot achieve with the vote.assault rifles are primarily a offensive weapon which is why the first word is “assault” if you cannot defend your home from intrusion with a hand gun you should not own weapons.Glen Beck is a racist moron and people who listen to what he says are cut out of the same mold as he,i think that they tune him in more for his racist beliefs than because they actually believe any of his dillusional rants.

  • aadila

    Aron, you are right. Perhaps for me the greater issue is not so much the form of the gun. It’s the dismantling of our world into something that _requires_ a gun that bothers me.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GargamelGold?feature=mhee Critical Dragon1177

    Leah Nelson

    Doesn’t Lee, not to mention Beck and the Folks behind WND realize that if the government was really about grab all our guns, that they could easily close UndergroundAssaultRifle.com down, not to mention everyone that works for the company. Despite the name they’re technically pretty much operating out in the open.

  • SinghX

    …” Buy today and you’ll get six videos, a how-to manual, and a “special report” on “the only place to hide your guns that the government will never find!”

    This is one is my favorite! The “only place to hide guns” is a “secret”…shhhhh, wink-wink.

    The more I observe these cretins, the more I realize that they are infected with a form of self-inflicted paranoid delusions. They ruminate, back and forth, all day long amping-up about some branch of the government watching “them” via secret cameras, thereby, creating personal bombastic stories on how they will open fire on those who try to take their freedom bullets away…As the old song goes, “Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep, starts when you’re always afraid, the man will come and then he’ll take you away”.

  • M. Bright

    Manufacturing WMD’s at home is a fairly easy proposition. But an argument could be made, that disseminating information to help people build machine guns at home, would make them accessories to any crimes committed with those weapons.

    I imagine that anyone who would build such a thing in their garage is already crazy. I would hope that the people who helped them do these things are held to account, when another elementary school is shot up by one of these lunatics.

  • Aron

    The new president of the NRA:

    http://www.alan.com/2013/05/02.....ggression/

  • Robert Pinkerton

    This reminds me of an article that I read several decades ago: Some Aspects of Clandestine Arms Production and Arms Smuggling by LCol Gershon Rivlin of the Israel Defense Force. LCol Rivlin wrote of the Haganah’s need for arms both before and after the British withdrawal from Israel, then Mandate Palestine.

  • concernedcitizen

    Who are the Jack Booted thugs?

    I think the only thugs are those who are gathering as underground militias and those who prescribe to organized racists groups and they do not represent the government although some of them may wear uniforms, at least until they are caught.

    But their actions are not government sanctioned they are operating by the direction of idiots.

  • Leah Nelson

    @Jane Schiff,

    I don’t think Lee was referring to the afterlife in his “see you on the other side” statement. Based on the context, the portal to this “other side” is the “Purchase Now,” button, which leads to a magical realm where you fork over $27 and download his “system.”

  • Sam Molloy

    I know enough about gun laws to keep from breaking the law, but I honestly don’t know what the Police do if they find you with a gun without a serial number. I know what they do if the serial number has been ground off, and it ain’t a fun thing.

  • http://regressivewatch.org James Threadgill

    You lost when you used the words “think” and “Reagan” in the same sentence.

  • Aron

    David, that was hilarious.

    And Aadila, you’re absolutely right. But building an AR from a forged or machined receiver is very different from building a zip gun.

    I’ve actually got a link* to a humorous story about a guy building his AR lower out of wood!

    Needless to say, it didn’t work very well, but at least it sort of worked.

    *http://www.weaponeer.net/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=8035&PN=1&TPN=1

  • Reynardine

    Amanda, I’ve heard of those, but, again, there’s not having it blow up in your face. And with real ones so readily available on the black and gray markets, it’s going to be a while before the flimsy stuff available through 3d printing is attractive enough to overcome the risk.

    No, the chief purpose of this kind of talk is incitement.

  • Gregory

    My question to Beck would be, how is this different than jihadi websites distibuting information on bombmaking?

  • Jane Schiff

    “Do that now, and I’ll see you on the other side in just minutes!” Signing off, “For our freedoms, Caleb Lee.”

    Unless I’m mistaken, this is a warped patriotic statement that people who are on board with this crap will see each other
    after death by “sinister government plans…”

  • http://www.slowlyboiledfrog.com David Cary Hart

    It’s as easy as crackpottery.

  • Aron

    Using a drill press as a mill? Yikes.

    My machinist friends would laugh their behinds off.

    Great article, Leah!

    (And it is because of their support for people like Glenn Beck that I will never join the NRA.)

  • aadila

    Building a zip gun in your garage is no problem. Not having it blow up in your face is.

  • Amanda Archer

    3D printed weapons are far more intimidating, look up defense distributed.

  • Erika

    *eyes roll* and what could possibly go wrong with this?

  • Reynardine

    I reiterate: this looks mighty like a call to arms for stochastic terrorists and Brown Shirts.

    http://www.alternet.org/tea-pa.....-necessary