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Protesters carrying rifles near the steps of the Michigan State Capitol building in Lansing Wednesday. The Washington Post
Protesters carrying rifles near the steps of the Michigan State Capitol building in Lansing Wednesday. The Washington Post

These are the brothers behind the Facebook protests against the quarantine in the United States

Arms activists endanger quarantine by spreading conspiracy theories on social networks.

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Three brothers who run several pro-gun activist groups in the U.S. are also behind some private Facebook groups that are organizing protests against the coronavirus quarantine.

The Washington Post reported that the brothers Ben, Christopher and Aaron Dorr, were behind several state-specific Facebook pages calling for protests against the quarantine.

 The Dorr brothers also lead several gun rights groups, including Minnesota Gun Rights, which seeks to challenge gun lobbying organizations such as the National Rifle Association for being too restrictive on gun laws.

 The Post said Ben Dorr created the Wisconsinites Against Excessive Quarantine group on Wednesday, and by Sunday night it had gathered more than 99,000 members. Meanwhile, Aaron Dorr created New Yorkers Against Excessive Quarantine, which had 24,000 members, and his brother Christopher created two more groups, Pennsylvanians Against Excessive Quarantine and Ohioans Against Excessive Quarantine, which together had more than 79,000 members by the end of the weekend.

The descriptions on some of the pages are similarly worded, attacking the policies created by state governors. The information on the Wisconsin page states: "It is time to OPEN OUR STATE and STOP Governor Evers' excessive quarantine! Politicians are using power, controlling our lives, destroying our businesses, passing laws under the cover of darkness and forcing us to surrender our freedoms and our livelihoods!" The Pennsylvania state page is almost identical, just change Governor Ever's name to Tom Wolf.

Some of these groups sell right-wing conspiracy theories, like the idea that Evers imposed a blockade on his state to "pacify the pharmaceutical giants.” Some of the pages also link to other websites of pro-gun groups.

"The brothers will do anything to fan the flames of a controversial issue, and maybe make a quick buck," former Iowa state legislator Clel Baudler, a Republican, told the Washington Post.

 Facebook said the private groups were not eliminated because the activity was not illegal in the states where the groups were based.

 Pages created by the Dorr brothers have been bolstered by President Trump's tweets in states "freed" from coronavirus closures, particularly Virginia, saying the state's Second Amendment was "under siege.”

 Public health experts confirm that quarantine is a necessary action to stop the spread of the new coronavirus, which has already killed more than 40,000 in the United States. Last week, the Trump administration described the three phases that each state must go through and exit safely, but subsequently countered their message when they urged citizens to stand up against rules that heed the recommendations of their public health advisors.

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