Two people appeared in court in Malden, Massachusetts, on Wednesday in connection with a nine-hour standoff between members of an armed militia and state police over the weekend. Although the events that led to nearly all of the 11 men involved being charged seem bizarre, armed extremism is becoming all too common in the country.

At about 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, a Massachusetts state trooper noticed two cars stopped on the shoulder of I-95, 15 miles north of Boston. It looked like someone was trying to refuel at least one of the cars, and troopers stopped to assist.

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