I know opinions are mixed about what happened on January 6th at the Capitol. Some people are all behind what happened and think it didn’t go far enough, but a lot more people think it was stupid and did more damage than good.
And, of course, for some people it’s a great excuse to blame everything on their favorite opponents no matter who they happen to be.
Hell, even the NRA is to blame, apparently.
It’s been two weeks since far-right extremists stormed the U.S. Capitol, and every day another rioter is arrested. Unsurprisingly, many of those arrested had violent or criminal histories, along with easy access to arsenals. But to understand just how close we came to mass casualties in the People’s House, one data point stands out: Police seized at least 3,071 roundsof live ammunition on the day of the insurrection — enough to shoot every member of the House and Senate five times.
Any rioter caught with guns and ammo should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But the elected officials and organizations that have been fanning the flames of extremism to advance their own interests must also be held accountable. And no organization has done more to radicalize — and weaponize — the far right than the National Rifle Association.
You don’t have to dig deep for recent examples of the NRA riling up these extremists. Just a few weeks ago, the organization’s CEO, Wayne LaPierre, sent out a fundraising letter that warned of “armed government agents storming your house,” and boasted that “only the NRA has the strength to win knock-down brawls on Capitol Hill.”
Oh no you don’t.
Sorry, you don’t get to pull this crap again.
Rhetoric like this is common in politics. It’s metaphorical to some degree, but it’s also not because the term “fight” and “brawl” as broader definitions understood by the majority of people. What LaPierre said was nothing unusual for anyone in politics.
But let’s also remember that we just had a summer filled with riots upon riots and we heard little to nothing from the left calling for an end to such riots. In fact, they encouraged it.
In August, squad member Ayassa Pressley issued calls for “unrest” following that riotous summer, and no one called her for it.
Here’s Maxine Waters encouraging people to confront Republicans:
As you watch all the videos of Trump supporters getting targeted and attacked outside the White House tonight, here’s a reminder that one of the Democrats’ leading voices, Maxine Waters, literally encouraged this behavior. pic.twitter.com/v5o4bxWpKO
— Caleb Hull (I’m With the CCP Don’t Ban Me) (@CalebJHull) August 28, 2020
New Vice President Kamala Harris said, “They’re not gonna stop before election day in November, and they’re not gonna stop after election day. They’re not gonna let up and they should not.”
Meanwhile, the press tripped all over themselves with fact-checks saying they weren’t calling for violence. AP, USA Today, Politifact, everyone rolled out every avenue they could to cover for the Democrats.
And still, riots continued.
Yet the NRA talks about a legitimate concern among many gun owners–and there are bills that have been filed by an emboldened Congress that may well lead to confiscation–is somehow making them responsible for violent insurrection?
No, I’m sorry, you don’t get to pull that crap. Not and get away with it, anyway.
There’s only one set of rules, or at least that’s the way it should be. Both sides need to be held equally accountable for their words and actions. That means no rules for the right and different rules for the left. If riots are the voices of the unheard, then you don’t get to suddenly decide that they’re not acceptable when the other side does it. You don’t get to frame neighborhoods burning as protests and a few busted windows as insurrection.
If political rhetoric is fanning the flames of dissent, then look to Democrats as well. They have a much longer history of it.