First, I’m going to point out that if January 6th was an insurrection, it was the most poorly planned case of one in the history of man.
You’ve got a group that has a butt-ton of guns and not a single person brought one for this supposed attempt to overthrow the United States government.
The only person shot, after all, was a part of the supposed insurrectionists.
Yet an op-ed at USA Today seeks to create a link between January 6th and another such incident.
First, let’s start with the headline since that’s all a lot of people bother to read. It pops off, “Could Jan. 6 insurrection happen again? Weak US gun laws are a threat to our democracy.”
Again, there weren’t guns at January 6th. Despite the crowd having more guns than the Capitol Police, no one seems to have brought one.
But I think we can all see where this is going. The author is invoking the specter of insurrection to try and make a case for gun control.
Let’s look and see.
Three years after the harrowing events of Jan. 6. 2021, echoes of the Capitol insurrection continue to reverberate through our democracy. Today, dangerous rhetoric is spreading similar sentiments that instigated one of the darkest days in our nation’s history.
Former President Donald Trump, the Republican Party’s leading candidate for the 2024 presidential nomination, has urged his supporters to “guard the vote.” We’ve already seen the consequences of similar rhetoric play out when armed vigilantes stood watch at Arizona polls in 2022.
These are not isolated incidents, either. More than half of experts in a comprehensive 2023 survey by Protect Democracy and the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University said the effects of political violence on our elections is leading to a significant erosion of democracy in the United States.
It is not too late to heed their warnings. As we enter a consequential election year, it is imperative that we take decisive steps to protect public health and civil rights by safeguarding the spaces sacred to the political process.
Central to this effort, and often overlooked, is the need to strengthen our nation’s disjointed gun laws. Policymakers have tools at their disposal to protect Americans and our democracy. They just need to act on them.
I knew it.
Again, let’s not forget that guns weren’t part of January 6th. If they had been and if the mob had been the violent insurrectionists they’ve been painted as, I’m not sure many lawmakers would have survived.
Instead, people took selfies.
Interestingly, for all this fear of democracy being undermined, the author doesn’t seem worried about candidates being removed from ballots despite not having been convicted of anything.
The focus on protecting democracy must start with limiting the public carry of firearms, especially in locations where political participation occurs. Seeing a firearm in a polling place, legislative building or at political protest is inherently threatening. It puts everyone on notice that their life could be ended in an instant.
No, it’s not inherently anything. It’s a gun. It’s not a magical artifact with a will of its own. If someone is that terrified, maybe the answer is for them to carry a gun themselves.
Evidence from the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project and Everytown for Gun Safety suggests that protests are 6.5 times more likely to be violent when guns are present, which can dissuade people from practicing their First Amendment rights.
Yeah, Everytown doesn’t have an anti-gun agenda. There’s absolutely no chance they might have presented things in a way that would benefit their organizational goals, now is there?
Also, understand that “6.5 times more likely” is a meaningless statistic in and of itself. Especially when we lack important context such as how likely is it to start with, who initiates the violence in the first place–think about Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, for example–and how many of the guns were lawfully owned in the first place.
The Second Amendment can, and must, be balanced to protect other liberties. People should know they are safe when exercising one of our country’s most sacred rights – to make their voice heard at the polls.
Why is it that the Second Amendment is the right that always has to give? Just why is it that if something has to be restrained to some degree or another, it’s always the right to keep and bear arms?
Funny how that’s how it breaks down every time, isn’t it?
What follows in this op-ed is, unsurprisingly, the typical anti-gun wish list. A repeal of preemption–because states can’t address any of this themselves, now can they–red flag laws, and pretty much everything else anti-gunners want and have used everything from suicides to mass shootings to try to sell.
Now, they’re trying to use insurrection to justify gun control.
What I hate to break to them is that insurrection is the point of the Second Amendment. It exists specifically so we could fight back against a government grown tyrannical. Trying to restrict our ability to do just that is precisely the reason that right was protected in the Bill of Rights.
As such, it’s laughable to believe that this is sufficient reason to restrict our rights.
Especially when, again, invoking the specter of a so-called insurrection where the only person shot was one of the so-called insurrectionists all to push the same solutions anti-gunners claim will solve all of society’s ills.