Right-wing media commentators are spraying warnings about pending violence if it looks like Donald Trump won’t be re-elected in 2020.
A proposal by Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke to eliminate assault weapons from the streets set off a rash of warnings about bloodshed.
This isn’t the first time there have been radical calls for rebellion. Threats spiked when Barack Obama was elected, wrote Eric Boehlert, a veteran progressive writer and media analyst for Daily Kos:
“In 2009, a far-right Newsmax columnist determined that a ‘military coup’ to resolve the ‘Obama problem’ was not unrealistic,” Boehner wrote. “That was about the same time Glenn Beck used his then-new program on Fox News to game out bloody scenarios for the coming civil war against the Obama-led tyranny.”
The threats are back.
Washington Examiner executive editor Seth Mandel tweeted, “it’s not justifying or threatening an insurrection to predict” that a mandatory gun buyback program “is likely to go badly.” Townhall’s Kurt Schlichter asked, “How many deaths” is O’Rourke “willing to accept to achieve disarming the citizenry?” And right-wing radio show host Erick Erickson said he has friends who keep AR-15s buried in the ground and they “will likely resort to violence against the government”.
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On the Sept. 3 edition of Fox News, Tucker Carlson said that a buyback program is an “incitement to violence,” and will lead to “civil war.”
The View’s Meghan McCain said “The AR-15 is by far the most popular gun in America … You’re talking about going and taking people’s guns away from them. There’s going to be a lot of violence. … I’m not living without guns.”
After the Sandy Hook school massacre in Connecticut, Fox’s Todd Starnes warned there would a revolution if the government tried to “confiscate our guns.” Fox News’ Pat Caddell claimed the country was in a “pre revolutionary condition” and “on the verge of an explosion.”
The NRA has long pushed the idea that the Second Amendment includes the right to wage a civil insurrection, Media Matters reported.
The Three Percenter movement believes that citizens are justified in taking up arms and violently overthrowing the government if the government passes stronger gun regulations, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported.
The NRA tweeted a column by gun blogger Bob Owens with an image of gallows and the caption, “This is where the survivors of the Democrat rebellion will meet their end.”
The NRA relies on fearmongering and systematically discredits opposition voices to secure its position as a powerful lobbyist for the gun industry, American Progress reported. It’s all about selling more guns.
“The NRA has masterfully constructed a narrative based on gun rights propaganda, evoking images of a society devoid of rule of law and under constant threat of attack from an unidentified but ever-present enemy.
“Due to the insidious nature of this messaging approach, the NRA has successfully embedded its false narrative throughout much of the country.”
But the pendulum is swinging away from the NRA and its radical gun defenders, making the threats of bloodshed ever more desperate, Boehner wrote.
Walmart, the largest U.S. retail chain, plans to stop selling ammunition for handguns and military-style weapons, completely end the sale of handguns, and discourage anyone from carrying weapons in its stores. CVS, Walgreens, Wegmans and Walmart changed store policies to discourage customers from carrying guns.