Using the Second Amendment to shutdown the First

by | Oct 31, 2022 | Editor's Blog | 7 comments

In the wake of the attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Democrats protested that rhetoric from the right was, at least partially, to blame. Republicans immediately responded, calling the accusations unfounded. They pointed to attacks on Republicans to show that both sides have their nuts. The two, though, are not the same. 

We don’t really have to say anything other than “January 6” to debunk the GOP argument. Rhetoric from the right, including the President of the United States, incited a riot that attacked the our government and attempted to interrupt the peaceful transfer of power. It resulted in the deaths of six people. Republicans always point to Stacy Abrams’ statement that the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election was stolen from her, but no mobs attacked the state capitol and no prominent Democrats came out claiming Brian Kemp is an illegitimate governor. So, no the two are not the same. 

After the assault on Pelosi’s husband, during which the assailant was yelling “Where’s Nancy?,” Republicans point to the shooting of Steve Scalise, the threat to Brett Kavanaugh, and an attempted attack on New York Republican gubernatorial nominee Lee Zeldin as evidence that Democrats inspire violence as much as Republicans. Or maybe their point is that nuts come out all of the time and rhetoric doesn’t lead to hostile actions. Who knows, but I didn’t see any elected Democrats mocking Scalise or Kavanaugh or Zeldin. GOP candidates and Members of Congress and even Trump, Jr., shit-posted memes and conspiracy theories and Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin made a snarky comment about sending Pelosi home to be with her husband. Nobody in the GOP is prominently criticizing those comment or posts because they don’t want to alienate the Republican base.

Only one party has fetishized guns. Virtually all GOP candidates have photos of themselves armed or shooting. They’ve been running ads for years with targets on Democrats. Minnesota Congressman Tom Emmer posted a tweet of him shooting a gun with the hashtag #firepelosi just days before the attack on the Speaker’s husband. Emmer says he’s just exercising his Second Amendment rights. Republicans have bastardized the amendment to make it a threat, not a right. 

Also, only one party has an armed wing. The Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, and dozens of lesser known militia openly associate themselves with Trump and the GOP. Mainstream Republicans are largely silent about the affiliation. They certainly aren’t vocally dismissive.

This election cycle, the right-wing militia groups are placing themselves outside of voting locations, armed and dressed in tactical gear, intimidating voters who might disagree with them. Again, they claim to just be exercising their Second Amendment rights. In reality, they are there to shut down the First Amendment rights of people they consider enemies. 

Democrats and progressives have plenty of flaws. The most extreme elements of the left embrace anti-democratic policies and strategies, but only one political party has ignored violence within its ranks and espouses anti-democratic as part of their political rhetoric. Only one party consistently fails to hold those who attack our political system accountable, making up lame excuses for why they do so. And only one side uses the Constitution justify the threat of violence against their political opponents.  


  1. Duncan Lemp

    This article is so full of bull crap and misleading information that it’s no surprise democrats are losing ground

    • Kycowboy

      Duncan, you fail to point out the misleading information with facts. Therefore you have no basis for your comments.

      • Morris

        You don’t have to read far into the piece to find misleading information. I don’t condone the January 6th riots, but 6 people didn’t die due to the riot. Only one did. To keep spewing falsehoods about that day only invites further split in the country.
        Here are the facts from the official final report from the DC medical examiner on the 5 deaths that occurred that day:
        Kevin Greeson, 55, and Benjamin Phillips, 50, both died of cardiovascular disease.
        Capital Police officer Brian Sicknick died of a stroke 8 hours after the riot while back at his office.
        All 3 of those deaths were ruled natural causes by the DC medical examiner.
        Rosanne Boyland, 34, of Kennisaw, Georgia died of an overdose of her attention deficit disorder medicine. Basically a meth overdose. She was not trampled as first reported.
        The only death caused by the riot was that of Ashli Babbitt, an Air Force veteran, who was shot by a Capitol Police officer. She was unarmed.
        I’m not voting about January 6th. I’m not voting for Trump. He isn’t running. I’m voting the way I am because this country has gotten worse, not better, the last 2 years.

        • TC

          “…on April 19 District of Columbia Chief Medical Examiner Francisco J. Diaz found that Sicknick suffered two strokes nearly eight hours after being sprayed with a chemical irritant during the riot. Diaz told the Post that Sicknick died of natural causes, but “all that transpired played a role in his condition.”

          “That day, US. Capitol Police released a statement that read: “The USCP accepts the findings from the District of Columbia’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner that Officer Brian Sicknick died of natural causes. This does not change the fact Officer Sicknick died in the line of duty, courageously defending Congress and the Capitol.”

          “…all that transpired played a role in his condition.” All that transpired. Of course, these were just tourists taking the nickel tour.

          As for the one, I’m certain that Ashli Babbitt would not have died on the floor of the entrance to the Speaker’s Lobby had she stayed at home and not participated in an insurrection. “…all that transpired played a role….”

          But you absolutely need to vote. Vote your convictions and your conscience. Trump might not be on the ballot in name, but his morose ideas and unscrupulous lies sure do weigh it down with those that would rather climb a tree to tell a lie than stand on the ground and tell the truth.

          That way, you can talk about how you were able to participate in the great experiment known as “democracy” before the purge and takeover by the House of Trump.

        • cocodog

          For some folks, causation (the reason things happen) can be a struggle. A bridge too far as the saying goes.

          There is a simple test used in the law to determine whether or not a specific act leads to the death of another. The “but for” test act applied to the facts would determine if a particular act caused the death of Capital Police Officer Sicknick. If the violent wing of the Republican Party had not stormed the US Capital, breaking glass, and kicking doors down would Sicknick have suffered numerous blows to the head and body eventually suffering strokes, which brought about his demise? The answer to that question is “no”!

          I have heard that is his job, if he was not physically up to the demands of the job, therefore, no wrong can be ascribed to the criminals who exposed Officer Sicknick to this risk. As a matter of logic, that argument holds little or no water. It is a travesty. There is no inherent right to storm the nation’s capital, vandalize and defecate in the halls of congress. Granted these folks pay the taxes that maintain the capital building, but so do a lot of other folks.

          What the militant wing of the Republican Party did is a crime, any ancillary damages flowing from the commission of that crime are the direct result of that criminal act. That officer died as the direct result of the that crime. The same principle holds true with death of that individual who was shot during the riot. If there was no riot, folks peacefully allowed the constitutional process to play out as it has for the past 200 plus years she would still be alive. In fact, a lot of folks would be alive.

        • cocodog

          Gee, only six people died during the commission of a crime. So, everybody look away, nothing to see here. Only one death can be linked to the riot. That death was just an innocent Air Force Vet, expressing herself by attempting to unlawfully gain access to the speaker’s lobby! Did your research also show that attempts to provide her medical aid for what was initially a non-fatal gunshot wound was hampered by rioters who refused to clear the way so the medical team could reach her. She bled to death. None of those good old boys’ and girls’ rioters knew how to render first aid.
          I believe somebody mentioned the key thought, all this would not have occurred if folks just let the normal process of government as prescribed by the Constitution play out. Approximately, 60 courts previously tossed out attempts to establish fraud, there was no fraud proven! Old Rudy lost his right to practice law for filing frivolous law suits.

  2. TC

    At the end of the day, the Constitution is just a piece of paper and those with the guns make the rules. Absolute power. The attainment of absolute power. Without compromise. That is the quest that is being relentlessly pursued.

    The future has yet to be written. Will it be written in blood? I fear that, on the current trajectory, that may very well come to pass as the price paid.

    There is however a little time. Time to pull this back from the brink. To stand and take the cover of deceit and lies from the truth and exclaim, “ENOUGH.”

    The diatribe of hate and armed rebellion has mobilized at least half of the population. I think that, at some level, the party of instigation believes the monster of their own making will turn against them if they try to rein it in. So, they say nothing. Choosing instead to watch and see where the monster wanders and what it destroys.

    Pandora’s box has been opened and the question remains if the lid can be put back on and fastened. The clock is ticking…

Related Posts


Get the latest posts from PoliticsNC delivered right to your inbox!

You have Successfully Subscribed!