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Thursday, May 30, 2013

When Gun Nuts Abandon Guns as Their Method of 'Tyrant-Killing'

Liquids in chemistry flasks and beakers
For a while now, I've been arguing that the gun lobby's and Tea Party's interpretation of the Second Amendment amounts to advocating terrorism. There's no small amount of bullying thuggishness in the threat to start shooting "tyrants" if you don't get your way. They would have us believe that the founders intended that constitutionality be tested not by the courts, but by wild-eyed, poorly-informed loons who believe that "unconstitutional" means "something I don't agree with." And that the remedy for an unconstitutional law or act isn't to reverse it in the judiciary, but to start blasting. Luckily, people who feel the need to hide behind piles of guns and ammo aren't exactly paragons of courage, so the threat had remained a threat.

Until now.

New York Times: Two letters that contained threats to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg — one addressed to him, the other to a lobbyist who works on his gun control campaign — have tested positive for the deadly poison ricin, the authorities said on Wednesday.

The first letter was opened at a New York City mail center in Lower Manhattan on Friday, the police said. Although staff members at the mail center do not appear to have become ill, several police officers who came into contact with the letter’s contents “indicated some mild symptoms the next day, including diarrhea,” and they are being treated in hospitals, the New York Police Department’s spokesman, Paul J. Browne, said on Wednesday afternoon. “They’re being checked out as a precaution.”

The second letter, which was opened on Sunday in Washington, was addressed to Mark Glaze, the director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group Mr. Bloomberg helps run and finances, officials said. Mr. Glaze opened the letter, an official said. No injuries were reported, Mr. Browne said.
"Both letters were identical in content, bore references to the debate over gun regulation and contained written threats to Mayor Bloomberg," the report tells us.


OK, so mailing poison isn't exactly carrying out the threat to start blasting that the rightwing Yosemite Sams are so fond of making. But the motive is apparently the same. Besides, chemical weapon or projectile weapon -- what's the difference, really? If your intent is to eliminate "tyrants," then one's as good as the other. Revolution is war, after all. And of course, ricin is a much less risky weapon. Mountains of bravery and valor are not required.

It's tempting to blame rightwing media for escalating the rhetoric to the point that wingnuts start seeing justifications for murder, but the truth is that they aren't really necessary to bring this whole pot of crazy to a boil. Elected Republicans are doing a fine job of it, by constantly amping everything up to eleven and making any bills they oppose seem like constitutional crises foretelling the imminent collapse of the United States. We don't need Rush Limbaugh to get all the gullible cowards crapping themselves. At least, not when we have Rand Paul.

But the most amazing part of all this is that the wingnut base has no tolerance nor appetite for the things they routinely threaten to do. If tyrant-killing is the most American of pastimes, then they aren't very American. Whenever anything like this happens, the cry of "false flag!" goes up on conspiracy theorist websites and is echoed in the comment threads of the wingnut blogosphere. Even when one of their own rises up to fight what they see as tyranny, it gets twisted around into yet more evidence of tyranny. They continually call for terrorist acts, but when one actually happens they blame someone else -- in this case, Bloomberg himself.

For his part, the Mayor of New York City is undeterred by this act of terrorism. "The letter obviously, referred to our anti-gun efforts but there's 12,000 people [who] are going to get killed this year with guns and 19,000 that are going to commit suicide with guns, and we're not going to walk away from those efforts," he said of the incident.

It's pretty clear which side in this fight has all the courage.


[photo by zhouxuan12345678]

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