This is what conservatives like me and Andy McCarthy get for arguing that Antifa, as odious as it is, shouldn’t be considered a terrorist organization. That charge is too loaded politically. Toss it lightly at a domestic group, even one that does practice violence, and you’re encouraging the public to strip the members of their civil rights. Good luck getting traction once that slippery slope is in place. Yet that’s exactly what Olby’s after. The idea of NRA members losing their rights isn’t a bug in his scheme, it’s a feature. He doesn’t believe the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right of gun ownership, ergo you’re a terrorist for believing it does. Ideally you’ll lose that right if his side prevails politically. For all his flaws, the man doesn’t sugarcoat his positions.
The most notable thing about this shpiel is how all over the map it is in running through the familiar anti-gun legal arguments. On the one hand, Olbermann insists that the Second Amendment guarantees a collective right to individual states to keep arms for their own protection; in that case, we needn’t worry much about the sophistication of the weapons. They’re in responsible hands, after all, and significant firepower would be necessary to resist federal tyranny. On the other hand, he notes that the Founders never imagined weapons with the firepower of the ones we have today, that the Second Amendment was written when muskets were state of the art, the implication being that technology has rendered the amendment’s protections moot. No other right in the Bill of Rights is frozen in amber that way. It’d be ludicrous, for instance, to suggest that freedom of the press applies only to actual printing presses. And again — if he believes this is a collective right guaranteed to the states, not to individuals, what does he care which guns specifically the Founders had in mind? Surely he’s not suggesting the National Guard should carry muskets. Or maybe he is. Olby’s whole shtick these days is that he’s one more dumb Trump soundbite away from a total Howard Beale-ish mental break.
Robby Soave asks a fair question. If anti-Trump hysterics like Olby believe half the things they say about him, how can they possibly support disarming the population?
Fascist or not, Trump’s incoherent ideology includes a mix of xenophobia, nationalism, protectionism, and worship of law enforcement. It’s an awfully authoritarian brew.
Which brings us back to gun control, something countless liberal pundits and Democratic congresspeople are breathlessly demanding right now. How on earth could anyone believe both that Trump is a fascist and that it’s a good idea for a federal government he runs to take guns away from law-abiding citizens? If Trump is a budding Mussolini—let alone something worse—then you shouldn’t want to give him the power required to wage a war on guns. Keep in mind that many gun owners are people of color, who would be (and frequently have been) disproportionately affected by enforcement of new gun laws. Indeed, if Trump wanted to further damage immigrants and communities of color, eroding their rights and jailing their men, he could find no more powerful tool than a license to confiscate guns.
When was the last time a movement that calls itself “the Resistance” encouraged the government it’s resisting to seize the public’s chief instrument of self-defense?