As you may have heard, things got, um, out of hand at a protest in Charlottesville, VA this weekend. And while we’re sure there’s plenty of blame to go around for all the violence that took place BEFORE the incident that made all the headlines, it seems the media is content to focus all of its attention on white supremacists, Donald Trump, and the supposed intersection between the two.
But there’s at least one group – Moms Demand Action – who saw in Charlottesville the opportunity to get back up on their high horse and put the blame on another group: The National Rifle Association. In a series of tweets on Saturday, MDA founder Shannon Watts blamed the NRA for “the radicalization of America.”
“The radicalization of America has been encouraged by the NRA and open carry laws,” Watts said without providing evidence to support her bizarre contention. She said only that these laws “enable armed intimidation.”
Watts followed this tweet up with some photos of armed men at the rally, who said they were not there to take sides between the white nationalists and the Antifa protesters, but were there to make sure things didn’t get out of hand. Now, they clearly failed in their stated purpose, but for Watts to pretend like these self-professed guardians made things worse is a pretty steep hill to climb. But when all you’ve got is a hammer…
“Dozens are openly carrying semiautomatic rifles at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia,” wrote the official MDA account on Saturday. “Open carry makes the job of law enforcement more difficult by blurring the lines of lawful gun owners and those intent on doing harm.”
We suppose drivers’ licenses make it more difficult to determine who is simply trying to get to their destination and who wants to mow down a crowd of pedestrians. Certainly, that point seems to be more germane to the situation.
“Open carry is nothing more than armed intimidation,” the group insisted.
Well, no, it’s quite a bit more than that. A constitutional right, for one thing.
“Guns and racism are a dangerous combination, as we were reminded when a white supremacist killed 9 at Emanuel AME in Charleston,” they wrote.
Yes, because as we all know, Dylann Roof walked into that church with his rifle slung over his shoulder and then proceeded to sit there menacing the black worshippers for half an hour before opening fire. Oh wait, no, that’s wrong. They didn’t know he was armed. Because, guess what? A person can have a gun on them and…wait for it…it can be hidden from view, thus nullifying whatever “laws” you pass. And thus making it much, MUCH more difficult to tell the “lawful gun owners” from those “intent on doing harm.”
“Open carry is a top legislative priority for the NRA,” the group concluded. “If they get their way, it will become legal in every state in the nation.”
And it won’t make any difference at all in terms of gun violence. But keep beating that horse, anti-gunners. Stoking fear always helps a lot.