I implied in an earlier post earlier today that havoc (or some related type of unpleasantness if you find “havoc” too hyperbolical) might ensue if our elected officials decide to ignore the preferences of most of their constituents and override Governor Nixon’s veto of SB656, legislation that would largely deregulate gun ownership as well as decriminalize impulsive gun violence via a stand-your-ground provision. I quoted reports that the NRA views this legislation as a big stakes issue, a reasonable stance since the organization’s purpose is to lobby for the gun industry’s bottom line and widespread adoption of legislation like SB656 would surely promote that goal.
But who else stands to gain? How does the NRA and their favored politicians get so many every day, never-gonna-get-rich-off-guns citizens to take the bait?
The key to that question might lie in a consideration of some jaw-dropping remarks that Kentucky’s Republican Governor, Matt Bevin, made yesterday. Bevin implied that, in the words of TPM’s Allegra Kirkland, “there will be a bloody clash between ‘tyrants’ and ‘patriots’ if Hillary Clinton wins this year’s presidential election”:
I want us to be able to fight ideologically, mentally, spiritually, economically, so that we don’t have to do it physically,” the tea party politician said in a Saturday speech at the Values Voters Summit, an annual gathering of religious conservatives. “But that may, in fact, be the case.”
Bevin said he was asked in a recent if the nation could “survive” a Clinton presidency, and he responded that it would be “possible” but at a great “price.”
“The roots of the tree of liberty are watered by what?” Bevin continued. “The blood, of who? The tyrants to be sure, but who else? The patriots. Whose blood will be shed? It may be that of those in this room. It might be that of our children and grandchildren.”
Bevin tried to soften the impact of these words later, but we’ve heard them before. They’re the meat and potatoes of much of the 2nd amendment crowd, especially the well-armed patriot militias – which have proliferated in Missouri as in many red states after the election of the first black president.
And if we are to believe reports, the image of violent revolution that these words elicit reflect the paranoia, anger and racial anxiety that fuels many Trump supporters. Trump’s advisor, Roger Stone, echoed the theme as he reinforced a Trump campaign effort to delegitimize a potential Clinton presidency by suggesting a conspiracy to “rigg” the election:
“If there’s voter fraud, this election will be illegitimate, the election of the winner will be illegitimate, we will have a constitutional crisis, widespread civil disobedience, and the government will no longer be the government,” Stone said. He also promised a “bloodbath” if the Democrats attempt to “steal” the election.”
Another word for this projected bloodbath? “Civil war,” “treason,” “sedition,” “subversion,” “mutiny,” or just run of the mill “criminal,” as in the Bundys’ armed takeover of a nature preserve in Oregon – you choose.
Essential ingredient for such a bloodbath? Guns.
What kind of people poke at the sore spots of poorly informed rightwing hysterics for personal and political gain? Could they be deplorables?