The problem with outlandish threats against law-abiding gun owners is they get repeated. That’s especially true when gun control groups seize upon careless remarks by President Joe Biden that the U.S. government would consider using actual weapons of war against those who dare to believe the Second Amendment protects the nation against a tyrannical government.
Newtown Action Alliance’s Po Murray tweeted, “A gun rights activist from Newtown told me he needs an AR15 to defend himself from a tyrannical government. I told him the CIA has drones with missiles. Hellfire R9X/“knife bomb”/“flying Ginsu” was used to kill al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri.”
A gun rights activist from Newtown told me he needs an AR15 to defend himself from a tyrannical government. I told him the CIA has drones with missiles. Hellfire R9X/“knife bomb”/“flying Ginsu” was used to kill al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri. https://t.co/gWsEaW9hc1
— Po Murray (@po_murray) August 4, 2022
The irony here is rich. An antigun activist that wants to disarm law-abiding citizens for exercising their right to keep and bear arms is repeating a threat of lethal force – and – comparing those gun owners to international radical terrorists.
She attempted to clarify her tweet with another three days later tweeting, “Let me be clear. The government is not coming for you with a drone.”
Ramping Up the Violent Rhetoric
Newtown Action Alliance’s Murray isn’t a stranger to inflammatory and hyperbolic language. She labeled Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis “a racist homophobic misogynistic power hungry fascist,” and tweeted that NSSF is a “Trumpian right wing gun lobby.”
I once ate dinner with Larry Keane, NSSF’s chief lobbyist. NSSF is a Trumpian right wing gun lobby group from my hometown. They have invested a total $36.5 million for federal lobbying efforts since Sandy Hook, & about $2.5 million already this year. https://t.co/zd0ydy1uqE
— Po Murray (@po_murray) August 3, 2022
For the record, NSSF works with elected officials on both sides of the aisle. That’s harder these days, as most Democrats adopted a radical antigun agenda that would violate the U.S. Constitution and deny law-abiding gun owners their rights.
Murray, though, thinks it is perfectly fine to threaten those gun owners with lethal force from Hellfire-equipped drones. In her estimation, those gun owners exercising their God-given rights that won’t consider surrendering to her radical gun control agenda are no better than terrorists.
If the line of using U.S. government-owned actual “weapons of war” sounds familiar, it’s because that was a line repeated again and again by the Commander-in-Chief himself. President Biden said in 2021, “If you wanted or if you think you need to have weapons to take on the government, you need F-15s and maybe some nuclear weapons.”
President Biden made the off-the-cuff remark just months after he ordered the hasty withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, leaving behind more than $7 billion in military equipment – weapons of war -that was transferred to Afghan forces, only to be seized by the Taliban.
CNN reported, “More than 300,000 of the total 427,300 weapons the US gave to Afghan forces remained in Afghanistan at the time of the US military withdrawal, according to the [Defense Department] report. Less than 1,537,000 of the ‘specialty munitions’ and ‘common small arms ammunition,’ valued at a total of $48 million, are still in the country, the report states.”
President Biden wasn’t the first to suggest open war against U.S. citizens. Failed presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) flippantly tweeted that gun owners that would dare consider opposing a tyrannical government attempting to seize their lawfully-owned firearms would face a “short war” because “the government has nukes too.”
This is far from responsible speech. President Biden and Congressman Swalwell were irresponsible for threatening U.S. citizens then, and it was irresponsible for Newtown Action Alliance’s Murray to repeat it again.
This isn’t searching for common ground to arrive at real solutions. This rhetoric is dangerous and reveals the hostility these gun control groups, and the politicians they support, have for the Constitution and those who exercise the rights protected by it.
Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.