Seeing Nazis and white supremacists around every cornier and under every bed: Talia Lavin is the same former New Yorker writer who falsely accused an ICE agent of wearing Nazi tattoos.
Here are some of her deep thoughts about the peaceful pro-gun crowd in Richmond on Monday.
But even with the Base threat—which was thoroughly ignored by right-wing media—neutralized, it seems myopic at best to describe the Monday event as “peaceful.” There was, it was true, an absence of immediate bloodshed; but what abounded, in that armed and insurrectionist sea of humanity, was the promise that bloodshed might happen at any time, should the will of the mob be thwarted.
America’s exceptional tolerance towards armed white gunmen—its brooking of gun-toting militias around the country, and the po-faced seriousness with which the media takes claims of “freedom” when it comes to the right to own weapons of mass slaughter—is entirely restricted to this demographic.
Famously, California enacted gun-control legislation prohibiting the open carrying of firearms after a demonstration of armed Black Panthers on the steps of the state house; this swift reactive prohibition was enacted by then-governor Ronald Reagan. The threat of white supremacist violence, despite resulting in multiple shooting massacres against black people, Jews, and Latinos in the last several years, has yet to pierce the national consciousness as the vast and threatening specter it is.
Terrorists were intercepted on the way to this rally with the open goal of sparking civil war; the thousands of armed individuals roaming the streets of an American city openly proclaimed their intent not to obey laws they might disagree with. Yet their very whiteness rendered them invisible as a threat: in America, if you are white, you can wear a mask and carry a gun and hang a governor in effigy, and go home quietly at the end of the day, unmolested.
– Talia Lavin in That Pro-Gun Rally in Virginia Wasn’t Exactly “Peaceful”