One of my worst fears is that Donald Trump will incite a second Civil War before he is erased from the scene. That may seem extreme and I certainly hope it is, but the evidence of his attempting to do just that is mounting. Let’s explore.
It is Tuesday morning as I pen this and despite pleas not to from both the Governor and the Mayor, Trump is planning on visiting Kenosha, Wisconsin today. He is planning on meeting with law enforcement in an obvious attempt to further cement his law and order image with his base. In reality his administration, largely because of this approach, has brought us historic lawlessness and disorder. I remember the ‘60s and neither the civil rights nor the anti-war demonstrations lasted this long uninterrupted. (For perspective, they did not have the challenge of a pandemic to contend with.)
Unless you feel that shooting an unarmed man that you have in your physical grasp seven times in the back is justified, the actions of law enforcement caused the situation in the first place. If Trump wants to speak with law enforcement he should be telling them he will be working to reform the system not to defend them and boost them up which he will undoubtedly do.
Monday Trump defended the actions of a seventeen year-old from Illinois who came to Kenosha armed with an assault type weapon to defend the turf. In the process he shot three demonstrators murdering two. Trump knows he has a small but formidable (when armed) group of supporters who will travel and shoot for him. Of the well under 200 people the Kenosha Police have arrested during this turmoil over 100 are from out of town, often out of state.
This situation illustrates the fact that we need national gun regulations. It is simply too easy to cross city, county and state lines. I am not trying to take guns away from law abiding, mentally stable citizens. I also recognize the need/desire for multiple types of weapons. The weapon you use to hunt deer is different from the one you use to hunt squirrels or for self-defense in your home. While I do not support stand your ground laws I do support the Castle Doctrine. I chose not to hunt – a personal choice. That said I’m glad people do. I’d rather see the deer herd controlled by hunters acting within appropriate conservation laws and respecting private property than have my wife hit a deer on a highway while driving a vehicle full of our grandkids or the deer starving to death because of a lack of food.
What Trump is effectively doing is telling the armed right wing nutcases to come on down to the trouble spots and bring their guns. How long before legitimate peaceful demonstrators bring their guns too? The last thing we need is armed groups that are running high on emptions confronting each other.
A major misconception on the right is that Democrats/liberals/progressives don’t have guns. This predates Trump. Back on September 16, 2011 the late Andrew Breitbart was addressing a Tea Party group in Lexington, Massachusetts. Speaking of a hypothetical civil war with the left he said, “Fire the first shot.” He continued, “We outnumber them in this country, and we have the guns.” That was greeted by laughter to which he replied. “I’m not kidding.”
I cannot speak as to whether he was kidding or not; my guess is not. I would question his assumption that the right outnumbers the left in America. I think the country is center-left. As to guns I’ve spent decades politically left of center and have made a lot of friends along the way many of whom are gun owners. I remember one of my furthest left friends telling me, “I have a small arsenal under my bed.” He is far from alone.
Since the 18th century we have always had a peaceful transfer of power after elections. Even in the midst of the Civil War we held a free and fair election. It would be a shame, should the voters determine they desire a transfer of power on January 20, 2021 for it to be marred by firefights.
Should Trump be defeated I expect live fire on the streets of Washington, DC on January 20, 2021. How prevalent it will be and whether other cities are involved are the only real question marks in my mind. I sincerely hope I am incorrect but it looks to me like Trump is issuing a call to arms. The coward that he is he will not be one bearing them.
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