At this point, it’s far from certain whether the massacre of 20 Connecticut first-graders and six educators by a madman armed with an assault rifle in December will lead to meaningful gun control.
But a month after the Dec. 14 bloodbath, the American far right is obsessed with the fear that it may become more difficult to purchase a military-style assault rifle or a magazine that carries dozens of bullets.
One particular rant that has gained traction on white supremacist websites was posted on Dec. 28 by a blogger named Bob Owens under the headline “What you’ll see in the rebellion.” In it, Owens speculates about what would happen if the “gun grabbers’…confiscatory fantasy plays out.”
It has already drawn about 250 comments on Owens’ website, including this one: “Everyone talks of dying for their cause, because it’s glamorous. Killing for our cause is what it will take.”
In Owens’ dystopian vision, the enactment of legislation being proposed in Congress would bring on a civil war and a targeted campaign of assassination that forces President Barack Obama to stay in “his gilded cage except in carefully controlled circumstances.”
“Even then he will be forced to move like a criminal. He will never be seen outdoors in public again. Not in this country,” Owens said. “The 535 members of the House and Senate in both parties that allowed such a law to pass would largely be on their own; the Secret Service is too small to protect all of them and their families, the Capitol Police too unskilled, and competent private security not particularly interested in working against their own best interests at any price. The elites will be steadily whittled down, and if they can not be reached directly, the targets will become their staffers, spouses, children, and grandchildren. Grandstanding media figures loyal to the regime would die in droves, executed as enemies of the Republic.”
Tea Party.org is also sounding the alarm. In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, the organization has sent out hysterical emails warning, for instance, that “the anti-gun coalitions, Communist Party, Neo-Nazis, Washington liberals, politically diseased politicians and the anti-freedom freaks with their feverish lust to remove our fundamental rights will stop at NOTHING.”
One email screamed “Obama Communist Coup Underway America in Danger!” The post continued, “‘America’s Fraud President’ is tightening his deadly grip on America’s throat and a catastrophic coup is coming. Obama has yet to be sworn in and already he is preparing his minions for gun grabbing.”
The neo-Nazi forum Stormfront also got into the act. One poster on that website wrote a piece blasting “anti-gun Democrats” and saying they intended to use the so-called “nuclear option” — a parliamentary technique used to circumvent a filibuster — to “obliterate the Senate rules and clear the way for 50-vote passage of gun control.”
And in another chilling development, the neo-Nazi Craig Cobb posted the address of Rep. Diana DeGette, a Colorado Democrat whose district includes the site of Columbine High School, along with photos of her and her husband, on the racist and anti-Semitic Vanguard News Network website after the lawmaker recently proposed a ban on high-capacity magazines.
Meanwhile, Illinois state lawmakers recently pulled an assault weapons ban from consideration to focus on repairing the state’s pension system, even though there were 506 homicides recorded in Chicago in 2012.
That’s a 16 percent increase from a year before and just one indication of how all this handwringing by gun lovers — legal owners and outlaws — seems sadly premature. In recent years, scores of innocents have been slaughtered from the academic halls of college campuses to the streets of the nation’s big cities to the seats of suburban movie theaters. Politicians are making speeches, but doing little else as the death toll climbs.