A Democratic U.S. congressman from Long Island, New York, appears to have suggested at a campaign event that Americans utilize their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms for use against President Donald J. Trump should he ‘violate the Constitution.’
According to American media, Rep. Tom Suozzi make his remark to constituents last week at a town hall-style meeting. He suggested that Americans opposed to President Trump may resort to the “Second Amendment.”Rep. Tom Suozzi
“It’s really a matter of putting public pressure on the president,” Suozzi said in a newly released video of the March 12 talk in Huntington. “This is where the Second Amendment comes in, quite frankly, because you know, what if the president was to ignore the courts? What would you do? What would we do?”
You can hear a listener then blurt out, “What’s the Second Amendment?”
Suozzi answers: “The Second Amendment is the right to bear arms.”
Republican lawmakers expressed concern over the remark.
“This video is incredibly disturbing. It’s surreal to watch a sitting member of Congress suggest that his constituents should take up arms against the president of the United States,” said National Republican Campaign Committee spokesman Chris Martin.
Suozzi’s rep denied that his boss was advocating “armed insurrection” against Trump. But then the congressman’s office appeared to double down on the comment by referring to something written by Thomas Jefferson in calling for armed resistance against the British crown.
“What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms,” the quote said. [source]
Analysis: There is nothing inherently wrong with promoting not just the Second Amendment but all of the Constitution’s rights and amendments. However, picking the one guaranteeing the right to keep and bear arms to make the political point that you oppose the current president is not healthy for our representative government.
The Suozzi campaign can deny all it wants that their boss was advocating for opponents of the president to consider mounting an armed resistance at some point against Trump, but any reasonable person listening to that speech would have to conclude that’s exactly what Suozzi meant.
To be fair, Trump made a similar off-handed comment like this on the campaign trail in 2016. He told supporters in North Carolina that if Hillary Clinton was elected and was permitted to select retiring U.S. Supreme Court justices, there wouldn’t be anything that Second Amendment supporters could do to defend their right to keep and bear arms, then added, “Although the Second Amendment people — maybe there is, I don’t know.”
That can only be interpreted one way as well.
Frankly, these kinds of statements aren’t helpful, especially in our hyper-partisan political environment and when you put them in the context of recent events — the attempted assassination of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise last year; the assassination of police officers including five Dallas police officers; and the state of California’s grumblings about secession and that state’s overt lawlessness in defying the Trump administration over statutes (not policies, statutes) empowering the federal government to enforce all immigration laws.
Plus, Leftist-leaning groups and Americans are already engaged in arming themselves and training to ‘defend their neighborhoods and their neighbors against creeping Fascism’ — which they blame on Trump and his supporters.
As for Suozzi’s comments, they are as hypocritical as they are dangerous. Just last week he was advocating for more gun control following the most recent school shootings in Parkland, Fla. He appears to have moved on from improving school safety to promoting armed insurrection against a duly-elected president.
It’s beginning to look a lot more like the 1850s every day.