Virginia, 17 January 2020 – The Virginia State Senate is looking at bills that could prevent gun deaths – and as a result the NRA, other pro-2nd Amendment groups and nefarious neo-Nazis are threatening violence and insurrection. That in itself is troubling, not least as Virginia already saw its share of extremist right-wing violence witness the death of Heather Heyer in 2017 in Charlottesville. What is wholly unacceptable is that President Trump has tweeted a message of support to those who threaten violence in an attempt to score points over the Democrats.
Yesterday the president used his official Twitter account to tweet:
“Your 2nd Amendment is under very serious attack in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia. That’s what happens when you vote for Democrats, they will take your guns away. Republicans will win Virginia in 2020. Thank you Dems!”
Aside from the childish oversimplification, this tweet is misleading: no one is seeking to ‘take away’ guns. The language contains buzzwords – ‘under attack,’ ‘take your guns away’. The most alarming thing about the tweet is that it is a very loud rallying cry to all the groups that have threatened violence as a way to intimidate Virginia’s lawmakers.
According to news outlets including WHSV, the Virginia Senate advanced a number of gun control bills that have been among top priorities for Democrats. They reported:
“Earlier this week, the Senate Judiciary Committee made waves by killing controversial Senate Bill 16, which would have re-defined and banned assault bills, while passing several other gun bills.
“On Thursday, the full Virginia Senate passed those bills as well. Trump’s tweet came after the bill was dropped: his inflammatory tweet went out all the same. “
Donald Trump’s tweet can certainly be seen as an attempt at stirring up the extremists who have threatened violence; the FBI have arrested seven far-right neo-Nazis who may have been planning violence at the pro-gun rally held to protest the state senate’s deliberations.
Trump is supposed to represent all US citizens. He previously indicated he was interested in gun law reform to stem the US’s tide of shootings (41,000 in 2019). The tweet he made yesterday means all his past assurances and promises were empty.
It should be noted that those marching / protesting any Virginia gun law reform are silent on the points that they are not allowed to carry their firearms to either GOP rallies or to NRA meetings.
We will tweet (ideally) or otherwise send a message of support to Virginia’s governor, which will also condemn Trump’s playing with lives, inflaming tensions, and lying about Democrats’ intentions all for his own political ends.
Please contact Donald Trump and Virginia Governor Ralph Northam through one of the channels below and give them the following message, personalized to your liking:
@realdonaldtrump, this tweet’s dangerous, untrue, selfish. Dems weren’t trying 2 take guns. You knew the far right planned violence, but u tried to score points. Your past claims to act on gun law reform were dishonest. You owe Virginia, @RalphNortham an apology for ur actions
Email: (form) https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/
Twitter (best place for this action if you have twitter please use it): https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1218297464941314049
Once you have made contact, fill out the three fields below and click the orange banner to report taking action!