A Democratic representative from Long Island, N.Y. seeking re-election in Fall 2018 made waves when he suggested that it might be time to take up arms against President Donald Trump.
New York Rep. Tom Suozzi was recorded on March 12 earnestly explaining to constituents that the steps to combating Trump are public pressure (with the help of the press), then the courts, and finally the Second Amendment if the president ignores the courts.
“It’s really a matter of putting public pressure on the president,” he said. “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?”
Suozzi and his campaign, as the New York Post noted, later denied that the representative “advocat[ed] for an armed insurrection” while also saying that he was encouraging “people [to] preserve the spirit of resistance.”
Suozzi’s senior adviser Kim Devlin said in a statement to Fox News on Monday that the representative was merely following in the footsteps of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton.
“Taking a page from such great Americans as Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, Congressman Suozzi explained why our founding fathers created the Second Amendment as a way for citizens to fight back against a tyrannical government that does not follow the rule of law,” she said.
Devlin also said it would be “irresponsible and ridiculous” to take Suozzi’s remarks the wrong way, that is, as a threat.
Many on Twitter did not see it that way, with some calling the comments a “terroristic threat.”
National Republican Campaign Committee spokesman Chris Martin reacted to the remark by calling it “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,” he said.
The whole situation is amusing for a couple of reasons.
The first is that staunch advocates of the Second Amendment, typically right-leaning, often say that the amendment exists, in no small part, to prevent or at least defend against government tyranny.
The second is that Suozzi has, in the days after the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, advocated against “senseless gun violence.”
The first tweet is the one Suozzi currently has pinned on his timeline.
“Republicans and Democrats [need] to come together on reducing gun violence,” he tweeted.
In another, he praised survivors of the Florida shooting for working to stop “senseless gun violence,” adding the hashtag #EnoughIsEnough.
[Image sources: Twitter screengrab/@RepTomSuozzi, MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images]
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