Wednesday night on “The Rachel Maddow Show,” host Rachel Maddow talked about the fact that in certain factions of the American right, the answer to increased concern over gun violence has been to threaten more violence. Many of the people who adamantly support guns, for some reason, can’t seem to stop threatening to shoot the people who don’t. But while people may enjoy saying that sort of thing, Maddow said, it’s not how change happens in our nation.
She began by discussing the failed U.S. Senate run of erstwhile Nevada candidate Sharron Angle. Angle was believed to be a shoo-in for Sen. Harry Reid (D)’s Senate seat representing the state of Nevada. Except that Sharron Angle harpooned her own candidacy by going around talking about “Second Amendment remedies” to when conservatives lose elections.
“Second Amendment as in Second Amendment,” said Maddow. “Americans are going to shoot our way out of the political problems that we have with the Congress.”
That meant, Maddow said, “if Americans with guns did not succeed in voting Harry Reid out of office, they would turn to another way of doing it. They would use their guns to get their way instead! Nevada was not amused,” and Angle lost to Reid in November of 2010.
“2010 was also the year those angered by the passage of Obamacare decided to organize retaliation and resistance against those votes in Congress in the form of rocks thrown through the windows of Democratic Party offices,” she continued, including the office of Arizona’s Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) was was critically injured in a gun attack in early 2011.
“You do not get far in this country using tactics like that,” Maddow said. “It is a tactic and it recurs in different debates at different times, but it doesn’t work. It’s not a tactic that works for good reason, we do not settle arguments by physical force of arms, not since, oh, an important time in the 1860s.”
When the NRA unveiled its new PR initiative, “Operation School Shield” at the National Press Club on Wednesday, its representatives did so under the watchful eye of 20 or so “ostentatiously armed men.”
“According to the Washington Post,” Maddow said, “The NRA supplied roughly one armed guard for every three reporters. Some of the guards had their weapons plainly exposed, others just had obvious bulges under their suit jackets. Quote, ‘It was a spectacle the likes of people who work at the National Press Club have never seen before.’”
These shows of force and bullying, however, said Maddow, are not how you affect change in this country. There are better ways.
She then rolled footage of Nicole Hockley, mother of 6-year-old Dylan Hockley, who was killed in the Newtown shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Hockley was meeting with Connecticut Rep. Tim Larson (D) to talk about gun control legislation in the state.
“It’s the way this country works,” Maddow said. “You make your case, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. That is the way that it worked in Connecticut today with this bipartisan, huge vote, a bipartisan overhaul of that state’s gun laws following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which, of course, is in Connecticut.”
“Nobody can hear what you’re saying when you are shadowing a peaceful mom protest with a loaded assault rifle,” she concluded. “Your effort to intimidate drowns out your own words. It’s not how we do things in this country.”