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Did Police Do Too Little to Stop Charlottesville Violence?

nazis-with-guns

I spent the weekend blissfully disconnected from the news, so while I saw Saturday morning that there was a rally of neo-Nazis and KKK members in Charlottesville, I was only tangentially aware of the mayhem that ensued. Fourteen people were injured when the white supremacists attacked counter-protesters and a woman was killed and nineteen others injured when a neo-Nazi drove his car into a crowd. In addition to criticism of President Donald Trump for blaming “both sides,” many are criticizing police and government officials for not doing more to prevent violence.

ProPublica reporter A.C. Thompson delivered a damning first-person account (“Police Stood By As Mayhem Mounted in Charlottesville“):

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — There was nothing haphazard about the violence that erupted today in this bucolic town in Virginia’s heartland. At about 10 a.m. today, at one of countless such confrontations, an angry mob of white supremacists formed a battle line across from a group of counter-protesters, many of them older and gray-haired, who had gathered near a church parking lot. On command from their leader, the young men charged and pummeled their ideological foes with abandon. One woman was hurled to the pavement, and the blood from her bruised head was instantly visible.

Standing nearby, an assortment of Virginia State Police troopers and Charlottesville police wearing protective gear watched silently from behind an array of metal barricades — and did nothing.

It was a scene that played out over and over in Charlottesville as law enforcement confronted the largest public gathering of white supremacists in decades. We walked the streets beginning in the early morning hours and repeatedly witnessed instances in which authorities took a largely laissez faire approach, allowing white supremacists and counter-protesters to physically battle.

Officials in Charlottesville had publicly promised to maintain control of the “Unite the Right” rally, which is the latest in a series of chaotic and bloody racist rallies that have roiled this college town, a place deeply proud of its links to Thomas Jefferson and the origins of American Democracy.

But the white supremacists who flooded into the city’s Emancipation Park — a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee sits in the center of the park — had spent months openly planning for war. The Daily Stormer, a popular neo-Nazi website, encouraged rally attendees to bring shields, pepper spray, and fascist flags and flagpoles. A prominent racist podcast told its listeners to come carrying guns. “Bring whatever you need, that you feel you need for your self defense. Do what you need to do for security of your own person,” said Mike “Enoch” Peinovich on The Right Stuff podcast.

And the white supremacists who showed up in Charlottesville did indeed come prepared for violence. Many wore helmets and carried clubs, medieval-looking round wooden shields, and rectangular plexiglass shields, similar to those used by riot police.

Clad in a black, Nazi-style helmet, Matthew Heimbach told ProPublica, “We’re defending our heritage.” Heimbach, who heads the Traditionalist Workers Party, a self-declared fascist group, said he was willing to die for his cause and would do whatever it took to defend himself. He was surrounded by a brigade of white supremacists, including members of the League of the South and the National Socialist Movement.

By the time Heimbach and his contingent arrived in downtown Charlottesville shortly before 11 a.m., what had started hours earlier with some shoving and a few punches had evolved into a series of wild melees as people attacked one another with fists, feet, and the improvised weapons they’d brought with them to the park. White supremacists and anti-racists began blasting each other with thick orange streams of pepper spray.

The police did little to stop the bloodshed. Several times, a group of assault-rifle-toting militia members from New York State, wearing body armor and desert camo, played a more active role in breaking up fights.

Shortly before noon, authorities shut down the rally and the related demonstrations and marched the white supremacists out of the park and into the streets.

Now, Thompson’s report, filed under the category heading “Documenting Hate,” makes it clear that he wasn’t there as an objective observer. But his account squares with other media reports. Peter Hermann, Joe Heim and Ellie Silverman of the Washington Post (“Police in Charlottesville criticized for slow response to violent demonstrations“):

Police in Charlottesville came under criticism for failing to keep apart warring white nationalists and counterprotesters who battled it out in the city streets Saturday amid what at first seemed an anemic response from authorities.

Anger over how the police responded came from all directions and intensified after the death of a woman struck by a car that plowed into a group of counterprotesters. Experts said police appeared outnumbered, ill-prepared and inexperienced.

“The worst part is that people got hurt, and the police stood by and didn’t do a g——- thing,” David Copper, 70, of Staunton, Va., said after an initial morning melee at a park that went unchecked by police for several minutes.

Fourteen people were injured in clashes, and 19 others were hurt in the car crash. Later, two Virginia State Police troopers died when their helicopter smashed into trees at the edge of town and burst into flames. The loss of the police officers only compounded the calamity on a day that pushed police, city officials and residents to their limits.

Cable news replayed a seemingly endless loop of the early violence at Emancipation Park, which police in riot gear had surrounded on three sides, although they seemed to watch as groups beat each other with sticks and bludgeoned one another with shields. Many on both sides came dressed for battle, with helmets and chemical irritants.

At one point, police appeared to retreat and then watch the beatings before eventually moving in to end the free-for-all, make arrests and tend to the injured. Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) declared a state of emergency about 11 a.m. and activated the Virginia National Guard.

“The whole point is to have overwhelming force so that people don’t get the idea they can do these kinds of things and get away with it,” said Charles H. Ramsey, who headed both the District and Philadelphia police departments.

Demonstrators and counterdemonstrators “need to be in sight and sound of each other, but somebody has to be in between,” he said. “That’s usually the police.”

Complicating the dynamics was the fact that several dozen groups of armed militias — men in full camouflage toting assault-style weapons — were in the middle of the crowds. Some claimed that they were there to keep the peace, although none appeared to try to stop the skirmishes.

Indeed, people from both extremes complained about the police:

Cornel West, the Princeton professor and writer who attended a morning church service at First Baptist Church in Charlottesville with a large group of clergy members, said “the police didn’t do anything in terms of protecting the people of the community, the clergy.”

West said that “if it hadn’t been for the anti-fascists protecting us from the neo-fascists, we would have been crushed like cockroaches.”

Richard Spencer, the white nationalist and one of the leaders of the rally, said police failed to protect groups with which he is affiliated. “We came here as a demonstration of our movement,” Spencer said. “And we were effectively thrown to the wolves.” The police, he said, “did not protect us.”

The Guardian’s Edward Helmore (“Charlottesville leaders defend police response to rally that turned violent“) dutifully reports the side of the authorities:

Government officials in Charlottesville, Virginia have rejected criticism that police failed to act to break up white nationalists and counterprotesters to prevent clashes that injured 14 people. The violence culminated with the death of one woman and an additional 19 individuals hurt when a car plowed into a crowd.

“Law Enforcement did respond to and break up various fights in and around Emancipation Park prior to the unlawful assembly declaration,” Al Thomas, Charlottesville’s police chief, said in statement on Sunday.

Thomas claimed that “once the unlawful assembly was declared, we gave people sufficient opportunity to disperse. When circumstances warranted, our officers moved back into the park to address those who had not complied.”

His comments were backed by Michael Signer, Charlottesville’s mayor who rejected claims on CBS’s Face the Nation that the police response had been ineffective.

Signer said: “That’s totally mistaken … We had the single largest assembly of law enforcement officers since 9/11, almost 1,000 law enforcement personnel,” he added. “I regret that that happened. But we had … a very strong security plan in place with a lot of folks, to allow people to express their … views.”

[…]

The police department further denied reports that it had failed to act until after Terry McAuliffe, Virginia’s governor, declared a state of emergency.

On Sunday speaking on NBC News, McAuliffe commended police for their handling of the situation. “They had to give people an opportunity to clear out the park. Everybody had weapons here, and not a shot was fired.”

During a brief press conference the previous evening, McAuliffe had claimed, “This could have been a much worse day. We planned for a long time for today’s incidents.”

This strikes me as a situation in which hindsight is 20/20. Charlottesville isn’t Los Angeles or New York City. A thousand officers seems like a massive mobilization ahead of a demonstration. Clearly, however, they were overwhelmed when the protesters—and, yes, the counter-protesters–showed up themselves heavily armed and in riot gear.

Indeed, my first reaction was incredulity that people are allowed to carry “assault weapons” to protests. Given my long association with the military, many of my friends own rifles, like AR-15s, that fit the description and I think law-abiding citizens who have passed background checks and completed training programs ought to be allowed to own such weapons, fire them at approved ranges, and even use them for hunting and other sporting activities in reasonable locations. But it’s just nuts to allow firearms in what could easily escalate to a riot situation.

But, indeed, Virginia law permits doing so in all but a handful of cities:

It shall be unlawful for any person to carry a loaded (a) semi-automatic center-fire rifle or pistol that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material and is equipped at the time of the offense with a magazine that will hold more than 20 rounds of ammunition or designed by the manufacturer to accommodate a silencer or equipped with a folding stock or (b) shotgun with a magazine that will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered on or about his person on any public street, road, alley, sidewalk, public right-of-way, or in any public park or any other place of whatever nature that is open to the public in the Cities of Alexandria, Chesapeake, Fairfax, Falls Church, Newport News, Norfolk, Richmond, or Virginia Beach or in the Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Henrico, Loudoun, or Prince William.

I live in Fairfax County and work in Prince William County and spend a lot of weekend time in the City of Alexandria, so I’ve never seen people openly carrying an assault rifle. But Charlottesville is in Albemarle County; apparently, it’s open season there.

Given that, I tend to side with McAuliffe (of whom I’m generally not a fan) on this one. I’m by no means an expert on law enforcement or crowd control but it strikes me that having police intervene more aggressively in a situation where both sides have come geared up for war would be more likely than not to escalate the probability of gunfire. That’s especially true with Charlottesville and Virginia State Police, neither of whom have much experience with this sort of thing.

Ramsey brings a different perspective. His career in law enforcement was in major cities–Chicago, DC, and Philadelphia—with far different sets of challenges, notably major gang activity, and massively more resources. And it’s worth noting that his tenure in DC was highly controversial, including being successfully sued on multiple occasions for violations of the Constitutional rights of the citizenry.

There will naturally be multiple investigations of police conduct in this incident and it’s quite possible that suggestions for reform will arise from them. But, again, the more obvious issue here is a legal environment that allows well-armed mobs to assemble to begin with. We have long allowed “time, place, and manner” restrictions on the free speech and assembly rights of the 1st Amendment, quite reasonably acknowledging public safety tradeoffs.  Surely, extending the “certain cities” restrictions on openly carrying assault weapons throughout the Commonwealth would not be an egregious infringement of the 2nd Amendment.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. HarvardLaw92 says:

    I’ve long been of the opinion that these state level “only in these certain places” statutes violate equal protection.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  2. James Joyner says:

    @HarvardLaw92: That’s an interesting theory. But, by that logic, wouldn’t exclusions in say, school houses, churches, and bars be an equal protection violation?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  3. Gustopher says:

    Indeed, my first reaction was incredulity that people are allowed to carry “assault weapons” to protests.

    Welcome to 2017. It might look like society and social norms are crumbling, but that’s only because they are. A large, conspicuous weapon is the what all the best people wear to make sure SJWs keep their place, and if snowflakes object, well, f^ck them, there’s a second amendment. Assault rifles have replaced the signs threatening violence (“the tree of liberty is watered with the blood of tyrants”), since the signs were too subtle. Sometimes, you just need to make sure people know that you could kill them quickly and easily.

    Open carry at demonstrations has become the right’s version of burning the flag (a grand symbolic gesture that lets you know where they stand), only with the potential to kill a lot of people if things get out of control. When a hippie burns the flag, the only risk is that he’ll set himself on fire by accident.

    I don’t know how the police are supposed to keep order when the crowd is heavily armed. The fact that so few people were injured before the Nazi ran people over with his car, and that it didn’t then degenerate into a chaos and mass bloodshed suggests that either the police were using roughly the right level of restraint, or that they got very lucky.

    (The two police in the helicopter were, obviously, not so lucky — last I read they hit a tree? So just an accident?)

    I’ve seen people comparing the response to the police response in Ferguson, where the police showed up as a military force — and complaints that the police didn’t respond as aggressively because the Nazis were white. I’d like to think they didn’t show up in massive amounts of hand-me-down military hardware because that was a completely insane response in Ferguson.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  4. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @James Joyner:

    No, because they apply equally to all churches / bars / schools and there is a rational state interest being furthered in enacting them. The same can’t be said for protecting only certain cities or counties, as this statute does. It would be like saying “only schools with more than 500 students” or “only Presbyterian churches, but not Baptist.”

    Are we to surmise that the VA Assembly believes that people in Alexandria shouldn’t be at risk in public spaces, but it’s ok if it’s just the folks in Albemarle?

    Statutes like the one you cited amount to little more than “these are the only places where the electorate generally favors the proposal, so if we make it only apply to them, we’re not putting ourselves at any political risk.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  5. I think it will make more sense if the law said “county authorities could restrict the use of a) semi-automatic center-fire rifle or pistol that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material and is equipped at the time of the offense with a magazine that will hold more than 20 rounds of ammunition or designed by the manufacturer to accommodate a silencer or equipped with a folding stock or (b) shotgun with a magazine that will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  6. Timothy Watson says:

    The Virginia State Police have 1,900 sworn personnel. Every single one is issued a handgun, a 12 gauge shotgun, and an AR-15 carbine. If they are unable or unwilling do their jobs and protect the citizens of the Commonwealth, there needs to be top-down leadership changes. That, or the National Guard needs to be deployed with the heaviest armament possible.

    Whoever came up with the operational plan should be summarily dismissed. This isn’t work that requires a PhD in Emergency Management. Why weren’t streets closed to vehicle traffic? Why weren’t there designated areas that people could park and no vehicles, outside of governmental vehicles, allowed beyond that perimeter? It’s a lot harder to transport your militia’s riot shields and armaments if you have carry them two miles.

    Who was responsible for the police’s stand down order? Don’t police have a legal duty under the law to protect citizens being attacked, to the point of hospitalization, in their eyesight and to make arrests for felonies and misdemeanors committed in their presence?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  7. MarkedMan says:

    I call BS on the “we protect all sides” nonsense from the militia guys. They only show up at Nazi rallies. These guys are racist scumbags, like Donald Trump. It’s only a matter of time until the antifas show up armed. Then there will be a bloodbath. It’s ironic that many of the Trump states have “stand your ground” laws. If some semi-nazi in camo and holding a chambered weapon is trying to “control the situation”, and knowing that most militias are racist cesspools, wouldn’t I be legally able to put a bullet in his eye?

    The madness of the racist NRA and Trump state legislators is only leading to one place.

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  8. DrDaveT says:

    Thompson’s report, filed under the category heading “Documenting Hate,” makes it clear that he wasn’t there as an objective observer.

    It does? Sounds like a dispassionate, factual description to me. Or have we now reached the point where using the word ‘hate’ when talking about overt racism is an assertion of political alignment?

    if so, it’s not Thompson who has abandoned objectivity.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  9. James Pearce says:

    West said that “if it hadn’t been for the anti-fascists protecting us from the neo-fascists, we would have been crushed like cockroaches.”

    Law and Order, the Wall, healthcare reform…all of Trump’s checks bounce.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  10. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Timothy Watson:

    Don’t police have a legal duty under the law to protect citizens being attacked, to the point of hospitalization, in their eyesight and to make arrests for felonies and misdemeanors committed in their presence?

    No, they do not: Warren v. District of Columbia

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  11. KM says:

    I will agree with the above sentiments that the police didn’t have a solid game plan. Fields never should have had his car near the protesters because the streets should have been closed off well before that point. That unforgivable oversight cost lives and will end up costing the city quite a bit of money. Should they have been rolling tanks down Jefferson Ave to quash the violence? No – it wouldn’t have saved Heather Heyer or any of the other victims. Fersuon level responses would have only made things worse IMHO.

    However, it strikes me as yet another attempt to shift blame: “Well, the cops are really at fault! You can’t expect us to behave like civilized people – there were sub-humans counter-protesting us!!!” This morning all the castigation is being placed on law enforcement instead of where it belongs. The alt-right’s preferred narrative is coalescing: shouldn’t have been blocking the street, counter protesters didn’t have permits and thus are fair game, counter protesting at all means they were allowed to retaliate and now law enforcement didn’t do enough to quell those people so of course violence broke out. We shouldn’t feed into that narrative by being so critical of the police. They did their best – it wasn’t enough but frankly it was a lot better then it would have been otherwise.

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  12. James Joyner says:

    @HarvardLaw92: That makes sense. And, yes, I think @Miguel Madeira has a better solution: simply delegating authority to localities if there’s insufficient consensus to pass a blanket state-wide law.

    @Timothy Watson: Again, this was a situation where both sides had people ready for combat. Virginia State Police mostly patrol the highways to give out speeding tickets; they’re not seasoned anti-riot police.

    @DrDaveT: I think calling hate groups “hate groups” is within the bounds of objective journalism. Clearly, though, there was an agenda at work here. That we both support that agenda doesn’t make it not an agenda.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  13. James Pearce says:

    @Miguel Madeira:

    I think it will make more sense if the law said

    Just what we need, more loop holes outlining just how deadly your deadly machine can be when you bring to the public rally at the town square. I mean, if we’re going to be arbitrary, let’s be arbitrary.

    New law: You can bring your gun, but you have to store it in the newly mandated dunce cap. (For purposes of clarity, we shall make KKK hoods the legal equivalent of a dunce cap.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  14. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Warren is only applicable to the District. In this instance, VA state tort law would govern.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  15. Liberal Capitalist says:

    James,

    There is a direct line, starting with Sarah Palin speaking of…

    We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation. This is where we find the kindness and the goodness and the courage of everyday Americans.

    To Trump saying…

    , “Our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape that they’ve ever been in before, ever, ever, ever. You take a look at the inner cities, you get no education, you get no jobs, you get shot walking down the street.”

    To the GOP voter who witnessed THIS in the campaign, biut somehow believed that Trump would magically become “presidential”…

    Donald Trump ran a campaign of racist demagoguery against Muslim Americans, Hispanic immigrants, and black protesters. He indulged the worst instincts of the American psyche and winked to the stream of white nationalists and anti-Semites who backed his bid for the White House. Millions of Americans voted for this campaign, thus elevating white nationalism and white reaction to the Oval Office.”

    Too harsh a summary? How about…

    “If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you?” Trump said, drawing cheers and laughter. “Seriously, OK? Just knock the hell — I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees. I promise. I promise. They won’t be so much, because the courts agree with us too — what’s going on in this country.”

    Now, we have a president that refuses to say “Radical White Nationalist Terrorists”.

    You.

    The GOP voters.

    You all saw this.

    You all VOTED for this.

    You are complicit. You have the blood, you have the blame.

    Shame !!!

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  16. Timothy Watson says:

    @James Joyner:

    Again, this was a situation where both sides had people ready for combat. Virginia State Police mostly patrol the highways to give out speeding tickets; they’re not seasoned anti-riot police.

    The Virginia State Police are trained for everything. They’ve handle inaugurations, state fairs, coal mine strikes.

    How many police officers in Virginia, period, do you think are “seasoned anti-riot police”? And the State Police had no problem tear gassing protesters in Charlottesville back in July.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  17. James Joyner says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: I didn’t vote for Trump. Indeed, I pretty explicitly condemned him throughout the campaign and reluctantly endorsed and voted for his opponent.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  18. teve tory says:

    It’s only a matter of time before some Nazi Special Forces Cosplayer shoots innocent people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  19. Stormy Dragon says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Yes, but it’s been cited in other districts, so absent any contradicting precedents it’s likely to end up influencing any ruling in Virginia, particularly from a qualified immunity standpoint.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  20. Not the IT Dept. says:

    Okay, I’ll bite. What exactly does this mean, James? “Again, this was a situation where both sides had people ready for combat.”

    Where were the armed militia types who were protesting the Nazis?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  21. teve tory says:

    I’d be in favor of a constitutional amendment repealing the 2nd admendment, but 2/3rds of the House and Senate and 38 states ain’t gonna happen.

    So my fantasy would be the SCOTUS decides to go Hardcore Originalist and say “arms” only refers to light arms as the Founders understood at the time, which is to say, muzzle-loaders. Semiautomatics etc would not be constitutionally protected. 😛

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  22. teve tory says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: “Second-Amendment Solutions!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  23. drj says:

    @teve tory:

    According to a truly originalist reading of the Constitution (“a well regulated militia”), the Second Amendment should make possible private ownership of squad automatic weapons, hand grenades, grenade launchers, RPGs, and even light anti-tank guided missiles.

    In other words, the normal loadout of a modern-day infantry squad.

    Which, of course, is completely bonkers – which should tell you something about the amount of sense originalism makes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  24. Slugger says:

    A brief glance at the history of the world shows that it is difficult to contain violence. Civil unrest turning to unrestrained murderous actions is a quick synopsis of human history. Our government must contain this evil impulse. Our politicians must become leaders in fact and not just in theory. Berlin in the 1920’s had gunfights between Reds and Brownshirts, and this must not be our destiny.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  25. Paul L. says:

    The Police in this case were like the ones in San Jose that forced people to go to a place so the “protesters” could assault them.
    @teve tory:
    Next piece of Ginsberg legal reasoning.
    The Press only refers to manual printing press not TV/Radio/Internet which allows hate speech to be spread at a rate unheard of in the 1700s/1800s

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 16

  26. Argon says:

    Clearly, however, they were overwhelmed when the protesters—and, yes, the counter-protesters–showed up themselves heavily armed and in riot gear.

    Carrying such devices is probably not ‘speech protected by the 1st amendment’. But sadly, in some parts of the US, would carrying weapons and devices specifically for physical confrontation take precedent over that.

    Arriving geared up for violent, civil disturbance at a protest should be an instant path to confiscation of weapons and jail.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  27. michael reynolds says:

    Assault weapons at a rally? This is exactly what the NRA is for. Arming angry white men is the whole point of the Second Amendment, the whole point of the NRA, and to a great extent the whole point of the racist Republican Party.

    People don’t horde guns and ammo for hunting season, or for self-defense, the far right has been desperate for an opportunity to shoot black people and Jews since forever. Those Nazis brought AR-15s in hopes of being able to shoot some black men. White racism is very profitable for arms dealers, Fox News and Republicans.

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  28. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @James Joyner:

    I didn’t vote for Trump. Indeed, I pretty explicitly condemned him throughout the campaign and reluctantly endorsed and voted for his opponent.

    And today, do you self-identify as a Republican, or are you an “independent” that votes 95% GOP?

    Do you still carry water for the corpse of that party?

    This is not a new event… from Nixon’s Southern Strategy on, the GOP has brewed this tea over the years.

    The result: It is a tea that is strong, bitter and poisonous.

    I do not AT ALL appreciate your attempt to shift blame and ownership onto the police.

    As a person who has been in a spontaneous riot, few people can actually understand the events unfolding around them.

    Sadly, the police reflect the culture around them, and the cultural values that the community supports. Their delay is complicit, but not to blame.

    It is the sickness of the ruling party. The culture is sick and rotting.

    And in such a BLATANT example of domestic terror, what is said on FOX NEWS…

    … that many young white men “feel like, ‘Hey, I’m treated differently in this country than I feel like I should have. I’ve become a second-class citizen. None of it ― they tell me I have white privilege.’”

    Brew that tea some more… it’s not bitter enough.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4

  29. teve tory says:

    @drj:

    o·rig·i·nal·ism
    əˈrijinlizm/Submit
    noun
    the principle or belief that the original intent of an author should be adhered to in later interpretations of a work.

    Did the founders intend for citizens to own grenade launchers and bazookas?

    The modern definition of ‘arms’ is not the same as the one the founders had in mind.

    This is a matter of interpretation. The founders meant for your personal letters to be free from search, for instance, and we all agree that this should apply to your emails, even though there’s no way James Madison was thinking about email back then. But if you want to go all hard-headed originalist it’s very easy to argue that in no way could Madison have meant ‘stinger missiles’ when he wrote ‘arms’ in 1791.

    (to be clear I think originalism is bullshit. But conservatives act like they love it, so I’d happily use it against them in this way.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  30. michael reynolds says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    I would differ with you on this one point: I welcome all allies. Do I agree that Mr. Joyner and all Republicans bear some level of responsibility for what their party has become? Yes. But all of us bear some level of responsibility for what this country has come to, perhaps less, but not zero. I am happy to have the support of anyone from long-time stalwart to new recruit.

    If we greet new allies with anger and denunciation we lose support. We need decent Republicans. There aren’t many left, but those that are need to be met with open arms and cold beer and welcomed to the resistance.

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  31. teve tory says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: Don’t be an ass. Joyner voted for Hillary, which is more than 95% of his fellow republicans did.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  32. Hal_10000 says:

    Charlottesville isn’t Los Angeles or New York City. A thousand officers seems like a massive mobilization ahead of a demonstration. Clearly, however, they were overwhelmed when the protesters—and, yes, the counter-protesters–showed up themselves heavily armed and in riot gear

    This is a key point. As someone who lived in C’Ville for six year (albeit 20 years ago) and knows a lot of people down there, I think they simply couldn’t have prepared for this. Charlottesville has never been the scene of this kind of protest. The student body tends to be fairly conservative (by student standards) and, in the six years I was there, I never saw the kind of protests I saw even at my small liberal arts college, which had a 10th of the student body. I think they were caught off guard that 1) these alt-right twerps decided to gather in C’Ville of all places; 2) antifa and counter-protesters showed up in even greater force; 3) the situation degenerated quickly. A bigger city or one more used to this sort of thing might have dealt with it differently.

    That being said, when you commit violence, it’s not the fault of the cops who failed to stop you.

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  33. Kylopod says:

    @michael reynolds: Agreed. I was hard on you the other day when you described Jennifer Rubin and George Will as “decent conservatives,” but that’s simply because I view Rubin and Will as dishonest hacks, a characterization I would not apply to Dr. Joyner or any of the other OTB writers. Indeed, I wouldn’t be here if I thought so. In my quest for allies, I don’t ask for much more than a little integrity. Is that too much to ask for? I hope not.

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  34. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @teve tory:
    Determining what weapons are allowed is a slippery slope.
    We are better off finding a way to keep guns out of the hands of those unable to bear the responsibility of gun ownership…which, from what I can see, is most gun owners.
    Well regulated means well trained. The majority of today’s gun nuts are not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  35. drj says:

    @michael reynolds:

    To be fair, if someone strongly dislikes Trump, but would still vote for the party that is currently enabling him, that person is not much of an ally.

    Trump is not the disease itself, but rather the symptom of a party that has become increasingly morally bankrupt. Things won’t be fine and dandy if only the dog whistles would be toned down a bit.

    (Whether this applies to James Joyner, I do not know.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  36. teve tory says:

    Determining what weapons are allowed is a slippery slope.

    We do it all the time. I’m just suggesting a particular standard that I find amusingly ironic.

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  37. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Actually it probably wouldn’t. The governing ruling with respect to individual liability in the context of the public duty / special duty doctrine in Virginia – Burdette v. Marks, 244 Va. 309, 421 S.E.2d 419 (1992) – disagrees with Warren.

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  38. george says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    You.

    The GOP voters.

    You all saw this.

    You all VOTED for this.

    The sad part, the part which makes it hard to see how this is going to be fixed, is that 95% of GOP voters just voted team, without even knowing a single thing Trump (or anyone else running) had said about anything.

    This might be hard to believe, but its what I saw when I visited old friends in America (some on the reservation, most off). Most of the ones who were going to vote for Trump couldn’t tell me a single thing he’d ever said other than “You’re fired!”. It was a surrealistic experience talking to them – they seriously didn’t know a single thing about any candidate other than their names (and only the heads of the tickets, none could name a single person running for VP) and which party they were running for.

    And I guarantee they don’t know anything about what Trump has tweeted since, on this or any other issue, because they’re absolutely uninterested in news about anything but sports or entertainment, don’t read papers or go to political websites of any kind. There are probably about five million people who actively follow politics, posting on websites, writing letters to the editor, marching or going to rallies. That sounds like a lot, except its only 2% of eligible voters. Most people don’t care, and don’t want to care.

    Try it. Go to your local mall and ask random people questions about politicians, Most won’t know anything about any of them. Some won’t even know who the President is (though in this case I envy them).

    I used to think we could reason our way out of this. I no longer do. Because while you can reason with different opinions, and even with hate (an order of magnitude harder). With hate there’s passion which you can use to turn things around (I’ve done this with co-workers, often because I’m the first ‘Indian’ they’ve actually talked to). But indifference? There’s no handle, no place to even start. They simply don’t care, its someone else’s problem.

    And that’s what 90% of voters are – indifferent. You vote the team, even if you can’t name a single player on the team, because they’re the local team. But you don’t want to waste even a minute listening to them to see what they’re saying.

    But that’s the key to the future. The 40% of eligible voters who can’t be bothered to vote? Reach 10% of them and we have a landslide victory, taking the Presidency, the house, the senate, and every state legislature.

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  39. MarkedMan says:

    I back up James comments that he never endorsed or accepted Trump and he made that very clear. But James, I would be interested in hearing your current thoughts on one thing that you and I traded barbs about here overnight the past several years. I challenged you about the 70+ year record of Republican supporters basically saying that if there is any way to interpret a Republican’s speech or actions in a non-racist way, no matter how convoluted, then we are somehow obligated to assume they are not racist. When Trump was catching fire in the nominations I said this was the chickens coming home to roost. Do you still think I was wrong?

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  40. Mister Bluster says:

    Complicating the dynamics was the fact that several dozen groups of armed militias — men in full camouflage toting assault-style weapons — were in the middle of the crowds. Some claimed that they were there to keep the peace, although none appeared to try to stop the skirmishes.

    STOP CALLING THEM MILITIA!
    Wearing camouflage clothing and carrying firearms does not make a citizen a memeber of a militia under the United States Constitution.

    The United States Constitution refers to Militia.
    See Article I, Section 8, Paragraphs 15 and 16. The Congress has the power:
    To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

    To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;…

    See Article II, Section 2, Paragraph 1.
    The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States;

    See Amendment II.
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    See Amendment V.
    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger;

    Were these citizens called forth by the Congress? NO

    Were these citizens organized, armed, disciplined or trained by the Congress or the States. NO

    Were these citizens called into the actual Service of the United States;. NO

    Were these citizens well regulated. NO

    The United States Constitution provides another definition.
    These citizens are insurrectionists.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  41. Stormy Dragon says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Thanks, I was unaware of that case.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  42. Kari Q says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    The GOP voters.

    You all saw this.

    You all VOTED for this.

    Immediately after the election, I was talking to an old friend over facebook. He was completely unaware of Trump’s white supremacist backing and was incredulous when I mentioned it. I provided him evidence of the claim and he admitted that he was real. Oh, he still supported Trump (at that time, at least) but his support was shaken. And yes, I honestly believe he did not know.

    He didn’t know because he didn’t have any source of information outside of the right wing bubble. He, at least, was open when the evidence was provided, most conservatives I talk to are not. I have no hope that this will break through the denial many of them are in, because the right wing sites I visit are primarily busy saying how the counter protesters are no heroes and are just as bad as the white supremacists.

    None so blind as he who will not see.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  43. Tyrell says:

    Much has been said about the undermanned and underplanned police response to the racist group assembly. That group announced their plan weeks ago. Once they started showing up looking like goons from “Mad Max” or some motorcycle bar the police should have escorted them right out of town: “this picnic is over !”. They should have also kept any counter demonstrators at least three miles away. The first mistake was not requiring some kind of permit and bond from this group. This would hold them responsible. A bond would pay for the security, clean up, and any damages. The second was a seemingly hands off, stand back and wait and see approach by the police that we have seen at other places: Ferguson, Baltimore, Charlotte, Berkeley (University of CA campus), Middlebury College (a speaker and professor were injured by protesters and wound up in the hospital !) and the Evergreen State meltdown. Police take a hands off, stand back type of strategy and it just backfires as things get worse.
    There is a balancing act between free speech and freedom to assemble and the anarchy that we have witnessed the last few years. Some rules and guidelines should be followed or we will have more of these riots and they will get only worse.
    The police chief should have been visible and out there setting some people straight.
    Require permits and a bond that will cover damages and clean up.
    No weapons, helmets, shields, or signs allowed(can be used to hit people).
    No fires of any kind; no flag burning – that can excite a riot and make things worse. Fires are dangerous around crowds of people.
    Marching and demonstrating only in designed areas and for a certain length of time. Some will complain about having any kind of rules or borders. I say that once you bring weapons you have lost your freedom of speech and assembly. If some judge disagrees, let them come in and be in charge of restoring order.
    It seems that once it gets dark the dangerous and violent groups come in and take over. That pattern has been repeated over and over.
    “USA 1”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  44. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Given my long association with the military, many of my friends own rifles, like AR-15s, that fit the description and I think law-abiding citizens who have passed background checks and completed training programs ought to be allowed to own such weapons, fire them at approved ranges, and even use them for hunting and other sporting activities in reasonable locations.

    No, just no. There is absolutely no good reason for a civilian to be in possession of such a weapon. “Because I want one.” is not a good reason. Neither is “They are fun to shoot.” I am a life long hunter and gun owner and have NEVER needed such a weapon. My .30-06 bolt action rifle has downed every deer I ever shot at just fine. It is long past time we ended this insane love affair with military style weapons.

    As far as I’m concerned, the simple desire to own one of these disqualifies one from them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  45. James Joyner says:

    @Not the IT Dept.: I wasn’t at the rally. But several of the linked pieces, including the ProPublica piece by Thompson, referenced this. For example, Thompson’s observation that, “Several times, a group of assault-rifle-toting militia members from New York State, wearing body armor and desert camo, played a more active role in breaking up fights.” I’m not drawing a false equivalence between these guys and the Nazis. But having both sides armed changes the police calculus somewhat.

    @MarkedMan: Trump was certainly appealing to the most virulent racists, including the ilk that participated in Charlottesville. But he mostly appealed to people who would be appalled at being called racist, who simply think their culture/values/way of life/etc. is somehow under assault from liberals/the media/gays/immigrants, etc. The have been varying amounts of the latter in GOP politics over the years but it was very different. Yes, Ronald Reagan had his “welfare queens” and “young bucks.” But he was also the guy who was vying with George HW Bush during the Republican debates as to who could be the most compassionate toward illegal immigrants. Trump was something much more blatant and doing so decades later.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  46. Andy says:

    To me it’s remarkable there wasn’t a discharge of any weapon much less a shooting given all the violence and passion.

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  47. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    “…said he was willing to die for his cause…”

    The antifas should start working on catering to their willingness on this matter. If 15 or 20 neo-Nazi/Klansmen leave these events in body bags (I would recommend posting snipers) we may see two laudable goals emerge:

    1) there will be fewer of these events cluttering the landscape of our parks and town squares

    2) Bob the Sockpuppet, Jack, john 430, and others of their ilk might be less likely to oppose reasonable restrictions on ownership of firearms and where people can carry them.

    Bob was braying a couple of days ago about how people like HL92 should worry about a revolution starting. It’s only fair that he and his brothers of the hood should be afraid too. We owe it to them to offer the fear.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  48. Bob The Arquebusier says:

    This is the fourth thread on Charlottesville, which makes three more than the attempted mass assassination of Republican members of Congress.

    And such a lot of concern about guns that were never fired. Wouldn’t it make more sense to ban Dodge muscle cars?

    Anyway, let’s unpack things a bit here.

    1) The right-wingers wanted to have their rally, and followed all the laws and rules about holding it. Guess they forget that “fascists” don’t have Constitutional rights.

    2) They showed up fully expecting two things: A) they would be attacked, and B) the police wouldn’t protect them. Man, are they paranoid or what?

    3) The antifa fascists know that they are above the law. If they want to hold an assembly, they just show up and take over. If they find some “fascists,” then the antifa fascists attack them. If they want to march down the streets in a show of force, you better respect that.

    4) The antifa fascists are also the ones who get to decide who has Constitutional rights and who doesn’t. If you’re not on their side, you’re fair game for anything and everything.

    5) The antifa fascists also know they can count on the media and the left to give them cover by blaming their enemies, downplaying the antifa violence, and rationalizing their actions. That’s just how you’re supposed to treat your shock troops, after all; they do the dirty work, the respectable ones make sure they don’t face any consequences.

    As I said before, the car-ramming was as despicable as it was predictable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 15

  49. MarkedMan says:

    @James Joyner: I think you misunderstood. You recognized Trump as a racist, I’m not disputing that at all. My point was that for years Republicans who were not racist, people such as yourselves, insisted on defending the Party at the top as being non-racial, despite myriads of conflicting evidence. Whenever non-Republicans such as myself pointed out a racist act or utterance , non-racist Republicans would twist it and wind it around until there was some angle, however narrow and awkward to behold, that would allow a line of site to some other motivation for it. (Racist Republicans, on the other hand, would just reflexively deny it without making any attempt to justify it.) A perfect modern example of this is the Voter ID battle. We actually have documented evidence presented in court where Republican Party officials discuss how best to ensure that blacks have a tougher time to vote than whites, but non-racist Republicans twist and turn and come up with a flimsy “few bad apples”, “not really the intent”, or “just politics, not racism” justifications. (Racist Republicans are more honest. They just talk about how “those people” don’t really deserve to vote since they are all criminals and leaches).

    And I think the non-Racist Republicans acceptance of these fairytales led directly to Trump. As I’ve been saying for two years “Trump IS the Republican Party, without the filter”. Since the non-racist republicans couldn’t in good conscience vote for a Party that was fanning racial hatred in order to win, they allowed themselves to believe fanciful nonsense about what was really going on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  50. James Joyner says:

    @MarkedMan:

    A perfect modern example of this is the Voter ID battle.

    But, even by your description, I don’t see this as motivated by racial animus or even appeal to racists (although there is some of that) in some of the campaigning on the issue) but rather sheer cynicism: the GOP is advocating a policy that happens to make it harder for core constituencies of the chief opposition party to vote.

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  51. Kylopod says:

    @Bob The Arquebusier:

    The right-wingers

    Believe it or not, I find it significant that Bob here so unhesitatingly refers to the neo-Nazis and white nationalists as “right-wingers.” That’s a pretty stunning admission, one that conservatives have tried to avoid for years.

    When a white supremacist tried to shoot up DC’s Holocaust Museum in 2009 (he ended up killing a black security guard before being shot down himself), Jonah “liberal fascism” Goldberg insisted the man “isn’t a member of the far right.” (What’s intriguing reading Goldberg’s column now is that he talks as though all mainstream conservatives are neoconservatives. It’s amazing how much has changed since then. Ted Cruz has routinely bashed “neocons,” and Trump’s candidacy was widely seen as a rebuke of neoconservatism.)

    I used to think there was a pretty clear division between the mainstream right (including the likes of Limbaugh and Fox News) and white nationalists. There were occasional figures who straddled that boundary, such as Pat Buchanan, but for the most part it was two separate worlds. That’s not to suggest the mainstream right was free of racism; far from it. But it was a different variety of racism, and it made more attempts to cloak its true motivations behind rhetoric about colorblindness and so forth. If you had suggested to me in 2004 that Bush Republicans were aligned with the likes of David Duke and his ilk, I would have considered that claim just as ridiculous and unfair as the frequent attempts by the GOP to link Democrats with Communists. Indeed, when I went to the Stormfront website, I found that Bush was generally despised.

    As a Jew whose grandparents were Holocaust survivors, the breakdown between these two worlds is the single scariest development in American politics in my lifetime.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  52. gVOR08 says:

    @James Joyner: “Racial animus” or “sheer cynicism”? As always with Republicans, the answer is yes.

    As a matter of pragmatism, what difference does it make whether they suppress black votes as a matter of tactics or racism? They are suppressing votes in a democracy. They are doing an evil thing. Are they evil people? By their fruits ye shall know them.

    Putting it differently, had I just arrived from Mars with no knowledge of the history and context of vote suppression and no formed opinion, how would I tell from the words and actions of white, Republican TX pols, being aware they may lie and unable to see into their hearts, whether they were motivated by tactics, racism, or both?

    And do you really believe white Texas politicians are not personally afflicted with some degree of racism?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  53. Grewgills says:

    @Bob The Arquebusier:

    As I said before, the car-ramming was as despicable as it was predictable.

    Your defense of nazis, confederate dead enders, and assorted racists is far more predictable.

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  54. MarkedMan says:

    @gVOR08: but the distinction is important if you are looking to justify a party with overtly racist tactics and strategies. It is easier to set aside ones conscience if you are screwing brown people because of politics but not because of their race.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  55. Bob The Arquebusier says:

    @Kylopod: Believe it or not, I find it significant that Bob here so unhesitatingly refers to the neo-Nazis and white nationalists as “right-wingers.” That’s a pretty stunning admission, one that conservatives have tried to avoid for years.

    I slipped into the local lingo. I was concerned that it would be considered a “stunning admission,” but couldn’t come up with a term to differentiate the law-abiding despicables (the original ralliers) and the law-flouting despicables (the antifa fascists), so I let that slide.

    Funny you bring up the Holocaust Museum shooter. Does that mean that you’re willing to take on being on the same side as the Family Research Councol shooter (who cited the SPLC as his inspiration), the Bernie Bro who tried to assassinate Republican Congress members in Alexandria (former Bernie Sanders supporter), and the Black Lives Matter guy who assassinated five police officers in Dallas?

    @Grewgills: Who’s defending them? I’m noting that that group of despicables was trying to play by the rules with their rally, when the despicables on your side chose to flout the law and violate their civil rights.

    Why are you choosing to ignore the fascists on your side?

    But all snark aside, I find one thing about your side utterly incomprehensible. The theory seems to be that if you keep the despicables from legally assembling and protesting and whatnot, you believe they’ll just go away. The notion that they just might say “if we can’t express ourselves legally, if we don’t have the same Constitutional rights as everyone else, then screw that — we’ll ignore the laws just like the other side does.”

    Letting the despicables have their little rallies and protests and assemblies isn’t “supporting” them, it’s keeping them invested in respecting the law, and allows everyone to keep an eye on them. Suppressing them drives them underground, where they’re harder to monitor. Plus, it gives some small credence to their willingness to claim victimhood.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  56. wr says:

    @Bob The Arquebusier: “As I said before, the car-ramming was as despicable as it was predictable.”

    Now here’s a real coincidence — that’s exactly what everyone here would say about your typically loathesome posts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  57. wr says:

    @Bob The Arquebusier: “The notion that they just might say “if we can’t express ourselves legally, if we don’t have the same Constitutional rights as everyone else, then screw that — we’ll ignore the laws just like the other side does.”

    Like every other moron right winger, you seem to have decided that any racists first amendment rights include the right not to be criticized or opposed for what they do. If they march with signs proclaiming that Jews should be eliminated from America, we must all just smile and nod politely because the Constitution insists their feelings not be hurt.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  58. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’nint cracker:

    Bob was braying a couple of days ago about how people like HL92 should worry about a revolution starting

    I got a good laugh out of that one. I hope he lets me know ahead of time when his “revolution” is about to go down, so I can have my popcorn and scotch ready.

    Little diatribes like that one are how people like Bob J E N O S attempt to deal with being utterly powerless. It’s both futile and pointless, to be sure, since all that he generates at this point is derision (both for his content and for this ridiculous “Bob” toupee that he’s trying to wear).

    I suspect that he knows, deep down in those places he doesn’t want to think about as he’s eating his peanut butter & jelly sammiches down in Mom’s basement, that he’s always going to be the guy that life gives the hot beef ouchy without the courtesy of a reach-around, but hey, at least it offers entertainment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  59. Kylopod says:

    @Bob The Arquebusier:

    I was concerned that it would be considered a “stunning admission,” but couldn’t come up with a term to differentiate the law-abiding despicables (the original ralliers) and the law-flouting despicables (the antifa fascists), so I let that slide.

    I had to look over your sentence a few times before it dawned on me that the second half of the sentence bears absolutely no logical relationship with the first half. You’ve gone full Chewbacca Defense on us.

    Funny you bring up the Holocaust Museum shooter. Does that mean that you’re willing to take on being on the same side as the Family Research Councol shooter (who cited the SPLC as his inspiration), the Bernie Bro who tried to assassinate Republican Congress members in Alexandria (former Bernie Sanders supporter), and the Black Lives Matter guy who assassinated five police officers in Dallas?

    Alright, let’s do a little quiz here.

    1) Who said, after a protester at one of their rallies was beaten up and called racial epithets, “Maybe he should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing”?
    A) Bernie Sanders
    B) SPLC
    C) BLM
    D) Donald Trump

    2) Who said, as a protester was being escorted out, “Get him out. Try not to hurt him. If you do, I’ll defend you in court, don’t worry about it”?
    A) Bernie Sanders
    B) SPLC
    C) BLM
    D) Donald Trump

    3) Who said “I love the old days, you know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They’d be carried out in a stretcher, folks…. I’d like to punch him in the face, I’ll tell ya”?
    A) Bernie Sanders
    B) SPLC
    C) BLM
    D) Donald Trump

    4) Who said that if their political opponent were to win, then there was “nothing you can do folks,” before quickly adding “Although the Second Amendment people — maybe there is, I don’t know”?
    A) Bernie Sanders
    B) SPLC
    C) BLM
    D) Donald Trump

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  60. Bob The Arquebusier says:

    @wr: Like every other moron right winger, you seem to have decided that any racists first amendment rights include the right not to be criticized or opposed for what they do. If they march with signs proclaiming that Jews should be eliminated from America, we must all just smile and nod politely because the Constitution insists their feelings not be hurt.

    So, if “criticizing” and “opposing” now includes assaulting with baseball bats, bike locks, water bottles filled with unknown fluids, pepper spray, and the like, does that mean that it’s fair for both sides to do it?

    I kid, I kid. I know full well that once you declare someone a racist, they have forfeited any and all civil rights and get whatever they deserve. Have you kicked in to the legal defense funds of James Hodgkinson, Micah Xavier Johnson, and Eric Clanton? They’re currently facing charges for criticizing and confronting racists.

    The Dodge driver is currently being charged with 2nd degree murder. That’s about right. And if convicted, he can rot in jail.

    But here’s another question: one of the leaders of the protest at Charlottesville, Jason Kessler, was trying to give a press conference when he was shouted down. (Unpleasant, but not illegal.) And when he tried to leave, he was tackled and beaten. Should his assailants be charged, or is that just part of the “criticism” and “opposition” he should expect since he’s a white supremacist?

    Look up “Skokie, Illinois” some time. It was one of the few times I agreed with the ACLU. I’m pretty comfortable in predicting that you think they were wrong. Or, at least, you will once you learn about it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  61. Tyrell says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: What year is that rifle ? I have a 1917 bolt action “Danzig”. My father got it at a military surplus shop in Washington, D.C. back in the’50’s. It has no pin and is out in the garage somewhere. I wonder what it is worth.
    My high school used to have a rifle team but it did away with it the my first year there – interest had declined and the athletic dept. needed more field space for baseball.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  62. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Bob The Arquebusier:

    is that just part of the “criticism” and “opposition” he should expect since he’s a white supremacist?

    Yes, along with public shaming, targeting of livelihood and denial of a forum, any forum, in which to spread his hatred. That’s just how you roll with Nazis. 😀

    I will say that this Kessler guy is proving to be useful idiot, primarily because he seems to have a penchant for having his photo taken with vulnerable Republican members of Congress.

    What could be more fun than having to respond to attack ads linking you with the organizer of this alt-right / Nazi / White Supremacist orgy of stupidity that just took place in Charlottesville?

    Know one of the best things about being a lawyer on Wall Street? All of those deep pocket donors you’d want to give to your PAC all know your name & take your calls. 2018 is going to be fun.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  63. Bob The Arquebusier says:

    @Kylopod: After 8 years of “if they bring a knife, we bring a gun,” “I need you to go out and talk to your friends and talk to your neighbors. I want you to talk to them whether they are independent or whether they are Republican. I want you to argue with them and get in their face!,” and “”I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that. But I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home, and, number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there’s a long history in this country of African Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately.”, I can understand why you would be so sensitive on the other side possibly using the same tactics.

    But more to the point: which do you think is more relevant: alleged “incitements to violence,” or actual violence?

    And just this week, a Pennsylvania anti-Trump psycho shot and killed his neighbor — a GOP committeeman. But you won’t find the name of Clayton Carter making national news.

    .

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  64. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Bob The Arquebusier:

    And just this week, a Pennsylvania anti-Trump psycho shot and killed his neighbor — a GOP committeeman. But you won’t find the name of Clayton Carter making national news.

    Nice try, but it wasn’t political. The guy is a nutjob, per local Philly news:

    Police say Carter had disputes with a number of other neighbors, and even pulled a gun on Jennings during a past altercation.

    Neighbors say Carter was a quarrelsome, argumentative man. Court records claim Carter had a history of disputes with multiple neighbors. His front yard was crowded with cars and hand lettered anti-Trump signs.

    But the disputes along the block were not political, but personal. Neighbors say they were fueled apparently by some unknown anger inside Carter’s head.

    “We steered clear of him. We were frightened of him because he’s so unpredictable,” said Kathy Pratt.

    He’s been charged with murder and will be facing trial. What more do you want?

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  65. Bob The Arquebusier says:

    @HarvardLaw92: No trials yet, but you’re absolutely certain of the motives in both the Pennsylvania case and the Charlottesville case — and by some incredible coincidence, they both reinforce your political beliefs.

    I see Carter’s being charged with first-degree murder, which — like the 2nd-degree murder charge in Charlottesville — I think is about right, based on the known facts.

    So, by dismissing Carter, I presume that means you’re owning the others you neglected to mention.

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  66. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Bob The Arquebusier:

    No trials yet, but you’re absolutely certain of the motives in both the Pennsylvania case and the Charlottesville case — and by some incredible coincidence, they both reinforce your political beliefs.

    The guy in Philly’s neighbors are better situated than you are to speak to his motives, and they say it wasn’t political. Do you have some sort of crystal ball wisdom that says otherwise?

    In contrast, the guy in Charlottesville has a history of expressing hatred for liberals (and interestingly, Jews …), has a demonstrated history of association with white supremacist groups, his own mother has attested to his political beliefs (while also denouncing them), witnesses say that he sat for some time with his engine running on the street before he set off on his murder run, they’ve made it clear that nobody provoked him by punching his car, and the guy sped up for nearly two blocks before plowing into the protesters.

    And he never hit his brakes …

    He’s been undercharged, but I’ll take whatever conviction I can get. He won’t survive whatever prison term he receives …

    As for the rest of your stupidity, if by owning, you meant to say “denounce what they did and hope they all get acquainted with a needle sometime soon”, then sure, I’ll own that.

    Please continue playing your as-always entertaining victim card …

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  67. Bob The Arquebusier says:

    Oh, and more Antifa fascism, this time in Seattle.

    The Antifa Fascists showed up with “Confiscated weapons included ax handles, 2-by-4s and balloons containing an “unknown liquid substance.”

    I’m still waiting for the good progressives here to denounce their shock troops… but I’m not holding my breath.

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  68. Tyrell says:

    @Gustopher: Once the police saw the goons arriving with all kinds of weapons, helmets, and shields it was game over and they should have rode them out of town. Their right to assemble was over “this picnic is over. It’s over !”
    The counter-protestors should have been kept miles away.
    They’re is a balancing act between free speech and freedom to assemble and the anarchy that we have witnessed the last few years at these various demonstrations.
    Some rules and guidelines should be followed or we will have more of these riots and they will get only worse. Here are some sample ideas:
    Require permits and a bond that will cover damages and clean up.
    No weapons, helmets, rocks, shields, or signs allowed (can be used to hit people).
    No fires of any kind; no flag burning – that can excite a riot and make things worse. Fires are dangerous around crowds of people.
    Marching and demonstrating only in designed areas and for a certain length of time (one hour is plenty). Some will complain about having any kind of rules or borders. The ACLU can get just over it.

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  69. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Bob The Arquebusier:

    The Antifa Fascists showed up with “Confiscated weapons included ax handles, 2-by-4s and balloons containing an “unknown liquid substance.”

    Except it doesn’t say that, anywhere. You just tacked on “The Antifa fascists showed up with” because, how was it you put it? It reinforces your political beliefs. Nice try …

    From all that I can tell, they showed up with silly string.

    On a brighter note, though, the crazy couple who shot a protestor at that Milo ridiculousness at UW will be facing charges

    Yay!

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  70. Kylopod says:

    @Bob The Arquebusier:

    “if they bring a knife, we bring a gun,”

    Um….

    You do know what a figure of speech is, Spock?

    He [Obama] warned that the general election campaign could get ugly. “They’re going to try to scare people. They’re going to try to say that ‘that Obama is a scary guy,’ ” he said. A donor yelled out a deep accented “Don’t give in!”

    “I won’t but that sounded pretty scary. You’re a tough guy,” Obama said.

    “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Obama said. “Because from what I understand folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans.”

    First of all, Obama’s statement was a paraphrase of a quote from The Untouchables. Second, it’s absolutely clear from the context that he’s talking about rhetoric, not action. If you can’t tell the difference between that and direct calls to rough up a protester or cheering on after a protester was actually roughed up, I can’t help you.

    “I need you to go out and talk to your friends and talk to your neighbors. I want you to talk to them whether they are independent or whether they are Republican. I want you to argue with them and get in their face!,”

    Once again: context, context.

    “I need you to go out and talk to your friends and talk to your neighbors. I want you to talk to them whether they are independent or whether they are Republican. I want you to argue with them and get in their face,” he said.

    “And if they tell you that, ‘Well, we’re not sure where he stands on guns.’ I want you to say, ‘He believes in the Second Amendment.’ If they tell you, ‘Well, he’s going to raise your taxes,’ you say, ‘No, he’s not, he’s going lower them.’ You are my ambassadors. You guys are the ones who can make the case.”

    Of course the second paragraph makes it very clear that, once again, he’s speaking about rhetoric. Which is why you conveniently omitted it.

    “I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that. But I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home, and, number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there’s a long history in this country of African Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately.”

    That was Obama complaining after police arrested his friend Harvard Prof. Henry Louis Gates outside his home, and prematurely criticizing the police before he had all the facts. What it has to do with telling people to rough up protesters is anyone’s guess.

    And just this week, a Pennsylvania anti-Trump psycho shot and killed his neighbor — a GOP committeeman. But you won’t find the name of Clayton Carter making national news.

    Yeah, and like usual, you left out an important detail from the report:

    “But the disputes along the block were not political, but personal. Neighbors say they were fueled apparently by some unknown anger inside Carter’s head.”

    I’m done picking apart your Gish Gallop–for now.

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  71. de stijl says:

    Get New Black Panther Party folks to show up with legal long arms. (This is a bad idea. I’m being hyperbolic.)

    Zombie Reagan would stagger from his mouldering grave and sign the Mulford Act all over again.

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  72. Monala says:

    @Bob The Arquebusier: the first of your 3 examples is a metaphor, an inappropriate one I’ll grant you. The second one is about debating people (you know, with words), and the third one is an expression of empathy and contains no references to violence whatsoever. Now compare that to the Trump quotes cited by Kylopod above. If you’re honest (!), you know there’s no comparison. Obama never called for or incited violence.

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  73. Monala says:

    @Bob The Arquebusier: by the, there are even more incidences of violence being committed by Trump supporters against people of color, Muslims and Jews–including several people who have been killed (the three men protecting the Muslim girls on the train in Oregon, the old man killed in NYC, and the recent college graduate killed in Maryland). No matter which side you’re on, none of it is right or justifiable.

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  74. InconvenientNews says:

    @Bob The Arquebusier: Well, since the defence of these Trumpist is reverse labelling with calling the Antifa ‘fascists’…I suppose they also call the abused children ‘pedophiles’, and the sexually assaulted women ‘rapists’ and the minority races ‘racists’. Oh wait, they have done exactly that for the latter.

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  75. Matt says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Your .30-06 (7.62x63mm) IS a military style rifle. The round itself was introduced as the .30-06 Springfield cartridge for military use in 1906. It was used right up into the 1980s by various militaries. It’s also far more powerful round than the 5.56/.223 round that is standard for AR-15s. Which is not surprising as you noted you can take down any game with it.

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  76. Bob The Arquebusier says:

    @InconvenientNews: Well, since the defence of these Trumpist is reverse labelling with calling the Antifa ‘fascists’

    Let’s see… they show up for their demonstration wearing black clothing, they wear masks, and their MO is to riot, burn things, smash things, and beat the living crap out of people they don’t like.

    But the IMPORTANT thing is that they call themselves “anti-fascists,” so I guess that makes them Big Damn Heroes, I guess.

    But thank you for at least acknowledging their existence. That’s the first step.

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  77. Bob The Arquebusier says:

    @Monala: Yes, it’s wrong, from both sides. Which is precisely what I’ve been arguing here.

    But that map of yours… did you even read some of those citations? It’s almost amusing to compare that to the record of actual assaults.

    A home health care nurse in Maine said this week that supporters of President-elect Donald Trump have attacked her and her family with more than 100 calls because conservative websites published the wrong number.

    Debbie Oram explained to the Bangor Daily News that the callers are upset at the owner of Turner LP Gas, who said he would not deliver gas to anyone who voted for the president-elect because he believes Trump is the antichrist.

    Although Oram has no connection to the gas company, she has received more than 100 calls since Friday. It turns out that her number is one digit off from the number of the gas company. While some of the callers have been polite, the nurse said others have been downright scary.

    Or…

    Imraan Siddiqi, Executive Director of the Arizona chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, shared a recent incident involving a Muslim-American woman and her two-year-old daughter in Arlington, Texas.

    According to the Facebook post, the victim’s sister says three people began pounding on the victim’s car windows while yelling expletives, terrorizing her and her child. When law enforcement finally arrived, next to nothing was done to reprimand her attackers.

    Because CAIR has such a sterling reputation, we don’t need anything beyond this hearsay. No official reports, no witnesses, no actual complainant.

    Or…

    “No More Illegal Alien Parking! Leave!” Racist Notes Left On Car Windshields

    Detailed Description
    Redwood City police have identified a person of interest who left nasty notes on cars in a neighborhood where parking is at a premium.

    The note reads: “No more illegal alien parking on this street! Park in front of the apartments where you live. No Room? Then too many of you are here. Quit crowding our neighborhoods and blocking homeowners’ driveways!! Leave!”

    SMH. Oh, the humanity!

    Or…

    Students at Washington State University are seeking to build a Donald Trump-inspired wall in support of the GOP nominee and his stance on immigration.

    The bastards.

    Or…

    A man wearing a Donald Trump shirt and carrying a weapon stood outside a voting location in Loudoun County, Virginia, on Friday. Authorities in the nation’s richest county are apparently OK with that.

    Well, authorities had no problems with the New Black Panthers doing exactly the same thing back in 2008.

    Couple Write “We Only Tip Citizens” On Receipt Of US Citizen Waitress

    The Daily Caller looked into this one. It turns out that the customers were an interracial couple — a black man and a Puerto Rican woman — and they deny writing that note.

    There are some genuinely troubling reports on that site. But the above represents about half of the random incidents I clicked.

    In contrast, the list I linked to was limited to actual violence, or credible threats of violence.

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  78. Bob The Arquebusier says:

    @Kylopod: First up, thank you for introducing me to the term “Gish Gallop.” I was not previously familiar with it, and it seems a quite useful term.

    Second… Obama wasn’t just using rhetoric, he was using violent rhetoric.I thought that was bad now.

    Third… thanks for reminding us of yet more of Obama’s big lies. “And if they tell you that, ‘Well, we’re not sure where he stands on guns.’ I want you to say, ‘He believes in the Second Amendment.’ If they tell you, ‘Well, he’s going to raise your taxes,’ you say, ‘No, he’s not, he’s going lower them.’

    A couple of classics right there.

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  79. Kylopod says:

    @Bob The Arquebusier:

    First up, thank you for introducing me to the term “Gish Gallop.” I was not previously familiar with it, and it seems a quite useful term.

    You’re welcome. And the easiest way to see a real-life example of a galloper is…um…look in a frikkin mirror.

    As the site that popularized the term explains:

    “The Gish Gallop (also known as proof by verbosity) is the fallacious debate tactic of drowning your opponent in a flood of individually-weak arguments in order to prevent rebuttal of the whole argument collection without great effort…. Although it takes a trivial amount of effort on the galloper’s part to make each individual point before skipping on to the next (especially if they cite from a pre-concocted list of gallop arguments), a refutation of the same gallop may likely take much longer and require significantly more effort (per the basic principle that it’s always easier to make a mess than to clean it back up again).”

    That’s what you’ve been doing in this entire thread. First you flooded us with a bunch of examples of anecdotes you thought supported your case. Then I and other commenters here addressed every one of your examples and single-handedly blew each one apart.

    And now what do you do? You ignore all the rebuttals, you don’t even bother trying to defend any of your previous points, you just flood us with more examples.

    So there you have, that’s your first lesson of the day on what a “Gish Gallop” is, free of charge. Ain’t the Internet special?

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  80. Walther says:

    @Kylopod: The only example challenged so far was the anti-Trump nut who killed his GOP Committeeman neighbor.

    And I wonder if there’s a term for “when confronted with a big ol’ list of arguments and examples you don’t like, pick one, discredit that one, and declare that you’ve rebutted all of them?” I see that a LOT around here, and there’s gotta be a term for that one.

    The predominant attitude here seems to be “judge the right by their most extremist elements, but judge the left by their stated intentions.” I don’t see much difference between the right-wing extremists who showed up in Charlottesville and the Antifa fascists.

    I also believe that Constitutional rights are for everyone, and I have a great enmity for those who declare that others have somehow “forfeited” their rights based on their beliefs.

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  81. Monala says:

    @Kylopod:

    That was Obama complaining after police arrested his friend Harvard Prof. Henry Louis Gates outside his home, and prematurely criticizing the police before he had all the facts. What it has to do with telling people to rough up protesters is anyone’s guess.

    I don’t remember anything coming out after this story unfolded that made Obama’s comments less true. Was there anything that indicated that the police acted exactly as they should have?

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  82. Kylopod says:

    @@Walther:

    The only example challenged so far was the anti-Trump nut who killed his GOP Committeeman neighbor.

    You obviously didn’t read my post from 9/14, 22:15. I addressed every single example of allegedly violent rhetoric by Obama that Bob here quoted, and showed that they were nothing of the kind. So far Bob has completely ignored the points I made, and he also hasn’t bothered to address any of the Trump quotes I provided which are not simply “violent rhetoric” but clear and direct calls for violence.

    You seem to think the only things that constitute “examples” are stories of violence by people on the left, and you think we haven’t “challenged” them simply because we haven’t proven all those stories false. You’re completely misconstruing the argument. No one here denies, for instance, that a Sanders supporter shot up a baseball game. That really happened. But the point is that it proves nothing about Sanders himself, who has never encouraged violence toward Republicans or anyone else. To blame him for the baseball shooting is like blaming the Beatles for the Manson killings because Manson claimed inspiration from “Helter Skelter,” a song about a theme park ride.

    Trump, on the other hand, has repeatedly talked about roughing up and beating up protesters, even as supporters of his were actually physically beating one such protester.

    And I wonder if there’s a term for “when confronted with a big ol’ list of arguments and examples you don’t like, pick one, discredit that one, and declare that you’ve rebutted all of them?”

    I’ve got news for you: when someone engages in a Gish Gallop, it isn’t other people’s responsibility to refute every single example that the galloper has flooded us with. If the galloper can’t defend even one of the arguments, then the presumption should be that he can’t defend any of them. It’s an illegitimate form of argumentation, and when you say “But you didn’t address this example!” you’re only acting as its enabler.

    The predominant attitude here seems to be “judge the right by their most extremist elements, but judge the left by their stated intentions.”

    I see it the opposite way. Look again at my first comment to this thread, and how I pointed out that I saw no connection between the GOP and the far right during the Bush years. What’s new about the Trump era is that the president himself has aligned himself with these people, hiring self-identified members of the “alt right” in his administration and repeatedly refusing the condemn white nationalists by name who have openly declared their support for him.

    Bob’s entire argument here is “judge the left by its most extremist elements.” Our argument is “judge the Republican Party by the actions and words of the Republican commander-in-chief of the United States.” Get it now?

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  83. wr says:

    @Tyrell: You’re often amusing, Tyrell. But when innocent people are dead and hospitalized, the joke gets thin and ugly. Please save it for less emotionally inflammatory threads. Thank you.

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  84. wr says:

    @Bob The Arquebusier: “Let’s see… they show up for their demonstration wearing black clothing, they wear masks, and their MO is to riot, burn things, smash things, and beat the living crap out of people they don’t like.”

    And in your mind this makes them Fascists?

    You have no clue what Fascism is, do you, moron?

    Here’s a hint: It’s not “people I don’t like or am scared of.”

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