The insurrection on January 6, 2021, underscored the growing threat of political violence in the United States. Far from being an isolated incident, American right-wing political violence and domestic terrorism has increased in recent years. Some of this violence comes in the form of mass shootings; some comes in the form of specific threats against politicians and poll workers; and some comes in the form of the insurrectionist riot at the Capitol building. The House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol continues to explore the ties between right-wing extremist organizations such as the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers and efforts by certain individuals within the Republican Party to overturn the 2020 election.
Unfortunately, instead of condemning this rising threat and reality of political violence, many Republican politicians have chosen to brandish firearms in their political ads and, in many cases, make threats of political violence. In fact, a new analysis from the Center for American Progress Action Fund finds at least 104 political ads from Republican candidates running for U.S. Congress, governor, or attorney general this year that display and feature firearms or weapons. Many even include implicit or explicit threats against political opponents or the government. This list excludes ads that only include law enforcement with firearms or pictures from a candidate’s time in the armed services unless they make explicit references to the displayed guns.
The new CAP Action analysis underscores that the threat of political violence is now at the heart of the MAGA Republican movement that has taken over the Republican Party. [Continue reading…]