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Trump supporters say millions will give him back power in arms if he loses elections in 2024

Millions of angry and armed Americans are poised to seize power if Trump loses in 2024, reports NewsWeek.

Photo: Shutterstock

Mike "Wompus" Neznani is a 73-year-old Vietnam veteran who walks with a cane due to combat wounds he sustained during his military service.

This disability does not stop Nesnani from making a living by selling custom motorcycle racks from her home in Gainesville, Georgia.

And that won't stop him when the time comes to visit Washington, DC - well-armed and ready to do his part to topple the US government.

Neznani says millions of other would-be insurgents will be there as well, a "time bomb" aimed at the Capitol.

“There are a lot of fully armed people who are wondering what's going on with this country,” he says. "Are we going to let Biden continue to destroy her?" Or do we need to get rid of him? "

He adds that the 2024 election could well be the trigger.

Do not know not a loner. His political commentary on social networking site Quora got 44 views in the first two weeks of November and over 000 million overall.

He is one of many rank-and-file Republicans with guns and has spoken openly in recent months about the need to overthrow - by force if necessary - the federal government, which they see as illegal, aggressive and destructive to American freedom.

This phenomenon goes far beyond the rise of militias that have been a feature of American life, at least since the Ku Klux Klan came to power after the Civil War.

Groups such as the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, which participated in the January 6th Capitol riot and may have played an organizational role, have grown in membership.

Law enforcement agencies have long tracked and often infiltrated these groups.

Nesnani is something completely different: a much broader and more fragmented movement of more or less ordinary people, fueled by disinformation, cohesive by social media and heavily armed.

In 2020, 17 million Americans bought 40 million weapons, with an additional 2021 million on the way in 20.

If historical trends continue, buyers will be predominantly white, Republican, Southerner, or rural.

The massive and largely Republican gun rights movement in America is consistent with the growing belief among many Republicans that the federal government is an illegal tyranny that must be overthrown by any means necessary.

This combustible mixture poses the threat of large-scale armed attacks ahead of the 2024 presidential elections - attacks that make the January 6 uprising seem like a prank by comparison.

“The idea that people will take up arms against the American election has gone from being completely far-fetched to something we need to start preparing for,” says Los Angeles law professor Adam Winkler of the University of California, an expert on gun policy and constitutional right.

Both Democrats and Republicans are rapidly losing faith in the integrity of the US election. Democrats fear that suppression of voters and election interference by Republican government officials will prevent millions of Americans from speaking out at the polls.

A PBS NewsHour / NPR / Marist poll in early November found 55 percent of Democrats see voter suppression as the biggest threat to the US elections.

An October poll by CNN found that more than three-quarters of Republicans mistakenly believe that Joe Biden's 2020 election victory was fraudulent.

The Constitution requires Congress and the Supreme Court to resolve such disputes.

Given the growing tensions and polarization of political life, would either side agree with the decision by which the contested 2024 election result is passed on to the other?

Such a decision is likely to force tens of millions of protesters and counter-protesters to take to the streets, especially around the US Capitol and possibly many state capitals, plunging the country into chaos.

While many Democrats may be inclined to demonstrate, a larger percentage of Republican protesters will almost certainly carry weapons.

If a Supreme Court ruling, expected in mid-2022, in the New York State Guns and Weapons Association v. Bruen, establishes an unrestricted right to carry weapons anywhere in the country, then bringing firearms to the Washington DC Capitol could be perfectly legal.

According to Winkler, "The Supreme Court may be close to delivering a ruling that will overthrow the US government."

If armed violence breaks out in the 2024 elections, the suppression will fall to the US military, who may not want to take arms against US citizens.

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In this case, the fate of the nation could be decided by a simple fact: most of one of the two parties for many years has been systematically arming for this very reason.

“I hope it’s too crazy for that to happen,” says Erica De Bruyne, assistant professor of government at Hamilton College who studies coup d'états around the world.

“But now it doesn't seem so crazy,” she says.

Enemy at the gate

Increasingly, many Republicans are beginning to see themselves not so much as citizens represented by the federal government, but as victims of that government.

More than three-quarters of Republicans reported "low confidence" in the federal government in a nationwide Grinnell College poll in October; only a minority of Democrats agreed with this.
From this point of view, peaceful elections will not save the day.

More than two in three Republicans believe democracy is under threat, according to Grinnell's poll, which echoes the results of a September CNN poll.

Half as many Democrats say the same thing.

The smaller newspapers in rural Red states, which make up the core of the GOP rank-and-file, paint a simpler picture: politics is dead; it's time to fight.

Photo: Shutterstock

“Wake up America! The enemy is at our gates, God forbid, it’s not too late to reverse the fast-paced tide of this dark regime, ”reads a September article criticizing Democrats in the Gaston Gazette of Gastonia, North Carolina.

The article goes on to cite Thomas Paine's call for the colonists to take up arms against the British.

“We are in a state of civil war,” the New Mexico Sun also warned Republicans in September.

There is growing evidence that a significant proportion of Republicans are increasingly resorting to violence against the government and political opponents.

More than 100 violent threats, many of which were death threats, were sent to election officials and election officials in states in 2020, according to a Reuters study published in September.

In October 2020, 13 men were charged with conspiracy to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat; they were all supporters of right-wing political forces.

Nearly a third of Republicans agree that "true American patriots may have to resort to violence to save our country," according to a September poll by the Public Religion Research Institute, a non-partisan organization.

This is three times more than the number of Democrats who think the same way.

Pistols are becoming an integral part of the equation.

"Americans are increasingly using guns in public places, agitated by individuals they oppose for political reasons, or public decisions with which they disagree," concludes an August article in the Northwestern University Law Review.

The weapons were plentiful as hundreds of COVID protesters gathered outside the Michigan State Capitol in May 2020.
Some of the armed protesters attempted to enter the Capitol Hall.

Those who engage in political protest with arms in hand may theoretically have peaceful intentions, but there are many reasons to think otherwise.

The October study Everytown for Gun Safety and the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) looked at 560 protests involving armed participants over the 18-month period to mid-2021 and found that a sixth of them escalated into violence, and some resulted in human victims.

One indicator of how far Republicans can go in violent opposition to the government is their upbeat reaction to the January 6 uprising in the US Capitol.

Republicans by and large do not see a problem in the fact that a crowd of hundreds of people break into the building of the American government.

According to a CBS / YouGov poll conducted in the immediate aftermath of the uprising, half of Republicans said the mafia was "defending freedom."

Today, two-thirds of Republicans deny it was an attack at all, according to an October Quinnipiac University poll.

“There was no responsibility for this uprising,” says Winkler of the University of California, Los Angeles.

“Since then, right-wing rhetoric has only gotten worse,” he adds.

Most Republican leaders are wary of supporting violence against the government, but not all.

Former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, a controversial character who remains popular with many Republicans, reportedly said at an enthusiastic gathering of Trump supporters in October that if and when a "serious" rebellion breaks out, "you will not contain it."

Georgia's spokeswoman Marjorie Taylor Green, another prominent Republican popular with ordinary citizens, expressed the view that the insurgents on January 6 were simply doing what the Declaration of Independence tells true patriots to do — they were trying to "overthrow the tyrants."

She added that the real threat to democracy is Black Lives Matter protesters and democratic “Marxist-communist” agents.

Green and MP Madison Cowthorne, a North Carolina Republican, called some of the rebels "political prisoners."

Trump himself, of course, has fueled a constant, covert outbreak of violence among his supporters since the start of his first presidential campaign.

In 2016, he publicly stated that he could shoot someone on the street without losing any political support, and continued to urge his rally participants to attack protesters and journalists.

When the protesters at the Miami rally were dragged away, Trump warned that next time "I'll be a little more violent."

At a rally in Las Vegas in 2016, he openly complained to the crowd that the guards weren’t tough on the protester they were removing.

“I'd like to punch him in the face, I'll tell you,” he said.

Today, Trump openly declares the participants in the January 6 riots "great people."

In October, he suggested that Republicans may not want to vote in the 2022 or 2024 elections due to fears of fraudulent elections in 2020.

At the same time, he announced that he will win "an even more glorious victory in November 2024".

The notion that Republicans can choose not to vote while driving Trump to victory only makes sense if Trump envisions a vote-free path to power.

Republicans approve of such talk.

An October Quinnipiac poll found that while 94 percent of Democrats insist Trump is undermining democracy, 85 percent of Republicans say he defends it.

Where are the weapons

In his famous story of the early days of the American Revolution, The British Are Coming, author Rick Atkinson explains one of the main reasons why America was the first British colony to achieve freedom while others were defeated.

"Unlike the Irish and other conquered peoples," he writes, "the Americans were well armed."

He notes that muskets were "common as teapots" among the colonists, and American marksmen were some of the best marksmen in the world.

This weapon possession and skill, combined with the colonists' deep passion for ridding themselves of what they perceived as government tyranny, helped win despite great hardships.

Today, many Republicans who have convinced themselves that they too must overthrow a tyrannical government have many weapons.

Americans own about 400 million firearms, according to the Swiss Institute for International and Development Studies in Geneva.

The US government does not track gun ownership.

The vast majority of these weapons belong to the Republicans.

Gallup found that half of all Republicans own a gun, nearly three times as many as Democrats.

Gun owners are predominantly white and male and are more likely to live in rural areas in the south than elsewhere.

These demographics clearly align with the active segment of the Republican Party.

Arms sales have skyrocketed over the past two years.

According to research from Harvard and Northeastern Universities, about 17 million people, or more than six percent of the population, bought 40 million weapons in 2020 alone.

Sales for 2021 will increase total sales by an additional 20 million, according to small Arms Analytics & Forecasting, which researches the arms industry.

While there is evidence to suggest that Democrats are increasing their modest share of arms purchases, recent history shows that the vast majority of these weapons go to Republicans.

Republicans and Independent Republicans were twice as likely to own a gun as their Democratic counterparts, according to a 2017 Pew Research Center poll.

Former Iowa State Representative Steve King, long known as the man who is not afraid to speak out loud what many other Republicans think, is confident that his party is better armed.

“People keep talking about a new civil war,” he wrote on Facebook in 2019. "One side has about 8 trillion bullets ... I wonder who will win?"

Photo: Shutterstock

The impetus for violent rebellion among Republicans gets some of its energy from the largely Republican gun rights movement, and vice versa.

This is a relatively new phenomenon. Gun ownership has long been a passionate affair of conservatives, posing no obvious threat to democracy. But that is changing rapidly.

According to a Gallup poll in 2000, 60% of gun owners cited hunting as a reason for buying a gun.

Many of the rest are listed as “sports,” which usually means target shooting.

But by 2016, 63 percent said they were buying weapons for self-defense.

The shift was fueled by growing paranoia over street crime and mafia violence, a fear constantly fueled by Fox and other right-wing media outlets that have long conjured up the notion that urban gangs and other troublemakers are becoming increasingly rampant in the suburbs and outside of them.

Over the past four years, these fears have turned into anti-government sentiment that supports Trump and, in some cases, the white supremacist movement.

“We've seen a different perspective on gun rights flourish, one that focuses on the need to own a gun to fight a tyrannical government,” says Winkler.

“The promotion of this idea has made it increasingly likely that some people will view the government as tyrannical and need to be overthrown,” he says.

The resulting weapon-based radicalism directed against the state resonates with all Republican social media and other communication channels.

The arms industry did not create this confusion of gun ownership and imminent patriotic armed uprising, but only intensified it.

In a 2020 article on the website of AZ Big Media, the largest publisher of business news in Arizona, readers were told the following: “If you're waiting to buy a firearm you've been looking out for, now is not the time.

Do not do this. Wait until the presidential election. We don't know what will happen, but no matter who is elected to the office, chaos and violence are likely to grow. "

The Palmetto State Armory, a gun parts manufacturer and arms retailer based in Columbia, South Carolina, states on its website: “Our mission is to maximize freedom, not our profits.

We want to sell as many AR-15 and AK-47 rifles as we can and use them in America today, "adding that this" protects the rights of the people from tyranny. "

A 2019 Drew University study found that one of the four most watched videos on YouTube about gun makers sparks patriotism.

"There is a commercial interest fueling this sense of the need for weapons to defend against government," says Risa Brooks, a political scientist at Marquette University.

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The National Rifle Association has played a large role in building up its own weapons to protect America from leftist tyranny.

“If the brutal left brings their terror to our communities, our neighborhoods or our homes, they will be greeted with the determination, strength, and all the force of American freedom in the hands of the American people,” NRA CEO Wayne Lapierre said in 2017.

That same year, an NRA spokesman spoke out against Trump's opponents, adding: "The only way to stop this, the only way to save our country and our freedom, is to fight this violence of lies with a clenched fist of truth."
There was little doubt about what this fist would be.

The NRA also put forward the idea that the Nazi anti-Jewish firearms control policy was a critical element of the Holocaust.

This claim has been completely refuted by historians, but Ben Carson, Trump's minister of housing and urban development, has publicly linked gun control to the Holocaust.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz has also explicitly linked gun rights to repelling the federal threat, saying guns "serve as the ultimate weapon against government tyranny."

Trump himself hinted at the dark link between gun ownership and Democratic overthrow of the government, suggesting during his first presidential campaign that the Second Amendment people could stop Hillary Clinton if she wins.

What can help

There is only one way to avoid a large-scale armed threat: a comfortable, undeniable victory for Trump, assuming he is the Republican nominee.

Democrats may despair of a loss, but they are unlikely to go to massive protests against what could be seen as a legitimate election victory.

But if Trump loses by any margin and fails to reverse the results through legal or political means, it is likely that Republicans will declare the election fraudulent.

In 2020, the conviction - contrary to all evidence - that Trump's presidency was stolen, a mob of rebels arrived at the US Capitol.
The crowd was largely unarmed, no doubt thanks to Washington's strict gun control laws.

In 2024, the crowd that has been fed for four years with false claims of "grand theft" and calls to fight tyranny is likely to be much larger.

If the Supreme Court relaxes the gun control laws, they are likely to be well armed as well.

Aside from Washington, DC, the ACLED report says Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Oregon are at greatest risk of armed rebellion in the controversial elections, followed by North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, California and New Mexico.

But shortly after the January 6 uprising, the FBI warned that all 50 state capitals were in danger.

“There has recently been an unsettling attempt to portray turnout at gunpoint as an appropriate way to challenge an election result that you don't like,” says Brooks of Marquette.

If Trump wins, but by a small margin that Democrats can attribute to Republican laws and tactics aimed at suppressing Democratic votes, massive protests across the country are inevitable.

Democrats won't have to strain their imaginations to make this claim: in 2021, 43 states proposed more than 250 laws restricting voting access.

Georgia has reduced the number of ballot boxes, a practice almost always targeted at communities with a high percentage of minority residents.

Iowa has ended early voting.

Arkansas has raised requirements for voter ID.

And Utah has made it easier to selectively remove voters from its lists.

If Trump loses on votes, but the loss is reversed by the actions of party officials in elections, legislatures, or governors in key struggling states, and that failure is defended by the Republican Congress or the Supreme Court, protests are inevitable again.

Again, this turn of events is far from implausible: there are 23 states where Republicans control both the legislature and the governorship, including several states on the "battlefields."

In 2022, Republicans will have to gain control over three more key states - Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

“Any state controlled by a single party is in a good position to try to reverse the vote, as Trump and many Republicans urged government officials to do in 2020 by reporting electoral fraud and giving themselves more power to undermine local elections. "Says De Bruyne of Hamilton College.

Whatever the circumstances that could spark widespread protests from Democrats in 2024, their presence on the streets could pull out armed Republican counter-protesters seeking to defend Trump's nominal victory and, in their view, defend democracy from the leftist mafia.

“It's a fair fear that if Trump urges them to come out and crush the mafia, they might react,” says Lindsay Cohn, assistant professor of homeland security at the US Naval War College.

Nesnani, a Vietnam veteran, insists that if the Democratic protests involve any kind of violence, as was the case with the multiple Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, mostly sporadic, then right-wing counter-protesters will be acquitted of the shooting.

“Rocks, bottles and bricks can kill you just as quickly as a bullet,” he says.

It's the kind of logic that led Kyle Rittenhouse and his AR-2020-style rifle to a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin in August 15, where he shot three protesters, killing two while claiming self-defense.

The jury dropped all charges against him.

Judging by their actions at protests in recent years, one can count on a decisive response from the police forces - that is, against the Democratic demonstrators. ACLED found that police used force in Black Lives Matter protests in more than half of the cases, but only in a third of the cases at right-wing demonstrations.

In any event, few police forces are prepared to deal effectively with tens of thousands of armed demonstrators.


If the police are unable or unwilling to deal with an armed uprising, the last hope for a peace settlement is likely to be the National Guard and the military.

Only the governor can call the national guard in the state, and only the president can deploy the army.

To send the military to suppress unrest in the United States, the president must use the Rebellion Act, which was last used in 1992 by then President George W. Bush to help restore order during the Los Angeles unrest.

Joe Biden will most likely still be president when initiating electoral violence, so if the National Guard fails to calm the situation in one or more states - or if the governor refuses to call the guard - responsibility will fall squarely on Biden's shoulders. ...

He only needs to make a call.

For this he does not need any cooperation with the state government.

The National Guard or the army will almost certainly prevail in suppressing the most serious forms of violence and protecting the government.

But two key questions arise: Will the military leadership accept Biden's orders to oppose an armed uprising?
And if so, will the rank and file obey the orders of their commanders and oppose their fellow Americans, whose motives may overlap with many of them?

"They won't want to interfere," Brooks says. "The military takes an oath to the Constitution, not to a particular president."
She adds that Biden, too, is likely to view conscription as a last resort.

But if the situation is dire and Biden seems to have the right to take the move, management will obey, despite their fears.

Regarding the possibility that guards or rank-and-file military personnel may refuse to obey orders to take weapons against armed supporters of Trump, Cohn of the Naval War College considers this unlikely.

“There is no evidence that ordinary soldiers are firmly behind Trump,” she says. “But whatever their beliefs, the soldiers are professionals. No more than a tiny percentage of them will refuse. "

She notes that Trump has worked hard to join the ranks, even distancing himself from the military leadership.

Yet there was no sign of overt support from the rank and file when Trump tried to rally a crowd in January to support his unsubstantiated allegations of electoral fraud.

In the absence of a decisive response from the police, national guard and military, it is easy to see how the Republicans would have been able to effectively take control of the country simply because of their huge arsenal.

“Both sides can be equally convinced of the illegality of each other’s actions,” says Winkler. "What's asymmetric is the ability to use violence."

Let's hope it doesn't come to this and that there will be a relatively peaceful resolution of the disputes, which are likely to be very heated.

But this is not certain, and even if any conflict ends before it gets too far, impending failure could make our already fragile democracy weaker and more vulnerable.

It is difficult to say what it will take to "repair" it.

Nesnani may be speaking on behalf of millions when he insists it is too late.

“Too many of us are willing to give our lives to get the country back,” he says. "We need a civil war."

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