I really don’t think those pushing to open up their states’ economies should protest while openly armed. While I’ll defend their right to do so, I don’t think it’s wise from a strategic point of view. It deflects attention away from the arguments regarding reopening the states back up and turns it into a gun debate.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love a good gun debate. I mean, my family’s livelihood rests on gun debates, so obviously, I’m a fan.
But that is a different topic entirely from reopening struggling businesses and letting them have a shot at saving themselves.
Meanwhile, armed protestors give Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer an excuse to do a little fear-mongering.
Another protest is reportedly planned for the Capitol in Lansing Thursday, which hasn’t recovered from the drama of the last protest that brought people with semi-automatic weapons, rage-filled chants and alleged threats against legislators.
So, will the next protest be gun free? Gov. Gretchen Whitmer weighed in on that while speaking live with WWJ 950 on Tuesday while also addressing whether gambling could return in the form of online-only, why the state remains closed while most of the deaths are in nursing homes, and more.
“When we’ve got legislators there being the voice tens of thousands of people they represent wearing bullet-proof vests because they’re afraid it means that our democracy is undermined and that’s precisely why I really think that this action is merited, and I hope the legislature takes it,” she said.
Now, I’m not about to excuse death threats against lawmakers. I’m not, and that’s because there is no excuse. I can’t think of a single official who ever changed their votes because of a death threat. “I was going to vote this way because it’s what I believe and my constituents believe, but some random person I’ve never met and may not even follow through said they’d kill me if I voted that way, so I’ll totally change it now.”
Sorry, that just doesn’t happen.
However, Whitmer’s comments are more of a threat to democracy than these death threats.
You see, death threats are part of life in the public eye, especially in politics. Anyone in public office has to face the risk of death threats. They’re a regular part of political life, unfortunately.
Whitmer knows this. She has to. After all, she’s been in politics long enough that this is just part of being in politics.
Yet despite that, she still wants to score a point, so she makes a big thing about how protestors were armed and now they’re getting the death threats they probably would have gotten all along and linking the two. She’s using this to frame herself and her allies as victims. She’s reframing the discussion so she can shield herself away from criticism.
She knows that 99.9 percent of all death threats come from loudmouths who won’t even get off their couches long enough to get a soda, much less kill someone over a political opinion. She also knows that the remaining 0.1 percent end up being arrested before they can ever do anything. Only a tiny minute fraction of a single percent are ever carried out.
Fewer than 60 politicians in American history have been assassinated, after all, despite the thousands and thousands of people who have held office. In other words, it’s not a common occurrence.
Whitmer likely knows this too.
What she’s trying to do is reframe criticism as violence, to cast those who oppose Michigan’s lockdown in any way as being in league with violent extremists, all so she doesn’t have to actually answer any of the criticism.
Protestors shouldn’t have gone to the capitol armed, but that doesn’t excuse Whitmer from her fear-mongering attempt at slight-of-hand.