At Think Progress this morning I came across the following, from South Carolina Republican Congressman Jeff Duncan:
The 2nd Amendment is (or should be) equal to the 1st Amendment and the 4th Amendment and all of the others. Ask yourselves why it is under attack? Ask yourselves about a National gun registry database and how that might be used and why it is so wanted by progressives.
Read about the Rwandan genocide, the Hutu and Tutsi tribes. Read that all Tutsi tribe members were required to register their address with the Hutu government and that this database was used to locate Tutsi for slaughter at the hands of the Hutu. Since the government had the names and addresses of nearly all Tutsis living in Rwanda (remember, each Rwandan had an identity card that labeled them Tutsi, Hutu, or Twa) the killers could go door to door, slaughtering the Tutsis.
I don’t know Jeff Duncan but presumably he is a good man, honest, and fully aware that this is completely ridiculous. Completely. There is no value in this statement comparing the genocide in Rwanda to our current or future gun sale laws. It’s so ridiculous in fact that if Jeff Duncan finds it viably comparable, he needs to be voted out of office. That’s seems reasonable, to me.
When I read statements like this (and there are too many of late) there two ways I can understand them.
Rep. Duncan thinks it it plausible that our country is capable of genocidal civil war, and our gun policy debate is aiding that progress. What Jeff Duncan said here, literally, is that if we approve background checks on gun purchases in the United States, we will soon have a national gun registry. If we create a national gun registry, this database might be used by the progressive liberal wing in the US in a similar manner to how the registration of ethnic minorities was in the Rwandan genocide.
Our government is being trolled. Taking a lesson from the darker corners of the internets, we have elected officials and national figures who are slinging such wildly extreme statements that no thinking, reasonable person could possible adopt them, and they are doing so just to antagonize and disrupt and get attention.
Is there any other way to understand the recent flood of hyperbolic, completely offensive and illogical statements such as this from Jeff Duncan? Or the comparisons of our President to Hitler (HITLER!), and our national gun-rights debate as a step towards Nazism (NAZIS!)
The only lens through which such bile can be comprehended, frankly, is that these folks know exactly what they’re doing: provoking emotional responses from others for the sake of just being a dick, fully aware that the content is meaningless beyond its provocation. In other words, trolling.
I actually hope the second option is true. As much as trolling is the act of cowards, that’s still more comforting than thinking Rep. Duncan believes we are on our way to genocide.