Last week’s takeover of the U.S. Capitol—which was accomplished without any known discharge of firearms by the occupiers—has now triggered a rapidly escalating campaign to punish the 2nd Amendment community.
The widening crackdowns and denunciations have moved at an alarming speed as the countdown to the Biden/Harris Inauguration continues.
In the latest developments, the Associated Press has confirmed that Michigan has now banned the open carry of firearms in the statehouse at Lansing.
The new regulation was announced by the Michigan Capitol Commission, which had resisted calls for 10 months to issue a gun ban after armed demonstrators—angry about Governor Gretchen Witmer’s Covid-19 restrictions—surrounded the statehouse there.
That action follows a report from ABC News about a leaked FBI Bulletin purporting to warn of plans by armed citizens to converge on all 50 state capitols on January 17th.
Specifically, the FBI alert is said to make the claim that one militia group is calling for “storming local, state and federal courthouses if Trump is removed from office before Inauguration Day”.
The threat appears to have been triggered by repeated proclamations from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Congressional Democrats that they are moving ahead with actions that they hope will lead to President Trump being removed from the White House and stripped of any future eligibility to run for office.
The FBI leak also outlines a separate plot underway about “an unidentified group intending to travel to Washington DC on 16 January”.
Summarizing its concern, the FBI bulletin is said to underscore that clashes between armed citizens and police forces across the nation could extend over 4-5 days across the country.
In the days since the U.S. Capitol takeover, social media has been buzzing about a myriad number of “plots” forming to disrupt the Inauguration.
One of the more widely circulated posters on the internet showcases what has been termed “The Million Man March”, which would feature armed citizens gridlocking — and posibly attacking US Capitol defenders — Washington DC so as to make any Inauguration ceremonies impossible.
At the same time, there are other posters circulating on social media declaring armed gatherings at state capitols and in Washington DC on January 17th.
And before it was taken down, the conservative messaging platform known as Parler was sharing a call to flood Washington DC while “carrying our weapons” on January 19th.
Specifically, the FBI has warned that a clash at the statehouse in Columbus, Ohio has been repeatedly mentioned in online chatter hosted by conservative groups.
In Maryland, the governor there has his hands full attempting to provide security on two fronts: his own state capitol and his mutual assistance pledge to Washington DC officials.
Governor Larry Hogan, the Republican leader of the “Free State adjacent to DC, has long been a vocal critic of President Trump.
He has reported that he is in regular contact with Virginia’s Democrat Governor Ralph Northam, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, and with the FBI to coordinate regionally.
At a press conference, Hogan stipulated that a minimum of 500 National Guard members would be allocated to secure the Maryland statehouse in Annapolis against reported threats, adding that he is now concerned that number is not high enough. Said Hogan: “I think we are going to be increasing several hundred more guard members”.
With their announcement of heightened security at their statehouse, the Maryland State Patrol released yet another poster from Facebook repeating that January 17th was the day for an armed march on all 50 state capitols.
A significant number of observers, though, are suspicious as to the origins of the many “call out”posters. They note the absence of American flags in an graphical genre that is routinely saturated with them.
Overall, the number of National Guard call ups—which was once at 6,000 could approach 15,000 members deployed to Washington in a matter of days. They will be joined by thousands more police, state troopers and federal agents outfitted to repel a second attempt at occupying a building that was last overrun by the British in the War of 1812.
Federal officials have approved the plan to take the five-day National Security Event designation for Washington DC, and expand it to 10 days.
Also, concerns by Democrats that the National Guard may harbor “patriot sympathizers” has now spilled into public view with the release of transcript notes from Colorado Congressman Jason Crow’s discussions with Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy.
In the transcript release, Rep. Crow “raised grave concerns that active duty and reserve military members were involved in the insurrection” at the U.S. Capitol.
Crow also demanded expedited investigations, as well as a “CID review of troops for the Inauguration to ensure that deployed members are not sympathetic to domestic terrorists”.
If recent days are any guide, the overheated rhetoric linking actual gun owners to American political violence will continue to fall flat.
This past Saturday, officials at the Kentucky statehouse expressed grave concerns that more than 100 armed citizens had converged on their capitol complex in Frankfort.
The Lexington Herald Leader labeled the group as “heavily armed” militia members who had gathered to rail against the Commonwealth’s U.S. senators and the governor.
Democrat Governor Andy Beshear tweeted that intimidation and bullying would not work.
Despite raising alarms, the Lexington armed citizen gathering was reported as “peaceful and with no attempts to by demonstrators to enter the statehouse”.
Yet, the campaign to suffocate conservative social media in general—and 2nd Amendment supporters specifically—rolls on.
In addition to the highly publicized takedown of the conservative Parler social media app, there is also the Big Tech wipeout of the Discord server, which had hosted a chat application call “The Donald” until January 8th.
Discord is a free application that recently reported 250 millions users, with 14 million of its member signing on every day.
The Discord statement: “We have a zero tolerance policy against hate and violence of any kind on the platform, or the use of Discord to support or organize around violent extremism”.
Discord said it took the action based on the “overt connection” to the pro-Trump subreddit forum called “r/The-Donald” that Reddit took down last June, citing out-of-control hate speech., incitement to violence, and planning for an “armed insurrection in the United States”.
While there is word that the principals at Parler are seeking a new home for the service, the digital Pearl Harbor attack this past week on conservative social media has many in the 2nd Amendment, understandably, on defense.
However, there is reason to believe that safe harbors will continue to be available for beleaguered gun rights supporters while the disruptions are sorted out.
There are many state levels forums with .org and .com platforms that are private property, and are in a better position to fend off the Leftist digital purges.
CALGUNS.org on the West Coast continues uninterupted, while across the country sites like the POFOA.org are keeping Pennsylvania firearms owners plugged in.
In Maryland, MDSHOOTERS.com, has been become a lighthouse of sorts for gun owners seeking 2A updates and information. Like CALGUNS, it is an active site that draws members from all 50 states.
In the meantime, the next major public test for 2nd Amendment supporters to gather in public comes in less a week. On January, 18th, just 48 hours before the Inauguration ceremonies in Washington DC, Richmond will host an armed citizen demonstration that, if it has the same buy-in as last year, will include tens of thousands of gun rights supporters standing for 2A.
And then, there’s this: the half-hearted calls from the Joe Biden crowd for unity have now trickled to nothing as the Democrats turn their focus to a nationwide “Be On The Lookout” campaign to round up “the insurrectionists”
Multiple “wanted posters” have now popped up at bus stops all across Washington DC and in the Maryland suburbs urging folks to call the FBI if they recognize the people portrayed.
And sadly, the effort to stain any identifiable participant from the January 6th rally and march has now escalated to putting people on the national “no fly list.” That effort moved with such speed that some visitors to DC found they were barred from flying home from DC less than 24 hours after their participation.