FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 8, 2021
Insurrection is a Continuing Threat to Democracy; Urgent and Immediate Response is Needed Now
President Trump Dangerous, Unfit to Lead; Law Enforcement Must Be Held Accountable; and Guns Must be Outlawed from Statehouses and Polling Places
WASHINGTON — As the United States grapples with the many disturbing truths that have been exposed in the aftermath of a violent, armed mob of insurrectionists besieging the United States Capitol — the very center of our democracy — the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence is calling for emergency action.
This week’s events represent the disastrous culmination of decades of collusion between extremist and racist forces on the far-right and America’s gun lobby. Insurrectionism — the anti-democratic belief that armed violence is a patriotic and acceptable part of political discourse — has helped extremist elected officials, including President Trump, gain support by deluding their followers with paranoid conspiracy theories. The gun lobby was more than happy to contribute to sow the seeds of rebellion with outrageous theories that support more and more gun stockpiling. They are aided by a fringe, yet influential, far-right media ecosystem that profits from the misinformation and social media platforms that allow this treacherous ideology to spread unabated.
White supremacy and racism are inextricably linked with the gun movement and are used to stoke delusion and incite violence.
Finally, the disparities in policing tactics between the largely white mob at the Capitol and people of color legitimately and peacefully protesting police violence at the White House and other locations across America must be acknowledged as grossly inequitable and immediately rectified.
The attack on the U.S. Capitol provided stark evidence that citizens who for years have been told they needed to prepare to engage in overthrow of the government were not afraid to breach what should have been the most sacred barriers in order to use violence to affect an election. This week, the President and his private army showed us what happens when the insurrectionist idea becomes an insurrectionist reality — a physical and spiritual assault on American democracy.
As we move forward as a nation, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence is calling for the following immediate actions:
- The immediate removal or resignation of President Donald Trump to ensure the safety and security of all people in this country. President Trump has continuously incited and encouraged the insurrectionist movement and its embrace of gun violence, which endangers lives and threatens our republic.
- The protection of the essential functions of government by banning guns from state government buildings and polling places. Without universal prohibitions on open carry such as the strong gun laws in Washington, D.C., state capitals across the country face armed threats and must protect their lawmakers and citizens. We must allow people to exercise their constitutional rights and debate our policy in the people’s houses, free of intimidation or fear.
- Effective and equitable protection by law enforcement. As the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives said this week, “In a time when the public should rightfully expect and receive the fair and consistent deployment and execution of duties from law enforcement professionals, disparate operating procedures for like scenarios are unacceptable…”
Washington, D.C.’s strong gun laws were part of the reason we did not see more death and violence this week. Though rioters were armed, the city’s law banning open carry saved lives and saved democracy. But because insufficient protections exist across the country, lawmakers and citizens in far too many state capitals are at-risk. The months leading up to the 2020 elections were rife with examples of insurrectionists storming statehouses and engaging in political intimidation. Without protections in place going forward, we cannot know the additional carnage that could still come.
Urgent action is needed now. The threat is not over. Already, the same insurrectionists who attempted the failed coup at the Capitol are organizing on social media in preparation for inauguration week and the opening of state legislatures. The sooner laws are in place across the country protecting the people, lawmakers and democracy, the safer we will be.
About the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
Founded in 1974, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence is the nation’s oldest gun violence prevention organization. We believe gun violence should be rare and abnormal. CSGV develops and advocates for evidence-based solutions to reduce gun injury and death in all its forms.