FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 9, 2021
Andrew Patrick, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
The United States Senate Must Reject Political Violence; Convict Donald Trump
As the second impeachment trial of President Donald Trump begins today, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Executive Director Josh Horwitz issued the following statement:
“The incitement to insurrection is the gravest charge ever brought in the impeachment of a president in the history of our republic. The attack on our United States Capitol — encouraged by Donald Trump — was an attack on the very core of our democratic system. The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence implores all members of the United States Senate to put their personal political beliefs aside, review the facts of the matter, and uphold the oath that they swore to the Constitution of the United States.
“Reject political violence. Convict Donald Trump.
“President Trump did not create the idea of insurrectionism — the anti-democratic belief that armed violence is an acceptable part of political discourse. The insurrectionist idea has been promoted and encouraged by fringe political movements, the American gun lobby, and right-wing politicians and media figures. But it was Donald Trump who lent it the authority of a sitting president, weaponized it, and made it a reality.
“Since the beginning of his 2016 campaign, President Trump has never shied away from his affinity for violence. From encouraging protesters to be roughed up at his rallies to hinting that ‘second Amendment people’ could “do something” if Hillary Clinton became president, he knew violence or the threat of violence was something he could utilize for political gain. It is likely one of the reasons why the National Rifle Association (NRA) endorsed Trump earlier than any other presidential candidate in its history. Donald Trump is a disciple of the NRA’s insurrectionist ethos that ‘those with the guns make the rules.’ It is why he called on armed protesters to ‘liberate’ their state governments, it is why he specifically put targets on the backs of public officials including Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, and it is why he told dangerous white nationalist groups such as the Proud Boys, Boogaloo Boys and III Percenters to ‘stand back and stand by.’
“Donald Trump promised something big on January 6 in the promotion of his rally. He told his supporters to march to the U.S. Capitol and ‘fight like hell.’ That dark day was the culmination of years of Trump’s embrace of political violence and the insurrectionist idea. It was anathema to democracy and our democratic system.
“For the good of our nation, the person who is single-handedly the most responsible for this attack on our system — former President Donald J. Trump — must be held accountable. To put an end to this destructive ideology and excise it from our political system, there must be consequences.”
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.