It’s not easy to justify a gun culture that sees 30 people in the United States die from firearms every single day, but if you were going to try, what better way than to claim that the prospect of armed rebellion is the only thing preventing an American Hitler?
That’s the approach John Stone, a leading Tea Party candidate in Georgia’s 12th congressional district, currently occupied by conservative Democratic Rep. John Barrow (D-GA), took during a radio interview last week. Appearing Monday on Tea Party Express’ radio program, Stone was asked about his approach to gun laws if he’s elected.
Stone argued that gun rights were immutable, in part because, in his view, the Second Amendment gives Americans the right to armed rebellion. (He also misquoted George Washington, falsely claiming that America’s first president called the Second Amendment the “teeth” of the Constitution.)
STONE: As long as we have that, we can’t have a dictator like a Adolf Hitler or a Stalin take over here because we can take up arms against the government if we have to. Now, because we have the right, we don’t have to. It’s a lot easier to go to the polls and vote. But while that right exists, that’s what preserves our right to vote and the democratic process of the country.
Listen to it:
It’s doubtful that, should an American dictator somehow try to consolidate power, citizens armed with firearms would actually be able to halt that dictator’s rise through violent resistance. The United States is a nuclear power, and our military has the most sophisticated weapons of war in the world. Ordinary gun owners do not. Nor do they have a constitutional right to possess such weaponry. As Justice Antonin Scalia explained in District of Columbia v. Heller “dangerous and unusual weapons” are not protected by the Second Amendment.
Nevertheless, Stone subscribes to a growing strain of conservative thought that earnestly believes guns, which currently kill more than 32,000 people in America every year, are the last line of defense against an American Holocaust or similar catastrophe. In 2012, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) claimed that gun ownership is necessary “to guard against tyranny because our Founding Fathers understood that if we did not have an armed populace, an armed tyrant could take over America.”
Stone is running in the 12th district’s GOP primary, which will be held on Tuesday, May 20th. One of his campaign selling points is that Stone, to his knowledge, is the only licensed gun dealer running for Congress. In true Tea Party fashion, Stone has already pledged to vote against Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) if he seeks another term as House Speaker.