Marjorie Taylor Greene suggests using “Second Amendment rights” against Democrats

MTG still wants a "national divorce." Democrats respond: Come out for civil war and "declare yourself a traitor"

By Igor Derysh

Published January 12, 2022 12:53PM (EST)

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) speak at a news conference on Republican lawmakers' response to the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 06, 2022 in Washington, DC. During the news conference, Gaetz and Greene said that federal agents were allegedly present during the insurrection and the ones inciting the riot. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) speak at a news conference on Republican lawmakers' response to the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 06, 2022 in Washington, DC. During the news conference, Gaetz and Greene said that federal agents were allegedly present during the insurrection and the ones inciting the riot. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., on Tuesday suggested using "Second Amendment rights" to fight Democrats while defending her proposal for a "national divorce" akin to the Southern states' secession of the 1860s.

"Ultimately the truth is it's our Second Amendment rights, our right to bear arms, that protects Americans and give us the ability to defend ourselves from a tyrannical government," Greene said in a podcast interview with former Trump aide Sebastian Gorka, while discussing Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams' calls for stricter gun regulations. "And I hate to use this language but Democrats, they're exactly — they're doing exactly what our founders talked about when they gave us the precious rights that we have."

Greene, who has repeatedly proposed a "national divorce" between red and blue states, quickly defended her comment.

"No one wants violence and I say all the time I am not a violent person," she told Gorka. "I hope to never see a civil war in this country and that's why you hear me toss around 'national divorce.' The federal government has grown so big and the Democrats are willing to use the power of the federal government, that it really violates people's rights."

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Greene is only the latest far-right Republican to fantasize about violence against her political opponents.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., during a rally with Greene last year, urged supporters to "use" their gun rights to fight government tyranny while stoking debunked election conspiracy theories.

 "We have a Second Amendment in this country, and I think we have an obligation to use it," Gaetz said, adding that the amendment is "not about hunting, it's not about recreation, it's not about sports." Instead, he said, the Second Amendment protects "the ability to maintain an armed rebellion against the government if that becomes necessary."

Former President Donald Trump, during his 2016 campaign, famously suggested that "Second Amendment people" could take matters into their own hands if Hillary Clinton won the election.

Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., last summer predicted there would be "bloodshed" in future elections while stoking debunked conspiracy theories that the 2020 race had been "rigged" and "stolen." Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., who has been linked to the planning of the Trump rally that preceded the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, said one day after the attack that the only options in response to "lost faith in the ballot box" is either to "submit" or "you can resist, often through violence."

These incessant suggestions of violence have had an alarming effect on the Republican Party's base. A recent poll found that 30% of Republicans believe that "American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country."


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Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., demanded that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., take action against Greene after her latest comments.

"If suggesting 'Second Amendment Rights Should Be Used Against Democrats' doesn't immediately compel [McCarthy] to take disciplinary action, I suggest Congress take action against both of them," he said on Twitter. "This madness must be addressed or violence will ensue."

Greene has increasingly discussed her "national divorce" proposal, last month suggesting that Democrats who move to red states should be temporarily banned from voting and "pay a tax for their sins."

"There is no 'National Divorce' either you are for civil war or not," Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., wrote in response. "Just say it if you want a civil war and officially declare yourself a traitor."

McCarthy, however, has continued to support Greene, defending her after House Democrats stripped her of committee assignments after she spread conspiracy theories and called for executing prominent Democrats.

McCarthy has vowed to appoint Greene to even "better" committees if the Republicans win back control of the House. On Monday he told Breitbart that as speaker he would likely boot Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., from their committees in retaliation.

Schiff responded by calling out McCarthy for failing to "hold his own members accountable."

"I think the reality is McCarthy is a very weak leader and as a result, he is already being led around by the most extreme elements of his conference — the Marjorie Taylor Greenes and others that are calling for retribution because of their removal," he told CNN, adding that McCarthy "will do whatever Donald Trump wants him to do, and if Donald Trump wants him to overturn the next election because Trump loses again, McCarthy will do it, and that is a real and present threat to our democracy."

Read more on the Republican infatuation with violence:


Igor Derysh

Igor Derysh is a staff writer at Salon. His work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald and Baltimore Sun.

Tips/Email: iderysh@salon.com Twitter: @IgorDerysh

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Aggregation Civil War Kevin Mccarthy Marjorie Taylor Greene Political Violence Politics Republicans