Guns

Can the police take guns from a man who asked when to start killing?

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A man at a local Turning Points USA event asked, just hours after the Boise Towne Square shooting, when he would start killing political opponents.

Screenshot, Twitter

On Monday, a gun-mad man in his late 20s, a felon who nevertheless regularly carried guns, opened fire at a mall in Boise. For good reason, most people were paying close attention to this – the two people who tragically died and the other four who were injured.

But just 20 miles away and a few hours later, something else was happening. We must also pay particular attention to this.

While police were still clearing stores in Boise Towne Square, some attendees at a rally organized by Turning Points USA in Nampa were discussing terrorism.

Not the threat or what to do about it.

But when should it start.

The keynote speaker was Charlie Kirk, the co-founder of Turning Points. Kirk’s peddling is obvious. He is a traveling salesman at heart.

Watch his event, and you’ll be treated to ads to buy hats, t-shirts, hoodies, and various other giveaways. He yelled at the crowd about Boise State University football and made sure everyone knew he knew who Kellen Moore was.

As if to say: Here I am, a guy who fights for freedom and Le Bleu. A guy like any of you. The kind of guy you’d want to buy a hat from, right? You can buy one in the back for the low price of $25.

According to non-profit organization tax returns, Kirk was paid around $330,000 last year. Turning Points said it earned about $10.3 million from fundraising events, more than a quarter of its total revenue for 2020.

But the lies that Kirk peddles to sell hats, lies like the claim that the 2020 election was stolen, are sometimes believed by the gullible or by people who feel empowered by the lie to do things that they want to do for other reasons.

One of these men stood up to ask a question.

The man, claiming the state had descended into tyranny, asked Kirk, “When are we going to use the guns?” – to the applause and cheers of many spectators.

Then, to dispel any doubt that this brownshirt wannabe was not being metaphorical or facetious but was actually asking when to start assassinating political opponents, he continued, “That’s no joke. I don’t say it like that. I mean, literally, where is the limit? How many elections will they steal before we kill these people?

Kirk didn’t respond with a simple message like, “Terrorism is wrong. You shouldn’t. Instead, he presented political violence as a tactical error. It would play into the hands of the same hidden forces in the media, the deep state and the Democrats who are trying to institute tyranny by installing Joe Biden as president, he claimed.

Kirk didn’t even rule out the man eventually having the opportunity to assassinate the political opposition. It’s just that other avenues — states that oppose supposed federal excess, for example — haven’t been exhausted yet, he said, leaving open the possibility that a day might come when terrorism would be the right answer.

The Boise Towne Square shooter was a criminal who claimed to be dedicated to the project to repeal laws prohibiting criminals from carrying firearms. And it appears he regularly carried guns and maintained YouTube channels showing him carrying and firing guns, as well as shouting racism, despite his felony conviction.

Idaho State Police even arrested him, released his name, saw his criminal record, and referred him to the Ada County District Attorney for illegally carrying a firearm. According to prosecutors’ assessment, existing Idaho laws were insufficient to charge him or take his weapons away. We saw the consequences on Monday.

The man who spoke at the Turning Points rally certainly has guns too. He announced the goal he intends to put them on and asked for a delay to start.

Let’s hope the police disarm this man before he decides the time is right. If they don’t have the legal power to do so, even after he announces he is willing to murder for political reasons, the laws must be changed.

This story was originally published October 28, 2021 1:01 p.m.

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Bryan Clark is an Idaho Statesman opinion writer based in eastern Idaho. He’s been working as a journalist for a decade, the last seven years in Idaho.