A lovely, wholesome video of Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst has started making the rounds lately, stemming from an Iowa NRA event in 2012. In the video, the Republican nominee for the Iowa Senate stated that she carries a 9-millimeter gun with her everywhere she goes. She also stated that she believes in her right to use it for self-defense, whether against an attacker, or an any enemy, be it foreign, or as domestic as her own U.S. government, should it disregard her rights.
According to the Huffington Post, Ernst stated at the NRA’s Iowa Firearms Coalition Second Amendment Rally, in Searsboro, IA:
I have a beautiful little Smith & Wesson, 9 millimeter, and it goes with me virtually everywhere …. But I do believe in the right to carry, and I believe in the right to defend myself and my family – whether it’s from an intruder, or whether it’s from the government, should they decide that my rights are no longer important.
And what kinds of examples might Ernst feel amounts to the government no longer finding her rights important? How about the Affordable Care Act? As Talking Points Memo previously wrote, Ernst has suggested in the past that she is in support of legislation that would allow local authorities to arrest federal officials who implement Obamacare. And what if they resist such an absurd arrest? Who is to say she might not decide to pick up a gun and defend her right to remain uninsured should the federal government double-down and return the threat of incarceration for state officials who impede federal authority over the ACA?
Granted, that is a far-fetched, highly unlikely scenario, and there is nothing wrong with being a responsible gun owner, especially of a small handgun, which is a far cry from the military-grade weaponry that’s been unleashed on the civilian population time and again in so many of the mass killings the U.S. has endured.
And even the corporate entity of the U.S. government’s “founding fathers” have told us all along that it is our duty to overthrow a tyrannical government, so Ernst is well within her American idiom to evoke such jingoism. She also holds a distinguished career in the armed forces, which she does not hesitate to inform voters about, such as in the video below, so there is even little doubt that Ernst knows well how to handle a gun with accurate, deadly precision, and certainly responsibly. Take a look:
But it is the partisan-laden act of throwing meat to the conservative wolves that is distasteful about Ernst’s bold claim that she would not hesitate to engage in violent struggle against the very government in which she is currently defending public office. Statements like that cannot be made, especially by a Republican candidate, without conjuring the absurdity of the right to carry crowd, the Cliven Bundy’s and all those “from my cold dead hands” folks out there. And the flip side of that is considering at whom and at what do such crowds typically point their “beautiful little” weaponry?
It makes one wonder what Ernst’s views on groups such as the Black Panthers might be, doesn’t it? Or the more recent groups of African American folks who have taken to patrolling the streets, weapons in hand, in the wake of the Michael Brown shooting.
It also makes one stop and wonder if that is the kind of talk we want from our citizens, much less our politicians. Is that really the direction we want this country to head? Is that the mentality we are looking for, that we need to put that out on the table first and foremost. That’s like heading into mitigation and stating outright, upon sitting at the table with the opposing party, “If you don’t give me whatever I subjectively want, I’m prepared to kill you.” Is she not seeking office to enact change within the body of the government itself? Does she intend to point the gun at herself, should the government fail to live up to her private standards of “freedom”.
Ernst’s bold, ridiculous statement only illustrates her lack of in the American government and diplomacy. Now, I ask you, is that the makings for a strong leader?
Only if America wishes to continue playing its role as the world’s spaghetti Western.
Now say “Yes,” or be prepared to draw, partner.