By Lee Williams
SAF Investigative Journalism Project
Special to Liberty Park Press
There is fearmongering, and then there is Newsweek-level fearmongering.
The once-respected news magazine – which a former reporter recently described as “a painful embarrassment to anyone who toiled there in its golden age,” which is now known for its incendiary click-bait – is at it again, blasting conservatives, gun owners and the Second Amendment, while warning its shrinking über-woke readership of a coming civil war.
A recent story by their science writer, David H. Freedman, titled “Millions of Angry, Armed Americans Stand Ready to Seize Power If Trump Loses in 2024,” is so biased, so heavily spun and just so damn creepy, it defies belief that it was actually set into type by an alleged news publication, or what purports to be a news publication or, more accurately, what used to be an actual news publication.
Those responsible for this inflammatory hit piece should be ashamed. It went lightyears beyond the normal partisan sniping. It defames conservatives, the military and everyone who owns a gun.
Like most anti-gun stories, there are no facts or data. Rather, Freedman stacked a few quotes from anti-gun “experts,” added a dash of propaganda from Everytown, slapped on his byline and hit send.
He opens by creating a straw man out of a 73-year-old Vietnam veteran who, like millions of other Americans, does not support the Biden-Harris administration.
“He is one of many rank-and-file Republicans who own guns and in recent months have talked openly of the need to take down – by force if necessary – a federal government they see as illegitimate, overreaching and corrosive to American freedom,” Freedman wrote.
And then the unprecedented lies begin to flow:
“In 2020, 17 million Americans bought 40 million guns and in 2021 were on track to add another 20 million. If historical trends hold, the buyers will be overwhelmingly white, Republican and southern or rural,” he wrote.
Historical trends? Actually, an overwhelming number of liberal city dwellers including many people of color bought their first firearm over the past two years.
“The idea that people would take up arms against an American election has gone from completely farfetched to something we have to start planning for and preparing for,” Freedman quoted UCLA law professor Adam Winkler as saying. He described Winkler as “an expert on gun policy and constitutional law.”
I wonder how the good professor thinks we should start preparing for a civil war. Build internment camps? Abolish Fourth Amendment protections? Electronically chip and track any American suspected of disloyalty?
“An October study from Everytown for Gun Safety and the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) looked at 560 protests involving armed participants over an 18-month period through mid-2021, and found that a sixth of them turned violent, and some involved fatalities,” he wrote.
Personally, I trust Everytown data about as much as I’d trust a $20 EOTECH from Wish.com.
“If armed violence erupts the 2024 elections, quelling it could fall to the U.S. military, which may be reluctant to take arms against U.S. citizens,” Freedman wrote. “In that case, the fate of the nation might well be decided by a simple fact: a big subset of one of the two parties has for years been systemically arming itself for this very reason.”
In other words, Freedman says the military is unlikely to fire on American citizens, so Republicans and Democrats will shoot it out amongst themselves unhindered, and only Republicans actually own guns since they’ve been prepping for a civil war for years. Sure, pal.
“Absent a strong response from some combination of police, National Guard and military, it’s easy to see how Republicans would be in a position to essentially take control of the country simply by virtue of their massive arsenal,” Freedman claims.
While I’m somewhat happy I’d be on the winning team in Freedman’s farcical fantasy world, I can’t help but feel sorry for the little fella. He’s clearly in need of help. He needs some serious head-shrinking – at least a few hat sizes. I hope his friends and family can intervene quickly, before he goes completely beaucoup dinky-dau.
Freedman’s work isn’t a typical opinion piece. It’s defamatory and harmful – by far the worst I’ve ever seen. It’s so far over the top that we cannot let it stand without voicing strong opposition. If you would care to share your thoughts with Newsweek’s editors, you can reach them at email@example.com
One of the main reasons we created the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project was to counter the legacy media’s lies and false narratives. However, I never dreamed I’d ever see anything this bad. In my humble opinion, Newsweek’s story is dangerous – damn near an open declaration of war.
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