Rep. Tom Suozzi, a Democratic congressman from Long Island, New York, implied that Americans should grab weapons and oppose President Trump by force if the Commander-in-Chief doesn’t follow the Constitution. He made the remarks to constituents at a town hall meeting, saying that folks opposed to Trump might resort to the “Second Amendment.”
“It’s really a matter of putting public pressure on the President,” Suozzi said in a newly released video of his talk in Huntington, New York. It was done on Facebook Live. “This is where the Second Amendment comes in, quite frankly, because you know, what if the President was to ignore the courts? What would you do? What would we do?”
After Suozzi stated this about Trump, a listener in the audience blurted out, “What’s the Second Amendment?” He replied, “The Second Amendment is the right to bear arms.” This may have been staged and a number of people think it was a political stunt. The audience laughed at the question and response nervously. Suozzi made the comment about the Second Amendment when a constituent asked him a question about Trump and the United States’ “constitutional system of checks and balances.” He predicted the issue could be “going to the courts as well.”
Suozzi is a CPA and an attorney who is the US Representative for New York’s 3rd District. He sits on the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee and the even more influential House Armed Services Committee. Suozzi is Vice-Chair of the Bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, which consists of 22 Democrats and 22 Republican working together to find solutions. He is also the Co-Chair of the Long Island Sound Caucus and Co-Chair of the Quiet Skies Caucus.
“This video is incredibly disturbing. It’s surreal to watch a sitting member of Congress suggest that his constituents should take up arms against the President of the United States,” said National Republican Campaign Committee spokesman Chris Martin. Suozzi’s political adviser Kim Devlin denied that the Congressman was “advocating for an armed insurrection.” However, the Suozzi campaign then doubled down on his comments, as they forwarded a line penned by Thomas Jefferson that called for armed resistance. “What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms,” the quote said. “When resistance and obstruction don’t work out, Tom Suozzi proposes violence,” Martin said in a statement. “He’s completely out of touch.”
“Taking a page from such great Americans as Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, Congressman Suozzi explained why our founding fathers created the Second Amendment as a way for citizens to fight back against a tyrannical government that does not follow the rule of law,” senior adviser Kim Devlin said in a Monday statement to Fox News. Devlin added: “To suggest his comments meant anything else or that he was advocating for an armed insurrection against the existing President is both irresponsible and ridiculous.” Republicans don’t think so and they are incensed at the call for violence against President Trump.
Suozzi has recently aggressively pushed for gun control following the Parkland, Florida, school shooting. But now it seems he is okay with guns as long as they are used against the Trump administration and Republicans. He took part in the March 14th student walkout for gun control outside the US Capitol and called on the young people of his district to back tightened gun laws. “I think we should engage the high school students of #NY03, and all of Long Island, to promote gun violence prevention legislation,” he said in a Feb. 21st tweet.
Although the Jefferson quote is popular on the right, it takes on an alarming meaning when used against a sitting President, especially when simultaneously calling for gun control and confiscation. Suozzi’s remark is widely seen as a veiled call for violence. His campaign denies it, but the man himself is pushing it.
Suozzi, a first-term congressman elected in 2016, is seeking re-election this fall in New York. He formerly served as a Nassau County executive. He is expected to easily win the Democratic primary and face GOP challenger Dan Debono, a former US Navy SEAL, in the general election.
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