Well, I never thought that I would see the day when a US Representative, even a Tea Party loon, like Andy “Dr. No” Harris, would seek to violate his oath of office and incite people to overthrow the US government! On Saturday, February 16th, at Harris’ “Town Hall Meeting On Guns and Violence”, in Ocean City, MD, that’s exactly what happened!
In a room of 200 or so, with about 15-20 supporters of stricter regulations, and the rest, a mix of passive to outright raging gun supporters, Harris stood up and said that “…examples exist to support the idea that the people have a right to rise up and overthrow a tyrannical government!” His outrageous comment was in response to a statement I had made, that “there is nothing in the Constitution that gives anyone the right to overthrow the government.” He then proceeded to support his statement with the example of “Athen’s Rebellion”, where, in 1946 Athens, Tennessee, several hundred GIs, broke into the National Guard Armory, stole weapons, then attacked the local Sheriff’s Office and County Jail.
Suffice it to say, that the prevailing political machine that had dominated Athens and the surrounding towns for many years, certainly were acting illegally, by counting ballots in private, without the ability of opponents to oversee them. The GIs, after having returned from WWII, fighting for Democracy, were not going to let the local political bosses deny them of the very rights they had been fighting and dying for. The Sheriff, under the thumb of the Mayor, a boss tweed type, if ever there was one, had been threatening people throughout that election day, harassing voters and poll judges alike. A Deputy even shot one black voter who had tried to vote “the wrong way!”
Needless to say, tempers were hot. By evening, several hundred GIs and their supporters, armed with rifles and some home-made explosives, assaulted the County Jail, where the Sheriff and Mayor had ended up, after absconding with the ballot boxes. Before the boxes were opened, the GIs attacked and eventually used the explosives to blow open the doors, at which time, the Sheriff and his men surrendered. The GIs went in, took control of the ballot boxes and removed them to a safe location, where the ballots were counted, in public view! The vote was, without a doubt, in favor of the GI candidates who were running for Mayor, Sheriff and other City and County positions.
Now, we can certainly look back on this event and say, “The GIs were right to do what they did.” In fact, no one who participated in the action was ever prosecuted! But, we also have to ask, “Is this really how we want to run our Democracy?” If so, then what will keep the “bosses” from getting more people and more guns next time, to take the ballot boxes back? By approving of this kind of action, we are supporting anarchy, pure and simple. Forget the rule of law and 200+ years of legal precedents. ”Mob rule” will control.
This is what Harris was advocating and giving a nod to last Saturday! Anarchy! Overthrow of the government! The ones with the guns make the rules!
My own belief is that Congressman Harris should be censured by his House colleagues, at the very least. This type of behavior, especially in light of the recent mass killings, as well as comments by the gun advocates at the meeting, who predicted that “blood will be spilled” with any new regulations that become law, is unacceptable from our elected officials. By advocating and supporting these kinds of illegal activities, he is violating his oath, to uphold the Constitution and the law. If not prosecuted or censured, he should surely be shown the EXIT door on election day, 2014!