Republicans Say We Should Just Laugh Off Donald Trump’s Assassination “Joke.” No.

“The in-group for that joke should be tiny. Like his hands.”

Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer/ZUMA

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On Tuesday, Donald Trump ignited a firestorm of controversy when he told his supporters at a rally in North Carolina that “Second Amendment people” could block Hillary Clinton and her Supreme Court appointees if she was elected president.

Democrats and gun control advocates were quick to denounce the remarks as an assassination threat. Some Republicans (and even some media outlets) used the rationale that Trump’s comment was okay because it was just a joke.

House Speaker Paul Ryan described it as a “joke gone bad”; headlines ran similar explanations.

In other words: get over it.

But this particular incident might be different from all the other times Republicans have been forced to defend Trump. As Jason P. Steed, an attorney and former English professor from Texas, explained on social media, there’s always a bit of truth to a dangerous punch line, especially when it’s joking about taking up arms against a political rival.

Let Steed’s popular tweetstorm explain:

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"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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