GOP Congressman Compares Background Checks to Rwandan Genocide

<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jeff_Duncan,_Official_Portrait,_112th_Congress.jpg">US House</a>/Wikimedia Commons

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), who enjoys an A rating from the National Rifle Association, took to Facebook on Thursday to warn Americans of the “evil consequences” of a national gun registry, comparing the dangers of expanded background checks to the Rwandan genocide.

The 2nd Amendment is (or should be) equal to the 1st Amendment and the 4th Amendment and all of the others. Ask yourselves why it is under attack? Ask yourselves about a National gun registry database and how that might be used and why it is so wanted by progressives.

Read about the Rwandan genocide, the Hutu and Tutsi tribes. Read that all Tutsi tribe members were required to register their address with the Hutu government and that this database was used to locate Tutsi for slaughter at the hands of the Hutu. (Since the government had the names and addresses of nearly all Tutsis living in Rwanda (remember, each Rwandan had an identity card that labeled them Tutsi, Hutu, or Twa) the killers could go door to door, slaughtering the Tutsis.

Not with firearms, mind you, but with machetes.

I use this example to warn that national databases can be used with evil consequences.

No lawmaker is proposing a national registry, which federal law has banned since 1986. The new compromise on background checks brokered by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) explicitly re-bans a registry, with a penalty of up to 15 years in prison for anyone who uses records from licensed dealers to create one.

In his Facebook message, Duncan also took a hard stance against a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines: “To blame the firearm, or a certain size magazine, or type of ammo—for the tragedies that have occurred in this nation is like blaming the knife used to kill Nicole Brown Simpson or the machetes used to slaughter a million Tutsis in Rwanda.”

“Preying on the fears of the American citizenry is not good governance,” Duncan added.

At least he’s not invoking Hitler.

Read the full statement here.

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate