(Thread) Background on Maria Butina, Russia, the Second Amendment, & the NRA
For most of U.S. history, the consensus was that the Second Amendment allowed for a “well regulated militia.”
In other words, the amendment was taken literally.
1/ Then came the 60s, when so much changed: The Civil Rights movement, the women’s movement, etc.
The Supreme Court in the 50s & 60s was liberal, giving us, among other things, criminal procedure and defendant rights based largely on the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixths Amendments.
2/ I’m writing Thurgood Marshall right now, and let’s just say what happened often to blacks in the 1930s when questioned by police wasn’t pretty.
These SCOTUS rulings enraged the far right wing, who denounced the decisions as hampering local police, and federal court overreach.
3/ Before the 1970s, hunters and gun enthusiasts were members of both political parties.
As part of the backlash against the cultural changes of the 1960s and 1970s (women’s rights, black rights, etc) the NRA turned into a right wing extremist group.
4/ Beginning in the 1970s, the NRA undertook a concerted legal and propaganda campaign persuading conservatives that liberty meant unfettered access to guns.
The demand was for no gun regulations.
The demand for no regulations allied the NRA with other far right wing groups.
5. Libertarians were opposed to any government regulations based on economic theories. (McClean enraged libertarians with an argument that their economics is based in racism 👇)
The KKK and former confederates, of course, hate the federal government. . .
6/. . . for infringing on states' rights ("if states want slavery or segregation, the feds have no business interfering"), enforcing the Civil Rights Act, etc.
(Interrupting this thread: If you haven't seen my thread on the history of the GOP, it's here: )
7/ (Or my thread on authoritarianism v. conservatives👇 )
From Timothy Snyder: When Putin took a close look at the U.S. for weaknesses to exploit, he noticed the uncontrolled gun violence in America . . .
8/. . . What what better way to stoke discord in the United States than to pump more guns into the hands of ordinary people?
Outsiders (like Russians) understand right away that the idea that “gun ownership equals freedom” is nonsensical. https://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/books/ct-books-road-to-unfreedom-timothy-snyder-20180403-story.html …
9/ Enter Maria Butina: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/verabergengruen/maria-butina-spent-years-wooing-us-conservatives-heres-how?utm_source=dynamic&utm_campaign=bffbbuzzfeednews&ref=bffbbuzzfeednews …
According to @VeraMBergen👇, Butina entered the US with a persona perfectly calibrated to appeal to the far right wing. She told an “irresistible” story of herself: A "scrappy" girl from Siberia fighting for gun rights in Russia.
10/ She projected a "yearning for America’s easy access to guns, and a hint of criticism of Russia’s own laws.”
She now stands accused of being a spy for the Kremlin, working directly for oligarch Alexander Torshin (we’ve heard his name before in connection with the Trumps)
11/ This is no surprise to readers of The Road to Unfreedom (in my view, the best book on TrumpRussia). Snyder writes that by 2016 Russians including Butina and Alexander Torshin were seeking to infiltrate the NRA.
12/ Butina is in court as I write this, pleading guilty. Before I finish, we may have news . . .
I had that, then thought my thread would be too long!
In 2008, SCOTUS followed what had become conservative orthodoxy, & held that the Second Amendment protects individual gun ownership. The case allows for reasonable regulations. https://www.oyez.org/cases/2007/07-290 …
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