Washington, D.C., January 4, 2022 - Today, Brady releases ‘Origin of an Insurrection: How Gun Extremism Led to January 6,’ a new report detailing the long history of how misinformation and mythology interwoven with Second Amendment rhetoric and culture has led to a present and pressing threat of armed extremism. This report details the trajectory and growth of this mindset and how it led to the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, as well as how this reality continues to threaten public safety and order today.

Brady President Kris Brown shared:

“It has been one year since the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, which unspooled in a deadly terrorist attack that, while horrific, could have been far worse if Washington, D.C.’s firearms laws allowed anyone to carry a gun anywhere at anytime, as is the case in so many states in this country. If we are to deter another January 6 in a meaningful way, our country must confront the threat of armed domestic terrorism with the aim of protecting public safety and promoting the welfare of all Americans and their right to share public spaces peaceably. This means enacting stronger gun laws that ensure public safety and do not interfere with anyone’s right to lawfully possess a firearm. We must address this reality for public safety, national security and the health of our democracy. This report provides clear steps for how to do so and we must take action at once.”

Brady Senior Counsel and Director of Racial Justice Kelly Sampson shared:

“For years, extremism linked to the Second Amendment has threatened our democracy and communities, particularly Black and Brown communities. We cannot ignore how our nation’s permissive gun laws, mixed with the entrenched belief that the right to bear arms is without limit, has created a clear and present threat to society. The January 6 attack on the Capitol may have been the starkest example of this threat but it follows a long history of politically-motivated violence, including the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing. Our own FBI has described right-wing, white supremacist extremism as ‘metastasizing,’ a warning call that action is badly needed. The report we release today provides a roadmap for such action.”

About This Report:

Origin of an Insurrection: How Gun Extremism Led to January 6,’ confronts how the common narrative around the January 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol frequently omits the role of Second Amendment extremism. This report traces how the “insurrectionist” construction of the Second Amendment, which falsely asserts that the right to keep and bear arms necessarily includes the right to take up arms against the government, has festered and taken hold in the mindset of popular culture, threatening public order and safety by fueling domestic extremism. This report sets out to examine the role U.S. gun culture and policy played in laying the foundation for January 6, and why it is necessary to address this reality head-on in order to prevent more violence and bloodshed in the years to come.

Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.


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