People across the US are desperate and terrified. But the Republican Party’s cold, dead eyes are staring us down. And like with any jihadists, their hostage demands aren’t intended to do anything but terrorize us and subjugate us.

List of Demands:

“End abortion or our guns will go on killing your kids.”

“Ban marijuana or our guns will go on killing your kids.”

“Build the wall and put immigrant children in cages or our guns will go on killing your kids.”

“Erase trans people or our guns will go in killing your kids.”

“Fire all the liberal teachers or our guns will go on killing your kids.”

“Give billions of dollars to our private security contractors to turn your schools into prisons or our guns will go on killing your kids.”

“Give up your freedom and let us spy on your online activity or our guns will go on killing your kids.”

“Let us traumatize your kids and train them to accept living in a militarized dystopian dictatorship or our guns will go on killing them.”

“Buy more guns or our guns will go on killing your kids.”

– Republican Party

The American Taliban have made their demands clear. We should accept none of them because none of them will save a single, solitary child. They aren’t intended to. That’s not how jihadists operate. Their demands are simply a laundry list of extremist objectives and if they were coming from Muslims on a plane, we’d see them for what they are without hesitation. Instead of letting them get away with this, we should make it clear to the majority of unarmed Americans who want big changes in gun laws that they’re being terrorized and held hostage by the Republican Party in a very literal sense. And the idea that we’d all just go on putting up with it is madness.

Let me put it another way. Read this article on Yemen’s gun problem and tell me it doesn’t sound very much like the way modern American conservatives think and behave. Is it really any surprise then that while America can be said to be the leading manufacturer of rightwing Christian terrorists that Yemen is likewise a major producer of Muslim terrorism? Is it any surprise that while the US tops the list of countries in terms of guns per capita that Yemen is the next closest major country? A century from now, it’ll likely just be commonly understood that an absurd proliferation of guns and the violent mentality that it instills in a population are big catalysts for the kind of deadly extremist threat that we’re now dealing with today from rightwing Christian nationalists. The two very literally go hand in hand and probably fuel one another in this unending hostage crisis that conservatives have forced on the rest of us.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

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