This Is Not How You Respond to a Judge Upholding an Assault Weapons Ban

The law doesn't allow cops to seize assault rifles, but that didn't stop congressional candidate Darren Bailey (R) from bizarrely threatening suicide by cop.

This Is Not How You Respond to a Judge Upholding an Assault Weapons Ban
Photo:Charles Rex Arbogast (AP)

Darren Bailey—a Republican who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2022 and who is now running for Congress—threatened to end his own life if cops come to seize his assault rifles after the Illinois Supreme Court upheld the state’s assault weapons ban on Friday. In a 4-3 ruling, the court found that the law, which passed after the Highland Park Fourth of July parade shooting, did not violate the plaintiff’s 14th Amendment right to equal protections.

This was apparently a bridge too far for Bailey, who went live from his porch shortly after the ruling was announced. “This is a blow to Illinois. This is a blow to our freedoms. This is a blow to our Constitution, the Second Amendment. This is a blow to this great republic,” Bailey told anyone who happened to be watching his Facebook stream. “My question to you is how much more of this are we going to take, friends?”

How far will Bailey go? Well, uh, uncomfortably far, seemingly suggesting that he is willing to get fatally shot by the cops who might come get his guns:

I’m standing here on my front porch. This porch kind of became famous through the governor’s run and became famous when I was speaking on nonsense. And I made a statement. And sometimes when we make these statements, we don’t know where this is going to go. But if need be, this front porch will be my final stand. I will not allow anyone to infringe on my property on my Second Amendment rights. I will not allow anyone to come and take anything from me. And if need be, as I quoted before, I will die on this front porch before I give up any of my Second Amendment freedoms.

The law in question bans owning, purchasing, selling, manufacturing, delivering and importing assault weapons, attachments, .50-caiber rifles and cartridges, with exceptions for law enforcement and military, according to ABC News. People who already own these weapons must register them with police by 2024 and will have limited ways to sell the weapons. So it doesn’t sound like police would be storming suburbia to take Bailey’s—or anyone’s!—guns, but that fact never got in the way of his dramatic rant.

You can watch here if you want to:

“We must demand more out of our elected officials go along to get along. ‘Oh, I voted no, and I’ve supported this and I didn’t support that.’ That’s not good enough. What are you saying? What are you doing? How are you making your stand?” he asked. “Where are we taking this movement?”

Bailey’s weird attempt at dramatics is especially ghoulish, as suicides are at an all-time high: More people died by suicide in 2022 than any previous year, according to recently released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and roughly two-thirds of gun deaths in America are suicides. Americans are in crisis and Bailey’s creepy outburst proves he’s just another rightwinger trying to prey on that crisis.

Call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (para ayuda en español, llame al 988) if you’re in crisis.

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