Amid the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan and reports that the Taliban are seizing personal firearms from Afghan civilians, conservative media are comparing the Taliban's actions with gun safety efforts in the U.S. and insisting this is why Americans value the Second Amendment.
During the Biden administration’s recent troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban took over much of the country and last weekend captured the capital city of Kabul. On Monday, August 16, a “Taliban official” told Reuters that they have been collecting personal firearms from civilians: “We understand people kept weapons for personal safety. They can now feel safe. We are not here to harm innocent civilians.”
Conservative media immediately began comparing the Taliban’s actions to gun safety legislation supported by Democratic politicians and implied that this type of confiscation is Democrats’ real goal. Some outlets even used the crisis unfolding in Afghanistan as a reason Americans should never support gun violence prevention efforts:
- On August 16, conservative radio host and former National Rifle Association spokesperson Dana Loesch tweeted:
- An August 16 article on conservative commentator Steven Crowder’s website called President Joe Biden “an idiot” and insisted that what is happening in Afghanistan is “why you don't let that idiot (or the people who control that idiot) strip you of your God-given Second Amendment rights.” The article went on to refer to the Taliban policy of seizing personal firearms as “common-sense gun reform,” -- a reference to Democratic gun safety efforts in the U.S.
- In an August 17 article on Infowars’ website, conspiracy theorist Paul Joseph Watson compared the Taliban’s gun seizures to Biden’s efforts to “dilute the right to bear arms.” This article also made its way to fringe pro-Trump message board Patriots.win.
- In an August 16 article titled “Taliban Now Confiscating Guns From Civilians In Kabul” on the pro-gun website Bearing Arms, author Cam Edwards argued that “it’s so much easier to violently crush the opposition once you’ve disarmed them. It’s also easier to abduct women off the streets when they’re not carrying a gun to protect themselves.” He went on to write that watching the situation in Afghanistan had made him “more committed than ever” to protect civil liberties in the U.S., including the right “to protect ourselves and our nation by exercising our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.”