Donald Trump has threatened to deploy the military against protestors in the US if local officials cannot quell the riots that have swept across the nation in the past few days.
In an address at the White House the president said:
[I am mobilising] all available federal resources — civilian and military — to stop the rioting and looting, to end the destruction and arson, and to protect the rights of law-abiding Americans, including your Second Amendment rights.
Trump's threat against peaceful protestors in his own country is an alarming moment during this crisis but his mention of the second amendment is what has got many people worried.
For anyone that doesn't know what the second amendment this is what it says when it was first ratified in 1791:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Effectively Trump is saying that he is willing to deploy the military in order to protect some citizens' right to bear arms.
This is obviously worrying and Trump's words have understandably got many people concerned about what the implications of the president's speech could be.
This Rose Garden speech has literally expressed more concern about 2nd amendment rights than racism and police brut… https://t.co/1UFY9o9rCN
Trump's words could just be a threat but it is worrying to think how they could be misinterpreted by some of his most ardent followers.
The Justice Department did later reiterate the statement, but didn't mention the second amendment:
Today, President Trump directed Attorney General Barr to lead federal law enforcement efforts to assist in the restoration of order to the District of Columbia.
Beginning tonight, the Department of Justice has deployed all of its law enforcement components – FBI, ATF, DEA, U.S. Marshals, and BOP – and is closely coordinating with the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security to maximize federal security presence throughout the District.
The Department is working hand-in-hand with the Metropolitan Police Department, the Capitol Police, the Federal Protective Service, the U.S. Secret Service, and the D.C. National Guard.