Support for armed rebellion in U.S. long predates Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill: Australian news website

(Xinhua) 14:19, January 05, 2022

WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- American support for conspiracy theories and armed rebellion has long existed before the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6 last year, an article on the Australian news website The Conversation has said.

In her article, Amanda Crawford, assistant professor of journalism at the University of Connecticut, explained how a 2013 poll on public perception of gun control and armed rebellion evolved from being considered "too unbelievable to be true" at the time to having gained serious attention even from those who originally dismissed it.

The 2013 poll, which was carried out by Fairleigh Dickinson University following 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, in which 26 people were killed, found widespread doubts about that shooting and shockingly high support for armed rebellion.

Besides, a whopping 44 percent of Republicans said that armed rebellion might soon be necessary in the United States to protect liberties, according to Crawford.

"If reality doesn't fit what you want it to be, you have to change what you believe, or you have to change reality," Daniel Cassino, a professor of government and politics at Fairleigh Dickinson University, was quoted by Crawford as saying.

"It's easier for people who believe strongly in gun rights to say it didn't happen rather than change their minds" about guns, Cassino added.

Philip Bump, now a national correspondent at The Washington Post, was quoted as saying in an article published then by The Atlantic magazine that "the poll is at-best semi-scientific and should probably not be taken seriously."

Bump, who has written about the Jan. 6 insurrection, told Crawford in a recent phone call that he would not dismiss the poll today like he did back then.

Cassino said the finding of the poll didn't necessarily indicate that regular people would pick up arms, but it did show this notion was becoming part of the Republican partisan identity.

Crawford also mentioned several polls in 2021 after the Capitol insurrection, which showed that a troublesome portion of Americans think political violence, and even a civil war, is necessary in today's America.

"The actual armed insurrection that happened in January (2021) showed us this is a real strain in American politics that has gotten stronger and is not going away," Cassino said. 

(Web editor: Peng Yukai, Liang Jun)


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