Also inaccurately accuses veteran of seeking to take over the government by force and crowd of hurling racial insults
Lee Goodman of Stop Concealed Carry was one of the panelists at the Chicago-area anti-gun forum featured in my prior post, Veteran stands up for 2nd Amendment at Chicago anti-gun forum.
During that event Goodman and Iraq war veteran Kevin Tully had a back-and-forth discussion of the 2nd Amendment. In a video I took, which now has over 160,000 YouTube views, Tully is seen calling for an end to partisan divide in the country, and giving an impassioned defense not only of the 2nd Amendment, but of 1st Amendment rights.
After the event, Goodman wrote a blog post titled “Overthrowing the Government” in which he analogized the audience standing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance to Nazi beer hall conduct (emphasis added):
The Illinois State Rifle Association had asked their people – who love their guns more than they care about other people’s lives – to go to the forum. They showed up and, on a pre-arranged signal, interrupted the moderator’s introductions by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. There’s nothing wrong with pledging allegiance, but this demonstration was designed to take control of the meeting and display their power. You may have seen something like it in movies like Cabaret and The Sound of Music, which chronicle how Nazis would intimidate patrons of beer halls and other public events by singing, saluting, scowling, taking names, and following up with beatings.
I was not there when the crowd stood for the Pledge of Allegiance, as there was a delay at the door getting in, but to compare this crowd of patriotic Americans standing for the Pledge of Allegiance to a Nazi beer hall Putsch is pretty outrageous.
It was that type of demeaning rhetoric, including another speaker who compared 2nd Amendment supporters to Nazis and racists, which led the crowd to start to speak up after an hour or more of verbal insults.
In his blog post, Goodman did not stop with the Nazi analogy. Goodman accused Tully of advocating violent overthrow of the government. Goodman placed his accusations against Tully soon after the Nazi beer hall language in the blog post, obviously suggesting that Tully was one of such people (emphasis added):
So it was shocking when one man stood up, wearing what appeared to be military patches on his jacket, announced that he had served in our military, and then went on to say that the reason he needed to be allowed to own assault weapons was so that he could take over the government by force if he decided it was tyrannical.
As I mentioned, I was there recording, and the footage shows Goodman’s description is not accurate. Tully never mentioned “assault weapons,” or taking over the government, or force. To the contrary, Tully forcefully objected to the politics of pitting American against American, admonishing the crowd that “we are all Americans.”
Tully’s exact words (watch the video here):
Veteran: Sir, sir. While you’re standing up. I’ve sat here [inaudible] and I’d like to agree with the professor. Everyone standing in this room right now, especially the veterans in the room right now, know, that we are all Americans. The problem with this country right now is it’s us and it’s f***ing them. We need to stop this crap.
Now, the thing I would like you to answer, sir. And I did go to war for this country. Whether it was for everyone in here’s ability to have oil and gas in their cars, or the banks, or whatever. I went to war for my country.
And I went to war for your ability to have the First Amendment, to say what you stood up there and said today, to write what you want to write in your newspaper, and have whatever opinion you want to have. You can practice whatever religious freedoms you want. I would like you to answer the question, since you just said that one of the rights that I went to war over to defend, that is inalienable, to every American citizen. If this discussion was going on, about your First Amendment rights, would you still have the same opinion that we don’t need that any more either.
Goodman: You didn’t hear my answer….that’s not what I said…I said it doesn’t matter what their reasons are, what matters is whether or not it’s relevant today.
Audience member: It’s an eternal truth, an eternal truth….
Goodman: When they consider any part of the Constitution, any law, they’re going to say, “what does it mean today?”
Veteran: The threat of tyranny, today, is no less than at the turn of the century in 1900, in 1800, or in 1700!
Tully made a historically accurate statement about the purpose of the 2nd Amendment, but never said anything about wanting to take over the government or using force. Quite the opposite.
In his blog post, Goodman also accused the crowd of engaging in racist rhetoric against people in the South Side of Chicago:
At a forum a couple of days ago in a suburb of Chicago, one guy shouted out that he needs his guns to protect himself from people who live on the south side of Chicago. I wonder who he had in mind?
That never happened.
I was there for all but the very start of the event, and never heard any racist comments. I also scoured the footage of the event for evidence of Goodman’s accusation and could find none.
I did find points at which the South or West sides of Chicago were mentioned, at 0:20, 0:31, 1:24, 2:02,3:49, 3:57, and a third where racism was mentioned, at 4:33. I have included those segments below, including my own exclamation, “it’s racist to defend black,it’s racist to deny black people the right to defend themselves”:
It is clear that no one shouted out they needed guns to protect themselves from people who live on the South side. To the contrary, they were defending the right of the people in the South Side to bear arms to protect themselves from gangs. No one was casting racial aspersions, and for Goodman to suggest there was some sort of racial animus coming through the crowd is wrong.
The rest of Goodman’s blog post is worth perusing to capture the tenor of his presentation, including this:
The reasons people give for owning guns have changed over time. It has been a long time since most people would say they needed guns to keep their African slaves from rebelling or fleeing, and it has been quite a while since people said they needed to be able to defend themselves from native American savages.
When most people think of modern armed insurrectionists they probably think of kooks living in a cult compound somewhere in the hills out west. But there they were, right in the middle of a prosperous Midwestern suburb, in a meeting that was being held in the public assembly room of the local police station.
Below are a few responses to the anti-gun panel I recorded from the so-called alleged kooks and racists in the crowd, as Goodman would characterize them:
Goodman wasn’t content to treat his audience with contempt on Sunday, but he felt the need to smear the crowd, including the veteran who stood up and went to war to protect Goodman’s 1st Amendment rights, with baseless claims.
This event shows the importance of bringing a video camera to record public events. And consider submitting your videos to Legal Insurrection.
(WAJ adds — Maybe it’s time for a Video Insurrection? What do you think?)
Update — A Reader Writes:
Goodman writes, “They showed up and, on a pre-arranged signal, interrupted the moderator’s introductions by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. There’s nothing wrong with pledging allegiance, but this demonstration was designed to take control of the meeting and display their power. You may have seen something like it in movies like Cabaret and The Sound of Music, which chronicle how Nazis would intimidate patrons of beer halls and other public events by singing, saluting, scowling, taking names, and following up with beatings.”
Nothing like that happens in The Sound of Music. What happens is nearly the opposite.
Specifically, the Nazis attend the Salzburg Musical Festival so that they can take Captain Von Trapp as soon as the performance is over. They sit in the audience and occasionally do a Heil Hitler.
But the “disruptive” moment at the festival is when the Von Trapps sing Edelweiss . If you skip to 1:10, that’s about where the entire crowd joins in with the Von Trapp’s Edelweiss as a show of defiance to the Nazis in their midst.
“The Lindsay and Crouse script provides a metaphor of the edelweiss flower, as a symbol of the Austria that Captain von Trapp, Maria and their children knew would live on in their hearts despite the Nazi Anschluss (annexation of their homeland.)”
I think it’s revealing that Lee Goodman mis-remembers what happens in The Sound of Music so comprehensively that he has the good guys and the bad guys mixed up.