Republicans Say We Should Just Laugh Off Donald Trump’s Assassination “Joke.” No.

“The in-group for that joke should be tiny. Like his hands.”

Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer/ZUMA

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On Tuesday, Donald Trump ignited a firestorm of controversy when he told his supporters at a rally in North Carolina that “Second Amendment people” could block Hillary Clinton and her Supreme Court appointees if she was elected president.

Democrats and gun control advocates were quick to denounce the remarks as an assassination threat. Some Republicans (and even some media outlets) used the rationale that Trump’s comment was okay because it was just a joke.

House Speaker Paul Ryan described it as a “joke gone bad”; headlines ran similar explanations.

In other words: get over it.

But this particular incident might be different from all the other times Republicans have been forced to defend Trump. As Jason P. Steed, an attorney and former English professor from Texas, explained on social media, there’s always a bit of truth to a dangerous punch line, especially when it’s joking about taking up arms against a political rival.

Let Steed’s popular tweetstorm explain:

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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