Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) has taken a step forward in opposing the cowards and thugs who hide behind masks while committing violence. In July, he introduced the Unmasking Antifa Act of 2019, which is designed to punish those who seek to injure others while covering their faces, even when participating in constitutionally protected activities. The legislation specifically targets “interference with protected rights while in disguise”:
“Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, while in disguise, including while wearing a mask, injures, oppresses, threatens, or intimidates any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both.”
In a press release, Burchett said, “The bill would also add an additional two years of jail time to anyone who destroys buildings or property within special maritime and territorial jurisdiction while wearing a disguise.”
Antifa claims to oppose fascism and white supremacy, but as Liberty Nation’s James Fite pointed out, “Their rage and hatred know no bounds – and no group is excluded, it seems. They’re something like equal opportunity haters; they’ll unleash their uncontrollable fury on anyone at a moment’s notice.” They have been especially strong in Portland, OR, where they seem to have conquered the city, claiming the mayor was on their side, giving them full support. While at a rally there, conservative reporter Andy Ngo suffered serious injuries at the hands of Antifa, and no law enforcement intervened to stop the vicious onslaught. But continued attacks on conservatives are growing.
Members of Antifa claim they are fighting against racism, fascism, and the Nazis, saying that if people had challenged Hitler and his henchmen in the beginning, the Holocaust never would have happened. They even go so far as to train their followers in effective assault techniques. “If you get a good liver or kidney shot, it’s pretty much crippling them,” one instructor said in an Antifa video. “They’re going to be doubled over in a lot of pain. If you break one of the floating ribs, which are small and right down here. Those are also very painful, it’s hard to move after that, to catch a breath.”
All of this while wearing masks.
“It’s time we get tough on this issue,” Burchett said. “These cowards wouldn’t act the way they do if the whole world could see their faces. Look at the recent attack on a journalist in Portland. He was assaulted while expressing his freedom of speech. It’s just plain wrong to allow someone to commit a crime anonymously and get away with it.”
Will this bill put a stop to the violence? Probably not, but at least the attackers’ faces will be evident. Exposed, the cowards won’t be able to hide. Perhaps some of the more shy Antifa members will be discouraged from aggressive activity for fear of being recognized by employers, family members, and the authorities.