U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Paloma Capanna is an attorney and policy analyst who is pushing for the American people to realize the right to bear arms is a civil right.
For nearly 20 years, Paloma has been fighting for gun rights in court and beyond. She represented Bill Robinson and 32 other plaintiffs in the landmark case that revealed the NICS-to-TSDB connection. The FBI was sharing NICS data on gun buyers with the executive branch. She is also an award-winning activist and writer.
Paloma’s new book is called, Events of January 6: What Impact the Second Amendment Movement? The Activist’s Workbook, and it releases on Independence Day. I had a chance to speak to Paloma about her new book and her views on the state of the Country.
John: Tell me about your book?
Paloma: When the events of January 6 happened, suddenly we found Oath Keepers at the top of the news cycle everywhere from PBS straight the way through to Fox News. And that caused me to the immediate question of “why.” As I started digging into the alleged prosecutions of people that the Department of Justice and the FBI were branding as Oath Keepers, I came to see that the government’s own case was non-existent.
That’s really what catapulted me to look into the events of January 6 in depth. And then to ask the question, “what impact will this have on domestic terrorism statute, and what impact will this have on the Second Amendment movement?”
John: So, the book is basically going over what impact January 6 had on the Second Amendment movement and basically the Patriot movement in broader terms. Why do you think the government targeted The Oath Keepers?
Paloma: The Oath Keepers have a mission that is a bit different than other Second Amendment groups. They expressly speak to Veterans, First Responders, law enforcement, and even active-duty members of the United States Armed Services.
What I think comes across in the DOJ and FBI papers is that they are tweaked by Stewart Rhodes to focus on that particular segment of the American activist population.
John: Since their mission is a little bit different, that basically makes them a lightning rod for the government to accuse them of the events of January 6?
Paloma: I think you can’t look at Oath Keepers and say, either they planned the January 6th events at the Capitol, and the government papers do not even allege that Oath Keepers arrived at the US Capitol until after it was breached approximately 90 minutes into the events that were unfolding.
John: Why do you think that the government uses the January 6th events as an excuse to go after gun owners even though there wasn’t a gun there at all?
Paloma: Creepage, right? The domestic terrorism statute that we find at 18. USC section 2331 was actually passed in the days after 9/11. Most people hold the misconception that the Patriot Act targeted international terrorism. But that statute was already on the books since 1992 during Bush One.
So fast forward to 9/11, what Congress does pass under Bush was a domestic terrorist definition tucked into the Patriot Act. And for the last 20 years, this Country has been working its way towards a situation where everything that has been done to enemy combatants and detainees in the name of being foreigners on foreign soil is now coming home to be turned on its head.
Just American activists on us soil and in US prisons.
John: When the Patriot Act passed back then, I was yelling for the top of the rooftops that this isn’t about terrorism, this isn’t about Al-Qaeda, that it’s going to come back and hurt Americans. And it’s going to allow the government to violate the civil rights of Americans. But it was very hard to get that across to people.
Impossible. Impossible! I was at public appearances, and I was running for Congress, and I was being called Un-American to my face in public settings for making those arguments. Yes, impossible. I feel like I’ve been saying the same thing for 20 years, and now finally, people are willing to listen because we’re at the 11th Hour.
John: Yeah, exactly. Another thing I have a question: I don’t know if you saw the article I released recently, but it’s the White House plan to deal with domestic terrorism.
Paloma: No, I actually was focused most recently on your article on the Heller celebration. And I thought to myself, “How have I missed out on this.” So hopefully, a future year.
John: Okay. That was a fun article. That was a fun day. Hey, next year if you want to come, I can arrange it.
I got documents from the White House where they’re talking about domestic terrorism and domestic extremists. It doesn’t mention anybody by the name, but it mentions the right-wing and the people involved in the January 6th event. It never mentions is left-leaning groups like Antifa, BLM, or any of the groups that actually burned cities and cost lives.
Why do you think that is?
Paloma: Manipulation of the narrative. You know what’s interesting is up until like midnight January 5, we could call this, you know, Cinderella’s twin sister story, but up until midnight, January 5, arguments were being made by various people on both sides, even by moderate, even by analysts at think tanks that were talking about the evolution of violence in 2020 into 2021.
And that entire discussion pivoted on its head on January 6, and now even channels like Fox are just completely sucked into this lopsided, fear-mongering rhetoric. None of the reporters are running down the details and looking at the information that’s available by submitting a FOAIL. And I look at one of these defendants, look at Thomas Caldwell, for example, he’s won.
One of the first defendants charged altogether. He’s one of the first three charged as being an Oath Keeper. And his lawyers make a claim in the papers that Thomas Caldwell is a former FBI section chief.
Where is the media coverage of this? Where is anybody tracking down the information from the FBI? Is that true? And in the response from the DOJ with the FBI, they completely skip. That allegation. There’s no comment one way or the other. Have we got any media coverage? No, nothing zero.
John: You and I were on the same page when we come to that stuff.
Another thing in that document was to combat white nationalism; they want to limit access to so-called assault, weapons, and so-called high-capacity magazines, which you and I would probably call standard capacity magazines
Paloma: Or just magazines.
John: Correct. What does that have to do with white nationalism?
Paloma: Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Including that for any person who has followed the topic more, broadly of hate crimes committed by any group or individual person, seeking to target an individual or group, the number one method of violence is the hand.
The hand, the mouth, the words that come out the slamming of doors at businesses at rentals, it has absolutely nothing to do with firearms or even knives.
At this point, I think that there absolutely is an effort to try to manipulate the narrative and the American Consciousness against any person who is a law-abiding gun owner in America.
John: You think they’re using that as an excuse to target guns. How do you think that they’re going to rectify their assertion that guns are tools of white nationalism with the statistics showing the record number of African Americans and other minorities buying firearms?
Paloma: They are assuming that the American people want to be ignorant. They are assuming that people are worn out from the pandemic and are worn out from the frenzy of media. I mean, you turn on the television, and what do you see on the six o’clock news.
I call it the eight-minute surf, and I’ll literally start ABC, NBC, CBS pivot over to CNN, MSNBC, and so forth. You know, straight up my television dial for the first six to eight minutes to see what America is eating for dinner by way of the news. And it’s not investigative journalism. It’s not Bob Woodward. It’s not even reliable.
It’s simply a talk show. And what I would love to see is for the FCC to actually revoke the news licenses and simply convert these into entertainment channels because I don’t see the difference between Real Housewives of New Jersey and CNN at this point.
John: Yep, it seems that true investigative journalism is dead. It also appears that journalism that tries not to take a stance and put out the facts for the people to decide on their own is dead. I try to do a lot of articles where I don’t really put my opinion in there, and I’ll let the people decide on their own. Why do you think that has fallen out of favor with news organizations?
Paloma: I don’t think they are right in their capitalist approach to the news. They can’t sell newspapers. They can’t get the attention of Americans. There’s too much to compete with, especially with social media outlets and, if you will, hobbyist reporters, right? So, you walk out with their cell phone and do a little bit of video. They put it up. Do you know how many people are following and clicking?
What I am finding is that, in my book, we will be doing the official release on July 4. We started a soft rollout two weeks ago on Bill, Robinson’s Second Amendment radio show out of Upstate New York, and I’ve already got Book Sales coming in from all over the Country. This was not quite what I expected, but the word this is out, and you know people are clicking buttons and calling. Some are even ordering like a box full of copies. People in America are still looking for facts. They are still looking for reliable sources. Sometimes we are hearing and sharing things among each other.
Someone will say to me, “Well, I heard I heard there were no firearms recovered at the Capitol. On January 6. Is that true?”
That’s part of why I spent over 400 hours researching and writing this book is because now, you can say, Jill Sandborn of the FBI testified to Congress that no firearms were recovered at the Capitol on January 6. No firearms charges have been brought in more than 400 prosecutions initiated since January 6. There’s your source.
But that’s not what’s getting reported. I mean, you have to be a wonky person. You have to go over to C-SPAN. You’ve got to look at that Congressional hearing testimony. You have to read the whole 15-hour transcript. There were charges, no claims. That’s from the US government. So, how the media can continue to be making this a gun issue is absolutely criminal.
You know it is really time for Americans to get back to having a backyard barbecue together and discussing issues. Even if it’s crazy, Aunt Louise, who you think is a progressive and she comes with a pink hat on. Even if it’s a white man over 50 who’s a curmudgeon and wants to pound it and say, President Trump, is still my President.
We, as Americans, have got to recognize what’s happening right now in the name of domestic terrorism concerns, every single one of us, this isn’t a political issue. It has nothing to do with Democrats or Republicans. I mean, my book points to Senator Lindsey Graham and several of the very disturbing things he said during the hearings. It points to Senator Marco Rubio and a bill that he says if you had a pending for an investigation during the last ten years, it would be sufficient to disqualify you from purchasing a firearm.
We, As Americans, have got to stand together on this and draw a line and say we cannot allow this to happen.
John: Yeah, I agree. Your book comes out on July 4. I take it. That’s not a coincidence.
John: Yeah, where can people get a copy of your book?
John: What is a 2 AM Patriot?
Paloma: Yep, 2 AM Patriot for those of us who lay awake at night—wondering if we’ve done enough for civil rights.
Buy “Events of January 6: What Impact the Second Amendment Movement? The Activist’s Workbook” at https://www.2ampatriot.com/
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.