A New York Times report indicates that the Capitol insurrectionists who failed to overthrow democracy on January 6th may be planning to bring more guns with them when they try again.

Hundreds of insurrectionists have been arrested and charged for entering the Capitol with intent to commit violence and overthrow democracy so Donald Trump could remain in power. Some have already been sentenced. Unfortunately, the consequences have not been harsh enough to deter those who haven’t been prosecuted.

The 2024 election is less than three years away, and Trump himself could very well be behind bars or at least embroiled in his own various indictments and prosecutions. Yet if he or one of his top supporters runs for president in 2024, conservatives apparently intend to try another attempted coup if the election results don’t go their way.

In fact, many of those who participated in the January 6th insurrection appear poised to show up to the next one, this time heavily armed.

“The post-mortems and prosecutions that followed that infamous day have focused largely on the violent core of the mob,” the NYT report said. But a larger group has received far less attention: the thousands who traveled to Washington at the behest of Mr. Trump to protest the results of a democratic election, the vast majority of whom did not set foot in the Capitol and have not been charged with any crime — who simply went home.”

One attendee of Trump’s election protest that day is North Carolina resident Oren Orr, who thinks those who go to Washington DC for another attempted coup should all show up with guns.

“Most everybody thinks we ought to have went with guns, and I kind of agree with that myself. I think we ought to have went armed, and took it back. That is what I believe,” Orr said.

In short, the danger has not passed. This country and our democracy remain under threat. Part of that threat is the result of a neutered DOJ and justice system that has treated the insurrectionists with kid gloves instead of treating them like domestic terrorists. This enables Trump and his supporters to feel like they can just try again and they will face little punishment.

The time to prepare for this coup attempt is now. Plans must be made to secure the Capitol and the White House in January of 2025. Of course, we don’t have to wait until 2025 to do something to prevent violence. The DOJ needs to bring charges against Trump and the other ringleaders of the insurrection. The insurrectionists should also be warned that, unlike Trump, President Biden will have no problem sending in the National Guard to clear the grounds by force if need be.

Coup attempts should not be tolerated. If our nation is to remain a democracy, we need to do whatever is necessary to protect it.

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