“If I was up here I’d probably pick these books up and start throwing them around. If I was a white guy, I’d go get my semiautomatic weapon and come down here and mow everybody down,” Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers ranted during a debate on “gender identity” legislation. While a mere citizen might find himself in a world of hurt for making a “terrorist threat” against government officials, lawmakers — immune to such prosecution for what they say during hearings and debates — face no such worries. And it’s not like Chambers, who has found he can get away with saying and doing practically anything, need even concern himself with options that are available to his peers – censure, admonishment or expulsion.
Yes, of course his ludicrous statement was blatantly racist. Imagine the reaction had a white lawmaker begun his objection with “If I was a black guy,” and then finished up by tarring all with a violent stereotype. No amount of apologizing would be enough to satiate those calling for his head. His “friends” would all distance themselves as far as they could get, and his career would be toast. That is, unless he were a Democrat.
For Chambers, such behavior is expected. He’s been getting away with spreading his special brand of lunatic hate for a long time. As Nebraska’s “longest-serving” state senator, he’s confident he can keep getting reelected no matter what he says or does.
That’s why he feels free to practice discrimination against religions he hates, compounding anti-Catholic attacks with mutilating rosary beads. It’s why he can get away with saying all white people are racists and they “polluted” his blood. It’s why he wasn’t laughed out of politics after he filed a lawsuit against God. It’s why he was confident to dare legislators to do anything about it when he compared police to ISIS, and added:
“If I was going to carry a weapon, it wouldn’t be against you, it wouldn’t be against these people who come here that I might have a dispute with. Mine would be for the police. And if I carried a gun, I’d want to shoot him first and then ask questions later, like they say the cop ought to do. But could I get away with it? You know I couldn’t get away with it. They’d better hope I never lose my mind and find out that I’m on my way out of here.”
And naturally, for someone who represents himself to be an egalitarian man of the people who hates authority, Chambers does everything in his power to keep them disarmed.
Chambers voted against concealed carry legislation. He inserted an amendment into one concealed carry bill requiring permittees to “carry concealed the maximum number of pistols for personal protection due to paranoia and stark terror.” And it’s not just that he supports so-called “gun-free zones,” he actively works to expand them. At a time when mountain lions were threatening humans in Nebraska, “lion of the legislature” Chambers fought to repeal lawful managed hunting.
He gets away with it all because of who his constituents are and what they perceive the function of government to be. He gets away with it because of the number of gang members his constituents count as family.
Isn’t it curious, all those Southern Poverty Law Center “HateWatch” entries for Oath Keepers, despite a non-discrimination membership requirement in its bylaws? And Nebraska’s bigoted state senator doesn’t even get a mention?
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people,” John Adams wrote in 1798 to the Officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts. “It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
As for Chambers’ constituents, perhaps his “gun control” stance makes a perverse kind of sense. Perhaps those who are hate-filled, racist, self-serving and dumb enough to keep rewarding him with political power and the ability to impose control over their lives are themselves too ignorant to be trusted with a gun.