Nine months ago, Ted Cruz was railing in support of the Second Amendment as the “the ultimate check against governmental tyranny—for the protection of liberty.” Now, as a group of armed men occupies a federal building in Oregon, Cruz says no one should use force to protest the government. What gives, Ted?

If you’re the sort who aggressively supports the Oath Keepers or believes that left-wing martial law is imminent in this country, it’s not unlikely that Cruz is your guy in the upcoming presidential election. In April, he sent a fundraising email to supporters touting his record of fighting for gun rights “tooth and nail.”

The email read in part (emphasis in original):

The 2nd Amendment to the Constitution isn’t just for protecting hunting rights, and it’s not only to safeguard your right to target practice.

It is a Constitutional right to protect your children, your family, your home, our lives, and to serve as the ultimate check against governmental tyranny—for the protection of liberty.

When elected President—I will ensure your Constitutional right to keep and bear arms is NOT INFRINGED.

While every Republican candidate offers support for the 2nd Amendment, only the Texas senator had the gall to explicitly connect it to armed insurrection against the government, as right-wing militias of the sort in Oregon often do.

Today, Cruz urged the Oregon protesters to “stand down peaceably,” telling reporters “we don’t have a constitutional right to use force and violence and to threaten force and violence on others.” That statement is objectively correct, of course, and everyone should hope for a peaceable resolution to the conflict. But Cruz shouldn’t be let off the hook for his earlier support of exactly this sort of armed protest.

Without Ted Cruz, who will stand for the revolutionaries now?

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