D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier (Matt Zapotosky/The Washington Post) D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier (Matt Zapotosky/The Washington Post)

Strident lovers of the Second Amendment and other right-wingers love to lecture “libruls” and Democrats about the rule of law. And they love to scare their like-minded paranoids that “libruls” and Democrats will do everything in their power to undermine or skirt the law. So I read with interest about Adam Kokesh’s outrageous plan for July 4.

The 31-year-old former Marine and radio talk show host wants to lead armed demonstrators on a march across Memorial Bridge from Arlington National Cemetery around the Capitol, Supreme Court and the White House. Kokesh is calling on the thousands he hopes will join him (as of this writing, the count stands at 2,673) to march “with rifles loaded & slung across our backs to put the government on notice that we will not be intimidated & cower in submission to tyranny.”

Kokesh plans this to be “an act of civil disobedience, not a permitted event.” Fine. Happens all the time. But there’s just one problem. Openly or concealed, it is illegal to carry a gun in the District of Columbia. But that’s no issue for Kokesh. “There will be coordination with DC law enforcement prior to the event,” he writes on his blog. “I will recommend that they do the best they can to honor their oaths and escort us on our route.” Translation: skirt the law.

While Kokesh insists that violence isn’t the protest’s aim, the threat of it lurks on his blog.

This will be a non-violent event, unless the government chooses to make it violent. Should we meet physical resistance, we will peacefully turn back, having shown that free people are not welcome in Washington, & returning with the resolve that the politicians, bureaucrats, & enforcers of the federal government will not be welcome in the land of the free.

There’s a remote chance that there will be violence as there has been from government before, and I think it should be clear that if anyone involved in this event is approached respectfully by agents of the state, they will submit to arrest without resisting. We are truly saying in the SUBTLEST way possible that we would rather die on our feet than live on our knees.

The backdrop of this protest is the raging debate over sensible measures to control gun violence. A backdrop that also includes folks like Kokesh who seriously believe the federal government is using such efforts as a cover to chip away at the Second Amendment and take their guns. Kokesh’s Facebook page is filled with posts and comments to that effect.  The National Rifle Association’s leadership conference last weekend was filled with such delusions.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier was firm in her response. “If you’re coming here to protest government policy, great,” she told NewsChannel 8 yesterday. “If you’re coming here to break the law, we’ll take action.” She added, “There’s a pretty good chance we’ll meet them on the D.C. side of the bridge.” Lanier better hold true to her admonition because nothing good will come of this.

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Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.