Damning, Deafening Silence: Ro Khanna Refuses to Breathe a Word of Protest as His "Friend" Matt Gaetz Guns for Khanna's Own Constituents (Updated)

Author's Note: This article was updated with Ro Khanna's eventual statement on the matter.

Matt Gaetz and Ro Khanna in the HBO ducumentary 'The Swamp.' Screengrab credit @Eviljohna.
Two days ago, a madman shot up a transit yard not too far from my home, claiming 9 innocent lives.

The shooting, at a Valley Transit Authority depot in San Jose, California, was the Bay Area's worst mass shooting ever. Ro Khanna, who has reveled in being Silicon Valley's representative to Congress, immediately called on the Senate to end the filibuster and pass gun safety legislation on Wednesday.
Gun violence has become an ongoing tragedy of American life. By the FBI's definition, there have already been more mass shootings in America than there have been days in 2021 thus far. So it is good to hear my Congressman calling for getting gun safety reform, no matter what it takes. I like the fact that Ro Khanna is willing to take on whomever, whatever, whenever when it comes to gun safety.

Except for his close pro-Trump Republican friends.

Barely 24 hours had passed from the horrific shooting in San Jose when on Thursday, Ro Khanna's close friend and Fox News co-personality Rep. Matt Gaetz called on the type of people who invaded the US Capitol during the insurrection of January 6 to use their firearms to rebel against the United States, and, essentially in so many words, to shoot Ro Khanna's constituents.

Speaking of social media platforms' minimal efforts to deplatform white supremacist and neo-Nazi hate groups, Gaetz, who is under federal investigation for underage sex trafficking, said to Trump supporters at a Georgia rally with Marjorie Taylor Green that they have "an obligation to use" their second amendment rights against what he termed "the Internet's hall monitors."
Make no mistake: Gaetz is targeting and threatening Ro Khanna's own constituents with gun violence just as our community is reeling from our worst mass shooting event in history. Gaetz's threat is not idle hyperbole, and tech has been targeted by gun violence before. In April of 2018, a gunman shot and wounded three people at the headquarters of YouTube before taking her own life. The shooter targeted YouTube for the exact same reason Gaetz is fueling outrage against social media companies to his explosive, gun-nut audience: she believed she was being 'canceled' as YouTube had demonetized much of her content.

While the role of social media and big tech in nurturing the insurrectionist movement that Gaetz is part of deserves scrutiny - and frankly, my opinion is that they are not doing nearly enough to reverse the damage they have caused - their employees still deserve a safe workplace as they return after a year of working from home.

What is a response to this threat to his own constituents from our very social media savvy Congressman?

Nada. Zilch. Bupkiss.

Ro Khanna has a special obligation to speak out against and directly call out Matt Gaetz's violent rhetoric. Not only because Khanna represents Silicon Valley in Congress and Gaetz is threatening to send a mob to shoot his constituents, but also because of the work Khanna has done to promote, elevate, and normalize Gaetz (and by extension, Trump).

Prior to the news about Gaetz's potential criminal sexual escapades, Khanna and Gaetz regularly copromoted each other on both traditional and social media. In fact, Khanna often went the extra mile by appearing with Gaetz on Fox News and showering Trump's mini-me with effusive praise for the benefit of a right-wing audience.

Even though Khanna later downplayed his 'friendship' with Gaetz, before the sex scandal broke, he was never shy about giving Gaetz bear hugs, even if they had to be virtual in the age of COVID. In the above clip, Khanna happily volunteers that he and Gaetz "hang out."

Khanna was so committed to this budding friendship that he appeared in a documentary side by side with Gaetz to give him as much support and encouragement as he could.

Because Ro Khanna did everything he could to promote, prop up, and embrace the monstrosity that is Matt Gaetz, it is especially Ro Khanna's responsibility to repudiate his friend and be noticed doing it. And believe me, Ro Khanna knows how to be noticed doing something when he really wants to be noticed doing something. Ro Khanna bears a special responsibility to take on Gaetz, Gaetz's dangerous rhetoric, and Gaetz's insurrectionist loyalty to the lone president in US history to have set his own mob against the very government of the United States.

Instead, even as Gaetz threatens Khanna's own constituents with violence, Khanna has not said a word even mildly critical of his (former?) friend. The silence is deafening.

We, Ro's constituents, deserve better.

UPDATE: Ro Khanna has finally released a lukewarm tweet condemning Gaetz's rhetoric, several hours after he and I had a dialogue on Twitter. I leave his response here and note that he did not tag Gaetz in his tweet, which he always seemed to do when they were promoting each other.

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