Madison Cawthorn Says Armed Citizens Could Topple U.S. Government: 'Ask the Viet Cong'

Representative Madison Cawthorn has defended the Second Amendment and said it enables U.S. citizens to overthrow the federal government if it becomes tyrannical.

Cawthorn, a Republican who represents North Carolina's 11th congressional district, spoke to Newsmax's Chris Salcedo on Wednesday about gun rights and the purpose of the amendment.

The 25-year-old is currently the youngest member of the House of Representatives and the first to be born in the 1990s. He told Salcedo American citizens could successfully defeat the government if it became necessary, citing the Viet Cong.

Salcedo asked Cawthorn about David Chipman, who is President Joe Biden's nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Chipman appeared before a Senate hearing on May 26 and Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) him asked to define an assault rifle.

Chipman told Cotton: "An assault weapon would be, in the context of the question you asked, what Congress defines it as."

Chipman went on to say the ATF defined an assault rifle as "any semi-automatic rifle capable of accepting a detachable magazine above the caliber of .22, which would include a .223, which is, you know largely the AR-15 round."

His answers garnered criticism from Cotton and others, while Chipman's stated aim of banning AR-15 assault rifles is also controversial among Second Amendment advocates. Cawthorn criticized Chipman's comments on Wednesday.

"I actually saw him try and walk that back and say 'you know what, the definition of an assault weapon is anything that shoots a semi-automatic round, something you can pull the trigger multiple times without having to reload,'" Cawthorn told Salcedo.

"That is basically every single modern sporting rifle in the United States of America he said.

"But let me tell you—the Second Amendment is not written for sporting," he went on. "The Second Amendment is so that if a tyrannical government ever wants to rise up, we can stop them.

"And if anybody ever wants to say, 'Oh, well you know what? Citizens with a few small arms fire would never be able to stop the federal government.' I absolutely disagree," Cawthorn said.

"Ask the Viet Cong how they handled the Marines and the Army in Vietnam," he said.

The Viet Cong was a Communist revolutionary organization in Vietnam. The group's main objective was the overthrow of the South Vietnamese government and the reunification of North and South Vietnam.

They fought a mostly guerilla war against South Vietnamese and U.S. forces and were ultimately successful in reunifying the country, which remains under Communist rule. However, the Viet Cong suffered huge losses over the course of formal American involvement in the conflict between 1964 and 1973. The number of Americans who died in Vietnam was 58,220.

Newsweek has asked Cawthorn for comment.

Madison Cawthorn Speaks at CPAC
Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference being held in the Hyatt Regency on February 26, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. Cawthorn has said armed citizens could successfully overthrow the federal government. Joe Raedle/Getty Images