We were all watching earlier this year when members of a pro-Trump crowd stormed our country’s capital. The mob invaded the Congressional chamber. Participants broke into offices, stole personal items and destroyed personal property of some members of Congress.
That same day, certain members of Congress still stood up and continued to spew false accusations about a stolen election and refused to condemn the actions of those involved in the attack.
Since the actions of those Congress members could be interpreted by some other members as being sympathetic to the insurrectionists’ actions, there is considerable animosity among them. And rightly so.
There is currently an investigation underway to determine whether any members of Congress were somehow involved in the planning of the attack. To say there is an air of distrust among members would be an understatement.
Some members of the mob were recorded calling for the execution of Nancy Pelosi and former Vice-President Mike Pence. Those threats were real as some participants were caught with zip ties that could be used to restrain someone. There were also weapons confiscated.
Because of the uncertainty and lack of trust among members of opposing parties, there is concern about incidents of violence occurring.
Five days before the attack on the Capitol, Nancy Pelosi and Kevin McCarthy received a letter from 83 members of Congress asking them to uphold a lawmaker’s right to carry firearms inside the United States Capitol complex.
Shortly after the insurrection, Capitol Police set up metal detectors outside of the House floor. All House members, staffers and aides must go through them.
A memo was sent to all members of Congress and their staffs informing them that metal detectors were being installed to ensure compliance with police regulations banning guns and incendiary devices from the chamber.
Apparently, some members have taken offense at the actions of Capitol police.
Several of those who signed the letter to Pelosi and McCarthy are outraged by the installation of metal detectors.
Even though there is a 1967 law which bans civilians from carrying guns on Capitol Hill, they do not like it. This applies even if they have concealed carry licenses. The law does allow an exemption which permits members to keep firearms in their offices. Weapons are prohibited in the House and Senate chambers, adjoining lobbies, coatroom, Senate Marble Room and House Rayburn Room.
One of those who signed the letter asking for the exemption was Representative Marjorie Green of Georgia. She made headlines when she was one of several lawmakers who refused to go through the metal detectors, pushing their way past Capitol Police. Sort of like those insurrectionists did on January 6.
The actions of those lawmakers prompted Nancy Pelosi to implement a $5000 fine for members who do not adhere to the regulation with an increase to $10,000 for each subsequent offense.
It should be apparent to most people that we have entrusted lawmaking to the wrong people when they refuse to obey the laws themselves.
Acting like unruly children, some unhappy lawmakers shouted at officers who were at the screening machines. And here we were thinking they supported all law enforcement.
Representative Lauren Boebert of Colorado, who was filmed in her campaign video carrying her Glock, called the installation of metal detectors a “political stunt.”
As a criticism of the metal detectors, GOP Representative Rodney Davis said in a statement that “the threat is outside, not inside.”
He needs to do his homework.
Representative Marjorie Green is a member of Q’Anon, the group that believes Trump was fighting a secret war against Satan worshipping pedophiles in government, business and media. The FBI has called the group a domestic terrorism threat. She also clicked like on the comment of one of her followers who said, “a bullet to the head would be quicker” to remove Nancy Pelosi from office.
It has been reported that Representative Lauren Boebert conducted a tour for a large group the day before the capitol attack. She has also been accused of tweeting about Nancy Pelosi’s location during the attack.
Working with these two would be like having Hannibal Lector over for lunch. Allowing guns in the chamber with folks who support such lunacy would be a mistake.
There are 535 private citizens running around trying to push their own agendas on any given day. Tempers flare and right now there is a bigger divide in the two political parties than ever before. If regulations are not followed, we could end up settling arguments with a gun battle instead of a filibuster.
Adding guns to the mix of misguided conspiracy theorists and too far left leaning wingnuts could be disastrous for us all.
Congress should continue to ban the presence of firearms not just to protect themselves but our Democracy.
Anita McGill is a former publisher of The Sentinel. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.