Why Congress Critters Shouldn’t Be Armed

And we’re off to a not-great start

The House Natural Resources Committee’s first meeting of the year turned heated Wednesday when a Democratic member offered an amendment that would prohibit lawmakers from carrying guns in the panel’s hearing room.

Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., said he was proposing the “sadly necessary” amendment because it’s a “major issue of safety for members of our committee.”

He noted that the Republican-controlled Rules Committee removed a provision that had been put in place by Democrats for the previous two-year period prohibiting firearms in hearing rooms and committees. One of the first acts of the new GOP majority was to remove the magnetometers that former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., had installed outside the House chamber after the Jan. 6 riot.

“To be clear, members and their staff are already prohibited by law from carrying guns into the hearing rooms and conference rooms of this Capitol. Currently, under statute and Capitol Police Board regulation, members are supposed to have firearms only in their offices,” Huffman said.

“This does not allow for carrying firearms into hearing rooms and doesn’t allow for walking around the Capitol with a loaded weapon. But we know some members think these rules do not apply to them,” he added.

So you’ll never guess … oh, okay, you probably have already guessed how Republicans on the committee responded that Huffman’s proposal.

Yeah, keep it classy, Boebert. Why is it the people who always insist they have to have guns are the last people on the planet you’d trust with guns? Anyway, after her juvenile little demonstration Boebert went on to complain that she hadn’t been armed on January 6.

Boebert went on to say that said she followed House rules on the day of the Capitol attack, and didn’t have her gun on her when protesters were trying to force their way into the building.

“It was the first time in many many years that I have been unprotected. I was disarmed, not unarmed, disarmed, because I was not allowed to possess my firearm,” said Boebert, who was first elected to Congress in 2020.

Then this exchange happened.

“With threats against members of Congress at an all time high, now is not the time to be stripping members of our constitutional right to defend ourselves,” the Colorado Republican said, before recounting several incidents of violence in the Capitol and against lawmakers over the years. …

… Rep. Ruben Gallego, an Arizona Democrat who recently launched a Senate bid, noted Wednesday that Boebert’s list of incidents against lawmakers omitted the Jan. 6 riot.

“Yes, it was awful when Ashli Babbitt was murdered,” Boebert snapped back, referring to a rioter who was shot by a Capitol Police officer as she tried to get through a door leading to where members of Congress were being evacuated.

Okay, let’s deconstruct this. If I didn’t know better, I might assume that Boebert was saying she wished she’d had a gun on January 6 so she could have shot Ashli Babbitt herself. But we know that’s not what she meant. What she was arguing is that she should have had a gun to protect herself against the thugs breaking into the building, but at the same time she thinks it was wrong to shoot them.

So, lady, where’s YOUR tin foil hat?

In other GOP News: The Republicans are telling each other to double down on the stuff that voters don’t like about them. Christina Cauterucci writes at Slate,

In the wake of a disappointing midterm election cycle for the GOP, which analysts and exit polls attributed in large part to widespread public dissatisfaction with the party’s efforts to criminalize abortion, the Republican National Committee is urging party members to … er, redouble their efforts to criminalize abortion.

A resolution passed on Friday at the winter meeting of the RNC exhorts GOP lawmakers to “pass the strongest pro-life legislation possible”—essentially, to double down on one of the least popular parts of the party’s platform. The document suggests that six-week abortion bans, such as the one that took effect in Georgia after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, are one example of the types of laws Republican legislators should pursue, but it implies something much stricter: The “strongest possible” anti-abortion legislation would be a total abortion ban. The resolution also makes an oblique comparison between abortion and human enslavement, noting that the party’s original 1856 platform “rejected ‘the twin relics of barbarism,’ polygamy and slavery.”

Abortion, the document states, is one of “the new relics of barbarism the Democratic Party represents.”

The resolution goes on to criticize Republicans who, in the lead-up to the 2022 midterms, strove to attract moderate voters by keeping quiet on the topic of abortion or walking back their extreme stances. In the parlance of the document, these candidates “failed to remind Americans of our proud heritage of challenging … the forces eroding the family and the sanctity of human life.”

An internal RNC report also encourages doubling down on election denialism.

Also today, Kevin McCarthy and President Biden met today to discuss the debt ceiling, among other things. I haven’t hear anything about that, yet.