The effort to turn the storming of the Capitol building into a gun control issue continues apace. The fact that no guns were found or used among the rioters who entered the Capitol is completely beside the point, as the forces of gun control see it. Any political or violent action with which the left disagrees is justification for a crackdown on law-abiding Americans’ gun rights. Period.
When firearms are present at a protest, it heightens fear in responders and can lead to rash decisions. The fear of guns begets more guns, leading to a Wild West-esque standoff on the House floor, as Capitol Police openly pointed guns at intruders, and eventually shooting and killing one protestor. Other members of the police force have been criticized for retreating or simply standing by. But would they have been more confident in deescalating had they been sure that protestors were unarmed?
Without the fear of the presence of guns, tenants of nearby buildings would likely not have had to be warned to evacuate. Commentators have compared the atmosphere in the government building with that of a school in lockdown with a shooter on the loose, with fearful politicians cowering on the floor and texting emotional messages to loved ones. “They would not have felt that way if they didn’t believe that these people had guns,” Brown says.
Gun laws are relatively tight in the nation’s capital. Open carry is forbidden; concealed carry is only allowed with a permit from D.C., and not from any other state. Guns must be registered, and there’s an assault weapons ban in place. The Capitol itself is a gun-free zone. (Which is why, earlier this week, D.C.’s chief of police said he planned to inform Lauren Boebert, an incoming Colorado congresswoman who claimed she would be bringing her Glock to work, that she would face penalties if she did so.)
— Talib Visram in The Capitol insurrection could not have happened without guns