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The United States Congress is now in the process of investigating what led to the insurrection that took place on January 6th. They are seeking the facts in order to find solutions, and maybe create legislation, to make sure that this type of terrorism will never happen again at the Nation’s Capital. I have a suggestion when it comes to future legislation. Ban political candidates from advertising or conducting social media with guns in their possession or in the background.
Why? Recently, Rep. Lauren Boebert, the Republican Congresswoman from Colorado, while participating in a video conference for House Natural Resources Committee, had two assault rifles on her shelf serving as a background. Needless to say, that caused a commotion, especially when the committee was voting on whether members of the committee should be allowed to bring guns into the meetings. Boebert’s “protest” did not work and the amendment to the committee rules was passed.
Now, Boebert is a die-hard advocate for the 2nd Amendment, she even lives in a town called Rifle. She has made a big deal about carrying her Glock in the Capitol building. She made a video the day before the insurrection of her loading her Glock while walking in DC. But in light of the times, it is time for her, and others, to act responsibly.
Public servants can have strong positions on issues and take uncompromising stances if they so desire. However, if they are truly servants of the people, they have to show awareness of the moment. For the first time since the War of 1812, the US Capitol was seized. That was an unsettling moment for the majority of Americans. Politicians should be cognizant of that fact.
Therefore, since self-restraint does not seem to be forthcoming, it is time for legislation to ban political candidates from using guns or targets in their political messaging. This does not infringe on their 1st or 2nd Amendment rights. A politician can talk about their position on gun rights and show their NRA ratings all they want, but now is not the time for them to be showcasing their personal arsenals or casually pointing rifles at their daughter’s suitors.
It clearly implies for solutions that don’t involve a democratic process. It invokes further insurrectionist thoughts and actions. History bears this out, as the insurrectionist of 150 years ago used the medium of photographs and artwork effectively to invoke the passions of supporters and terrorize their opponents. Can you imagine L. Q. C. Lamar and Stonewall Jackson having access to Facebook, Twitter and Zoom?
We do have a modern example of how devastating that imagery can be. Ten years ago, a US Congresswoman was shot in Arizona, Gabby Giffords. Prior to the shooting, Sarah Palin’s PAC created literally a target map of several members of Congress, including Giffords, which had the faces covered by crosshairs. Now, Palin’s map did not motivate Gifford’s assailant, as he was planning to kill her five years prior to the ad or the actual attack, but it pretty much ended Palin’s national political future because of the immediate perception.
Politicians in America should not be perceived in any way as to be supporting a violent overthrow of the government. Thus, a ban, even just a temporary one, is needed in this volatile political climate. One can be a strong advocate of gun rights, I’m just stating that cooler rhetorical displays need to prevail at this moment.