Pearls are being clutched and fainting couches are being readied after Colorado Rep. Ken Buck took to Twitter with a challenge to Joe Biden and Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke.
I have just one message for Joe Biden and Beto O’Rourke, if you want to take everyone’s AR-15s, why don’t you swing by my office in Washington, D.C. and start with this one?
— Congressman Ken Buck (@RepKenBuck) March 6, 2020
Of course Chris Cilliza of CNN demonstrated his cluelessness with his response.
Very normal stuff! https://t.co/j6cyjqE7tC
— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) March 6, 2020
I’d say “Come and take it” actually is a normal reaction to the idea of confiscating legally owned firearms from millions of Americans. It’s the idea of gun confiscation that’s abnormal and outside the bounds of the American tradition.
Some of Buck’s critics took issue with his muzzle discipline in his short video clip.
Did you notice the lack of barrel discipline/safety….. just pointed gun at camera man
— Mason Young (@Mason_Youngg) March 6, 2020
Alex Yablon, who used to write for The Trace, wondered why Buck was allowed to keep an AR-15 in his Capitol Hill office, given that the District of Columbia has banned them.
— Alex Yablon (@AlexYablon) March 6, 2020
So are “large capacity magazines”, but David Gregory of NBC News got away with possessing one on camera a few years ago.
Even some of Rep. Buck’s fellow congresscritters took to social media to complain that they felt unsafe.
Your congressional office is not your private home. It is a public space.
This behavior is threatening and unacceptable. I feel unsafe with this in my place of work.
I have been in contact with the Sergeant at Arms to express my concerns. https://t.co/UTbNBXLziW
— Rep. Haley Stevens (@RepHaleyStevens) March 6, 2020
As it turns out, this isn’t the first time anti-gun activists have tried to make a big deal out of Buck’s black rifle. Back in 2015, after Buck and then-Rep. Trey Gowdy posed in his office with Buck’s AR-15, D.C.’s Attorney General actually launched an investigation. As the Huffington Post reported at the time, however, Buck broke no laws by having his AR-15 in his D.C. office.
The Metropolitan Police Department referred HuffPost to the Capitol Police Department, which noted that D.C.’s ban does not apply to any member of Congress or their employees while at the Capitol.
“[Capitol Police Board] regulations … specifically provide that members of Congress may maintain firearms within the confines of their office and they and any employee or agent of any member of Congress may transport within the Capitol grounds firearms unloaded and securely wrapped,” Lieutenant Kimberly Schneider said.
As for the muzzle discipline, Buck noted at the time that the AR-15 on his office wall wasn’t operable.
In a statement released from his office, Buck described the gun as “a beautiful, patriotic paper weight” and said Capitol Police gave him permission to bring the rifle into the office.“While safety protocols call for all guns to be treated as if they are loaded, this one isn’t,” he said. “Further, a close inspection of the only public photo of the rifle will show that the bolt carrier assembly is not in the rifle; it is in fact in Colorado.”