Capitol Chaos: Shots Fired, Tear Gas Deployed At U.S. Capitol

House and Senate members on lockdown. Teargas deployed in the Capitol Rotunda. Reports of shots fired inside the Capitol building. The storming of the U.S. Capitol and the disruption of the certification of the Electoral College vote by scores of Donald Trump supporters has been underway for a couple of hours as I write this, and the images from inside the Capitol are almost incomprehensible.

Where this ends, I have no idea. This morning I was concerned about the self-immolation of the Republican Party and what it would mean for Second Amendment supporters. As I wrote just a few hours ago:

Pushing hard for gun control is a political risk at the moment, especially given the number of new gun owners, but just as support for gun control spikes after a mass shooting, large-scale acts of political violence will be used by that “moderate” bloc I mentioned to call for as many “common sense” gun control proposals as possible. In politically charged moments even those who generally support the Second Amendment can go weak-kneed, and the bloc could add to their numbers at least temporarily.

I’m not hoping to see that kind of violence at all, but I can’t say that I would be surprised if we did, and I suspect many Americans feel the same way. I think we’re in for some challenging times ahead, and that goes for far more than just our Second Amendment rights.

Those challenging times are here, and the events of January 6th are going to cloud American politics and our society for years to come.

I have a lot in common with the men and women storming the Capitol. I’d say if we sat down together we’d probably agree on 80-90% of the issues in the country today. That 10% difference, though, has made these folks more like the antifa types that they want to fight than they’re like to admit, and my heart doesn’t swell with pride when I see these images from the Capitol.

As I’ve stated many times here, I believe in the right of revolution. This just isn’t the right revolution. James Madison explicitly told us how to fight back against a tyrannical regime in Federalist 46, and preemptive mob violence wasn’t in his playbook. I voted for Trump twice, and I had no problem with the multiple legal challenges to the election results. The scenes at the Capitol, however, look a lot more like what we as Second Amendment activists have been fighting against than what we’ve been fighting for. I don’t know how many Americans are cheering on what’s going on at the Capitol today, but I can tell you that every one of America’s enemies are applauding.

Again, I don’t know where this ends, but it’s not going to be anywhere good. I honestly can’t understand it. Even from a tactical perspective, it doesn’t make sense to me. Instead of giving Biden the chance to prove his subservience to the socialist wing of the Democratic Party, those storming the Capitol have preempted his authoritarianism with their own. There is a principled and effective way to fight back, but you have to be able to think in the long-term, and that’s simply not happening right now.

Is this 1776? I’d argue if anything it’s closer to 1856. The fractures are here, and may not be fixable, but something as big as the United States takes more time to break apart than you might think, especially in our day and age of instant expectations. I’m concerned, though, that this cycle of destruction that began with the physical attack on the Capitol will continue, with emboldened Democrats launching their own assaults on the Constitution in the name of saving it. The Capitol will eventually be cleared, but I’m not sure how you put this genie back in the bottle. I don’t think this is something that passes by in a news cycle, but more likely the start of a new and chaotic chapter in American history.