There’s something inherently wrong about a different set of rules existing for a particular group versus another. Saying that a certain, privileged group can exercise their rights in ways the rest of us mere peons cannot goes against everything this nation was founded on. While those Founding Fathers often failed to live up to some of their own principles, it’s because they founded a nation on that principle, then denied others their rights.
We fixed that mistake, thankfully.
Yet there are still examples of a different set of rules for certain people. I suspect there always will be. Yet when you address those imbalances, one’s motivations for doing so actually matters. Are you worried about an imbalance of rights, or is it something else?
When it comes to an effort to bar members of Congress from carrying a firearm in the Capitol, it’s clearly something else.
On Monday, the North Coast’s own U.S. Congressman, Rep. Jared Huffman, introduced a bill with Rep. Jackie Speier (D- Hillsborough) that would prevent members of Congress from bringing firearms onto Capitol grounds.
Huffman has been sounding off on social media about this issue in recent weeks, calling attention to the incendiary rhetoric of a few gun-loving colleagues on the other side of the aisle.
For example, he recently retweeted a message from Louisiana Rep. Clay Higgins that referred to Joe Biden’s election as the culmination of a “conspiracy to dismantle America.”
“Folks,” Huffman wrote above the retweet, “under current House rules, this guy is allowed to have assault weapons in the United States Capitol. He’s allowed to bypass security and do whatever he wants with his guns, unlike everyone else in the Capitol.”
His post continued:
Today, the Capitol is one of the most fortified and secure places on Earth, including heavily armed, specially trained Capitol Police all over the place. Even the most paranoid member of Congress could not justify why they need guns at work. Yet some members insist on it. And the ones who are loudest about it always seem to be the most brazen and reckless — the ones most likely to cause an accident or something worse.
Now think about everyone who is gathered in the House Chamber during a State of the Union Address or a speech by a foreign leader to a joint session of Congress. Imagine your favorite unhinged members of Congress sitting there with guns. Maybe one of the new GOP members who subscribes to the Q-Anon conspiracy theory and believes Trump’s lies about election fraud. Maybe one of the members who talks rapturously about carrying out violent biblical prophecies. This isn’t the plot of a Tom Clancy novel; it’s a very real security problem and a ticking bomb that nobody wants to think or talk about. …
Huffman said he has been quietly pushing the Capitol Police Board to close the loophole for the past two years, with no real progress. “It is just a matter of time before an unspeakable tragedy happens, and I prefer to prevent it,” he wrote.
However, Huffman knows damn good and well that believing there was fraud during the election is a far cry from someone representing an actual threat to their colleagues.
What he’s doing is trying to paint a picture of a congressman or woman going on a shooting spree in the midst of a congressional session. Yet he does this with absolutely no corroborating evidence that anyone in Congress would do any such thing.
What Huffman is trying to do with this? What’s the real reason?
The answer is simple. He’s trying to sew distrust of the right. He knows that if he talks about it in this manner, people will start to wonder just how many Republican legislators are “unhinged” and if it’s a real problem. If it is, then just how many? Should any Republican hold office anywhere?
Huffman isn’t concerned about violence, he’s concerned about discrediting his political rivals.
Had he simply taken the stand that the American people cannot be armed in the Capitol–something that the Capitol Police are unlikely to every budge on–then he and his colleagues should be equally disarmed, I suspect he’d have a much less difficult time with the measure. I could at least respect what he’s saying. “Rules for thee but not for me” isn’t exactly the basis of a free society, now is it?
But he didn’t, and now Huffman is laying all his cards on the table.
Frankly, if anyone here is unhinged, it’s Huffman for thinking any of his colleagues represent an actual physical threat to him or anyone else. Now, are they a threat to our bank accounts? Absolutely, but that’s a topic for another time.