'If somebody wants to have a shrine to their gun fetish as a Zoom backdrop in their private life, they can do that,' Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) said.
Speaking in front of three guns stacked on a bookshelf behind her, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) on Thursday demanded she be provided with a "security detail" if the House Natural Resources Committee enacts a rule restricting firearms in congressional hearing rooms.
Members of the House Natural Resources Committee were debating a measure in a rules package that would ban guns from hearing rooms in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Addressing Chair Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Boebert said, "I would like to request at this time personal security detail that the Chairman pays for himself, for every time I step into the committee room."
She went on to say, "I don't want a security guard, I want a personal security detail. I want a personal security detail to protect each member that requests it."
Referencing ongoing threats to the Capitol that have required fences and the presence of the National Guard in the Capitol, Boebert concluded, "We should be able to protect ourselves against these threats, and I want my own security detail."
During the hearing, Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) noted, "If somebody wants to have a shrine to their gun fetish as a Zoom backdrop in their private life, they can do that. But this is our hearing room, and at some point, we will get past the COVID epidemic and we'll all start showing up in person."
Republicans have repeatedly dismissed security concerns despite the Jan. 6 attack and have flouted rules that put in place security measures designed to protect House members from harm.
From a Feb. 18 hearing of the House Natural Resources Committee:
LAUREN BOEBERT: Mr. Chairman, we all took an oath to uphold and secure the Constitution, every single one of us. Our first act as members of Congress was to take our oath of office, and please allow me to remind you, a portion of that oath, the chair and every other member here solemnly swore that we would support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic.
The Second Amendment is very much a part of the Constitution of the United States, and so it doesn't matter how you feel, how you classify it, this is an enumerated right that American citizens have to keep and bear arms. Maybe some of you need to be reminded the Second Amendment says, "a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state." I know you don't like this words, "necessary," "security" – excuse me, I actually take those words back.
"A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the rights of the people to keep and bare arms shall not be infringed," that ends in a period. There is no semicolon to follow that, there are no examples on when government can restrict these rights. So any clever proposition that comes after that is an infringement on our constitutional rights.
As you've heard, other committees are not taking up similar rules. I also sit on the Budget Committee, and there's not a rule banning firearms from the hearing or conference rooms.
How do you plan to enforce this, Mr. Chair? If there's no enforcement measures here, why have the rule? Will there be metal detectors installed outside the committee hearing doors? What is the procedure for delaying a vote as members get screened? Who is going to pay for these new metal detectors and increased security?
Mr. Chairman, will you pay for this? Or will the taxpayers cover these expenses? I would like to request at this time personal security detail that the chairman pays for himself, for every time I step into the committee room. If this is passed, the chairman is trying to take responsibility for my personal safety while stripping away my Second Amendment rights.
I don't want a security guard, I want a personal security detail. I want a personal security detail to protect each member that requests it. House leadership has previously said they believe they need fences, lined with miles of razor wire because there are [unintelligible] active threats against the Capitol complex.
So if they want razor wire, fences, security, armed security, then we should be able to protect ourselves against these threats, and I want my own security detail.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.