Gun-toting congressman wants bipartisanship after calling for threats to colleagues

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Madison Cawthorn previously encouraged supporters to 'lightly threaten' his fellow elected officials.

North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R) urged his Democratic colleagues to halt partisanship during Wednesday's House floor debate over Donald Trump's second impeachment.

The comments were a stark contrast to Cawthorn's own past rhetoric, which has included divisive language and requests for people to threaten elected officials.

"Today is a moment for members of Congress to put aside partisan politicking and place people over power," he said. "I urge my colleagues to vote against this divisive impeachment and realize that dividing America will not save this Republic."

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Cawthorn's call for unity came days after he admitted he had brought his gun to the U.S. Capitol and was armed during the deadly insurrection by pro-Donald Trump extremists, egged on by the White House occupant himself.

As the Washington Post noted earlier in January, guns are banned in both legislative chambers, but members may carry them elsewhere on the Capitol grounds, so long as they are registered in D.C. Democrats have sought to shutter this rule in the past, saying the loophole could allow "malicious figures" to obtain those weapons if they managed to get into the building.

"Fortunately, I was armed, so we would have been able to protect ourselves,” Cawthorn told Smoky Moutain News on Jan. 8.

His spokesperson did not confirm whether Cawthorn had carried his gun on the House floor. A House sergeant-at-arms memo following last week's attack reminded Congress that "firearms are restricted to a members' office."

Additionally, Cawthorn spoke at the rally in D.C. on Jan. 6 where Trump urged supporters to storm the Capitol and told them "weakness" would not win back the country. "There is a new Republican Party on the rise," he said, "that will represent this country, that will go and fight in Washington, D.C."

"My friends, I encourage you, continue to make your voice heard, because, do we love Donald Trump?" he stated.

And just last month, Cawthorn said at a Turning Point USA event, "Call you congressman and feel free, you can lightly threaten them and say: 'You know what, if you don't start supporting election integrity, I’m coming after you. Madison Cawthorn is coming after you. Everybody’s coming after you.'"

From the House floor debate on Jan. 13, 2021:

REP. MADISON CAWTHORN (R-NC): Madam Speaker, today represents a unique opportunity in our nation's history. An opportunity to put America first, to put her people first.

 

Today is a moment for members of Congress to put aside partisan politicking and place people over power. I urge my colleagues to vote against this divisive impeachment and realize that dividing America will not save this Republic.

 

I urge my colleagues to not simply vote for what feels good. Of course it feels good for the Democrats to have a united constituency for a few more days. But I was elected to come here and vote for things that actually do good, to bring much-needed help to the American people.

 

I am willing to take the first step, and extend my hand across the aisle to say vote against impeachment, vote in favor of a unified nation, and I will forsake partisanship no matter who you are or what party you come from.

 

Madam Speaker, I urge that we all vote to finally put America first, and with that, I yield back.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.