GOP lawmakers throw a fit about new metal detectors at Capitol after riot

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Numerous Republicans fought orders from Capitol Police to walk through a metal detector to cast votes on the House floor.

Dozens of Republican members of Congress on Tuesday had public meltdowns on the House floor, throwing a fit over new security measures following the violent and deadly insurrection many of those lawmakers helped incite.

The Republican House members were angry that they had to walk through metal detectors to get onto the House floor — a basic security precaution that millions of Americans happily comply with at airports, office buildings, and even grade schools all across the country.

They voiced that anger by ignoring orders from Capitol Police, who had just worked to protect those lawmakers from armed insurrectionists less than a week earlier, when a mob broke into the Capitol seeking to overturn President-elect Joe Biden's victory from being certified.

"You can’t stop me; I’m on my way to a vote," Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) said as he pushed past Capitol Police officers, according to a report from HuffPost's Matt Fuller.

Fuller reported that scores of House Republicans either openly ignored the magnetometers, or walked through them without stopping — even if they set off the machines.

"The metal detector policy for the House floor is unnecessary, unconstitutional, and endangers members," Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) told Fox News' Chad Pergram. "I did not comply tonight. I will not comply in the future."

Of course, the metal detectors were put in place after last week's terror attack at the Capitol, in which Democratic lawmakers said they believed some House Republicans were on the side of the violent mob. The mob not only ransacked the historic building, but it killed at least one Capitol Police officer and left others wounded.

In a video message on Tuesday, Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) said she believes some GOP lawmakers held "reconnaissance" tours for people who came to the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Sherrill said:

Not only do I intend to see that the president is removed and never runs for office again and doesn’t have access to classified material, I also intend to see that those members of Congress who abetted him; those members of Congress who had groups coming through the Capitol that I saw on Jan. 5 — a reconnaissance for the next day; those members of Congress that incited this violent crowd; those members of Congress that attempted to help our president undermine our democracy; I'm going to see they are held accountable, and if necessary, ensure that they don't serve in Congress.

The fears that Republican House memebrs who incited the violence may have guns on the House floor was not abstract.

"I am legally permitted to carry my firearm in Washington, D.C. and within the Capitol complex," Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), who used violent rhetoric that helped incite the mob and even tweeted about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's whereabouts during the attack, tweeted. "Metal detectors outside of the House would not have stopped the violence we saw last week — it’s just another political stunt by Speaker Pelosi."

Boebert did not have the legally required permit to carry a weapon in the District of Columbia as of Jan. 4, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.

Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), who encouraged people to threaten members of Congress, even said that he had a gun while in lockdown during the insurrection.

Many of the lawmakers who ignored police officers to bypass the magnetometers are the very same people who demand respect for law enforcement.

"Each and every day, our brave law enforcement agents proudly wear the uniform and protect our communities. On National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, I especially offer my heartfelt thank YOU," Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) tweeted in January 2019.

Weber was one of the Republicans who refused to use the metal detectors, and whose office even sent around an email to other House Republican offices trying to cobble together a joint statement opposing the use of the machines.

Republicans who ignored the security measures received a torrent of criticism for their behavior.

"Republicans are calling for guns to be brought to the US House floor, and saying it is an 'atrocity' to have metal detectors in Congress," MSNBC host Joe Scarborough tweeted. "They are out of their minds."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.