Swalwell, Democrats fear Republican will shoot up Congress: ‘We could have a workplace violent event’
Some House Democrats like Eric Swalwell are suggesting their Republican colleagues will shoot them since metal detectors were removed from the House of Representatives.
“A lot of my Republican colleagues glorify violence and proudly display the firearms they have in their offices, so it just makes me nervous that we could have a workplace violent event. They’re not the most stable people,” Swalwell, D-Calif., said in an interview this week.
The magnetometers were installed after the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021, which continues to have reverberations on its two-year anniversary. Divisions in Congress are more stark than ever with Democrats openly expressing fears that they will be killed by their colleagues that they’ve deemed far-right conspiracy theorists.
Left-wing site Raw Story spoke with Swalwell and other Democrats about their concerns of being victims of violence. Swalwell said it was a “recipe for disaster” and Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., said it’s a “frightening group of people over there.” The Congressman added that he no longer counts on a lack of “crazy” things after the chaos two years ago.
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Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., agreed with the Raw Story reporter’s remark that it was “scary” to live in a “QAnon reality” with possibly armed Republicans. Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., has played coy about whether she’ll carry a gun on the House floor after she celebrated the departure of the magnetometers.
“This is the new reality,” Jayapal said. “Unfortunately.”
“There have been increased threats to members of Congress. There’s been an increase in political violence in this country, and I think we have a responsibility to make sure that people come to work—this is a workplace—that they could do so safely and free from any fear of violence, particularly gun violence,” Rep. David Cicilline, D, R.I., told Raw Story.
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Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., also said he had “concerns” about not having a metal detector and hoped it wouldn’t lead to “tragedy.” Not all Democrats were unhappy to see the detector go, though, with some like Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., noting it slowed down votes and the presence of armed Capitol police.
It’s unclear who ordered the removal of the metal detectors. The House does not have a Speaker at the moment as Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has been unable to wrangle the 218 votes he needs despite Republicans holding a narrow majority.
Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., had the detectors installed after the riot.
“When I arrived in Congress two years, Nancy Pelosi put this hunk of garbage outside of the House chambers for members of Congress to go through,” Boebert said in a Twitter video on Tuesday. “Today, they are being removed and we are turning Pelosi’s House back into the people’s House.”
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