Civil Discourse Now

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History: guns in Congress very bad idea

History tells us why members of Congress should not be armed in the chambers of either the House or the Senate. On May 22, 1856, Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner, a Republican, delivered a speech that denounced slavery. Preston Brooks took issue.

Brooks, Democratic Party member of the South Carolina delegation to the U.S. House, was furious. He went to the Senate and beat Sumner “into unconsciousness with a heavy rubber cane.” Klein, President James Buchanan: A Biography, 1962, p. 253.

Brooks was expelled from college for threatening, with firearms, police. Hollis, “University of South Carolina,” 1951, p. 139. Brooks walked with a cane because he was shot in the hip during a duel. He did not challenge Sumner to a duel.

Brooks thought Sumner, by attacking slavery, was no gentleman and thus unworthy of a challenge to a duel. Massachusetts Congressman Anson Burlingame challenged Brooks to a duel over this matter, but Brooks chickened out.

“Lawmakers may not bring weapons into the House chamber and other nearby areas.” NBC News, 11/24/20. Secret Service protocol prevents anyone carrying a weapon near the Pres or VP. The VP presides over the Senate.

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) wants to be able to carry her Glock on her hip in “ALL gun-free zones.” The Hill, 11/24/20. One may one such zone would be the floor of the U.S. House for this Q/anon believer.

Why would she be concerned for her safety in the House? The rioters who invaded The Capitol on January 6 are her buddies. Maybe Boebert sees Deep State lizard people everywhere, but, like most bullies, she probably just wants to intimidate others.

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