UPDATE: Congressman Jason Crow (D-Aurora) responds:
The House Resources Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives met today for its first “organizing meeting” of the 117th Congress. Little in the way of Natural Resources business was discussed during the video conference, however, because Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle) initiated a stunt about allowing guns in the committee hearing room that ended up dominating much of the conversation.
Boebert used her full speaking time during the meeting to display her comical home office background as part of a long tirade in opposition to a proposed organizing rule that would prohibit the carrying of firearms in the committee room. Boebert’s rant was an obvious publicity stunt; she was clearly reading her words from a screen and a clip of her rambling speech was quickly posted online.
As Democratic Rep. Jared Huffman explained via Twitter:
Republicans are trying to dismantle committee rules to prohibit firearms and dangerous weapons in the hearing room. The fact that we have a member of the committee fetishizing weapons with her zoom background makes a clear case for why these rules are necessary. @NRDems pic.twitter.com/cWn26AFpSo
— Rep. Jared Huffman (@RepHuffman) February 18, 2021
Here’s Huffman’s full quote on the subject:
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, and our safety, and our ability to conduct business civilly, without feeling threatened, is a relevant consideration, unfortunately. So, I think it’s necessary — not only appropriate, but necessary — that we lay down these ground rules that whatever your fetishes or feelings are about guns, you’re not going to bring them into our committee room. You don’t need them there for your own safety. Many of us feel like it threatens our safety. And that’s just not going to be allowed, and that’s entirely appropriate, and unfortunately, necessary, Mr. Chairman.
A full vote on adopting new committee rules was later postponed.
You can watch the full committee hearing on YouTube. We also transcribed Boebert’s rant, which you can read after the jump below, in which she asks if women will still be allowed to vote in the committee and requests a personal security detail to be personally funded by Committee Chairman Raúl Grijalva.
House Natural Resources Committee meeting
February 18, 2021
Chair: Arizona Rep. Raúl Grijalva
BOEBERT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. An in-person committee meeting would solve a lot of the problems that we’re seeing today. 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. Please allow me to remind you of a portion of that oath, uh, the Chair and every other Member here solemnly swore that we would defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Uh, the Second Amendment is very much a part of the Constitution of the United States, so it doesn’t matter how you feel, how you classify it — this is an enumerated right that American citizens have to, uh, 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 those words: “Necessary,” “security.” Excuse me, I’d actually take those words back. Uhm, a well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state. The right of the people to keep and bear 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. Uh, so any clever, uh, 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 is 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 that 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 would need a personal security detail to protect each Member that requests it. House leadership has proven that they believe that they need fences lined with miles of razor wire because there are supposed 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. [Pols emphasis]
On January 6, none of us were looking to our neighbors saying, ‘Gosh, I hope there are enough metal detectors outside.’ No. The Speaker of the House was whisked away to safely [sic] while we were all left vulnerable and defenseless. With that, I would like to ask, will there be places to store firearms? I’m allowed to carry my firearm in the Capitol Complex. So will there be a safe storage area for me to lock up my firearm once I am disarmed by these Chairmen?
I believe that this is just messaging on the part of the Democrats. It is unconstitutional for Members of Congress to be detained on their way to vote. With that, I would like to say, are there any other enumerated rights that will be nullified in this committee? Do we have the right to free speech here? The First Amendment secures our right of religious freedom. Are Bibles forbidden in this committee? Are hajibs? Are crosses prohibited in this committee? Do we have the 14th Amendment? Are we not all equal under the law here in the Natural Resources Committee? How about the 19th Amendment? Can women vote in this committee? As a woman, I need to be certain that this committee has no intention to take away my right to vote. Why do you think you can cherry pick…why does anyone think that they can cherry pick the Second Amendment and say that this is the one enumerated right that we can take away from people? [Pols emphasis]
Why stop with the Second Amendment? Let’s go ahead and quarter soldiers in this committee room? There’s plenty of soldiers in the parking garage at ‘Fort Pelosi’ in Washington D.C. Let’s go ahead and forget about due process while we’re at it. That way we can unreasonably seize and search Members of Congress before they enter the committee room. You know, kind of like what’s going on in the House Chambers right now.
I urge my colleagues to think about this: If we don’t protect our rights in Washington D.C., there’s little hope outside of Washington D.C. for the American people to have those rights. This rule is absurd, and it is a discriminative power grab of our constitutionally-protected right to…
GRIJALVA: The Member’s time has expired [Boebert is still chattering in the background]
BOEBERT: …this is a blatant violation of our Constitutional rights and I yield.
Personal security detail request duly noted and placed in the round file. And wow, way to look like a complete yahoo to your colleagues.
So you’re saying that behaving like a totally unhinged wacko loon might not be the very best argument someone could make to try to persuade one’s colleagues to allow you carry your lethal toys around the workplace??? . . .
Pretty much that Dio. And a certain someone on this committee who thinks they "are the security" doesn't seem to grasp that she's the reason FOR security.
And finally, its the House Natural Resources Committee, not the fucking second amendment committee !
There's your bumper sticker.
Oh, she’ll make more (unfortunately) . . .
I think the best response to this screed would have been something along the lines of:
“Thank you, Ma’am. I believe that the question now before this committee is, Can everybody hear me OK?”
I challenge anyone to show me in the constitution where the right of a civilian to bear arms is guaranteed
I don't like it, and I don't think it's what the Constitution says, but a partisan 5-4 Supreme Court ruling on Heller v DC says that's what the 2nd Amendment says. I'm personally more on team Warren Burger when it comes to this issue.
I grew up around guns and live in a family of gun owners. I've never owned one, and I am not anti-gun; I am pro-common sense gun laws. Why anyone on Goddess's green earth needs one of these is beyond me. If we want to play the originalist game, give them all the muskets they can stack on their shelf for a Zoom meeting.
What I Saw Treating the Victims From Parkland Should Change the Debate on Guns
The Heller case held only that the Second Amendment protects a right to keep a pistol in the home. It said nothing at all about carrying concealed weapons in public or, really, any weapon in public. It said nothing at all about a right to carry guns into government buildings. In fact, Justice Scalia's majority opinion specifically disclaimed any intent to question such limitations.
My reply to marklane1351 was based on his wording, "show me where the right of a civilian to bear arms is guaranteed." Maybe I took the word "guaranteed" too lightly. NotHopeful, you're right in that the Heller case was most specifically about Heller's right to have a pistol in the home, and the earlier Court of Appeals ruling. But Scalia's opinion was full of references to the 2nd as an individual right – one isolated quote:
With all kinds of mentions or suggestions of the 2nd as an individual right came a few passages where Scalia said it's not unlimited, like in the case of concealed carry.
Not a constitutional lawyer by any means, just trying to explain where I was coming from with my comment.
Ah, Heller. Brilliant legal analysis, even better logic:
The phrase "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State" is merely prefatory.
Why do say that?
Because it has no effect on the substantive right conferred in the rest of the amendment.
How do you know that?
Because the quoted phrase is merely prefatory. Why do you think we call it the Prefatory Clause?
But why is it merely prefatory, such that you call it the Prefatory Clause?
Because it has no effect on the substantive right conferred in the rest of the amendment, ya silly goose.
Rinse, repeat, etc.
As NotHopeful correctly points out, the black letter holding of Heller is fairly limited. That'll change in a big way when the current Supreme Court decides to start hearing more Second Amendment cases.
My answer would have been simply been, "If you feel you are not safe in your role as a U. S. Representative, may I suggest you have the ability to rectify that by resigning at any time."
She seems to have a lot of difficulty making up her mind about many things . . .
Does she carry a gun around the Capitol, or not?
Does she want an assigned guard “quartered” with her, or not?
Freedom of speech, or yielding her rights subserviently to some arbitrary government time limit?
. . .
I guess it would probably help her to be able to make up her mind if she had one, and knew how to work it?
This woman is an utter embarrassment to our state and to Congress.
Exhibit A (for today):
(the part of the Constitution she shamelessly loves the most is literally an “amendment”)
Tee hee. But why would you expect someone in the … (checks notes) … legislative branch of government to know that?
The stone-faced FOX talking head doesn't look very amused. Perhaps even he is cringing.
He's wondering if there's enough liquor in the cabinet when he gets home.