During a sprawling hearing held in the House this week about pistol braces, which provide accompanying firearms with a functionality similar to what’s seen with short-barreled rifles and sawed-off shotguns, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) criticized extremist Republicans for functionally abandoning the police and making so much distance between themselves and what everyday Americans want for gun policy in the U.S.
Swalwell also addressed the discrepancy between the angry response from Republicans to advocates for measures ensuring gun safety and their rhetorical embrace of convicted violent criminals who participated in January 6. This week, Republicans were even planning a visit to a jail in D.C. where a small number of arrestees from the riot have been held, most of whom faced accusations of violence. Imagine the Republican response if Democrats in Congress were going to visit individuals held in custody and accused of specific and violent acts. “The same people that want to have you arrested and put in jail want to go to the D.C. jail this week to take the January 6 terrorists out, if you can believe that — or not,” Swalwell observed to activists in the room.
“As the son of a police officer and a brother to two police officers, I’m a little surprised, especially growing up in a Republican family, that my colleagues have abandoned the position I’ve long known them to hold, which is to defend and protect the police,” the Congressman later added. “And instead they have brought here a witness who said, fuck the cops, and they have among their ranks a colleague who sells campaign merchandise that says defund the FBI… What we are really coming to find is that this gang is not interested in backing the blue. They’re entirely interested in backing the coup. They don’t stand up for the officers who protected us at the Capitol that day, and certainly by bringing witnesses here today that say, fuck the cops, we know that that’s exactly where they stand otherwise they wouldn’t have invited somebody like that.”
The member with the merchandise Swalwell referenced is Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.). Elsewhere, the California Democrat noted some of the statistics showing high levels of public support for the gun control measures detested by Republicans in office. In general, Republican pushes for deregulation around guns have sometimes contradicted law enforcement interests. In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis, for instance, has expressed support for allowing open carry without a permit — a prospect some sheriffs are opposing.
Swalwell: This gang is not interested in backing the blue. They’re entirely interested in backing the coup. They don’t stand up for the officers that protected us and by bringing in witnesses that say fuck the cops, we know that’s where they stand pic.twitter.com/o6O4xlfJAw
— Acyn (@Acyn) March 23, 2023