January 6 Report: Hundreds Of Weapons Seized Before Capitol Riot
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene recently said that if she’d planned the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, “we would have won. Not to mention, it would’ve been armed.” Greene went on to make clear that she was talking specifically about guns, but let’s check out what she considers to have been an inadequately armed mob, because the Jan. 6 committee has some details on that.
Secret Service security checkpoints screening people going into the rally on the Ellipse at which Donald Trump spoke turned up quite a lot: “269 knives or blades, 242 cannisters of pepper spray, 18 brass knuckles, 18 tasers, 6 pieces of body armor, 3 gas masks, 30 batons or blunt instruments, and 17 miscellaneous items like scissors, needles, or screwdrivers.” Those were the people who agreed to go through the magnetometers, and they still had hundreds of knives and hundreds of canisters of pepper spray.
Others evaded the Secret Service checkpoints. “At 6:29 a.m., Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the Oath Keepers, reminded his group’s members that DC prohibited blades over ‘3 inches’ and encouraged them to ‘[k]eep [the knives] low profile.’ Others were thinking along the same lines. At 7:25 a.m., the National Park Service reported that a significant number of attendees ditched their bags in trees, rather than have them inspected.”
These are people drawn from the same population that has been convinced by Fox News that major U.S. cities are too dangerous to even go into without risking your (white) life, and they were just leaving their bags lying around in Washington, D.C.? They must have had some pretty strong reasons for doing that.
But again, the people leaving their bags outside the checkpoints did then go through. Cassidy Hutchinson testified that Tony Ornato, the deputy chief of staff in charge of security, told Trump that many people “don’t want to come in right now. They—they have weapons that they don’t want confiscated by the Secret Service.” According to Hutchinson, there may have been thousands of people refusing to go through security for that reason.
That’s still not all. “Three men in fatigues from Broward County, Florida brandished AR-15s in front of MPD officers on 14th Street and Independence Avenue. MPD advised over the radio that one individual was possibly armed with a ‘Glock’ at 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, and another was possibly armed with a ‘rifle’ at Fifteenth Street and Constitution Avenue around 11:23 a.m. The National Park Service detained an individual with a rifle between 12:00 and 1:00 p.m.”
These are people on what Rep. Andrew Clyde deemed a “normal tourist visit.” Not well enough armed to be anything more than a joke, according to Marjorie Taylor Greene. Between the documented efforts to get around D.C.’s laws regarding weapons and the hundreds of weapons that did arrive at Secret Security checkpoints and the many more encountered by other law enforcement—to say nothing of however many weapons were not quantified—no one can seriously contest that a significant fraction of the crowd arrived ready for violence.
Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.