Sure, Jan. 6 Capitol assault was an “armed insurrection”
Five people died on January 6, 2021, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer, when a mob forcibly invaded the U.S. Capitol in protest of the November 2020 election results.
Few people were arrested that day, but our understanding of the day’s events and the motivation of the rioters has increased over time, as more than 230 people have now been identified and charged, according to a database maintained by National Public Radio.
But US Senator Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, still claims reports of the day’s events are exaggerated. He made his case in an appearance on “The Jay Weber Show” on WISN radio on February 15, 2021.
“The fact is, this wasn’t an armed riot for me. I mean armed, when you hear armed, don’t you think of firearms?” Said Johnson. “Here are the questions I would have liked to ask. How many firearms were confiscated? How many shots were fired? I only know one and I will defend this police officer for firing that shot.”
Johnson made an almost identical claim on another Wisconsin radio show later that morning.
Johnson phrased this as an opinion, but tried to make factual claims that January 6th was not an “armed insurrection”.
So let’s review the evidence on this point.
Break down the claim
Johnson preceded that comment by claiming that Democrats paint a picture of every Trump voter who is a violent riot. Certainly not everyone in the crowd was armed. And many apparently just wanted to protest peacefully.
However, the claim that this is not an armed insurrection lags far behind this mindset.
Many in the crowd attacking the Capitol have said they want to stop the confirmation of the vote and keep Trump in office despite the election results. This is a riot.
That leaves us with his objection to the word “armed”.
Yes, carrying a gun would mean being armed. But the definition of the word is much broader and simply refers to carrying a weapon. So the question is whether there were people who carried weapons in this uprising.
And it did.
Reports include a number of weapons, many of them makeshift
First of all, we will find that any reports of guns in the Capitol will greatly underestimate the amount that was likely there. Only 75 people were arrested that day and police did not conduct widespread searches that identified weapons against others present, according to NBC News.
“The cops weren’t looking for people,” Mark Jones, a former Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent with 20 years counterterrorism experience, told NBC News in a Jan. 13, 2021 story. “I’d speculate that there were many, many more firearms that went undetected. “
But news and official reports are filled with reports of armed people in the Capitol.
According to the US District Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, 14 people tied to the January 6 attack will be charged with bringing or using dangerous weapons into the building and two people will be charged with firearms.
NBC News reported that within a week of the attack, a dozen cannons and thousands of rounds of ammunition were found on seven people who had been arrested at the Capitol before and after the riot.
Cleveland Grover Meredith drove to Washington from Colorado with a Tavor X95 assault-style rifle with a telescopic sight, a 9mm Glock with high-capacity magazines, and more than 2,500 rounds of ammunition, including at least 320 rounds of armored rounds. NBC reported. Reuters said Meredith wrote “War Time” after hearing that Vice President Mike Pence would count the lost states’ votes.
In the trunk of Lonnie Coffman’s vehicle, police found an AR-15-style rifle, shotgun, crossbow, several machetes, smoke grenades and 11 Molotov cocktails, Reuters reported. Another man, Christopher Alberts, of Maryland, was stopped while exiting Capitol grounds after a police officer discovered a loaded pistol on his waist.
Much more people armed themselves with more unorthodox means, causing harm and harm.
Robert Sanford, 55, from Pennsylvania was allegedly caught on video throwing a fire extinguisher at a group of police officers. David Blair, 26, was seen hitting officers with a lacrosse stick, NBC said. Others had pepper spray, brass knuckles, a pipe, and penknife, and one man carried a “spiked whip,” a tool with blunt and whip-like edges marketed for self-defense and for escaping from a locked vehicle.
A rioter was caught on video hitting a police officer with an American flagpole, NBC Washington reported. The New York Times checked a video showing people using stolen police shields, sticks and crutches as weapons.
And the man who was photographed with his feet on the desk of US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi was carrying a 950,000-volt stun cane, House impeachment manager Stacey Plaskett said on Feb.10.
Not to mention the pipe bombs found near the Capitol at the Republican and Democratic Party headquarters.
Johnson’s staff did not immediately return an email for evidence or explanation of his claim.
Johnson said the January 6th Capitol riot “did not appear to be an armed riot.”
It’s a ridiculous revisionist story.
Overwhelmed police officers were arrested that day and had direct contact with only a fraction of the crowd. However, we can still identify reports of numerous weapons found in and around the Capitol, and in some cases brought there by people who viewed themselves as soldiers in a war. And many other rioters used whatever hard objects they could find to attack the police and force their way into the Capitol.
A majority of Senators, through the impeachment vote, blamed Trump for fueling the uprising, though others debate the “why” question for the January 6th events. But the “what” question shouldn’t be discussed. It was an armed uprising.
We evaluate this Pants on Fire claim.