NEW YORK –– Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements today responding to a violent, pro-Trump mob storming and damaging the United States Capitol Building in an act of violent insurrection. Some insurgents were reportedly armed, and one woman was reportedly shot and killed on Capitol grounds. Bombs were also reportedly found at the RNC and in the Capitol Building.
“What we saw today was not a protest — it was a violent, far-right insurrection that was fueled by the president and endangered both human lives and our nation’s democracy,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “The federal response was also deeply disturbing, and could not have been a more stark contrast to the phalanxes of federal officers President Trump called in from across the government in response to peaceful marchers protesting the murder of George Floyd.”
“Today’s deadly insurrection was incited by President Trump and every other Republican official who has spent weeks lying about election results and obliterating trust in our democracy,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “The next four years in America must be dedicated to restoring the Republic, and also accountability – there is no place in our government for officials who try to overthrow the will of the people they claim to represent.”
“Far right extremism like this used to exist on the fringes of the internet –– then it was dragged into the political discourse by the gun lobby, encouraged by President Trump on the debate stage, exacerbated by coup-curious Republican officials, and now it’s storming the United States Capitol,” said Nick Suplina, managing director of law and policy at Everytown for Gun Safety. “There is no place for armed insurrectionists in our country, and we need a national reckoning to root it out.”
This riot –– which echoed across the country in Alaska, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin –– came after weeks of false fear-mongering and conspiracy theories about the results of the election, driven by President Donald Trump and other Republican officials. It also mirrors several other incidents of far-right armed extremism throughout the past year, which President Trump has refused to condemn, cheered, and even egged on by urging extremists to “stand back and stand by” from the presidential debate stage.
The law enforcement response to today’s deadly insurrection was starkly different from the response to peaceful Black Lives Matter protests this summer, which were violently mobilized against, gassed, and overrun by law enforcement.
The mob of extremists who stormed the Capitol today are part of a dangerous and growing far-right movement, driven in part by the gun lobby, that is threatening our democracy and putting lives at risk. Everytown recently released a report –– which can be read in full here –– examining this toxic mix of conspiracy theories, guns, and far-right extremism in America.
Please reach out to [email protected] to discuss armed extremism with any of our experts.