Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado joined her comrades from the so-called Stop the Steal rallies Saturday for a panel on the Second Amendment at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida. The American Conservative Union-endorsed congresswoman used the elevated stage as an opportunity to promote her gun-toting image and rail against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“We are in the gunshine state,” moderator Dana Loesch told the assembled crowd to kick off the panel, before introducing Republican Reps. Andy Biggs and Boebert and former Georgia state Rep. Vernon Jones.
The three politicians had spoken at numerous Stop the Steal rallies and used the campaign’s language and messaging in contesting the 2020 presidential election. Jones was a fixture of Stop the Steal rallies, particularly those in his home state of Georgia, while QAnon-supporting Boebert spoke at the first “Million MAGA March” in Washington, D.C. Biggs, meanwhile, was cited by far-right activist and lead Stop the Steal organizer Ali Alexander as one of three congressmen who helped plan the D.C. rally that immediately preceded the insurrection at the Capitol. (Rep. Paul Gosar, who was another, spoke at last night’s far-right alternative to CPAC before taking CPAC’s main stage this morning.) Loesch herself had spoken at an early Stop the Steal rally in Texas in November.
“For the first time ever, I don’t think I’m the biggest fire starter on the stage,” Loesch said, as Biggs pointed to Boebert. “Thank you, Congresswoman Beobert.”
“Are you worried about your safety in D.C., in the Capitol, both?” Loesch asked Boebert, referring to the congresswoman’s declaration that she would carry her glock to Congress. Boebert released a viral ad on Jan. 3 showing her walking around in an alley of a wealthy D.C. neighborhood spouting claims about violent crime and declaring that “I am my best security.”
Boebert went on to tell viewers how after a man was beaten to death in her hometown of Rifle, Colorado—the only town named after a gun, she noted—she started openly carrying in her restaurant and encouraged her waitresses to do the same. In response to questions about proposed gun legislation, Boebert turned the discussion to what she really wanted to talk about: her battle with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who ordered the installation of metal detectors in the House chambers following the Capitol insurrection and reports of Congress members giving large tours days before.
Boebert has tried to circumvent the metal detectors—as has Biggs—and bring her gun on to the House floor, claiming she needed it to protect herself should there be another insurrection; she was granted a conceal carry permit earlier this month. As Right Wing Watch wrote at the time, “Despite the fact Boebert was allied with the very activists who breached security and stormed the Capitol, she is now trying to use the insurrection as justification for being allowed to carry a gun in Washington, D.C., and in Congress.”
I am legally permitted to carry my firearm in Washington, D.C. and within the Capitol complex.
Metal detectors outside of the House would not have stopped the violence we saw last week — it’s just another political stunt by Speaker Pelosi.
— Rep. Lauren Boebert (@RepBoebert) January 13, 2021
“Speaker Pelosi has called us the enemy within. There’s metal detectors,” Boebert said. “I am there to defend our Second Amendment rights. This isn’t about attacking my gun; this is talking about taking your gun and I will stand up for your God-given rights every single day.”
“In Washington D.C., I wouldn’t be surprised if we start quartering soldiers in the committee hearing rooms. There are plenty in the parking garage at ‘Fort Pelosi,’” Boebert said. “Maybe we could unreasonably start seizing and searching members of Congress. Oh wait. We’re already doing that on the House Chambers. Yes, yes. We are. With the metal detectors and all that.”
Later, she was more direct: “I cannot wait until they take that gavel from Speaker Pelosi in 2022.”
The conversation at another point veered to legislation introduced by Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida to prevent suspected terrorists from buying firearms.
“Well, what’s the definition of domestic terrorist? Does it mean that Vernon Jones, if I go to the United States Capitol, and I want to protest peacefully, now I’m under terrorist watch, and I haven’t done anything wrong? Wait a minute, something’s not right,” Jones said, before likening himself to the late civil rights icon John Lewis who was put on a no-fly list. “So what is a terrorist? You and me could be a terrorist in their definition, and that legislation doesn’t define what a terrorist is.”
“They want us to be called domestic terrorists and be put on lists,” Boebert said at another point. “Well then, aren’t we all domestic terrorists?”