A former police officer and current sitting US Congressman from Louisiana warned of bloodshed should the so-called “assault weapons ban” bill become law- and several of his constituents on the other side of the aisle panicked following his remarks.
Clay Higgins, a US Army and law enforcement veteran who took office for Louisiana’s 3rd district in 2017, spoke on Wednesday during a House Oversight Committee hearing.
Higgins stated that the current proposal for an “assault weapons ban” -which would effectively render most of the firearms in circulation illegal to produce, sell or transfer- would result in American citizens having to defend themselves against federal law enforcement agents conducting raids to enforce the new laws.
“What my colleagues are doing, it’s really, unbelievably beyond the pale of, of anything reasonable or constitutional,” he said. “Everything we’re leading towards here is a seizure of weapons from the homes of law abiding American citizens that have purchased those weapons legally. You’re setting up gunfights in the homes of Americans.”
Higgins noted that federal agents would run into resistance should they attempt to conduct raids.
“When do you think ATF and FBI come to our house? In the dead of night,” he said. “You’re setting up gunfights between American citizens defending their homes from dark shadows, clearly armed, coming into our home, onto our porch, and through our door. You’re setting up death.”
Higgins went on to speak of a bleak scenario, with “Americans killing Americans over some fantasy that you can define what is a dangerous weapon in the hands of those Americans, living beyond their true right to exercise their own decisions about what type of firearm they legally purchase and own. It’s insane. What you’re pushing, it’s not going to end well. You can push this bill through by party-line vote, but Americans are not going to sit and allow it without responding.”
Higgins was unrelenting in his comments, adding that those across the aisle in favor of the bill would bear the responsibility for potential future bloodshed.
“You’re setting up some extreme stuff and you’re 100 percent responsible for it,” he said. “My colleagues in the Democratic Party, when those gunfights happen, that blood will be on your hands.”
The so-called “Cajun John Wayne” addressed the nature of the word “assault weapon,” which does not refer to any technical references to a firearm, but is instead a purely political and vague term that allows definitions to suit whatever lawmakers deem fit.
“[A] political charade of pretending to be able to identify weapons that you from your ivory tower in D.C., you know better” he said. ‘I can define the weapons that Americans shouldn’t have the right to own.’ It’s already, we can’t buy a tank or have a caliber above 50. We carry light arms and we own them. We own them legally. We intend to keep them.”
Gerry Connolly, a Democratic representative from Virginia, perceived Higgins’ comments as a threat.
“We will not be threatened with violence and bloodshed because we want reasonable gun control!” he shouted.
When confronted about his statement, Connolly began slamming his fist on his desk, screaming “I will not yield!”
“You just heard it,” he said. “Another threat of violence!”
When asked by the chair if he would retract his statement, Connolly claimed he did not know what there was to retract.
“You pointed at me and said I was threatening you, bro,” Higgins said.
“I heard the gentleman from Louisiana say that ‘Blood would be on our hands’ if we attempted to pass legislation that could yield to his imagination apparently, of ATF agents and FBI agents going to someone’s front porch and taking away their weapons,” he said. “What I heard in that remark was an implied threat that people would resort to violence.”
Despite announcements that the house would not address the issue until August, a surprise move on Thursday night has led to a scheduled vote for an expedited debate on the floor the following day.
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