Lawmakers Clash in Hallway Shouting Match

Lawmakers Clash in Hallway Shouting Match

( – Two legislators ended up facing off in Congress last Wednesday, after one of them launched an anti-GOP rant in front of reporters. When a Republican intervened, the Democrat started shouting abuse at him. It’s little surprise political debates on Twitter turn ugly so fast when elected politicians set this sort of example.

On March 29, Representative Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) spoke to a group of reporters in the Capitol. Bowman delivered an impassioned rant about how Republicans are “cowards” who do nothing about gun violence. He asked rhetorically if Republicans would be going to the funerals of the three 9-year-old children murdered by transgender activist Audrey Hale in Nashville, Tennessee, last Monday, then claimed, “They never go to the scene of the mass shootings.”

Video from the scene shows legislators walking past Bowman on their way out of the House chamber as he gestures aggressively, complaining that “[Republicans] have control of the House.” Finally, Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) stopped to talk to him and asked if he knew that there had never been a shooting at a school that allows teachers to be armed.

Bowman didn’t seem to welcome that information. Instead of discussing it with Massie, he became even louder and more agitated. The ex-teacher insisted that “More guns lead to more deaths,” although that’s simply untrue in many contexts. Massie continued to explain his point, telling reporters that the data shows schools that let teachers carry have never had a shooting, “Not even an accidental discharge.”

Unfortunately, Bowman had stormed off, still shouting, before Massie got to make his key point. “We’ve got guns to protect us,” he said. “And he doesn’t believe the kids should have somebody to protect them.”

Gun violence is a controversial issue, and there are many different — and strongly held — opinions on what we should do about it, but our legislators are supposed to discuss issues in a responsible, reasoned way. Bowman seemed to forget that last week. Democrats can’t lecture people about tolerance and decency when they act in this aggressive, unprofessional way.

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