March 5, 2021

BYRON YORK: Developing some perspective on the Capitol riot.

In the last few days we’ve seen a series of hearings in the House and Senate on the January 6 riot at the Capitol. After all the talk, we still don’t know some of the basic facts of the riot, especially the circumstances surrounding the death of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, the only law enforcement officer and only non-rioter to die in the violence. But in spite of the gaps in our knowledge, a sense of perspective on the riot — Who was involved? What did they think they were doing? — has begun to emerge.

First, the riot is often referred to as an “armed insurrection.” A search of the Nexis database of newspapers, websites, and cable news transcripts finds 2,339 times since January 6 in which the riot was described as an “armed insurrection.” On many other occasions, the rioters were described simply as “armed.” But the description requires an asterisk that is rarely, if ever, applied. A small number of the rioters did indeed have baseball bats or bear spray, and a few used flagsticks or even, in one case, a crutch as weapons to assault Capitol police. But the armed insurrectionists did not use any firearms. Before January 6, if anyone heard the phrase “armed insurrection,” he or she might have assumed guns were involved. At the Capitol riot, they weren’t.

The whole thing was wildly overblown to suit the Democrats’ and media’s agenda. Much of what we were told was false, and often outright dishonest. Republicans allowed themselves to be bulldozed into going along for reasons of “decency.” As usual, the decency was a sham.

Related: Senate Sick of FBI Stonewalling.

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