Lauren Boebert uses pile of guns as Zoom background in Congressional meeting

The congresswoman was criticised by her Democratic colleagues for her ‘gun fetish’

Graig Graziosi
Thursday 18 February 2021 22:02 GMT
Rep. Lauren Boebert displays her guns during a Zoom meeting with the House Natural Resources Committee
Rep. Lauren Boebert displays her guns during a Zoom meeting with the House Natural Resources Committee

Rep. Lauren Boebert proved she was either desperately seeking publicity or an exceptionally unsafe gun owner during a remote meeting of the House Natural Resources Committee.

Prior to the meeting, which was held over Zoom, Ms Boebert appears to have haphazardly piled a number of guns, including pistols and military-style rifles, on a shelf behind her so that the weapons would be clearly visible during her meeting.

The guns are laid across books and butt up against knick-knacks on Ms Boebert's shelf.

Naturally, the image attracted the attention of politicians and reporters who were watching the meeting.

Rep. Katie Porter issued a tounge-in-cheek response to Ms Boebert's weird display.

"I always thought my dirty dishes piled up and accumulating bacteria were the most dangerous thing in a Zoom background," she wrote, including some emojis that looked worried. She also included the hashtag, #SafeStorage.

Rep. Jared Huffman, a Democrat who is also a member of the committee, was more direct in his response to Ms Boebert's stunt.

"If somebody wants to have a shrine to their gun fetish as a Zoom backdrop in their private life, they can do that. But this is our hearing room and at some point we will get past the Covid epidemic and we'll all start showing up in person and our safety and our ability to conduct business civilly, without feelings threatened, is a relevant consideration," he said.

RoomRater, a Twitter account offering unsolicited opinions on the rooms of prominent individuals participating in remote interviews and meetings, gave Ms Boebert a 0/10 and criticised her for improperly storing her weapons.

"Unsafe gun storage is no laughing matter. Is this Fascist fraulein really the best Colorado's 3rd CD can do? 0/10," the account tweeted.

Ms Boebert replied by saying the guns were not being stored, insinuating they were loaded and prepared to fire.

"Who says this is storage? These are ready for use," she said.

Ms Boebert has practically built her persona on trolling liberals with guns.

The congresswoman was a co-owner of Shooters Grill, a gun-themed restaurant in the appropriately named Rifle, Colorado. Her restaurant was cited by the Garfield County Public Health Department for allowing dine-in service during coronavirus lock downs and was blamed for making 80 people sick at a rodeo.

Ms Boebert also claimed she would carry her personal firearm with her to Congress. Later, Rep. Steve Cohen accused her of giving tours of the US Capitol to her constituents - who she admitted to Congress were among those gathered outside the building on 6 January - in the days before the insurrection.

“We saw Boebert taking a group of people for a tour sometime after the 3rd and before the 6th. … Now whether these people were people that were involved in the insurrection or not, I do not know.” he told CNN.

Ms Bobert called the claims "false" and "slanderous."

In the days following the insurrection, Congressmembers were required to pass through metal detectors before entering the Capitol. Ms Boebert set the detector off and refused to comply with US Capitol police officers who responded to the breach.

She was eventually allowed to enter the chambers, but may face a $5,000 fine for ignoring Capitol security rules.

Some of Ms Boebert's colleagues, like Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, said they objected to her carrying her weapons to the chambers, and that she and other congressmembers do not "feel safe around other members of Congress."

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