Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert has posted a video in which she apologises for throwing away a pamphet depicting a photo of a 10-year-old girl murdered during the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, along with a memorial pin that she was handed by a gun violence activist.
Ms Boebert’s video was obtained by the liberal Twitter profile PatriotTakes; it wasn’t immediately clear where it had been first posted. But in the video, Ms Boebert addressed the now semi-viral clip of her tossing away the pamphlet in question after receiving it moments earlier.
On the pamphlet were photos and a short message memorialising Maite Rodriguez, who died in Texas’s deadliest mass shooting last year. The pin was designed to look like a pair of green Converse sneakers, Rodriguez’s favourite, also used by family members to identify her remains after the shocking attack.
The shooting sparked emotional and long-lasting conversations about how the Lone Star State treats firearms and gun violence.
In her video response, the congresswoman claimed that the activist who had handed her the photo and pin had actually been “a man who came at me very aggressively just a few weeks prior during a press conference,” and noted that the man had been detained by Capitol Police at the time. She also claimed she was unable to hear the activist’s questions because she was wearing AirPods at the time.
The Independent spoke with the activist who handed Ms Boebert the pin, Elijah Pelton, who contested Ms Boebert’s version of the story. According to Mr Pelton, the congresswoman is mistaking him for another activist who confronted her, Jake Burdett, whom The Independent previously reported was manhandled by Congressman Clay Higgins as he asked questions about Ms Boebert’s divorce at a House Freedom Caucus press event in May.
A second activist who accompanied Mr Pelton last week described the scene in more detail.
“Elijah and I were walking around Capitol Hill handing out the green Converse pins to members of Congress and we ran into Lauren Boebert. Just as we talked to other members, we told the congresswoman the meaning behind the shoes and the pin. We told her who Maite was. We told her that the green Converse were one of the only ways her family could recognize her. She did not say anything to us but did shake her head ‘no’ after I told her that we hope she takes action on gun violence prevention.
“As Boebert was walking away from us and around the corner, she quickly tossed the pin into the trash,” she continued, while noting: “Many congressmembers and offices were very supportive of our efforts. They have been outspoken on social media about their support.”
One of those members was Greg Casar, a freshman progressive from Texas.
Mr Pelton added in his own statement: “What Lauren Boebert doesn't realize, is that this is bigger than any one of us. Majority of Americans want some form of gun policy reform, whether it be in the form of an assault weapons ban, Ethan's Law, heightened red flag laws, or any other number of policy suggestions.”
“Boebert only thinks that we're "coming for her guns," and most Representatives, and Senators, who share a similar view with her don't even have the courtesy to sit down with grieving parents to talk about their experience after their children have been shot and killed.”
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