By Sam Bailey
Editor In Chief
The U.S. Capitol is one of the few buildings in the nation that is truly unbreachable, or it was up until Jan. 6.
Before the storming of the U.S. Capitol by a large group of Trump supporters earlier this month, the Capitol had not been breached by a group since 1814 during the War of 1812 (www.newsobserver.com).
On Jan. 6, a group of rioters came to the Capitol in the attempt to stop Congress from counting the Electoral College votes that would confirm Joe Biden as being the next President.
These riots turned violent and resulted in the protesters breaching the Capitol and numerous injuries on the side of the rioters and the law enforcement trying to keep them out.
“I did not think they’d come to the level where they’d start busting into the (Capitol) and doing what they did,” said Hutchinson Community College Political Science Instructor Jason Knapp.
One concern brought up in the aftermath of the riots was how this group got into one of the most guarded buildings in the nation.
Freshman Jay Chislom said, “I think the police had something to do with it, because how could they even get close to the building without authorization?”
Knapp said he read some reports that the FBI is currently looking into the possibility of politicians bringing rioters in on tours of the Capitol beforehand.
“I think we’ll get into it a little deeper as months go on and kind of see what happens,” Knapp said.
Another concern raised as to how easily the rioters seemed to breach the building was the lack of police standing guard compared to the peaceful Black Lives Matter protests of 2020.
“That is a prime example of racism in this country. The Black man is dangerous and the white man is innocent,” said HutchCC freshman Jervais Jakobe Schofield.
When talking about the issue of security, Knapp said that mob mentality took over the group and that the majority of the protesters probably were not intending on committing this level of federal offense, and that the Capitol adjusted security after the events to be better prepared, were this to happen again.
The motivation behind protesting on the day the Electoral College votes were being counted was that the rioters believed the election was stolen from them and Trump had truly won the election.
To add fuel to the fire, Trump had gone to Twitter before the riot to encourage his supporters to fight for the election.
Even with their attempts to stop Biden from entering the presidency, the votes were indeed counted and their attempts were in vain.
Knapp points out that out of the more than 50 cases of voter fraud brought forward by the Republican Party or Trump’s campaign, none of them had evidence of fraud.
The nation is torn in many different ways right now pertaining to politics, social issues and more. This being said, it is not yet time to worry about a civil war, as some fear.
“If you look at the data coming out from political scientists when it comes to divisions, the last time we were divided this much was actually the Civil War era pre-Civil War over the slavery issue,” Knapp said. “We’re at that point now, we’re just not quite at the point where we are at arms with one another.”
Politics is rarely an easy subject to talk about, but it is important for everyone to have these conversations.
“I think we should probably get back to having these conversations,” Knapp said. “We can disagree and have compromise. You don’t have to believe everything I say all the time.”