A day after chastising a fellow member of Congress for using “threatening words” in a political fight, Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) plucked an AR-15 off the wall of his office and threatened some politicians with it.
On Thursday, Buck denounced Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) for delivering a warning outside the Supreme Court that justices who restrict abortion access would “pay the price.” Schumer later apologized, saying he meant to say there would be a political price.
“Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s threatening words targeted at two Supreme Court Justices are not only inappropriate, but dangerous,” Buck opined on Twitter. “This is a new low for the Democratic Party.”
So it came as a surprise when, barely 24 hours later, Buck decided to threaten former Vice President Joe Biden and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke — with an actual gun.
Biden, a front-runner for the presidential nomination, has spoken in favor of gun control.
“Joe Biden is the only candidate in this race who has taken on the NRA and beaten them,” Andrew Bates, Biden’s spokesperson said Friday, adding, “The American people are crying out for gun safety reform, and, as president, Joe Biden would demand a ban on assault weapons. Weapons of war have no place in our streets, and absolutely no place in our schools. It’s long past time for elected officials to value the lives of our children over the interests of gun manufacturers.”
Former presidential candidate O’Rourke issued a full-throated call to confiscate assault rifles last year after a gunman killed 22 people at a Walmart in his hometown of El Paso.
In a video on Twitter, Buck implied he’d literally shoot the two men if they tried to restrict access to semiautomatic weapons.
One might characterize Buck’s threat as “not only inappropriate, but dangerous.” Rep. Hayley Stevens (D-Mich.) tweeted, “I feel unsafe with this in my place of work,” and said she had been in contact with the Sergeant at Arms.
A spokesperson for Buck told HuffPost that Capitol Hill Police gave the lawmaker permission to display the unloaded and locked AR-15 in his office.
The office didn’t respond to questions about the congressman’s use of threatening language.
This article has been updated with a response from a Biden spokesperson.