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Facts matter: Jan. 6 was not necessarily U.S. Capitol’s worst attack | READER COMMENTARY

Supporters of President Donald Trump climb the west wall of the the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana).
Supporters of President Donald Trump climb the west wall of the the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana). (Jose Luis Magana/AP)

On March 1, 1954, four people seated in the gallery of the U.S. House of Representatives while it was in session opened fire with semi-automatic pistols on the congressmen below. An estimated 30 rounds were fired. Five congressmen were shot. Some were seriously wounded but, thankfully, all eventually recovered. During a behind the scene tour of the U.S. Capitol a few years back, I saw some of the bullet holes that still are visible in the chamber.

Yet I read again and again in the columns of this newspaper about how the “insurrection” at the Capitol on Jan. 6 was the most serious assault on the institution in 200 years (”EXPLAINER: How lawmakers are investigating the Jan. 6 riot,” Oct. 19). This theme is echoed throughout the legacy media. Is that assertion true? If not, why is it constantly made?

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On Jan. 6, none of the insurrectionists shot anyone with a firearm. No one was killed except for an unarmed female veteran. There was no gunfire, except from the Capitol police officer who shot the female rioter in the face. While the event was certainly a riot by a bunch of non-thinkers who damaged a lot of property that I helped pay for, was it equivalent to shooting five congressmen? The media appears to hope that no one knows about the events in 1954, and thanks to our education system they are safe in that assumption.

I suspect that the Jan. 6 congressional investigation, while certainly a serious matter, is more a political opportunity to portray all Donald Trump supporters, and by extension all Republicans or others not aligned with the Democrats, as threat to the nation. That is why Jan. 6 will always be portrayed as the worst day in the history of the Capitol, facts be damned.

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Len Brewer, Severn

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