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January 6 Was Not an Insurrection

January 6 Was Not an Insurrection

Like virtually all the Republicans and conservatives I know – including those in Congress – I viewed what happened on Capitol Hill on January 6 with great anger and contempt for those who breeched the Capitol Building, disrupted the proceedings, vandalized and caused injury.  Those who took place in the rioting should be identified and prosecuted.  That is what we do in a nation that claims rule-of-law at its foundation.  

I differ with Democrats and much of the media in that I also believe those who rioted, burned, vandalized, injured and killed in innumerable outbreaks of violence in our major cities should also be identified and prosecuted with the same determination that we see in the case of the Capitol Hill rioters. 

In fact, many of those caught and released in the urban riots committed far more serious crimes than were committed by the majority of Capitol Hill rioters.  That is being borne out by the fact that most of the 400 or so arrested in conjunction with the January 6 riot are being charged with relatively mild crimes – such as trespassing and disorderly conduct.  There was no wholesale looting.  There was no arson. That comes as a great disappointment to those who want to hype the riot into an existential threat to the Republic.  That is just political propaganda.

The rioters represented a small percentage of the lawful demonstrators – just as we see in those urban riots.  Unlike the urban riots, it was all over by nightfall.  Both the peaceful demonstrators and the rioters left. And the Congress resumed its business of certifying the presidential election.  In many of the urban riots, many businesses were destroyed and closed forever after nights and weeks of rioting.

So, why do I say it was NOT an armed insurrection – as democrats and their media allies allege? 

They have even accused demonstrators, Republican legislators and Trump of sedition and treason. They also called the entire event a coup attempt.  That is nothing more than hyper hyperbole.  It is easy to make such accusations – especially when you have the partisan support of the media. But it is unlikely you will see any Republican leaders charged with such crimes. 

You first must consider what the objective of the demonstrators was.  If you believe the narrative that they were there to overthrow the election and forcibly ensconce President Trump as an authoritarian head-of-state, you are exceedingly gullible or hopelessly partisan.

The demonstrators on January 6 were rather clear in their purpose.  They hoped that their presence would have legislators withhold certification of the election in CERTAIN STATES PENDING FURTHER INVESTIGATION – which is not an unconstitutional act.  It has happened often in the past.  Seven House Democrats voted against the certification of Trump in certain states in 2017. 

The movement never was to throw out the entire election, as the media often states.  It was never about making Trump President by force. Trump had repeatedly said that he would leave the Oval Office on January 20th with the inauguration of the new President – and he did. 

As in other riots, there were nutcase malcontents who were there to provoke violence. And they came from the far right and the far left.  And they were successful.  They had bricks and Molotov Cocktails, but never used them. 

Why didn’t they use them if this was a true insurrection – a coup?  I do not know, but I have one theory. 

The entire thing ended too soon.  The class of professional violent rioters and provocateurs we have seen in other riots come out from under their rock in the shadows of night.  The assault on the Capitol Building was over before sunset.

An inadequate presence and response of law enforcement heightened the rioting.  One of the main reasons rioters breeched the building was because they could.  Once the protective line was broken, mob mentality created the surge of rioters entering the Capitol.

We have seen this many times in the all too frequent urban riots.  When the police have been told to “stand down,” the rioting and violence continues and accelerates.

Make no mistake about it, It was bad – as all riots are.  But the left-wing news’ attempt to paint this as an “armed insurrection” if farcical.  Of the thousand folks who came to demonstrate, there was no gunfire by protestors. Of the hours upon hours of video, there were no guns in the footage. In fact, there have been more guns, gunfire, wounding and deaths at many of the urban riots.  If you insist that January 6 was an insurrection, you should at least call it an “unarmed insurrection.” 

The lack of lethal weapons also suggests that the masses of demonstrators – and even the rioters – were not intent on overthrowing the government in a coup.  Even in those so-called “bloodless coups” in foreign nations, the coup-plotters show up with a lot of armament.

The left continues to spread the disinformation that several people died in the rioting. 

They still insisted that rioters killed Capitol Hill Officer Brian Sicknick. Even after the medical examiner said he died of natural causes long after he had left the riot scene.  But even before that, the media misreported that rioters hit him with a fire extinguisher.  When that was disproven, they said his death was the result of bear repellant – and that was also disproven.

They count a person who died from a drug overdose and one who suffered a heart attack.  Both were among the demonstrators – not even among those rioters.

Only one person died as a result of the rioting.  It was a young lady that Capitol Hill police shot as she attempted to get inside the House Chamber.  She was in the lead of a group that were threaten officers and attempt to overpower them.  Sad as it was, it was a justified shooting.

This may shock some readers, but I wondered why the Capitol Hill police did not use their guns more than this one instance.  Lethal force is justified when an officer is in imminent danger or others are in imminent danger. 

When I saw the video of that police officer screaming for help as he was being intentionally crushed by a door, I wondered why he, or other officers, did not shoot those pushing against the door.  I think they would have not only been totally justified, but it might have chilled the rioting.  I suspect the rioters would have been running out of the building faster than they ran in.

There were a number of instances where police were under attack that they could have invoked the standard for lethal force.  This has also been true in many of the urban riots.  It is not about police killing innocent people.  I am talking about people committing acts acts – with a lethal response being the action of last resort. 

As I noted in an earlier commentary … one of the reasons the riot on Capitol Hill gets such extraordinary news coverage and law enforcement response is because it was against the elitist establishment. 

The folks who were terrified in the urban riots — who had their homes burned and business looted — were just the little people.  Riots in their neighborhoods in Chicago, New York, Seattle and Portland do not count.  But riot on the turf of the power elite and it is apparently a much bigger deal.

As former Republican National Chairman Michael Steele admitted in expressing the difference between all those other riots and what took place on Capitol Hill … “this is in our backyard.” 

To understand the double standard, just ask yourself: Why was the takeover of Seattle and Portland not deemed to be an insurrection – especially when those protestors openly seized property that they declared to be independent of the United States?   Why was it not an insurrection when they attacked federal government buildings and seized control of a local police headquarters?  Where were the demands to have every rioter, vandal, looter and arsonist tracked down and prosecuted – instead of a catch-and-release policy?  Why weren’t public officials who ordered the police to stand down and the National Guard to get out of town accused of sedition?  Why did the media stop covering the Portland riots that went on every night for weeks?  And why did the media emphasize “peaceful protest” even as communities burned?

There are two things that make January 6 exception and worthy of exaggerated descriptions by Democrats and the media – the Capitol Hill riots occurred too close to the power elite – the politically privileged class — and it had to be overplayed as a false partisan narrative to demonize Republicans in hope of defeating  them in 2022.

I carry no water for the rioters on Capitol Hill.  I think they should have been dealt with much more severely at the time.  But I would think it is disgusting that Democrats and their media allies would exaggerate the events of January 6 and play down – nay, promote and encourage – the riots that have devastated the communities of the common folks.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Conservatism is a dying idea

    a violent uprising against an authority or government

    Although there is a TON of absurd claims and rationals in this article. I’m only going to leave you with the definition of indirection and answer your question on why more officers didn’t shoot the insurrectionists.

    Because they were white and police couldn’t wrap their heads around the idea that the “back the blue” crowd would actively try to kill them.

    Everything else you wrote was a revisionist version of an insurrection by a senile old man preaching “whataboutisms”. (For someone that claims to not like that tactic, you sure use it a lot.

    • Anonymous

      What an idiotic comment above. Pull your head out! You’re a racists.

    • keren

      52% of Washington police officers are Black, 35% are white, and 9% are Hispanic, 4%are Asian, This was as of 2017 and the number of minorities in the police force are higher. Stop making everything about race!!! Race is not the enemy, but stupid remarks like yours are!!

      • Ben

        What a perfect name for you.
        You are correct about the racial make up of the DC police department.
        HOWEVER, the Capital Police force, which actually had to deal with the insurrectionists is only 29% black officers.
        Facts are useful tools when used properly…
        I stand by my statement that the officers felt safe because the “back the blue” insurrectionists were overwhelmingly white

        • Shell

          Everyone has an opinion, as do I, and can be nothing more as I was not there. It appears the entire event was NOT incited by President Donald J. Trump, but a mob incited by professional “mob leaders” who were called and paid to leave St. Louis and go to the Capitol for they were to incite and lead the Trump supporters there. That was the testimony by a member of BLM from St Louis. It was a “set-up!” Orchestrated by Trump haters as in democrats!

          President Trump was not there, did not incite those that were there, and it has been created by a media which is “FREE” to tell anything they want without repercussions. My opinion is based on my viewing the videos of rallies, news mostly from FOXN, opinions from various sources that President Donald Trump DID WIN THE ELECTION, but was stolen from the legal, patriotic, American Citizens. You may say it wasn’t however neither can prove otherwise.

  2. Ben

    Watkins, the “Q Shaman” Jacob Chansley’s attorney, said his client had Asperger’s syndrome and indicated that Chansley’s mental state — and the impact of Trump’s “propaganda” efforts — would play a role in his case.

    “A lot of these defendants — and I’m going to use this colloquial term, perhaps disrespectfully — but they’re all fucking short-bus people,” Watkins told TPM. “These are people with brain damage, they’re fucking retarded, they’re on the goddamn spectrum.”

    “But they’re our brothers, our sisters, our neighbors, our coworkers — they’re part of our country. These aren’t bad people, they don’t have prior criminal history. Fuck, they were subjected to four-plus years of goddamn propaganda the likes of which the world has not seen since fucking Hitler.”

  3. William Hawkins

    Having worked on Capitol Hill for 20 years, as a staffer, consultant, and lobbyist. I deplore all attempts to disrupt the process of government by violence. The January 6 incident was not, however, a unique example of such tactics. On numerous occasions I witnessed left-wing groups attempt to disrupt committee hearings by infiltrating the public seating (we pride ourselves on transparent proceedings) then jumping up shouting, waving banners and menacing witnesses. Security guards were then required to remove the “demonstrators” often having to carry them from the room as they continued to scream profanities. Groups regularly prowl the halls of Congress, ambushing Members and pushing their way into offices, again to use intimidation rather than civil debate to advance their agendas. Groups can even hold meetings inside the office buildings if sponsored by a Member. Radical groups use these venues to make truly rabble-rousing speeches that send their audiences on disruptive missions around the building. It is the self-proclaimed “revolutionaries” (a term not only Sen. Bernie Sanders uses in his public statements) who care nothing about the rules of decorum or law in a system they have vowed to overturn. “Civil unrest” and the “seizure of state power” are openly proclaimed as central to their ideology. 2020 was a year filled with riots and looting across the country which local Democratic authorities allowed to run wild. But when a demonstration of a different kind took place in the new year, against their party they went crazy with a police state response and rhetoric that would have made Joe McCarthy blush.

    • Larry P Horist

      Mr. Hawkins. You make a very good point. When I wrote a previous commentary, I noted the shooting up of the House — wounding several congressmen — and the various war protests that breeched the Capitol Building in the 1960s, when I lived in Washington. But I overlooked the thousands of times in my life time that protestors — almost always from the left — disrupted government hearings in committee of from the galleries in the two chambers. And then one must consider the innumerable times protestors appeared in state legislatures and city councils. According to Dying Idea narrow (minded) definition, these were all acts of insurrection — mobs violently rising up against their governments. For sure, many were peaceful protests, but many relied on violence — such as the riots that have plagued the Democrat-controlled cities for generations. My point is that there is a difference between a peaceful demonstration (assembly), a riot and an insurrection. We need to call them for what they are — not based on political prospective. BTW I read the article you attached to an earlier commentary. I hope we never disagree too much because I am impressed and intimidated by your resume. Thanks for responding with incite and information. With folks like you, learning is a two way street.

  4. RED

    If anything a handful of Americans at the Capitol on Jan. 6 engaged in misdemeanor trespass. Unfortunately, a few Antifa thugs disguised as patriots DID cause havoc and DID engage in violence. Apparently Capitol police allowed many to enter. The entire “insurrection” as just a staged event by Democrats…although many were naive at that event, they’re smarter now about the “clever” traps the left sets for the unwary….

  5. Hatman1793

    It’s pretty hard to justify Ashley Babbitts death at the hands of Capital Police. Capital Police play by different rules & shroud their actions in secrecy. Capital Hill Police cameras recorded the whole event yet they refuse to identify the shooter, & refuse to release the video. Why?

    When her *wrongful death* lawsuit plays out, perhaps a Judge will order the release of the video, but this is DC hardcore Liberal land……,I’ll bet CHPolice have hired the Maricopa board of elections personnel to erase the tape. Maybe the DC Mayor & company will award her family U$27 million dollars before the lawsuit begins?

  6. CMWRF

    My sister was there-the extremely overwhelming people were outstanding kind, decent, Americans who are infuriated by the past administration’s and were EXTREMELY pleased and hopeful of the Trump administration…THEY KNEW THERE WAS SOME DEGREE OF FRAUD IN THE 2020 ELECTION AND JUST WANTED FOR THE ELECTION TO BE FULLY INVESTIGATED AND TO SHOW THEIR SUPPORT OF THE BEST PRESIDENT AMERICA HAS HAD IN RECENT YEARS…the swamp TRASH-both demonrats and some republicans-REFUSED to get the TRUTH of what happened, and the EVIL, VILE, BIASED mainstream media-who were no where around at the actual gathering-LIED as well as REFUSED TO INTERVIEW and REPORT THE MAJORITY OF EYEWITNESSES, especially if their story was not what the evil reporters wanted to hear. Who planted the pallet fulls of bricks set out to encourage violence (that NEVER occurred)? IT WAS NOT TRUMP SUPPORTERS…Why did capital police allow people dressed in black riot gear into facilities early in the morning? Why did capital police WILLINGLY remove barriers and ALLOW people behind them? There was NO THOROUGH INVESTIGATION-ONLY A BIASED HALF OF ONE THAT DID NOT TOUCH ON MANY THINGS THAT REALLY HAPPENED….The swamp TRASH are DESTROYING America-allowing , even supporting, the destruction of American cities while GREATLY EXAGGERATING what happened by a VERY FEW supporters of a well liked president who were infiltrated by a terrorist organization…Witness the destruction of America by these vile, evil politicians..

  7. Ben

    You can blame the left, but the insurrectionists are pleading “Foxitis” and indicating in pleas that they behaved at the behest of trump.
    There is NO indication that the left had anything to do with the insurrection.

  8. Ben

    Giuliani admits telling Capitol rioters to engage in ‘trial by combat’ but insists it was ‘hyperbo

  9. Ben

    Why are republicans so afraid of the 1-6 commission ?
    The insurrection cheer leaders opposing the investigation tells you everything you need to know!

  10. Ben

    Y’all know if it was AntiFa republicans would be quick to investigate the insurrection.
    I think we all know why they are avoiding the commission like the plague.

  11. Dan Tyree

    The so called insurrection is nothing compared to what will happen WHEN the commiecrats try to steal another election

    • Ben

      I love that idea!
      Two things are accomplished with your threat.
      1) the world sees republicans for what they really are, anti democratic crybabies that use violence to get their way.
      2) republicans are arrested on felony charges and lose their right to vote.
      It’s a win/win

  12. Ben

    Found this gem this morning.

    Newly leaked intelligence memos demonstrate how concerned law enforcement in Washington, DC, was about the Boogaloo Bois’ — a right-wing militia group seeking to incite a second Civil War — plans for violence ahead of President Joe Biden’s inauguration.

    The plans, called “Operation Stormbreaker,” involved targeting landmarks, government buildings, power plants, and other civic institutions in DC on January 19, the memos show.

    Members of the Boogaloo movement and QAnon adherents called the date “National Popcorn Day,” when they planned to follow up the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol with another wave of violence.

    Intelligence memos detailing the Boogaloo movement’s plans were prepared by the DC Metropolitan Police Department Intelligence Division and include notes from the FBI. Babuk, a ransomware hacking group, released the memos Thursday in a cache of what it claims are 250 GB of data stolen from MPD.

  13. Ben

    Larry, why is Moscow Mitch so afraid of the 1-6 commission that he is calling in personal political favors for republicans to vote against forming the commission.
    What is he afraid of?