I have often discussed in columns what I call our “age of rage.” There may be no more defining moment of that age than what unfolded today in the Capitol as Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., screamed about gun control. Various Democratic members, including former House Majority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md, tried to calm Bowman. However, after Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky, asked him to stop yelling, Bowman shouted “I was screaming before you interrupted me,” which could now go down as the epitaph for our age.
As members filed out of the House floor, Bowman was yelling about Republicans killing children and not caring about the carnage in our schools: “What are they doing about it? Nothing. They don’t have the courage. They’re cowards,” Bowman can be heard shouting as the video begins. “Three 9-year-olds. Are they going to those funerals? No!”
Massie stopped to address the attacks and noted “You know there’s never been a shooting at a school that allows teachers to carry?”
Bowman responded “More guns? More guns leads to more death” and continued to scream: “Republicans won’t do S— when it comes to gun violence.” He then continued on Twitter.
“He wanted to discuss solutions to school shootings, but when I offered a solution he began shouting. When he asked for data, I gave him data, but then he just shouted more. Bring facts. There’s never been a school shooting in the hundreds of schools that allow staff to carry.”
The point is not the merits. This is an important national debate and the underlying facts continue to be debated, including statements from President Joe Biden that some of us have challenged.
However, this scene captured how rage has replaced reason in our public discourse.