“Facts are stubborn things” argued a man whom many consider the Father of Modern Conservatism – Ronald Reagan. In more than one commentary, Times-Advocate columnist Rick Elkin has presented inaccurate information as if it were fact to support and advance his conservative view of our world and its tribulations. As some of these misrepresentations have in effect led to gross misrepresentation of the horrific events of January 6 —a domestic crisis in America second only to the firing on Fort Sumter and the ensuing Civil War — these misrepresentations must be identified and clarified to help our fellow citizens acknowledge the gravity of the situation. To his credit, Elkin does not go as far as Donald Trump in claiming that instead of viewing violence he witnessed the rioters “hugging and kissing the police and the guards.” Nor does Elkin come out directly and, as Trump did, that “There was never any real threat. There was zero threat”…but Elkin comes very close. Elkin contends that law enforcement found no weapons upon those who attacked the Capitol. This is not true. Weapons discovered and people arrested include Lonnie Coffman – 11 homemade bombs, an assault weapon and a handgun in his van. Many of those arrested were armed, according to law enforcement and the Department of Justice (DOJ), with assault weapons, Glocks, handguns, tasers, crossbows and weapons for striking individuals such as crowbars and baseball bats. Four pipe bombs were found planted in the Capitol. Two men were carrying plastic zip ties to handcuff hostages. Elkin contends that no one has identified what occurred on January 6 as an insurrection. The DOJ disagrees as they prepare charges of insurrection which can carry ten years imprisonment for even anyone found guilty of inciting the insurrection. Elkin doesn’t necessarily find complete fault with those who rioted on January 6 as he notes that no one has been able to disprove that the election wasn’t riddled with fraud and that challenges to state laws regarding the election process were not fairly evaluated. He says this despite that the heads of the DOJ, the FBI, Homeland Security, and of Cyberspace Security – all appointed by Trump – both monitored the election process and investigated allegations of fraud using modern methods and all agreed there was no fraud. Sixty cases went to trial alleging an unfair election, 60 cases appeared without any evidence and were dismissed. Some of those cases, after judicial review and rejection, were appealed to a very conservative Supreme Court where they were also dismissed. Republican officials in those states whose election process was accused of rampant fraud investigated those claims and also found no evidence of fraud or any irregularities. These are the facts …. and they stubbornly point to what was clearly a misguided, armed insurrection against our democracy.
DAVID BARBER, Escondido