NHS Students Discouraged by Storming of U.S. Capitol


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Supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol during a Jan. 6 protest, resulting in five deaths and hundreds of arrests.

Christian Swanson, Reporter

On Jan. 6, supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the United States Capitol after a protest by those who believed that the election was stolen. Many were shocked to see them smashing windows while holding Confederate flags and other symbols to try to overturn the defeat of the former president. 

The lack of response from the police was a surprise to many, including Nonnewaug senior David DeForge. 

“I think the police did a terrible job responding to the riots at the Capitol. There are videos of cops taking pictures with the rioters, as well as waving them on,” said DeForge. “I think this is ridiculous compared to the protests for Black Lives Matter, where the cops were very brutal to the protesters even when they were completely peaceful.” 

For the many people who got into the Capitol, it is widely disputed on what the punishments should be. 

“I think the punishment for those people should be life in prison,” continued DeForge. “Someone who commits treason against our country should not be allowed to roam free in our country ever again.” 

Some believe cops who helped the rioters should have a punishment, as well. 

“I think they should get the same exact punishments as the people who broke into the Capitol,” said DeForge. “As a police officer, you have a responsibility to protect and in this instance, protect the congressmen and senators. By taking pictures and allowing them to get into the Capitol, they risked lives.”

Masks were also a huge problem Jan. 6. Many watched on their televisions realizing that almost everyone wasn’t wearing one. 

”I think people not wearing masks during a COVID pandemic is just really immature and really selfish,” added sophomore Zack Hellwinkle. 

The protesters were not the only ones that were not wearing masks. Some Republican senators and representatives refused to wear masks, as well. 

“I think it’s pretty ridiculous that such powerful people can just have no concern for other people’s lives. It’s so important to wear a mask during these times,” said sophomore Diego Razo.  

The questionable reactions from the former president worried many Americans. 

“It horrified me when Trump didn’t immediately denounce the attacks on the Capitol,” continued Razo. “It’s his job to prevent these kinds of things from happening, not encourage it.”  

Many were encouraged when Mike Pence, the former vice president, took charge to calm down the rioters. 

“I think Mike Pence’s reactions to the riots were a lot better than Trump’s,” said Hellwinkle. “I think this because he immediately condemned the violence, telling them to go home and all that.”