A History Teacher’s View on the Capitol Breach

By Avery Dobozi

For decades, January 6 is always the day where the electoral votes are counted in Congress. Usually, this isn’t anything special, and most news sources don’t spend more than a few minutes on the subject. This year not only were the electoral votes being counted, but the Senate runoff was taking place in Georgia and there were known objections against Joe Biden being elected president. Still, most Americans had faith that the process would go with no disruption. That was going to be the case, until a crowd of people started towards the Capitol building.

Thousands of people came marching up Pennsylvania Avenue towards the beloved Capitol building in Washington D.C.. Inside the capitol building, Senators and Representatives were told to stay calm, as the protesters were only outside. The mob kept pushing, up the steps, breaking down gates, and into the capitol building. It was the first breach of the Capitol since the War of 1812. This was definitely a scary event, and it has changed our nation. To help understand what exactly happened, Assumption social studies teachers, Mrs. Shelton and Mr. Lega, offered to share their viewpoints.

Mrs. Shelton teaches American History at the Honors and AP levels, and Mr. Lega teaches World History and Government at the AP level. Both teachers watched the Capitol breach on TV after teaching their last classes. Mrs. Shelton said she knew Wednesday would be an important day, especially because both the electoral votes and the Georgia runoff votes were being counted. When she saw the people storming up the Capitol, she was initially alarmed because the House of Representatives and the Senate were all in one place, which is a rare occurrence. Mr. Lega was very alarmed as well. He was wondering if anyone could ever believe this to happen in America. He said, “Out of what is one of the most tragic days in American history, maybe it will be a wake up call for how we approach political discourse.”

When talking about the Capitol breach, Mr. Lega was particularly disturbed by the lack of security at the Capitol. When at the White House, visitors can notice snipers on top of the building, why wasn’t there protection at the Capitol? Security should’ve been at the highest of high alerts. Similarly, Mrs. Shelton was also concerned by the security aspect, as her husband is a police officer. She also wonders how officials could let this happen, especially on such an important day in United States history and politics.

Both teachers wanted to mention that America has always had a peaceful transfer of power, election after election. There has never been violent backlash in Washington D.C. and the president elect has never been put in direct danger. Unfortunately, now, Americans can’t pride ourselves on that anymore. For the first time in our country’s history, someone was killed in the Capitol building. Although we are living through a scary time, Mrs. Shelton wants to remind everyone that, “Our country has been through a lot over the years, and we have to hit these roadblocks to get better. Keep asking the hard questions.”

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