Feelings are strong in politics today, and that in and of itself is completely understandable given the stakes involved, people’s livelihoods and their very lives, their future and the future of their children.
People completely understandably and rightfully want for themselves and their children to live in a safe society, be in good health, have happy, productive lives, be relatively free to make decisions about their path in life, and if it’s not too much to ask on top of all the rest, have some fun along the way.
And there’s some or maybe even plenty of completely legitimate anger out there as 300 million people try to navigate living together under a single governance and clearly not everybody who holds great positions of power are as earnestly interested in the abovementioned blessings for everyone as they are in securing their own continued power and prestige, and wielding it ruthlessly over other people in an inhuman and all-too-human display of self-aggrandizing sociopathy.
But after a Republican candidate choke-slammed and repeatedly punched a reporter earlier this month (and still won the election the next day, Montana COME ON!) and now this, a Texas Republican lawmaker and two Democrats in the Texas House of Representatives get into a shoving match which ends with the Republican, Matt Rinaldi of Irving, threatening to put a bullet in one of his colleagues’ heads, it’s time for everybody to cool it a little.
We seriously need to bring the energy levels down a little bit, or find a way to focus them, not let them unravel into this kind of idiotic aggression.
On Monday Rinaldi, the Texas Republican, apparently threatened to “put a bullet in one of his colleague’s heads” in the midst of a shoving match on the Texas House floor as the state legislature was discussing the state’s new anti-‘sanctuary cities’ law on the closing day of the regular legislative session.
Representative Matt Rinaldi (R) of Irving made this threat to Representative Poncho Nevárez during a fight that began when Rinaldi told two Hispanic legislators that he had phoned Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to come apprehend protesters of Senate Bill 4 at the Capitol.
“There was a subsequent exchange between my brother Poncho and Representative Rinaldi and there was a threat made from Rinaldi to put a bullet in one of my colleague’s heads,” Representative Justin Rodriguez told reporters after the fight, “That kind of threatening language, he needs to be called out and held accountable for.”
Rinaldi later said on Facebook that he called immigration agents “on several illegal immigrants who held signs in the gallery which said ‘I am illegal and here to stay.’” Rinaldi accused Nevárez of relentlessly menacing him on the House floor during the scuffle.
“I made it clear that if he attempted to, in his words, ‘get me,’ I would shoot him in self defense,” Rinaldi said. “I would shoot him in self defense. I am currently under DPS protection.”
Nevárez responded on Twitter: “He’s a liar and hateful man. Got no use for him. God bless him.”
Nina Pruneda, a spokesperson for ICE, told the Observer she could not confirm whether the agency sent immigration agents to the Capitol building after Rinaldi’s phone call.