Statement of House Republican Leader Todd Gilbert on Events at U.S. Capitol

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House Republican Leader Todd Gilbert issued the following statement:

“When tens of thousands of Second Amendment supporters marched to the Virginia Capitol to peacefully seek redress of grievances, we stood proudly with them. The right to protest is fundamental to our nation. It is a God-given right.

“But what has occurred at the U.S. Capitol today is inexcusable. It is not a protest. It is a riot masquerading as a protest. We are a nation of laws. When we have differences, including over the conduct and method of elections, we settle them according to law. Courts, legislatures, and votes determine the shape of our nation, not mobs who cause destruction and attack law enforcement.

“Those in the Capitol building should leave immediately. Those who refuse should be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, just as we insisted for rioters who looted and burned our cities over the summer. The time for an end to this madness has long since passed.

“Virginians are the inheritors of more than 400 years of democracy. Our forefathers were only able to give us this system of self government by respecting its institutions and recognizing that we are a Commonwealth of laws. We cannot, and will not, surrender this gift to the whims of any angry mob.”