Far-right Congresswoman Lauren Boebert of Colorado is infamous for being a firearm fanatic. She owns Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colorado, where staff is encouraged to openly carry their guns. She went viral for a slapdash gun display in a Zoom background that some said violated firearm safety. She was mocked across the internet for her Christmas card, which featured her and her family, including young children, posing with assault rifles.
After Russian President Vladimir Putin's recent invasion of Ukraine, the Congresswoman is once again pointing to guns. With Russia being a formidable nuclear power, the international backlash against Putin's invasion is operating with his rage and his missiles in mind. It's a defining factor in the reticence of Ukraine's allies to put their troops on the ground in the nation and begin engaging directly in combat with Russia.
First, some context.
When the U.S.S.R. collapsed in 1991, there were nuclear weapons that remained on newly-independent Ukraine's soil. This led to a deal called the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, in which the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Russian Federation vowed to offer security to Ukraine and withhold from aggression toward the fledgling nation, if it voluntarily denuclearized.
With its 2014 invasion of Crimea, Russia violated the agreement. This most recent invasion of Ukraine has reinvigorated scrutiny of the Budapest Memo, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressing frustration at the lack of security the guarantor nations have provided in the years since 2014.
Boebert pointed at this frustration with a common talking point deployed by the right when discussing guns: that any restrictions on gun ownership whatsoever would allow the government to take over its populace with no opposition.
But in doing so, she compared guns to nuclear weapons.
For those who may not know, nuclear weapons—especially nuclear bombs—are the deadliest man-made weapon the world has ever seen. They can flatten entire cities, vaporize thousands in an instant, and leave lasting damages through fallout that eventually kills even the immediate survivors.
As for firearms, the United States government has the highest defense budget in the world, amounting to more than 700 billion dollars. Even in a country that allows for the widespread purchase of assault weapons, no amount of firearms used by everyday Americans would be enough to keep the government at bay.
People responded to Boebert with the respect her sentiment deserved.
Others used the format in her tweet against her.