An Illinois congressman virtue signaled in a Saturday Twitter post about voting to pass an assault weapons ban. Rep. Chuy Garcia, D-Ill., boasted the House Friday evening passed a bill by the razor-thin margin 217-213.
An assault weapons ban is considered unlikely to gain the 60 votes needed in the Senate to overcome an expected filibuster. That makes the legislation seem more like election-year posturing for the base than a legitimate attempt to solve a serious problem.
“I just voted to reinstate the assault weapons ban,” declared Garcia in a post to his verified Twitter account. “Now it’s the Senate’s turn to pass it and send it to President Biden’s desk. Weapons of war have no place in our communities or on our streets.”
A troll responded dismissively to the congressman’s post in the early morning hours Saturday.
“Never even heard of this guy and I won’t comply even if his silly little law passes,” remarked user Anarcho3D.
Garcia fired back at the troll in a few hours with profanity and pejorative terms, letting the commenter know he succeeded in pushing the congressman’s buttons.
“You are borderline retarded. ya fucking dipshit,” the Illinois Democrat remarked on his verified Twitter account.
Following an outcry about the response, the congressman’s tweet has been deleted. His congressional Facebook page posted a statement later Saturday morning blaming an unnamed staff member.
“Last night a member of Congressman Garcia’s staff posted an unauthorized tweet from the Congressman’s account using profanities and offensive language to individuals living with disabilities,” Garcia’s spokesperson explained. “The language used was obviously inappropriate and inconsistent with Congressman Garcia’s history, values, and character.”
“The individual responsible will be held accountable and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.”
Interestingly enough, a few posts down, the feed contains a post from a follower that included a link to a Reddit post that showed the exchange of tweets.
Advocates for people with special needs consider the word “retard” an insult, a slur they claim constitutes hate speech.
Others, including parents of special needs children, disagree. They note the word originated from the term used to clinically diagnose a medical condition. At least one parent noted that most uses of the word are not used pejoratively. Most often, it’s used in relation to actions or beliefs rather than mentally retarded individuals.
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