Although many in the Democratic Party have taken a clear stance in favor of stricter gun control measures, not everyone in the party matches the progressive wing’s anti-gun rhetoric.
U.S. Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA), for example, recently acknowledged that she sleeps next to her gun for self-protection, as reported by the Washington Examiner.
“A result of narcissistic dictators”
She went on to explain her decision to keep a firearm handy as a response to an ongoing Twitter feud with El Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele and her fear that his supporters might attempt to attack her on his behalf.
Of course, Torres has been a vocal proponent of gun control for her constituents. Nevertheless, she opened up during an interview with the Los Angeles Times about her own perceived need to arm herself.
Specifically, she cited ongoing harassment and threats that she has received from individuals aligned with Bukele.
As The Hill reported, Torres has been an ardent critic of the El Salvadoran leader, including a social media post depicting a man and his young daughter who drowned while attempting to cross the Rio Grande in an attempt to enter the U.S.
“This is a result of narcissistic dictators like you interested in being ‘cool’ while people flee by the 1000s & die by the 100s,” she tweeted.
“I never thought it would get to this point”
For his part, Bukele responded by urging Salvadorans in California to organize an effort to remove Torres from office and called on them to flood her congressional office with phone calls and complaints. Additionally, her social media accounts have reportedly been deluged with critical and offensive messages.
In separate remarks to KTTV about her situation, she said: “I never thought it would get to this point but I have to protect myself in my home.”
As part of her prior push for gun control legislation, Torres participated in a sit-in protest on the House floor in an attempt to convince Republicans to join her party in taking action to curb the rights of gun owners.
National Rifle Association spokesperson Lars Dalseide reacted to the news by insisting that the lobbying organization “supports the right of all law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms, even those like Rep. Torres who have a long history of fighting to eliminate those same rights for others.”
It remains to be seen whether her personal experiences will impact her future stance on partisan proposals to limit the Second Amendment.