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Weirdest Weapons Used In Government Fistfights

And I don't mean words.

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A Wooden Cane

United States

May 22, 1856

Congressman Charles Sumner gave a sexually explicit speech opposing slavery, which infuriated Congressman Brooks. As Sumner sat writing in a Senate chamber later, Brooks approached him and pummeled him with a thick, gold-headed cane. Sumner fell and was trapped under his desk, which was bolted to the floor, until Brooks ripped the desk out of the ground.

Sumner staggered into the aisle and lost consciousness. A few Congressmen tried to help him, but Representative Keitt jumped into the aisle, brandished a pistol, and shouted “Let them be!” Brooks kept beating Sumner until the cane broke.



October 26, 2004

Legislators argued over lunch about international arms sales. The debate got heated, and the lawmakers started hurling their lunches at each other like grenades in what we can only imagine was a living metaphor for the danger of weapon sales. Everyone ended up covered in vegetables, rice, and hard boiled eggs, making for probably the most grown-up food fight in history.

Microphone Stands

View this video on YouTube


October 21, 1997

During a debate on a vote of confidence in the State Assembly, representatives rushed the podium and started smashing each other with chairs. Drawing on their inner warrior, they went on to tear microphones stands from desks and hurl them like spears at each other.

A Walking Stick and Metal Tongs

United States

February 15, 1798

Congressman Roger Griswold and Congressman Matthew Lyon had been feuding for months, and Lyon finally spit tobacco juice in Griswold’s eye. Two weeks later, Griswold marched up to Lyon in the House of Representatives and pummeled him with a hickory walking stick. Lyon broke free and rushed to the fireplace, grabbed a pair of metal tongs, and the fight was ON!

Smoke Bombs


April 27, 2010

A vote on an agreement allowing Russian troops to stay in Ukrainian ports turned into an all-out battle when politicians started chucking smoke bombs and eggs at one another. The Speaker eventually had to be escorted out of the chamber, shielded by umbrellas.

Sledgehammers and an Electric Power Saw


South Korea

December 18, 2008

A contentious U.S.-South Korean trade pact had just passed. So naturally, the ruling party locked itself into the General Assembly room to prevent the opposing party from getting in and reintroducing the bill.

The opposing party wasn’t a fan of this plan and rammed the door with sledgehammers. The ruling party, always a step ahead, stacked barricades of furniture against the doors from the inside. The opposing party finally pulled out an electric power saw and slashed the door open.

A Five Foot Long Silver Ceremonial Mace


United Kingdom

May 27, 1976

Labour Party members was trying to push an aircraft and shipbuilding industries bill through Commons, and they started to sing “The Red Flag,” a party song, in victory. Opposing party member Representative Michael Heseltine got so angry, he grabbed a ceremonial mace off the wall and swung it over the head of one of the Labour party members. He was pulled back at the last second by another lawmaker. Heseltine has been stuck with the nickname "Tarzan" ever since.

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