The recent politically motivated attack on a group of Republican Congressmen practicing at a baseball field reminded everyone of the harsh reality of escalating political violence. From the rioting and vandalism of so-called “protestors” to the shooting of cops, such an attack on legislators should surprise no one.
This incident also proved that there is no such thing as a “safe space” in today’s world. Violence can happen anywhere, even a baseball field. Of course, like most of our readers, you probably figured this out long ago. I know I did, and it is the very reason that I carry just about every waking hour, every single day.
However, what I have noticed in the many conversations I have had in the wake of this incident is that people who used to question my decision to carry virtually everywhere have now admitted they understand why I do it.
But perhaps most importantly, the D.C. shooting underscored what we have said all along: that the only way to immediately stop an attacker is to have people on-site who are armed. Fortunately, in this case, there were two officers assigned to protect House Whip Steve Scalise, who was severely wounded in the attack.
The officers, who were also among the wounded, were able to immediately return fire, and ultimately kill the attacker, James Hodgkinson, preventing what could easily have become a massacre. Better yet, while there were numerous injuries, no one other than the shooter died.
But another element of this incident caught my attention. U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks announced that he has introduced a bill allowing lawmakers to carry a concealed weapon. Brooks was at the baseball practice where the shooting occurred. According to WRGX-TV:
“Brooks was not injured in the shooting but helped care for two people who were shot, including Scalise, R-Louisiana. The FBI found a handwritten note in the pocket of the shooter with a list of members of Congress’ names. Brooks’ name and his office number in Washington were on the list.”
Brooks’ bill would permit congressional lawmakers to carry a concealed weapon anywhere in the country except the U.S. Capitol or in the presence of the president or vice president. Fine for them, but what about the rest of us?
Unfortunately, many from across the political spectrum have no problem with “important” people being protected with guns, but balk at you and I having the same option. But you and I have just as much right as politicians to protect ourselves, and we don’t have armed personal security staff.
Another bill, which is receiving far less coverage, addresses this issue … sort of. The Washington Post reported:
“U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Kentucky, proposed a bill that would allow those with conceal carry permits at home to also conceal carry in the District of Columbia.”
OK, fine for anyone going to D.C, but what we really need is national reciprocity. It’s unconscionable that we could become criminals just by crossing state lines. There have been numerous failed attempts in the past, but now Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) has proposed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017. Hudson has 199 co-sponsors — 196 Republicans and 3 Democrats.
The details are yet to be ironed out, but essentially, if you can legally carry in your home state (including “constitutional carry” states) you can carry in any state. We support such efforts — self-defense should not be reserved for just a select group of people.
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