Self-Serving Politicians’ Priorities after Scalise Shooting Deserve Strong Gun Owner Response
“U.S. Rep. Brian Babin (TX-36) today filed legislation to grant properly trained and certified Members of Congress the ability to conceal carry a personal firearm wherever their duties take them,” a press release from the congressman’s office declared Tuesday:
This bill would:
- Allow all Members of Congress to have the ability to attempt to qualify for a concealed carry permit – either through their home state or a training program created by the United States Capitol Police (USCP).
- Give the USCP the discretion in determining the training, licensing and parameters of use.
- Direct the USCP to grant Members of Congress the ability to concealed carry in nearly every conceivable scenario – including federal parks and buildings, the national mall, to and from their offices, at schools and military bases – with only a few limited restrictions. These would include National Special Security Events, other areas under the direct jurisdiction of the Secret Service and commercial airliners.
- Permit the training and certification to be paid for out of the Member’s Representational Allowance (MRA).
- Supersede any other federal or state law regarding concealed carry.
“My bill would ensure rank and file Members of Congress have the opportunity to defend themselves by providing them the ability to concealed carry in nearly every scenario with only a few restrictions,” Babin elaborated. “With the increase in security threats to Members of Congress and our staffs, this is an important and necessary step that we must take.”
As if Congressional disregard for the limitations required by the Constitution and supposedly unalienable rights of the citizenry haven’t increased security threats for all. While politicians no doubt face job-related risks, there is no credible justification for presuming their perils are any greater than – or even equal to – those faced by pizza delivery drivers, fast food workers or gas station mini-mart attendants, let alone the dangers presented to ordinary people living their daily lives.
Babin’s offensive and un-American equal protection-eviscerating scheme puts similar Congressional Carry proposals offered since the baseball practice shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise on steroids, as recent news reports show.
“Rep. Mo Brooks on Sunday said he will introduce legislation in the coming week to allow congressmen and senators to carry guns, in the wake of the shooting of fellow Congressman Steve Scalise,” Fox Business reported Sunday. “’Right now when we’re in Washington, D.C., once we’re off the complex … we’re still high-profile targets, but we have absolutely no way to defend ourselves because of Washington, D.C.’s rather restrictive gun laws,’ Brooks, R-Ala., told Maria Bartiromo on ‘Sunday Morning Futures.’”
That echoes sentiments expressed a few days earlier by Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-GA, who “said Congress should explore allowing lawmakers to carry weapons to defend themselves.”
By all means – as citizens and as human beings, they have every natural right the rest of us do. And there’s the rub. Because it’s hardly consistent with equal protection under the law to have the state bestow privileges (which, if you look at what they’re advocating is what these guys are talking about) on one preferred and elite group while “We the People” are excluded. Presumably, special exemptions wouldn’t be made for members of Congress with criminal records, of which there are many.
It would also mean those promulgating tyranny, the most rabid citizen disarmament proponents in Congress, would have an option to arm themselves that they have spent careers denying to we “commoners.” That doesn’t just stand the Second Amendment on its head, it reverses it completely.
In the meantime, a priority that doesn’t directly benefit the “servants of the people” suddenly finds itself on the back burner:
“Cancelled Until Further Notice: Legislative Hearing on Discussion Draft of “Sportsmen Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act” or “SHARE Act,” a June 14 announcement from the House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Federal Lands declares.
What’s that have to do with anything?
That’s the larger package into which the Hearing Protection Act proposal to remove suppressors from National Firearms Act registration and taxation has been placed.
So what legitimate reason does the committee have to not immediately reschedule and get things back on track? Of course the gungrabbers who don’t want it brought up are going to scream and raise hell. So what? They’ll do that regardless, whenever it’s brought up.
Congress has time to vote themselves special concealed carry privileges while ignoring its duty to eradicate infringements?
Of marginal improvement over what Brooks and Loudermilk were talking about is a bill introduced by Rep. Thomas Massie, R-KY, that would presume to “allow” non-residents visiting DC to carry firearms, provided they had a permit in their home state. That at least wouldn’t be for Congress members only, but it would distract from the parallel effort of nationwide reciprocity via H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017.
That the bill is currently assigned a 2% prognosis for passage suggests this may once again be placating noisemaking and much ado about nothing: similar efforts have been attempted many times over the years.
That said, such legislative sausage-making is not completely without effect: It reaffirms the acceptance of government-issued “permits” to exercise rights and the undelegated power of government to bestow such approvals in the first place. The point is, if this Congress can pass a bill to “give” rights (and those quotation marks are intentional), a subsequent legislature can pass one to take them away. As the Supreme Court noted in Heller, reaffirming the opinion in Cruikshank:
“[t]his is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The Second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed … .”
Defending that is a fundamental commitment Babin, Brooks and Loudermilk voluntarily swore an oath to honor when they accepted their positions of political power.
I appeared this afternoon on Armed American Radio Daily Defense with host Mark Walters to discuss this issue. You can download the program here.
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