In the wake of last week’s terrorist shooting of Republican lawmakers and their aides during a Congressional baseball practice, many legislators are calling for action to make sure that a tragedy like this does not occur again. While Democrats are predictably calling for more gun control, one intrepid legislator has taken the opposite approach by calling for concealed carry inside the beltway!
“It’s clear that the Capitol Hill police who were there were heroic, but had Steve Scalise not been there, there would have been fatalities, and a lot of congressmen would have been hurt,” Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) said while appearing on a broadcast of “Cavuto” on FOX Business.
“What I’m trying to do is anticipate how to avoid a tragic situation in the future… What the American people don’t realize is most Congressmen don’t have a security detail, and we are exposed as the general public is exposed when they come to visit our nation’s capital,” Massie said.
Although Massie feels like there is a threat, he does not call for more taxpayer resources to be expended to protect he and his colleagues. Instead, he wants to empower more law-abiding citizens to exercise their rights to bolster public safety.
“The bill that I have introduced… will allow anybody who has a Concealed Carry permit in their home state to use that permit here in Washington D.C. as if it were a drivers license,” Massie said.
While the thought of more guns in Washington D.C. may not be comforting after a mass shooting, the data is on Massie’s side. A study released last year from the Crime Prevention Research Center showed that the number of concealed handgun permits soared from 4.6 million to 14.5 million from 2007 to 2016. Over that same time frame, the national murder rate dropped by 16 percent.
“More law-abiding citizens own firearms for self-protection, and crime continues to decline,” said Larry Keene, senior vice president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Massie’s bill is H.R. 2909, the D.C Personal Protection Reciprocity Act. If it is passed and signed into law, the nationwide trends of gun proliferation and lower violent crime rates could finally make their way to Capitol Hill.