Self-Serving Politicians’ Priorities after Scalise Shooting Deserve Strong Gun Owner Response

How is voting in special benefits for themselves first, while the rest of us are left in legislative limbo, consistent with securing “the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”?

“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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Categories: 2nd_amendment, All

About Author

David Codrea

David Codrea blogs at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance (WarOnGuns.com), and is a field editor/columnist for GUNS Magazine. Named “Journalist of the Year” in 2011 by the Second Amendment Foundation for his groundbreaking work on the “Fast and Furious” ATF “gunwalking” scandal, he is a frequent event speaker and guest on national radio and television programs.

Comments

  1. Drake Savage 20 June, 2017, 20:22

    I was just wondering, was the man who shot the Republican lawmakers adhering to all state and federal laws up to one second before he pulled the trigger? My guess would be no.

    Reply this comment
    • greg k 21 June, 2017, 09:44

      He bought the guns legally (I use that term in the broadest sense, because all “People” should be allowed buying guns) and Virginia is an open carry state, I believe, so yes he was.

      Reply this comment
      • Sam Adams 22 June, 2017, 11:16

        They cannot have what we cannot have period we cannot allow this. The Second Amendment does not give us the right to keep and bear arms it; protects it. And this business about incorporating the Bill of Rights Viola Fourteenth Amendment is garbage. It all stems from Barron vs Baltimore in 1833 which is one of the most insipid rulings from scotus. The Bill of Rights was not written to protect us just from the federal government but from all governmental tyranny. There only two ways we’re going to get back our power. One is the Article 5 convention which far too many conservatives eschew out of fear. The other is Civil War. The latter may be forced upon us by the left-wing which is increasingly violent. We had better start setting up Committees of Correspondence and Committees of Safety, and the rest of similar committees together with the other Strategies employed by the founders.

        Reply this comment
        • Ivan Berry 22 June, 2017, 12:26

          Sam Adams, would you read Article Five one more time and note that Amendments are allowed for any reason whatsoever except for the last clause that states “Provided that” and thin lists the exclusions, two of which have already expired (1808) and the other that was more or less worked around by the 17th Amendment. Therefore, Art.V itself opens up the Constitution for any changes or rewrite that the Delegates may wish to put forward. Do you actually think that either the left or right, Republicans or Democrats in Congress or most State Houses would let anything interfere with their advancement of power? Do you trust any selection of Delegates to equal those that were at the Founding? If the answer to those questions is “No,” then you understand that the Convention need not become a “Runaway.” Article Five itself makes certain that a Runaway can occur, and all within the provisions of Art.V alone.

          Reply this comment
      • John 22 June, 2017, 11:21

        Incorrect.
        The man in question was NOT a Virginia resident and was breaking the law (prior to committing the attempted murder) WRT open carry.
        The man in question did not possess a valid Virginia CHP and was breaking the law (prior to committing attempted murder) WRT possession of the long gun.

        Reply this comment
        • greg k 22 June, 2017, 21:29

          People from other states can have guns in Virginia as far as I know, and how do you know he concealed the handgun? What is WRT?

          Reply this comment
        • greg k 22 June, 2017, 21:45

          Here is the cliff notes version. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_laws_in_Virginia

          More important than this is, why is legality important? It’s not about the legality, the left’s rhetoric, or the gun’s magic ability to take a life all by itself; It’s about an unhinged loony tunes radical that took actions that are not befitting of an orderly society, period! It was his actions and noting else that spawned this event…as soon as we start expecting responsibility for actions again, this will be lessoned. No more trophy children!!!!

          Reply this comment
  2. greg k 21 June, 2017, 09:41
  3. WGP 21 June, 2017, 10:04

    What needs saying is we have a constitution, start adhering to it rather than the false narratives that the illegal government is somehow granting permission to protect oneself with conceal carry.

    Reply this comment
    • Cal 21 June, 2017, 13:15
      • Ivan Berry 22 June, 2017, 12:53

        Cal, take note of Sam Adams above and notice that he along with so many others believe the way to get lawmakers who do not abide by Constitutional restrictions will magically abide with Amendments to same. Article Five was for correction of errors in the Constitution that were later noted after Ratification had occurred, not for correction of those who did not follow the Constitution as written. What do you think? It seems obvious that anyone who will not follow will just as easily not follow a new rendition.
        All those illegal executive Departments and Agencies, like the EPA and HUD, and The Interior Department and their Beaureau of Land Management, plus all the various creations of our deficient Congress would be codified by placement within a Balanced Budget Amendment that provided any of them with funding or cuts in funding. Once codified thusly, they would then be lawful. This seems the height of stupidity. Anyone who has heard of Mission Creep should recognize that sooner or later our government must be reined in. They have gone way too far beyond those delegated powers and responsibilities that the people of the States had provided. Enough is enough. The public must be awakened to truth and not just expect any quick fix nor some Savior (like was expected of some in Trump). Anything he does get right could just as well reversed by the next President to come along.

        Reply this comment
        • rgeebee 22 June, 2017, 16:16

          It’s kinda like criminals not obeying gun laws in the first place, so more gun laws won’t make “the problems” better. We have a group of “representatives” who I actually don’t know what the Founders’ intended when establishing for instance “our right to keep and bear arms.” I don’t believe the concur with the established platform of Natural Law that the Bill of Rights doesn’t grant our rights, but rather our rights are from our Creator (nature’s God). The breaking down of governmental structure in the Constitution is relatively simple to understand, but the platform of Natural RIghts and the restraints on all branches of the fed has been scoffed. Otherwise insults like this “Proposal” would not even occur. As KrisAnne Hall states, in law schools the Constitution is no longer taught. Only Constitutional Law is taught. So one can only imagine what these people don’t know.

          Reply this comment
    • 175gr 21 June, 2017, 14:20
    • greg k 21 June, 2017, 15:48

      Big thumbs up on that!

      Reply this comment
    • Benny 21 June, 2017, 19:54
  4. Gordon 22 June, 2017, 11:45

    Quote: “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.”

    I suspect most congressmen travel by commercial airliner. Why are airliners exempted? Every citizen should be able to carry on airliners, even including congressmen.

    Reply this comment
  5. BrianD 22 June, 2017, 11:47

    No kidding. The 2nd Amendment *IS* my reciprocity law, and it doesn’t mention concealed or not! BUT if some plonk in WA DC insists, then why separate bills, one likely to be passed and the other not? File legislation that says “all American CITIZENS”, period … and doesn’t separate out congressmen/women as being different or special in any way. And AFAIK, all those congressmen at the ball practice had the right to open carry there anyway … but chose not to. Not my problem… I go back to my first statement, that all the complexity is for nought … the 2nd Amendment *IS* everyone’s reciprocity legislation – get over it and start following it!

    Reply this comment
  6. Ivan Berry 22 June, 2017, 12:33

    David Codrea, your position is unassailable and the points expressed make clear that no rulers from Washington have any more “Rights” than do anyone else. An excellent article as you usually provide. Thank you for the clarity of thought.

    Reply this comment
  7. Ol Grey Wolf 22 June, 2017, 12:37

    All they have to do is pass the National Reciprocity Act

    Reply this comment
  8. emee 22 June, 2017, 12:52

    it is either all of us, not them first… and it is the 2nd amendment pure and simple… these legislators have no more rights than we the people so just pass the Constitutional Carry in every place we ALL CAN CARRY… no special privileges for legislators… IT HELPS IF THEY ALL ADHERE TO THE US CONSTITUTION or face prison.

    Reply this comment
  9. Chief 22 June, 2017, 14:40

    Congress has enough special privileges! We the people should have the right to carry anywhere! I oppose the act to create a special group of elites that can carry while I cannot.
    Pass a law to let citizens carry and the need for a special congressional privilege would not be necessary!

    Reply this comment
  10. Capt. Bill 22 June, 2017, 15:59

    GUN SANITARY LOCATION

    This is a preliminary draft for CREATING a “GUN SANITARY LOCATION” designation.

    The many and varied laws which abound take away the ability of upright citizens to defend themselves using their second amendment right.

    It is apparent from many recent crimes that GUN FREE ZONES only make it easier for criminals to commit crimes against honest law-abiding citizens. Gun free zones guarantee only criminals will have weapons in such places. I don’t like the idea that I must not carry my gun in a gun free zone, but there is no prevention for stopping the criminal from being armed.

    I propose the Legislature enact a law creating “GUN SANITARY LOCATION” which includes the ideas proposed herein.

    Any and all locations and places can only be designated gun free if they are designated “GUN SANITARY LOCATION”. Statutes will be revised to the extent weapons may be carried by persons with a valid carry concealed weapon permit anywhere except those with “GUN SANITARY LOCATION” permitting. Those carrying a concealed weapon who do not possess a valid carry concealed permit will be arrested.

    Such location will be defined as:
    Any location or place of any description, which has 100 per cent positive control of who enters, and that no weapons of any kind can enter. Every entrance to such location will be controlled by an armed officer of the law, who has the necessary tools to make absolutely sure no weapon of any kind shall be admitted and to turn away those who try to do so. The location shall be such that no weapon can be passed or thrown into or onto the location by any means what so ever. This means walls, ceiling etc. shall be such that it is impossible to have a weapon get onto the property.

    If any location has any failure in any of these requirements, and a CCW holder actually takes a gun into a “GUN SANITARY LOCATION”, he will be relieved from these requirements, since by definition he was not prevented from entering with a gun.

    Reply this comment
    • greg k 22 June, 2017, 21:34

      I didn’t see “upright citizens” in the 2nd Amendment. My copy says “People.” Does yours read differently?

      Reply this comment
  11. Offgrid 22 June, 2017, 16:07

    About half of them are felons so will this act supersede those laws and allow them to carry anyhow?

    Reply this comment
  12. Chris 22 June, 2017, 17:38

    Personally, I think as a people we need to start following the Constitution and disregard these states laws that state we must bow down to their brand of law IE carry permit period end of the story used Jury Nullification to this matter because they can’t get us all. I have worked had my life and my family threatened I do what I must to protect me and my family period the state can go to hell and so can the FED and now this Joke of a Congressmen want to grant special rights to the assclowns in Congress and not the people…. This is shameful and I would much rather be the one on the right side of the law but when the law is unconstitutional on its face and the states are even worse I guess there are 2 options DIE on your Feet or live on your Knees and I for one will not abide the later

    Reply this comment
  13. Unknown Ranger 23 June, 2017, 03:48

    It sound’s , like a oligarchy , allowing themselves a right , that is exclusive , but , not exclusive , for ” We The People” ; Why not pass a law , making , it a right , for any American too carry a concealed weapon , not just a few , in Washington DC ?

    Reply this comment
  14. bobbo 24 June, 2017, 10:09

    The way I see it, they took an oath to uphold & defend the US Constitution….w/it comes the responsibility to defend Americans….no telling what this a…hat shooter (or any ensuing shooter would do). It’s their duty to pack, if they can’t accept that, GTHO! Seems this type legislation would also exempt politicians from further citizen disarmament schemes….not a good thing.

    Reply this comment
  15. Hydrodiesel 24 June, 2017, 11:14

    I do NOT go looking for trouble, but what happens when trouble comes looking for me ???
    What am I suppose to do, run away ? I DON’T THINK SO !
    Chief, you are so right.
    When will this “Special Privilege” legislation stop ?
    Law abiding “American” citizens are being pushed against the wall.
    When will the breaking point be when we are finally PUSHED against the wall ? (Didn’t they use to line people up against a wall, for a firing squad ?)
    I love my Country. It’s the Government I don’t trust !!!

    Reply this comment
  16. egb 24 June, 2017, 23:01

    From the brief version of this, I question why members of congress should have any special privileges beyond every other citizen. This distinction was not clear.

    Reply this comment

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