By Joe Ragonese
In the wake of the Arlington, Virginia shooting, two things happened, simultaneously; Democrats began shrieking for more gun control and all congressmen wanted more protection. A bit of an oxymoron. While many would argue that added security for group meetings of congressmen should be considered, because of these contentious times, it is not warranted nor justified.
Our founding fathers envisioned congress to be a representation of the population at large, through the men and women elected to represent their small districts. These representatives were not supposed to be special, rather they were to be ordinary, reflecting the hopes and dreams of their constituents back home.
Somewhere along the line, that process was usurped by career politicians who thought of themselves as a political class, above the rest of us. In doing so, they enacted laws that separate them from the rest of us in every way possible. Simply look at Obamacare; they, and their aides, were exempt from it. They receive full medical care, much better than Obamacare, on top of pensions, at their full rate of pay while they served in congress, for the rest of their lives, upon leaving congress. They have passed laws for only them, while at the same time passing laws for the rest of us that do not apply to them.
They are exempt from insider trading rules that the rest of us must obey. Think about Martha Stewart going to jail for violating a law that congressmen openly violate every day. They pass legislation to increase their income, while the rest of us struggle at frozen rates of pay. They always protect themselves in every way possible, until the unforeseen brings them face to face with what the rest of us face every day.
On Tuesday, June 13, at 7a.m., Republican congressmen practicing for a baseball game became the targets of a gunman. The only reason that it did not turn into a massacre was that Steve Scalise, the Majority Whip, had armed security with him. Those two officers from the Capitol Police Department were the only armed people on that field; except the assassin.
Therein lies the problem, no one but trained police officers and assassins were armed. The gunman thought he was attacking unarmed masses in the gun free Washington D.C. area. Had more been armed, the gunman would never have attacked. He was a cowardly killer, who did not wish to exchange gunfire with anyone, he only wanted to murder unarmed conservatives.
E.C. “Teddy Blue” Abbott was a cowboy who pushed cows from Texas to railheads in Kansas after the Civil War. He wrote a book about his days as a cowboy, titled, “Recollections of a Cowpuncher,” where he noted that while drinking (in a saloon), “Men tended to be more respectful of each other, knowing that everyone in there was heeled (armed).” The law of the West was that people paid a price for their behavior. When people no longer are held accountable for their actions, those actions tend to be rude, obnoxious, and disrespectful; and why not, they pay no price for their bad behavior. When everyone is heeled, people think twice about being rude.
Unlike the stories of the Wild West, as told in dime novels, there were fewer murders in the Old West than in the civilized eastern cities like Chicago, New York and Boston, because, ‘everyone was heeled.’ Guns save lives, plain and simple. It is a hard concept for the left, because they don’t want to save lives, they want America to fail.
Yet, in the wake of the Arlington shooting, both those leftist and conservative congressmen began talking of better protecting ‘congress.’ Yes, they think themselves better than the rest of us. How many shootings occur when a group of young people are gathered to play basketball or baseball on the streets of Chicago and New York? It happens a whole lot more than this one incident of armed violence against Republican congressmen. Instead of thinking of themselves, congress should think in ways that would better us all.
What congress needs to do is pass legislation that guarantees that if someone has a concealed carry permit in one state, that it is accepted in every. Just think about it, we can drive in all 50 states and D.C., on our driver’s license issued by our state, which is a privilege, not a right, yet, not protect ourselves from felonious predators beyond our state’s borders. The ‘right to keep and bear arms,’ is a constitutional right, but we cannot carry a concealed weapon when driving from Indiana to Illinois.
Which takes us back to the Arlington, Virginia shooting, the survivors unequivocally stated that without the armed guards they would have been massacred. Had several of them carried a .38 revolver or 9mm auto in their gym bags, when the shooting started, the gunman would not have been able to carry out his murderous plans, without the need for Capitol Police Officers.
In all probability he would have not even tried. The gunman did not intend to become a martyr for the cause, he expected to commit murder and escape. Like most mass shootings, they happen in gun free zones, because these shooters are cowards who only wish to hurt others, while not becoming victims themselves. Even Islamic terrorists do not wish to confront armed citizens, which is why they prefer gun free Europe and gun free zones in the U.S.
Congress needs to rethink how to better protect itself, while at the same time protecting all Americans. Congress needs to enact laws that provide for mandatory concealed carry permits (CCP) in all 50 states, and insuring that a CCP in one state is recognized in all.
Guns save lives; that is as true today as it was for Teddy Blue. The proof came after one of the most cowardly and violent acts in recent times in the United States; the mass murders of children and women at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newton, Connecticut, in 2012. Adam Lanza stole a rifle and pistol from his mother, killed her, and then went to the school and killed 27 others. After that horrendous event, Democrat legislators cried out for strict gun control. Their plans were thwarted when Wayne LaPierre, Executive Director of the National Rifle Association, replied to demands for more gun control by saying, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.” Whether that good guy with a gun is a police officer or a CCP holder, guns save lives.
That simple logic stopped Democrats in their tracks in 2012, and can be used to finally push forward legislation to make the right to keep and bear arms mean something. It’s time for congress to stop thinking about themselves, and thinking about all Americans.
Pass legislation that puts teeth back into the second amendment.