(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) After the shooting at the GOP baseball practice on Wednesday in Alexandria, Va., members of Congress are calling for less restrictive gun laws in the District of Columbia.
Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) had introduced the D.C. Personal Protection Reciprocity Act on May 15, which would permit individuals with a concealed carry license from their home state to carry a firearm in D.C.
Virginia allows individuals to open carry at 18 without a permit and concealed carry at 21 with a permit, but D.C.’s tighter gun-control laws make it nearly impossible to carry within the District limits.
“After the horrific shooting at the Republican Congressional Baseball practice, there will likely be calls for special privileges to protect politicians,” Massie said. “Our reaction should instead be to protect the right of all citizens guaranteed in the Constitution: the right to self-defense. I do not want to extend a special privilege to politicians, because the right to keep and bear arms is not a privilege, it is a God-given right protected by our Constitution.”
Massie is calling out Republicans, such as Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), who have called for changes in the District of Columbia’s gun control laws to allow members of Congress and staffers to carry firearms, The Hill reported. Massie said he wants everyone in D.C. to be able to defend themselves, not just politicians. But Loudermilk has also cosponsored Massie’s bill, H.R.2909.
“To ensure public safety, we need to repeal laws that keep good guys from carrying guns, since not everyone has a personal police detail,” Massie said. “The right to keep and bear arms is the common person’s first line of defense in these situations, and it should never be denied.”
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), who was at the field during the shooting, recognized the need for good guys to have guns.
“The only chance we had was that the shots were returned by the Capitol Hill Police,” Rand Paul said, according to NBC News. “Had they not been there it would have been a massacre, because there’s no escaping a guy you know if he’s got several hundred bullets and we had no weapons and no place to hide.”
Massie’s bill had 23 cosponsors when it was introduced, including Michigan Rep. Mike Bishop, who said the people on scene with a gun saved many lives.
“The only reason why any of us walked out of this thing, by the grace of God, one of the folks here had a weapon to fire back and give us a moment to find cover,” Bishop said, CBS Detroit reported.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe recognized that the government needs to do a better job protecting all citizens, not only politicians, but he wants it accomplished through tighter gun control laws.
“It’s not just about politicians. We worry about this every day about all of our citizens,” McAuliffe said. “There are too many guns on the street. We lose 93 million Americans a day to gun violence.”
McAuliffe later clarified his statement, saying he meant 93 Americans per day.
Former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ), who has long advocated for tighter gun control since she was shot in 2011, wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post after the GOP baseball shooting:
“We know, as always, that no one law could prevent a shooting like this. But we also know that we must acknowledge a problem: an unacceptable rate of gun violence in this country,” Giffords wrote.
Massie argued his bill is necessary because gun control laws will never stop these shootings.
“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” he said.