Video: Should Congress pack heat?

posted at 2:55 pm on January 14, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

The correct question should be, “Why shouldn’t Congress pack heat?” After all, as Rep. Louis Gohmert says to Steve Doocy on Fox today, elected officials are American citizens with the same 2nd Amendment rights as anyone else. The question in DC now, though, is why can’t all other law-abiding citizens carry a weapon, once properly licensed — a policy that the nation’s capital has resisted strongly. Must-issue carry laws in other states, including my own state of Minnesota, have not resulted in any uptick in crime. It’s at least arguable that the prevalence of those armed in self-defense can act as a way to discourage crime from happening in the first place.


However, it’s the wrong question in another sense as well. Representatives don’t face the kind of danger against which self-arming would defend on Capitol Hill or its environs. The larger threat comes from their public events back in home districts — and even that is a fairly small risk, when viewed on a historical basis. There have been very few attack attempts on members of Congress, and the latest one resulted from a deranged, cowardly lunatic that shot Congresswoman Giffords from behind. The policies of carrying weapons by members of Congress should really be first addressed by their home states, and whatever decision is made should apply to the rest of the law-abiding citizenry as well.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

I see nothing wrong with Congress members carrying weapons. If Gabrielle Giffords had been armed, the outcome could very well have been different.

Heinlein said “An armed society is a polite society.” I suspect he had a point.

hachiban on January 14, 2011 at 2:59 PM

Seriously, would you want someone like an Alan Grayson packing heat?

Kissmygrits on January 14, 2011 at 2:59 PM

That’s a horrible idea. Can you imagine gunplay across the aisle between the two parties?

Wait a sec…………..

Vashta.Nerada on January 14, 2011 at 2:59 PM

If you screen your audience before the event, if you limit access, there is no need for the ‘principle’ to be armed, especially with professional security present.

It’s called the principle of ‘layered defense’. If your only defense is your personal sidearm, you are being foolish. If your personal sidearm is NOT your only defense, you are being theatrical.

Skandia Recluse on January 14, 2011 at 3:00 PM

I would imagine only the ones who feel Americans have a right to have arms under the 2nd would carry guns for protection. It seems many of our elected thinks guns cause deaths, no people who shoot people cause deaths.
L

letget on January 14, 2011 at 3:01 PM

One correction. The belief now is that Loughner shot Giffords from the front, not behind. Which only bolsters my belief. If she had been armed, or had a bodyguard with her that was, the outcome might have been very different.

hachiban on January 14, 2011 at 3:01 PM

a deranged, cowardly, Palin loving, Rush listening, rabid tea partier lunatic that shot Congresswoman Giffords.

FIFY – lib media

tommer74 on January 14, 2011 at 3:02 PM

I don’t have a problem with it…

… What I do have a problem with is Congress passing laws that they exempt themselves from.

Maybe if citizens could carry, but members of Congress couldn’t…

… we just may see fewer 3,000 page bills get passed in the middle of the night that no one had a chance to read.

Seven Percent Solution on January 14, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Who ARE you?!??!? BLAM!!!

Maybe some of them shouldn’t carry guns.

DrAllecon on January 14, 2011 at 3:04 PM

I see nothing wrong with Congress members carrying weapons. If Gabrielle Giffords had been armed, the outcome could very well have been different.

Heinlein said “An armed society is a polite society.” I suspect he had a point.

hachiban on January 14, 2011 at 2:59 PM

We don’t know if she wasn’t. She says she owns a Glock handgun and is a good shot. But, as is pointed out, she was shot from behind.

unclesmrgol on January 14, 2011 at 3:07 PM

Seriously, would you want someone like an Alan Grayson packing heat?

Kissmygrits on January 14, 2011 at 2:59 PM

Isn’t he covered by the Constitution?

unclesmrgol on January 14, 2011 at 3:08 PM

a deranged, cowardly lunatic that shot Congresswoman Giffords from behind

If he’s not left wing, then who is?

Who said it was from behind? I thought he walked right up to her out of the line and shot.

faraway on January 14, 2011 at 3:08 PM

The correct question should be, “Why shouldn’t Congress pack heat?”

Exactly, we elect them predicated on trust, adherence to the constitution and their vow to up-hold it.

fourdeucer on January 14, 2011 at 3:08 PM

There are certain congressman I’d not be too comfortable with having a weapon — Al Franken, Maxine Waters, Cynthia McKinney, to name a few.

Paul-Cincy on January 14, 2011 at 3:09 PM

Well, gee, if they do, won’t they have to bitch-slap the DC city council into rescinding their bullshit carry laws?

Hell, I’d pay cash money to see that.

mojo on January 14, 2011 at 3:09 PM

Isn’t he covered by the Constitution?

unclesmrgol on January 14, 2011 at 3:08 PM

He’s the only (former) member of congress who actually had an involuntary psychiatric hold put on him.

Blake on January 14, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Well said. Congressmen– like the rest of us– should be able to protect ourselves.

morganfrost on January 14, 2011 at 3:13 PM

Who said it was from behind? I thought he walked right up to her out of the line and shot.

faraway on January 14, 2011 at 3:08 PM

I read that a witness said that he walked up from behind her and shot her in the side of the head. He then began firing blindly into the crowd who because they were wedged between large pillars could not flee quickly.

Blake on January 14, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Even if they are not armed, Congresspeople should be thought of as being armed even if they aren’t.

Some, but certainly not all, perpetrators will be deterred if they know they are risking their own lives.

marybel on January 14, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Why not arm them? It’ll make the charge their all guilty of to be armed robbery and we can lock them up longer.

michaelo on January 14, 2011 at 3:16 PM

*they’re*

michaelo on January 14, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Ed – silly boy! CONGRESS is ‘different’ from you and I.

Someone should ask Gohmert why this issue wasn’t addressed by the House when they were assaulted from the viewer’s gallery by Puerto Rican Nationalists.

GarandFan on January 14, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Would certainly liven up the filibusters. I would watch C-span a lot more. I suppose the donning of hearing protection would signify an upcoming opposition rebuttal?

a capella on January 14, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Should Congress pack heat?

.
Yes, it should be mandatory, and with the “safe gun handling ability” I suspect most Dems possess, there will be no need for term limit laws.

LincolntheHun on January 14, 2011 at 3:24 PM

Oooh!

The possibility of a return to dueling.

I can live with that.

But, that would also require a return to chivalry and honor, and after a few nanoseconds of reflection, I know that it can’t be done.

BobMbx on January 14, 2011 at 3:26 PM

I don’t have a problem with these PARASITES carrying concealed IF THEY CAN PASS THE BACKGROUND CHECK?

They should have to show a valid Birth Certificate to authenticate their lawful citizenship, and not have the standard felony DWI, Wife beating, tax evasion, constitution subversion, Post Office stamp check kiting, or mob associated racketeering charges, so I feel the three or four left have a dooty to arm themselves, especially when in the midst of such a den of thieves as the Hollow Halls of Congress contains!

dhunter on January 14, 2011 at 3:26 PM

Even better, we should *require* that they carry heat. Then re-institute dueling.

I bet CSPAN ratings would soar.

GnuBreed on January 14, 2011 at 3:28 PM

There are certain congressman I’d not be too comfortable with having a weapon — Al Franken, Maxine Waters, Cynthia McKinney, to name a few.

Paul-Cincy on January 14, 2011 at 3:09 PM

Just issue them the Barney Fife loadout: A big, clunky revolver with one bullet, in a buttoned pocket.

BobMbx on January 14, 2011 at 3:28 PM

Yes, it should be mandatory, and with the “safe gun handling ability” I suspect most Dems possess, there will be no need for term limit laws.

LincolntheHun on January 14, 2011 at 3:24 PM

Yep. The lefties should all have Glocks carried in the wasteband with one in the chamber. For safe handling instructions, see,..Burris, Plaxico.

a capella on January 14, 2011 at 3:28 PM

Lol — I see I should have refreshed first, great minds & all that…

GnuBreed on January 14, 2011 at 3:29 PM

If that survey is to be believed, better to arm themselves with adequate understanding of the Constitution, first.

Christien on January 14, 2011 at 3:30 PM

It’s a dream of mine for every adult (21+) not convicted of a violent crime to be able to carry open or concealed, anywhere, any time.

This includes but is not limited to airplanes, subways, churches, hospitals, government buildings …

Anywhere, any time.

BowHuntingTexas on January 14, 2011 at 3:30 PM

Why not? If they don’t want to they don’t have to but every citizen should have the same privilege that congressional members have. Like health care.

Vince on January 14, 2011 at 3:32 PM

I remember the first guy I ever met that carried a concealed pistol. I remember it to this day, I was 12–the guy was a lawyer and lived near a friend of mine. I asked him why he carried a pistol and he said that, as a lawyer, you never know what kind of crazy people are out there or what they’ll do.

I learned a lesson that day.

ted c on January 14, 2011 at 3:33 PM

Whether they pack or not, someone could do a world of good by taking them and their staffs to a range, and letting them handle and shoot a gun or two. Letting them see that they don’t turn into a monster by shooting at a target or two might change their outlook.

slickwillie2001 on January 14, 2011 at 3:34 PM

This idea would work right up until one of them shoots a constituent.

CurtZHP on January 14, 2011 at 3:38 PM

I say they should be able to carry based on their 2nd Amendment voting records.

mizflame98 on January 14, 2011 at 3:40 PM

If someone has already mentioned this, excuse me. But Gabby was shot from in front. The new analysis indicates the bullet entered her forehead just above the left eye. This has been confirmed on the news. As for packing heat, about a week or so ago, the Maggie’s Farm blog had pictures of “the Judge”, a short or snubbed-nosed revolver holding 4 or 5 cartridges, and nicknamed as “the Judge” because it was a favorite of judges in the courtroom! But the question is would I trust my Congress critter to be responsible with one.

Bob in VA on January 14, 2011 at 3:40 PM

Bob in VA on January 14, 2011 at 3:40 PM

The Judge isn’t a snubbie. It is a fairly large weapon chambered to fire either .45 LC or .410 shotgun shells. I doubt it is the best weapon for concealed carry, and I’m not sure a .410 shell is as potent as a handgun cartridge in terms of stopping power, unless the eyes are involved.

a capella on January 14, 2011 at 3:49 PM

Bob in VA on January 14, 2011 at 3:40 PM

But what about the Grassy Knoll and Badge Man? And that crazy 33 Bullet theory.

BobMbx on January 14, 2011 at 3:52 PM

Seriously, would you want someone like an Alan Grayson packing heat?

Kissmygrits on January 14, 2011 at 2:59 PM

Sure. Then, when he goes psycho and pulls it out, we can defend ourselves from him.

riverrat10k on January 14, 2011 at 3:52 PM

If they want to carry, then they should. It’s not my business to decide whether they need to or not. It’s also none of their business if I do the same.

RadClown on January 14, 2011 at 3:55 PM

a capella on January 14, 2011 at 3:49 PM

They make .410 slug shells; plenty of stopping power there.

I’ve fired the Judge, it has quite a kick with the 410 load.

GnuBreed on January 14, 2011 at 3:57 PM

If she was shot first, I think it’s unlikely that arming herself would have made a difference in this situation.

While I’m sure there are people that are highly trained to recognize suspicious and threatening “micro” behaviors and act immediately (e.g. the Secret Service), the average person is not going to have enough time to switch from “receiving line” mode to “he’s going for a gun!” mode with time to spare for beating the other guy to the draw.

I do believe that if other people had been armed the injury/death toll would have been lower. However, the (perhaps unintentional) implication that the very act of carrying a gun can protect you from the random, crazy gunman doesn’t seem well-founded to me.

JadeNYU on January 14, 2011 at 3:59 PM

They make .410 slug shells; plenty of stopping power there.

I’ve fired the Judge, it has quite a kick with the 410 load.

GnuBreed on January 14, 2011 at 3:57 PM

I imagine. I’m just sorta old fashiond. Seems a bit gimmicky to me. I think there are better tools for that particular job.

a capella on January 14, 2011 at 4:09 PM

If a member of Congress feels comfortable doing so, absolutely! However a proper mindset is needed by the individual to assure that he/she will actually use the weapon if the need arises.

GFW on January 14, 2011 at 4:11 PM

They make .410 slug shells; plenty of stopping power there.

I’ve fired the Judge, it has quite a kick with the 410 load.

GnuBreed on January 14, 2011 at 3:57 PM

About a year ago I reviewed one for a LEO friend with a Taurus sales rep and was not impressed. Did you like it?

fourdeucer on January 14, 2011 at 4:13 PM

I have a Judge as well. It is a pussycat, not a kicker And .410 slug loads are just plain silly for use in it. Use the regular .45 Colt load if you want a solid projectile: more accurate, more powerful and better ballistics. The whole point of having a Judge is to be able to use shot shells.

I like the Winchester PDX, alternated with .45, makes you ready for quick closeup, and more accurate if you have time to aim.

LegendHasIt on January 14, 2011 at 4:14 PM

Everyone should “pack heat”.

Dandapani on January 14, 2011 at 4:16 PM

LegendHasIt on January 14, 2011 at 4:14 PM

SAO or SA/DA?

a capella on January 14, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Seriously, would you want someone like an Alan Grayson packing heat?

Kissmygrits on January 14, 2011 at 2:59 PM

Future Darwin Award recipient.

Extrafishy on January 14, 2011 at 4:23 PM

Congressmen are exempt from the rules they pass for the rest of the country so why not pack some heat.

mixplix on January 14, 2011 at 4:25 PM

There are certain congressman I’d not be too comfortable with having a weapon — Al Franken, Maxine Waters, Cynthia McKinney, to name a few.

Paul-Cincy on January 14, 2011 at 3:09 PM

Plenty of Darwin Awards to go around.

Extrafishy on January 14, 2011 at 4:26 PM

.410 gets you 3 of 00 buckshot… not pleasant at close range. You don’t need to be dead accurate, just go for center of mass.

That said training in Situational Awareness matters just as much as the firearms carrying: bodyguards, no matter how good they are, can miss things. You are your first and best defense in this world, then everything else is layered out from you. If you aren’t prepared to keep an eye out for your own safety, you will get run over by that bus you forgot to look for crossing the street.

Open or Concealed carry is not enough: SA is required to identify individuals, class threats and then change your behavior to deal with problems before they happen. That is a great deterrent in and of itself, to not get into those situations in the first place.

ajacksonian on January 14, 2011 at 4:26 PM

I carry daily, I know at least one of my State congress-critters carries daily, many local judges and attorneys carry daily, several of my friends carry daily so why shouldn’t my congress woman carry daily as well?

deepdiver on January 14, 2011 at 4:28 PM

a capella on January 14, 2011 at 4:22 PM

SA/DA. I like it. Didn’t have to work on honing the action at all. Nice to have handy out at the gulch where you could run across a rattler, a mountain lion or a feral hog.

Not my choice for ‘serious social situations’ though. I’m still a 1911 guy for that kind of stuff.

LegendHasIt on January 14, 2011 at 4:29 PM

There are more pizza delivery guys murdered each year then all of the congress people that have been murdered over the entire course of the over 200 years of the Republic. Tell these guys to get a backbone.

Jdripper on January 14, 2011 at 4:29 PM

….410 gets you 3 of 00 buckshot….
ajacksonian on January 14, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Federal sells a 4 X 000 that is pretty nice, but not as good as the PDX IMHO

LegendHasIt on January 14, 2011 at 4:34 PM

P.S. Our (so far) great new conservative governor lady ‘packs heat.. As does her Cop Hubby.

LegendHasIt on January 14, 2011 at 4:37 PM

Didn’t they used to anyway? They used to take part in DUELS for cryin’ out loud…

Skywise on January 14, 2011 at 4:42 PM

Are we honestly having this conversation?

You-Eh-Vee on January 14, 2011 at 4:45 PM

LegendHasIt on January 14, 2011 at 4:34 PM

Still, four .32 caliber round balls at various points in the torso will certainly mess up a bad guy’s weekend, yes? Unless he’s wearing a protective vest, I’m guessing low survivability.

Extrafishy on January 14, 2011 at 4:51 PM

Sorry, but anything coming from Gohmert’s mouth is worthy of dismissal. He’s the dumbest non-Democrat in the Congress. I should know since I live in his district.

AngusMc on January 14, 2011 at 5:07 PM

Hints for duelers:
“Ain’t nothin’ scarier than seein’ a man standing there calmly aiming when anybody with a lick o’ sense would be runnin’ like a scalded cat…”
– Barbarosa

mojo on January 14, 2011 at 5:29 PM

mess up a bad guy’s weekend, yes?
Extrafishy on January 14, 2011 at 4:51 PM

Bad guy? I thought we were talking about protecting one’s self from aggressive creatures with either no legs, or four of them. We aren’t allowed to say anything that may be construed as threatening about a two leg animal, are we?

But Yeah, bad weekend… even with a vest, it’ll bruise, maybe crack a rib.

LegendHasIt on January 14, 2011 at 5:51 PM

Thought they wanted to keep the guns out of the hands of the nutz.

Wade on January 14, 2011 at 6:02 PM

BowHuntingTexas on January 14, 2011 at 3:30 PM

There’s no law in California preventing concealed carry in churches. If a nutcase attempted a rampage in my congregation, the casualty count would not be whatever said nutcase wished it to be, and said nutcase would absolutely be one of the final total.

LegendHasIt & a capella,

No offense, but I make a serious point of never discussing the details of my kit with anyone I don’t already trust. And when I say trust in this sense, I mean they’re armed, I’m not, and I still feel safe.

Freelancer on January 14, 2011 at 6:13 PM

It’s in the constitution and they’re citizens with the same rights as everyone else. Why wouldn’t they be able to? Are they talking concealed? Are there different laws for that?

It may make the more lucid idiots out there think twice knowing that if they pull out a gun they’ll have half a dozen pointed back at them.

It won’t do much for the insane, as they don’t consider consequences. Hopefully, the intended target is faster.

kim roy on January 14, 2011 at 6:15 PM

kim roy,

The thing is that Washington DC is a no-handgun locale. Since that’s the congress-critters’ place of work, it just follows…

Freelancer on January 14, 2011 at 6:17 PM

In the Nevada statehouse there’s a large painting of Abraham Lincoln. I think it’s in the House chamber, but I can’t recall. Could be the Senate.

Why do I bring this up? What relevance does it have to the conversation?

The painting has a hole in it. A bullet hole.

During one particularly raucous exchange, one of the congressmen pulled out a gun and fired it. It hit Lincoln.

So, it’s a joke in Nevada that Lincoln was shot twice.

Anyway, they don’t allow guns in the statehouse anymore.

Chris of Rights on January 14, 2011 at 6:21 PM

I’m pro-choice on this. Everyone should have the choice to carry or not. By everyone, I mean everyone. Felons are prohibited right now from carrying, but they still do. Crazy people would fit the same category. We should still make it illegal or difficult for some people to buy legally.

The best thing I’ve ever read about this subject is as follows:

Gun Control – The theory that a woman found dead in an alley, raped and strangled with her own pantyhose, is somehow morally superior to a woman explaining to police how her attacker got that fatal bullet wound.

Ladies Gun Control T Shirt

TugboatPhil on January 14, 2011 at 6:30 PM

LegendHasIt & a capella,

No offense, but I make a serious point of never discussing the details of my kit with anyone I don’t already trust. And when I say trust in this sense, I mean they’re armed, I’m not, and I still feel safe.

Freelancer on January 14, 2011 at 6:13 PM

Not sure how that applies to our discussion, but thanks anyway.

a capella on January 14, 2011 at 6:31 PM

No issues with them carrying at all, but only an idiot carries without proper training on how to use it if needed. DiFi carries, she just doesn’t want us peons to even own firearms.
Here in Maryland, a Lawyer or ex-cop will almost never be denied a carry permit, a law abiding citizen like me on the other hand, will most certainly be denied. I practice, train, and compete with High powered rifles, and pistols, I spend far more time on the range than Police, yet I can not be trusted to defend myself in Maryland, it’s actually quite insulting.
I want Congress safe, I want every American to be safe from the slime of society. If predators had any fear that they would become the prey, things would most likely change. To quote our President, “They bring a knife, we bring a gun”…

M-14 2go on January 14, 2011 at 6:32 PM

Federal sells a 4 X 000 that is pretty nice, but not as good as the PDX IMHO

LegendHasIt on January 14, 2011 at 4:34 PM

Went for a lesser round for the Lady of the house and the Mossberg… have some ATI slugs for later in the magazine just in case, plus a plastic round or two up front for reminders that if you are in pain it is wise not to get up. If its just me its the 12ga, but for general HD its the Mossberg.

Wish I had some spare cash for The Judge… instead its getting a basic shop put together for the long term. Get the equipment now while its still available and relatively cheap.

ajacksonian on January 14, 2011 at 6:42 PM

Sorry, but anything coming from Gohmert’s mouth is worthy of dismissal. He’s the dumbest non-Democrat in the Congress. I should know since I live in his district.
AngusMc on January 14, 2011 at 5:07 PM

As do I. And you’ve just proven that anything coming out of your own mouth is worthy of dismissal.

You, sunshine, should watch the YouTube vids of ‘dumb’ Louie giving our brilliant AG the third degree on just what constitutes torture.

applebutter on January 14, 2011 at 7:41 PM

I am very aware of Gohmert’s statements. Like his conspiracy-theorizing with Alex Jones. His belief that the federal government is sterilizing the general population. His belief that terrorists are having “terror babies” in the U.S. to get them citizenship they can use later for attacks. Or his belief that accepting gays will lead to the rise of Nazism and necrophilia in the U.S.

Yes, he’s brilliant. My error.

AngusMc on January 14, 2011 at 8:05 PM

It only takes one instance to disprove the negative. I gave you one. Now, do I need to continue by giving examples of other Republicans that have accumulated equally embarrassing moments without the skill required to stuff the Attorney General, or the honesty that Gohmert displays in pretty much everything he does.

And, unlike some residents of east Texas, Louie doesn’t have a gram of snark in his entire being.

Misjudging Gohmert’s brilliance wasn’t your error. Just over-appreciation of your own.

applebutter on January 14, 2011 at 8:38 PM

kim roy,

The thing is that Washington DC is a no-handgun locale. Since that’s the congress-critters’ place of work, it just follows…

Freelancer on January 14, 2011 at 6:17 PM

Thanks for the info, Freelancer. Hope they change that.

kim roy on January 14, 2011 at 9:11 PM

Should Congress pack heat?

To do so is a personal responsibility and moral obligation toward others.

I have not observed anything to suggest they would understand that.

AZ_Redneck on January 14, 2011 at 11:43 PM

Thanks for the info, Freelancer. Hope they change that.

kim roy on January 14, 2011 at 9:11 PM

There was Supreme Court case on the ruling….I wonder how you could miss that. The decision was District of Columbia v Heller in 2008

On a related note, when I worked as a private security guard in DC I carried openly & illegally in my vehicle to and from work. Getting a few stares from local people (and questions from MPDC cops) is wholly preferable to me than being shot by gangbangers or drug addicts-both of which I had daily contact with where I worked.

SgtSVJones on January 14, 2011 at 11:47 PM