A fine defense of sticking to your guns (so to speak) from a principled gun-rights supporter. But even if Brooks wasn’t committed to the Second Amendment on principle, realistically what could he have said here? “Kindergarteners getting mowed down at Sandy Hook was a risk I was willing to take to protect constitutional rights, but now that my own safety is threatened, forget all that Bill of Rights sh*t”? What a dumb question.

Hodgkinson reportedly owned three guns back home in Illinois and had a concealed-carry permit, so his record must have been clean until now. That fits with the anecdotal evidence from family and neighbors that he wasn’t any kind of obvious threat. Either he was a “lone wolf” who plotted very quietly or he made his fateful decision to rampage very recently, before anyone could detect his motives. Good luck keeping a gun out of that guy’s hands.

A pressing question now: What do we do about security for members of Congress? It’s been noted elsewhere today that there would have been no Capitol Police at the practice if not for Steve Scalise’s attendance. He gets a detail only because he’s a member of the House leadership. Without him there, the participants would have been defenseless. In a hyperpartisan age, with cranks already vowing reprisals for the attack on Scalise, they’re going to have to find some money to provide security to gatherings of congressmen at least. It’s probably too expensive to outfit 535 people with their own bodyguards, but surely any event with multiple members attending should have protection.