On Wednesday, January 6, a large crowd of protestors stormed the American Capital in protest of the certification of the 2020 election results. Ultimately the crowd’s protest would lead to a total of 5 deaths, including one police officer who was beaten to death by a group of protestors. Wednesday’s events have revived the conversation of concealed carry for congressmen in the Capital towards the favor of conservatives.
A little known law allows congressmen to carry concealed weapons on their persons, as well as storing them in their office. The law has been under attack by Democratic politicians for years, with the bill being staunchly defended by the Capitol’s strongest gun advocates.
It has been over a week since Representative Jared Huffman of California introduced a bill that would have Congressmen give up their right to conceal carry weapons upon the grounds of the Capitol Building. Huffman stated that, “Threats of political violence are on the rise, and it makes all of us less safe if Members of Congress and their staff don’t have to comply with gun safety standards.” He urged that Congress “Members should not be above the law….These outdated and dangerous rules, that apply to everyone else who visits and works in the halls of Congress, must be modernized for everyone’s safety.”
For some context, Huffman, since 2018, has been on a crusade to have the law repealed, with little to no success.
The 2018 attempt was met with its biggest challenger, Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky. Massie was quoted to have said that it is “a problem that doesn’t exist.” One of the biggest supporters of the bill was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who Massie stated was fearfully “worried that members aren’t responsible enough to handle a firearm?”
Now fast-forwarding back to this week, the day right before the protest, newly elected Congresswoman Lauren Boebert of Colorado made a pledge that she would carry a weapon herself on Capitol Grounds as a part of advocacy for Self Defense. She was joined by many other conservative politicians on the Hill such as Madison Cawthorn who brought a concealed weapon the day of the protest, commenting that the incident was “the closest I’ve ever been to 9/11.” Representative Cawthorn further stated, “Fortunately, I was armed, so we would have been able to protect ourselves,”
Thomas Massie had words to say about carrying a concealed weapon during the protest, and quickly pointed out in a tweet that, “The next member who argues Congressmen shouldn’t be allowed to carry firearms at work needs to be laughed out of the Capitol.” Massie finished his comment by stating that, “Several of us were glad to be armed while barricaded for hours in our offices with our staff.”
In the aftermath of the event, there is little conversation about Huffman’s bill, as this event truly showed the value of being able to carry a firearm, and being able to defend oneself. Although we now know these protestors did not target congressmen, in a worst-case scenario the congressmen would have been able to defend themselves from the mob, or at the very least hold the line until the National guard eventually took back the building.
With the Capital police too busy holding protestors at bay, or attempting to retake parts of the capitol building, the congressmen were far better off being able to defend themselves than to rely on law enforcement who already had their hands full.
Congressmen are not forced to carry a firearm, as no one is in the United States. However, they should be able to exercise that right, and, hopefully, the tragic events that happened at our capital would at least put the arguments to have that right repealed put to bed.
Although security is likely to change going forward for the Capitol Building, Congressmen should surely always have the right to defend themselves. Any reintroduction to that bill is likely to be shot down, or at the very least will be met with massive backlash from those who experienced the events that occurred on January 6.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.