Colorado Congresswoman-elect Lauren Boebert is going to be fun to cover over the next couple of years. The staunchly pro-Second Amendment Republican, who turned a viral moment challenging Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke over his gun ban plan during his run for the Democratic presidential nomination into a springboard for a successful run for the U.S. House of Representatives, is always quick with a quip, soundbite, or tweet that’s designed to poke Democrats and gun control activists for their anti-gun ways, including a recent dig at those who’ve been objecting to her plans to carry a gun in the U.S. Capitol.
Democrats should think of concealed carry as masks for our guns.
Maybe then they’d support it!
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) December 3, 2020
That’s worth a chuckle or two, but there’s also a counterpoint to Boebert’s jibe at Democrats and their eagerness to protect their personal safety by wearing a mask but not by carrying a gun; should Republicans also think of masks as concealed carry for our faces?
I would actually love to see a study on the mask-wearing rates for concealed carry holders compared to gun owners without a concealed carry license and those who don’t own a gun. Since those who carry a concealed firearm are clearly interested in their own personal safety (and even the safety of others), you’d think that would up the chances of them wearing a mask. Those of us who regularly carry a firearm for self-defense also know that it doesn’t offer 100% protection against being the victim of a violent crime, but we carry anyway because it at least increases our odds of being able to defend ourselves,. If concealed carry holders apply that same attitude towards wearing a mask, it’s safe to assume that would increase the chances of them wearing one as well.
I have a feeling, though, that if we actually did poll those various groups of Americans, concealed carry holders wouldn’t be any more likely to wear a mask than gun owners, and non-gun owners would be at least slightly more likely to wear a mask than their armed counterparts.
Logically, it doesn’t seem like that should be the case, but just based on my own observances over the past few months, I feel pretty good about my prediction. So why is that?
The most vocal anti-maskers I know all couch their argument in terms of freedom and liberty, just like the most vocal Second Amendment activists I know. It’s actually personal autonomy is at the heart of both movements, not personal safety. We may carry a concealed firearm on a practical level because we want to be able to protect ourselves and others if need be, but we embrace that right to do so because we know that ultimately our safety is a responsibility best left in our own hands, instead of entirely outsourced to the State.
Those opposed to wearing masks, and especially those who simply refuse to do so as a political statement, are making the same argument: I choose how best to protect myself. My body, my choice, right? I suspect that’s why many of the strongest Second Amendment supporters I know are also among the most opposed to mask mandates, and why I believe that concealed carry holders would be no more likely to don a mask than non-gun owners, despite the apparent contradiction.
Ed Morrissey and I have talked about this issue on a couple of our VIP Gold Live chats since both of us are married to women with a high risk of serious complications if they catch COVID-19. I chose to wear a mask long before Gov. Ralph Northam told me I had to, and I don’t get all hot and bothered when I see people flouting the mask laws. I know that my safety is ultimately my responsibility, not theirs. We’ve changed how we live our lives quite a bit over the past nine months, but I think we’re taking reasonable steps to protect my wife’s health.
Do I wish more people were taking it seriously? Of course, but at this point I’m not surprised. You can go back to the earliest days of the pandemic, when our politicians and top doctors outright lied to us, assuring us that we didn’t need masks rather than telling us the truth; that doctors and frontline health care workers needed them more.
Now many of those same politicians are demanding we make sacrifices to save lives while they ignore their own rules. There’ve been too many instances to fully document here, but my favorite hypocrite is Denver, Colorado Mayor Michael Hancock, who told residents not to travel for Thanksgiving while he was on his way to Mississippi for the holiday. When he was busted, Hancock issued a tone-deaf “apology” that only made things worse.
“I recognize that my decision has disappointed many who believe it would have been better to spend Thanksgiving alone. As a public official, whose conduct is rightly scrutinized for the message it sends to others, I apologize to the residents of Denver who see my decision as conflicting with the guidance to stay at home for all but essential travel,” Hancock said in a statement. “I made my decision as a husband and father, and for those who are angry and disappointed, I humbly ask you to forgive decisions that are borne of my heart and not my head.”
You ask forgiveness while you’re still on your way to your destination? Not a freaking chance. Since then, Hancock has brazenly acknowledged his hypocritical stance and once again apologized, but why should the voters of Denver give a damn? Hancock knew exactly what he was doing when he did it. He just put his heart above his head.
To bring this back full circle, it turns out that Lauren Boebert disregarded the edicts from on high when it came to Thanksgiving. She didn’t travel, but instead hosted 30 people at her home, getting around her county’s limits on private gatherings to just ten people by taking advantage of a loophole that allowed larger crowds at “life-rite” gatherings like weddings and funerals. It wasn’t Thanksgiving dinner she was hosting. It was a funeral for a turkey.
“In Colorado, Thanksgiving is limited to 10 people, but funerals are limited to 30,” Boebert told Fox News in a recent interview in Washington, D.C., during congressional orientation. “So I’m going to have a peaceful funeral for a turkey and have about 30 people at my house.”
Reached Wednesday, Boebert confirmed her “funeral” plans for Thanksgiving but also quipped that her guest limit should actually be allowed to increase since she’s added two more dead animals to the menu, a pig and a duck.
Between the two politicians, I’ll take western Colorado’s Lauren Boebert over Denver’s Michael Hancock every time, and not just because my politics largely align with hers. Boebert’s defiance was an act of civil disobedience and individual liberty, while Hancock’s was an act of political hypocrisy and personal privilege. When it comes to the reluctance of many on the right to wear masks, I’d say that Hancock and the other hypocritical politicians have as much to do with it as Boebert and those who refuse outright to follow the orders handed down by governors.