It still doesn’t seem like it was all that long ago when we learned of a shooting at a baseball park in Alexandria, Virginia. A group of Republican Congressman were practicing for a baseball game. No one was killed, but Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., was seriously injured.
Now, Democrats are pushing for a rule change that would ultimately make it harder for members of Congress to protect themselves from future attacks.
Democrats could do away with a rule that allows lawmakers to bring firearms onto Capitol grounds – including in their offices – as they prepare to take control of the House next year.
“I don’t think we can just keep looking the other way or sweep this issue under the rug,” Huffman told the publication. “Our political climate is too volatile and there are too many warning signs that we need to address things like this.”
According to The Washington Post, it’s up to the Capitol Police Board to determine regulation surrounding firearms on Capitol grounds. It previously established “nothing . . . shall prohibit any Member of Congress from maintaining firearms within the confines of his office or any Member of Congress or any employee or agent of any Member of Congress from transporting within the Capitol Grounds firearms unloaded and securely wrapped.”
Citing the politically-motivated 2017 shooting attack on Republican lawmakers and their staff – which left Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., seriously wounded – Huffman told the newspaper he has concerns someone would be able to gain access to a firearm legally kept in the Capitol and use it for a nefarious act.
Except, that doesn’t happen. It’s not like congressional offices are just left unattended for long stretches, where anyone can walk in off the street and rummage through drawers until they find a loose firearm to go on a rampage with.
Honestly, that scenario strains the bounds of reality so far that it looks like something out of a Salvador Dali painting.
No, what this rule change will do is make it so members of Congress who would ordinarily carry a firearm would have to leave it at home since they wouldn’t be able to carry it onto Capitol grounds. That means they’ll be disarmed at a point when they’re also not protected by Capitol police.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that an attacker would wait until then to strike.
In theory, this would impact both parties equally, but in reality, this endangers Republican lawmakers far more than their Democrat colleagues. After all, Republicans have been the target of endless hostility to the point that they can’t even dine in peace. It was a crazed Democrat who shot up the baseball field in Alexandria. And, let’s be real here, it’s Republicans who are far more likely to be carrying a firearm.
What Huffman wants to do is basically disarm his ideological fellow travelers’ targets for them, making attacks easier.
Oh, I don’t think that’s what he’s intending. But it’s what will happen.
Any lack of attacks won’t be because of fine police work or anything else. It’ll be because no one has chosen to escalate matters to that point just yet.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not bank on my opponents being reasonable in this current political environment. Would you?
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to Representative Steve Scalise, R-La., as Senator Steve Scalise. Other updates have also been made to better reflect the consequences of such a bill.