New York Times surprised by gun rights push
It comes as a shock to the New York Times, but some lawmakers who found themselves in the line of fire when a crazed gunman attacked them at a baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia want to loosen laws restricting firearm use:
Three bills introduced in the Republican-held House during the past two weeks would allow lawmakers to almost always carry a concealed weapon. A fourth would allow concealed carry permits obtained in other states to be recognized in the District of Columbia. Still another would eliminate federal controls on silencers.
Most of the legislation has been in development for months, and in some cases, years. But the shooting in Alexandria, Va., which left Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the majority whip, grievously injured and three others less seriously wounded, served as motivation for Republicans on both sides of the Capitol to move.
To Republican advocates, it is now personal. Several pointed to a list with the names of six members of Congress that was found in the possession of the gunman, James T. Hodgkinson.
“Have they ever been shot at, multiple times, at close range, trying to save someone without any way to defend yourself?” Representative Barry Loudermilk, who was on the field during the shooting, said of gun control advocates.
“When you’ve experienced that yourself, maybe then we can have this debate,” said Mr. Loudermilk, Republican of Georgia, evoking some of the emotion often conveyed by victims of gun violence who come to Washington seeking gun safety laws.
While the Times might find all of this bewildering, we think it's entirely sensible. Having one's life threatened with no ready means of defense should provoke people to seek such means of defense. If that requires rolling back some of the restrictions put in place by the anti-gun forces, so much the better for everyone -- and the Second Amendment.