A day after the tragic shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La,. and others in Alexandria, Va. Wednesday morning, multiple members of Congress have publicly pondered how to keep themselves and others safe from other such attacks.
Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., has an idea: Give people the freedom to defend themselves in our nation’s capital.
On the Fox Business Network Thursday, Massie announced that he would be introducing the D.C. Personal Protection Reciprocity Act (similar to a measure introduced by House Freedom Caucus Member David Schweikert, R-Ariz., last year).
The bill would honor people’s concealed carry permits (not just members of Congress) in the District of Columbia, where even a 2008 loss at the Supreme Court for the gun-grabbers has not deterred the government from keeping a tight leash on people’s exercise of their Second Amendment rights.
In D.C., guns are only allowed in the home, unless one can offer a good enough reason for the District to issue them a carry permit. And very few can.
Had Scalise’s security detail not been present, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a GOP team member, said that Wednesday’s attack “would have been a massacre.”
“From the description of the incident yesterday that I’ve received from my colleagues, it’s clear that the Capitol Hill police who were there are heroic,” Massie said, per the Washington Examiner. “But had Steve Scalise not been there, there would have been far more, would have been fatalities and lot of congressmen would have been hurt.”
The D.C. Personal Protection Reciprocity Act has gained 21 co-sponsors so far, including House Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows, R-N.C., according to its press release.
However, not everyone is on board.
Within hours of the announcement, the bill received blowback from D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, who chided Massie for “shamefully using the District as political fodder” and “abuse congressional authority over D.C.”
“The delegate from D.C. may seek to prevent her constituents from exercising their right to self-defense, but she lacks constitutional authority to deny that right to all those who visit the nation’s capital,” reads a response from Rep. Massie, via text message. “The Constitution is clear on Congress’ jurisdiction over D.C.”