During a Monday morning conversation with Breitbart News, Gun Owners of America’s Larry Pratt said Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) inaction on concealed carry reciprocity gives “dirtbags” the upper hand.
Pratt specifically referenced the June 14, 2017, Alexandria, Virginia, attack where Congressmen and their staffers had to travel without guns in and out of the District of Columbia in order to comply with gun control laws. As a result, they were unarmed when the attacker opened fire on a Congressional baseball practice.
Pratt said, “DC gun laws led directly to facilitating that dirtbag’s attack.” He added:
I would say Ryan deserves a lion’s share of the blame. Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) too. Because Rep. Richard Hudson’s (R-NC) bill, would have legally made it almost inconceivable for the dirtbag to have struck at that practice because a bunch of conservative members and staffers probably–if they had not been legally precluded–you can figure ten, 15, or 20 percent of them would have been packing. And the first bullet that flew from the dirtbag would have been met by return fire. That may not have made a difference for Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), because I think he was dreadfully wounded with the first round, but it certainly would have kept some of the others from being wounded.
Pratt’s observation echoes words spoken by Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) after the attack. Loudermilk made clear that his staffer would have had a gun in the car at Congressional baseball practice were it not for the silly patchwork of concealed carry reciprocity laws in this country. The Hill quoted Loudermilk, saying:
Until you are shot at, you don’t know what the feeling is to be that vulnerable. Someone actively shooting at you; targeting you. Trying to shoot you and you have no way of defending yourself. In Georgia we have a concealed carry law that allows individual citizens to keep a weapon with them and in their car. Had my staff member who was (at Congressional baseball practice) been in Georgia he would have normally carried a weapon in his car.
It must be noted that the Alexandria attacker acquired his firearms legally. The ATF confirmed that the attacker—who was from Illinois—purchased his firearms at gun stores where a background check is conducted by a Federal Firearms License holder. And Breitbart News reported the New York Times‘ admission that strict Illinois gun control failed to keep the attacker from acquiring guns.
In the end, gun control does not keep guns out of the hands of evil people, but it does keep them out of the hands of law-abiding Americans—including Congressmen—when guns are most needed for self-defense. Reciprocity legislation introduced in the House on January 3, 2017, could correct these issues but Ryan has shown no interest in pushing it through.
On September 7, 2017, Breitbart News reported that Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY)—sponsor of a DC reciprocity measure—told Armed American Radio that reciprocity was not moving because “the Speaker … didn’t think the timing was right.”
How many times must gun control fail before Ryan and the rest of the ruling class realize the time has never been more right? A change in reciprocity would give law-abiding citizens the upper hand for a change.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.