Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) was not at the Congressional baseball practice when a committed leftist attacked, but watching the toll paid by colleagues who were there reminded him that Americans must be armed for self-defense.
Collins did not seek to diminish the bravery and sacrifice of the police who were present at the baseball field nor those who responded after reports of shots fired. But he did seek to remind Americans that self-defense is a personal responsibility.
Writing in the Chicago Tribune, Collins said:
When I hear concerns from loved ones, friends and constituents fearing for our safety, my instinct isn’t just to rely on law enforcement. Capitol Police officers were heroes last week — their bravery and quick thinking probably saved the lives of [Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA)] and my other colleagues — but self-defense is my responsibility, too.
He pledged to take this responsibility seriously going forward:
That’s why I plan to take responsibility for my safety, and the safety of those around me. My father taught me responsible gun ownership. For years, I’ve had a concealed-carry permit in New York state. When carrying a firearm, I’m always cognizant of the situations I’m in and aware of the laws governing this most important right. That won’t change. I owe it to the people in my community, God help me, to try to stop a threat to their safety, should it ever occur because of my presence.
Collins said the Alexandria attack bore witness to a simple truth–“The best place to be, during a terrible episode like the one in Alexandria, is next to a good guy with a gun.”
He plans to be one of the good guys with guns going forward.
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.