It’s pretty simple. No guns within 1000 feet of a federal politician. This means that those folks who feel the need to exercise their 2nd amendment rights won’t be allowed into political rallies any more.
King, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, acknowledges that his legislation, if it had been on the books, might not have prevented the attack on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D., Ariz.) and others. “Maybe not in this case, but in others it could be prevention,” he argues.
“It would be helpful to the extent that if the police saw him with a bulge in his pocket or saw him touching his pocket or rubbing his jacket, it could raise their suspicion. Then they could go over, and if he had [a gun], they could make him leave,” King says. “But do I expect someone like [Jared Lee Loughner] to follow the law? Absolutely not.”
What about a situation where a gun is fully concealed and law-enforcement officials are unable to spot anything suspicious? “In that case, then this wouldn’t work, but there can be cases where it will. Would it work in five percent of cases? Ten percent? Twenty percent? Thirty percent? I don’t know, but I do believe it would certainly work in some instances. I don’t see the downside.”
Yes, National Review…people are sneaky and break laws. But some common sense measures can be put into place to possibly stop similar things from happening again. Laws are designed to act as a deterrent, not a cure all. If somebody wants to do something crazy, they will.
Still, they go on to cite the gun owner who could have…possibly…maybe taken Loughner out as an example of why you’d want armed citizens near public officials…
In Tucson, onlooker Joe Zamudio was armed when he witnessed the developing scene in the parking lot. Zamudio, within seconds, had his hand on his gun, ready to shoot, in case Loughner was not subdued. Does King think citizens have the right to be armed, and respond, during unexpected violent outbursts in public?
Note the framing of the question there. It turns from having a gun near a politician to a broader “do citizens have the right to be armed and respond to violent outbursts in public?” Of course they do, but can their be exceptions? Yes. Take the First Amendment. Yes, you have the right to be a complete ass if you want, but the moment you start to defame or libel somebody…guess what? That ain’t free speech. Also, you can’t incite violence or panic with your speech…or plan a crime…or any number of other things.
Also, there’s a reason we have cops. Sure, in the absence of security it may be better to have armed citizens there, but the problem there is you have no idea if they’re trained or not. And maybe it’s just me, but that’s a big reason why I hate conceal and carry laws. How do I know the guy who’s carrying a gun is a) responsible, b) mentally stable and c) a good aim?
One other thing detail that should be highlighted…that armed Arizonian wouldn’t have stopped Loughner either. Only more gun control that would have prevented Loughner from easily obtaining a firearm and bullets would have. Of course nobody wants to talk about that.
King responds appropriately…
“It’s more helpful if you had security in the area,” King replies. “If something did start, and police were firing, I would not want a civilian firing at the same time. When we balance the equities, I’m saying there is a greater good to be obtained by keeping weapons out of that thousand-foot zone.”
The greater good? What’s that?