In the wake of the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and 19 others in Arizona this weekend, Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Heath Shuler (D-NC) say that they will carry firearms when in their home districts.
“You never think something like this will happen, but then it does,” Shuler told Politico “After the elections, I let my guard down. Now I know I need to have [my gun] on me. We’re going to need to do a much better job of with security at these events.”
According to Politico, each lawmakers holds a conceal and carry permit, and Shuler is encouraging his staffers to get their own.
Chaffetz also suggested U.S. Marshalls should guard members during events.
“Perhaps they could better assess threats in the home district,” he said. “It certainly ought to be on the table.”
Chaffetz added that he may ask local police to attend his town halls more often. Neither lawmaker plans to carry a weapon while in Washington DC.
I like the idea of self-reliance coming from two civil servants. I hope they are as adamant about the rights of their constituents to personal safety as they are for themselves. Moreover, I hope they don’t see this as an us vs. them dilemma where they have to protect themselves from the voters, only from the criminals among them. I take note of the bipartisanship in this initiative and hope it’s catching in more ways than one. I like this senator’s approach to the issue of personal safety and wish more thought like him.