Congressman plans to tote gun after baseball practice shooting
Upstate GOP Rep. Chris Collins said Monday that he’ll be packing heat when he travels his Buffalo-area district — a reaction to last week’s shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.
“We’ll continue debating what caused a deranged individual to commit this horrible act, but the sad fact is that whether it is by bomb, vehicle, knife or gun, America, and the world, are witnessing horrific carnage,” Collins, a staunch supporter of President Trump, wrote in an essay in The Washington Post.
“Here’s what’s not up for debate: From now on, I’ll be exercising my Second Amendment right to carry a firearm as I travel my district.”
Collins also cited the shooting six years ago of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords by a deranged constituent as a reason for carrying a handgun.
He said that members of Congress are exposed to the public because of their jobs and are therefore vulnerable to attacks that could be politically motivated.
James Hodgkinson, the man who shot Scalise and wounded several others, was an anti-Trump zealot whom authorities believe purposely targeted Scalise and his GOP colleagues as they practiced for a congressional baseball game Wednesday in Alexandria, Va.
“Yes, the public exposure that comes with the job is something we willingly signed up for. And yes, being elected to represent our neighbors in the nation’s highest legislative body is a singular honor. My colleagues and I don’t have the same expectation of privacy that most Americans do,” he wrote.
“We understand that we are accountable to our constituents, and we welcome respectful, civil criticism. But all of us — including our families, our staffs and their families — expect and deserve to be safe from harm.
After what we saw last week, it’s clear we need to do more to make sure that we’re protected.
“Now, more than ever, I truly believe that the best place to be, during a terrible episode like the one in Alexandria, is next to a good guy with a gun. The good guys this time were the officers who likely prevented a massacre.”
Collins said he has had a conceal/carry permit for a handgun in New York for years.