Virginia freshman Congressman Tom Garrett has joined Florida Senator Marco Rubio in pushing legislation that would void Washington, D.C.’s backwards and counterproductive gun laws, which prevent residents and visitors from legally carrying in almost all circumstances.
Garrett’s point about Virginia residents defending themselves is worth noting, especially given the large number of Virginians who work in D.C., although Garrett emphasizes visitors from his Central Virginia district:
“My citizens should be able to come to their capital and protect themselves, just the way they can at home,” said Garrett, a former state senator who represents Charlottesville and a conservative swath of central and southern Virginia. “This should be something that D.C. leadership looks at. It’s their responsibility to protect their citizens.”
D.C.’s non-voting ultra-liberal voice in the House, Eleanor Holmes Norton, responded with your typical gun control arguments, as well as a bit of rhetoric on local control.
While the local control argument is normally a compelling one to me, the unique nature of our capitol disqualifies it for me. Most people working in D.C. come from Virginia and Maryland and the city saw 21.3 million visitors in 2015 (last available data). These people should be able to protect themselves.
Garrett hits the nail on the head when challenged by Norton about Virginia’s more commonsense gun laws:
Garrett counters that the murder rate is much higher in the District of Columbia even with stricter gun laws. In 2016, there were 105 fatal shootings in Washington and 26 in northern Virginia, according to a Post analysis.
Those numbers, he says, suggest Washington residents should be better armed.
“It’s not the law-abiding people we need to worry about,” said Garrett.
I worked in D.C. for a number of months in 2015 and 2016. No one around me was carrying a firearm, and it would have been nearly impossible for me to find a way to legally carry a firearm. I didn’t feel more safe, I felt less safe.
D.C.’s rabid gun control experiment has failed, as evidenced by the city’s atypically high murder rate. Residents, workers, and even visitors deserve to have a means to defend themselves.