In light of last month’s shooting at a Congressional baseball practice, Republican lawmakers are attempting to loosen gun control laws. Interestingly, they’re largely just aiming for their personal ability to carry concealed weapons. Unsurprisingly, several Republican lawmakers have taken the issue personally, as the attack was carried out directly targeting Republican congressmen, The NYT reports.
Lawmakers have introduced some three bills that would allow them to be personally more able to carry a concealed weapon at almost all times. A fourth bill would allow concealed carry permits from other states to be recognized in D.C. Oddly, there’s also another bill proposed that would stop the federal government from controlling the sales of silencers. While the first four make some sense in light of the shooting, it’s not apparent how easier access to silencers nationwide helps prevent mass shooters.
It’s a difficult and sensitive issue that—like all shootings—will be difficult to look at objectively. For people like Representative Barry Loudermilk, who was on the field during the shooting, it’s incredibly personal. “Have [gun control advocates] ever been shot at, multiple times, at close range, trying to save someone without any way to defend yourself? When you’ve experienced that yourself, maybe then we can have this debate,” he said. It’s hard to argue directly with that sort of emotion and experience, but we need to remember that anecdotes can never outweigh evidence and statistics. If we choose to not change legislation over shootings like Sandy Hook and Orlando, it’s hard to see another incident being enough to enact new laws based on only the one instance.
Hopefully, lawmakers will keep a clear head and strive to find a way to regulate guns in a way that’s most effective and causes the least amount of death in our country. Whether that means more guns or fewer, let’s rely on actual evidence and statistics over emotional anecdotes.