Any government that fears the people that it leads, has reason to fear. Because what that means is simply that they are ruling the people, not leading them, or, heaven forbid, representing them. Cloud an issue, then bury it with rhetoric and call it anything but what it is seems to be the playbook being used by today’s politicians…
Norton Calls on Homeland Security Officials to Restrict Gun Carrying Outside Public Events Where President and Federal Officials Appear in D.C. and Nationwide
August 19, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), who sits on the Homeland Security Committee, today called on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and U.S. Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan to restrict the carrying of weapons openly or concealed in or around the areas where the President of the United States and cabinet officials are appearing, following reports, photos, and videos of people carrying guns outside of an Obama town hall meeting in Arizona earlier this week. Norton said that this restriction is particularly necessary in the nation’s capital, where recently filed litigation seeks to overturn D.C. law in order to allow residents and visitors to carry concealed guns in public.
The President, cabinet officials and other top foreign and domestic officials regularly travel in motorcades in the nation’s capital. The risks of public shootings, which threaten homeland security, have been minimized by gun laws in the District that restrict both open and concealed gun carrying in public. After a Norton hearing last session that revealed that a similar bill would have allowed the open carrying of weapons in the District, even the National Rifle Association voluntarily withdrew the dangerous provisions.
Norton said that a reported 10 to 12 people were carrying weapons in Arizona on Tuesday in the vicinity of President Obama’s appearance. “I seek no change in the local laws of other jurisdictions, and ask only respect for gun laws in my own district,” Norton said. “However, it is clear that if the Secret Service can temporarily clear all aircraft from air space when the President is in the vicinity, the agency has the authority to clear guns on the ground that is even closer to the President.”
The Congresswoman said that she hopes that increasingly brazen NRA attempts to nationalize its no-holds barred approach to guns has finally gotten the attention of federal authorities. “The NRA’s most recent actions show that the NRA intends to go national on the Ensign amendment approach, the amendment attached to the Senate version of the D.C. Voting Rights bill that would abolish all gun laws in the District,” Norton said. She cited the recently defeated Thune amendment to permit the carrying of weapons openly as evidence that the NRA is pressing nationwide its view that there should be no local limits on guns in the nation’s capital or elsewhere. “The NRA is using the District as a test case because it is uniquely subject to Congressional dictates. Both in the courts and in Congress, beginning with the violation of D.C.’s home rule right to enact its own gun safety laws, the NRA is on a national gun campaign,” she said. However, the NRA suffered a surprise setback in the defeat of the Thune amendment to the defense authorization bill, which would have allowed gun owners to carry concealed weapons across state lines, violating restrictions in other jurisdictions. A similar but even more radical section in the Ensign amendment would make a unique exception for the nation’s capital to become the only U.S. jurisdiction where people could cross state lines to purchase handguns and bring them back, facilitating gun running by criminals, terrorists or gangs intent on breaching homeland security in the National Capital Region or public peace in neighborhoods.