The tragic shooting in Tucson last weekend has sparked a host of proposed legislative responses, but none is as hare brained as Rep. Louie Gohmert’s (R-TX) idea to allow members of Congress to pack heat inside the Capitol Building, and even when on the House floor. Appearing on WorldNetDaily’s Radio America today, Gohmert explained the need for his bill by falsely claiming that Washington, DC has a “gun ban” (the Roberts Supreme Court did away with DC’s handgun ban in 2008). But later on in the interview, apparently oblivious to the irony, Gohmert noted that there was a era when lawmakers solved problems with armed duels and warned, “we’ve come a long way since those days and we just don’t need to be reverting backwards”:
GOHMERT: Now, on the other end, more freedoms may be of assistance. Like, members of Congress, a number of people have said they walk home at night, they have no security that follows them home. And up here in Washington, DC, because there’s a gun ban, besides law enforcement, the only people who have guns here are the criminals! So we’re looking at a bill that would allow members of Congress to carry a weapon. […]
But I’ll take you back a couple of hundred years when part of public life and part of public office was if you said something that offended somebody, there was going to be a duel and somebody was going to be killed! That’s what happened with Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. So, we’ve come a long way since those days and we just don’t need to be reverting backwards.
How does Gohmert expect that members of Congress carrying guns will help avoid dueling? As CBS News notes, “In the 1830s through 1850s, members of Congress regularly wore weapons on the floor of the House and Senate — and sometimes used them to threaten colleagues.”