Following the deadliest mass shooting in recent history, a Texas Republican described a solution but in reality, it sounds more like a war zone. No, it sounds exactly like a war zone. The excuses Republicans have been offering the public while the country is in mourning are pathetic. In Rep. Joe Barton’s case, it’s probably because he was gifted a whopping $31,500 from the National Rifle Association. So, while running out of excuses, Barton suggested an ‘Old West’ solution in which more people are armed in our already gun-saturated country. Currently, 300 million firearms are owned legally in the U.S.
“I think if that guy had known that there were armed personnel with the types of weapons he had that would immediately shoot at him, that might have deterred him. I don’t know,” Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) told Vox on Wednesday. “That did work in the Old West. You didn’t go around shooting people up too much, despite all the Hollywood movies, because if you did, someone was gonna shoot you. And that did work.”
Barton didn’t seem open to a “middle ground” solution. Instead, he said, “I don’t know. What I just suggested — more people being armed, and people know it.”
Barton was asked what he would say “to Americans who have now seen more than 1,500 mass shootings since Sandy Hook.”
“As we found out at the shooting at the ballpark — the baseball practice — we had two security officers for Steve Scalise who fired back,” he said. “That saved my life. Giving people more ability to arm themselves, that could be one deterrent.”
The people who saved lives that day were security officers and cops, not civilians running around with AR-15s getting ready to pounce at a moment’s notice.
This one from Barton is a doozy:
I think if the state legislature in Nevada — I don’t know what their state law on conceal[ed] carry and the right to carry weapons — but had they allowed it and had there been several thousand people in the crowd that were licensed under state law [to carry] and to use it to defend themselves, and he knew that, it might have made a difference. [Editor’s note: Nevada does, in fact, issue permits for concealed carry. No permit is required for open carry.] And it may not have.”
If everyone in the crowd fired back with an AR, the scene would have been even bloodier. Just imagine civilians all firing at the 32nd floor of the hotel while bullets crash through the windows of the wrong rooms. And he said this as if the Wild West was a safe time to live in. Again, there are 300 million guns in the U.S. How many more firearms does he want the public to own? The Las Vegas shooter had 47 of them.
Photo: Mike Stone via Getty Images.