March 27, 2007

JIM WEBB ON guns in D.C. “I’m not going to comment in any level in terms of how I provide for my own security.”

Lots of Americans feel the same way, but don’t get the same privileges. Webb could, and should, play a constructive role in addressing that disparity.

UPDATE: Much more here. Excerpt:

Webb said he has been in New Orleans since Friday and returned Monday night. He denied that he gave the weapon to Thompson. . . . Asked what support the senator was giving to his aide, Webb told FOX News, “We’re doing all we can.”

“I want to emphasize, first of all, that Phillip Thompson is a long-time friend. He’s a fine individual. … I have a tremendous amount of respect for him,” Webb told reporters. “I think this is one of those very unfortunate situations where, completely inadvertently, he took the weapon into the Senate yesterday.”

Handguns are illegal in Washington, D.C., but nearby Virginia allows residents to carry concealed handguns. Capitol Police rules allow members and their employees to bring a weapon onto Capitol grounds if it is unloaded and securely wrapped. In this case, it was allegedly neither.

Webb said he is a big supporter of the constitutional right to bear arms and thinks Virginia’s concealed handgun law is a “fair law.”

“Everyone here knows that I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, that I have had a permit to carry a weapon in Virginia for a long time,” he said.

So apparently the gun wasn’t Webb’s. Go figure. But, again, I think that Webb should take the lead in protecting those Second Amendment rights in Washington, D.C., over which Congress has authority. There’s also this from Webb:

“I believe that it’s important — it’s important for me, personally, and for a lot of people in the situation that I’m in, to be able to defend myself and my family,” Webb said. “Since 9/11 for people who are in government I think in general there has been an agreement that it’s a more dangerous time. Again, I’m not going to comment, again, with great specificity about how I defend myself, but I do feel that I have that right.”

Reader Christopher Fox emails: “Well, Senator, that might be your perception, but as far as I can tell, domestically speaking, we’ve lost around 3,000 civilians and 0 Senators to the post-9/11 dangers of which you speak. It’s a more dangerous time for all of us, and civilians seem to be shouldering the majority of that risk. So maybe we can, I don’t know, all get to carry unregistered firearms around wherever we like? No? Why not?”

Why not, indeed? Certainly Webb should take the lead in making it possible for ordinary Americans — not just “people who are in government” — to protect themselves as he does.

ANOTHER UPDATE: More thoughts at SayUncle. SayUncle notes that Webb didn’t actually deny that it was his gun, only that he gave it to Thompson.

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