Thomas Massie went after D.C.’s absolutely terrible gun control laws, and anti-Second Amendment Democrats are losing their minds

Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) really isn’t happy with Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY). Since the passage of an amendment last week to block enforcement of the District of Columbia’s terrible gun control laws, Norton’s office has sent out a barrage of press releases aimed at the libertarian-leaning Kentucky Republican.

It all started last Tuesday, July 15, when Massie tried to offer the amendment to the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, which would fund the Treasury Department and related agencies for the next year.

The amendment was ruled out of order by the chair, a Republican. That prompted Norton’s office to send out a press release gloating about the procedural setback (“Rep. Massie Humiliated on the House Floor, Norton Claims Victory for D.C.’s Gun Safety Laws,” 7/15).

Huzzah! Or something.

Well, Norton’s “victory” was short-lived. Massie offered the amendment again the following day. “Criminals by definition don’t care about laws. They will get guns any way they can,” said Massie. “Strict gun control laws do nothing but prevent good people from being able to protect themselves and their families in the event of a robbery, home invasion, or other crime. Studies indicate that murder rates rise following bans on firearms.”

He’s right. What’s more, Congress has constitutional authority over the District and, he declared, that it was time for his colleagues “to step in and stop the DC government’s harassment and punishment of law-abiding citizens who simply want to defend themselves.”

It was at this point that Norton absolutely lost her mind. Her office fired out another press release (“Norton Warns Residents of New Dangerous Massie D.C. Gun Amendment,” 7/16), in which she claimed that Massie “is trying to appeal to the far right wing and to get a national profile at the expense of the public safety of my constituents.”

ZOMG. THE HORROR! God forbid law-abiding citizens have the ability to protect their lives and property from criminals who would do them harm.

Well, the amendment passed the House in a 241 to 181 vote.

Norton held a “hastily organized” press conference the following day (“Norton, Mayor, D.C. Police, & Gun Safety Groups to Hold Press Conference Today on Capitol Hill,” 7/17) where she railed against it (“Despite Flaws in D.C. Gun Amendment, Norton and Gray Speak Out Against Danger to the City,” 7/17).

Her office claimed that the amendment “was so ineptly drafted that it would be virtually unenforceable without years of complicated litigation.” Mmkay. Well, that didn’t stop her from fearmongering. “Making a big city, which is also the nation’s capital and a prime terrorist target, one of the most permissive gun jurisdictions in the country would be madness,” said Norton at the presser.

Norton wasn’t done there. Her office sent out two more press releases complaining about the restoration of gun rights in D.C. that same day. She declared that “bipartisan” opposition to the amendment would give cover to Senate Democrats when they try to gut it (“Norton Says Bipartisan, Election-Year House Support for D.C.’s Gun Laws Will Help in Senate,” 7/17). Keep in mind that a grand total of four Republicans voted against the amendment.

She also blasted Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) for his plans to offer amendments aimed at D.C. onerous gun control laws (“Rand Paul Plans His Third Attack on D.C.’s Gun Laws, Following House Passage Yesterday of Dangerous D.C. Gun Amendment,” 7/17). Still, though, she dropped Massie’s name. “We are working with our Senate allies and our gun-safety and home-rule allies across the country,” she said, “to defeat the Massie amendment and any other attacks on D.C.’s gun safety laws.”

Norton used an incident in which an armed congressional staffer was arrested by Capitol Police to take a shot at Massie (“After Staffer Arrested for Bringing Gun to Capitol, Norton Asks Why Massie Didn’t Overturn Federal Law Barring Guns on Capitol Grounds,” 7/18). Eyeroll.

Norton’s office let up for a few days, after all, they’ve got to rest on the weekend. But they were right back at on Tuesday. Norton complained that Massie hasn’t done enough to restore gun rights to Kentucky residents (“Massie Wants to Expand Gun Rights in D.C., But Has Not Introduced a Bill to Expand Access to Guns in Federal Buildings for His Constituents,” 7/22). Because she cares so much about Kentucky, which, unlike D.C., has some of the better gun laws the country.

And, yesterday, after a second person was arrested for carrying a gun on Capitol Hill, Norton went after Massie one more time in yet another press release (“After Second Arrest Since Friday for Bringing a Gun into Capitol, Norton Seeking Massie Bill to Carry Out His Pledge to ‘Restore Gun Rights Anywhere I Can,’”, 7/23).

“Representative Massie used illegitimate, undemocratic and authoritarian power to block D.C. from enforcing its local gun laws,” Norton complained. “He left behind his professed tea party principles for local control and more power for states and local governments.”

Cool. So, Norton hasn’t read the Constitution, which gives Congress authority over the District of Columbia. She also doesn’t understand, apparently, that “local control” doesn’t mean that a city can enact restrictions that effectively bar its citizens from their right to self defense.

Yeah, the Massie amendment will almost certainly be taken out of the Senate version of the Financial Services appropriations bill. After all, the Democratic majority in the upper chamber wants more gun control laws, not less. But that didn’t stop Norton’s office from sending out nine press releases directed at or that at least mentioned Massie over the course of a week.

Eleanor Holmes Norton really needs a hug, guys.

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