Rep. Paul Ryan’s tenure as House speaker has been enough to make conservatives almost miss John Boehner. Until now, however, the key word in that formulation has been “almost.” Now, Speaker Ryan’s abdication of a major Second Amendment initiative proposed at the beginning of the 115th Congress could have many conservatives reaching for their editor’s pens and scratching out that one word.
In an interview with Armed American Radio last Thursday, Kentucky GOP Rep. Thomas Massie said the speaker is blocking a national concealed carry reciprocity bill that was introduced back in January.
H.R. 38, which was introduced by Republican North Carolina Rep. Richard Hudson on the first day of the new session of Congress, aimed to “provide a means by which nonresidents of a State whose residents may carry concealed firearms may also do so in the State.” After the shooting of Steve Scalise on a baseball field in a Washington, D.C. suburb back in June, Massie introduced H.R. 2909, an addendum to H.R. 38 that would extend the concealed carry reciprocity to the District of Columbia.
“I would tell you this is a gun-free zone except that I know the criminals are carrying every day,” Massie said in the phone interview, during which he was speaking “right outside the Capitol.”
“It is only a 10-mile gun-free zone for law-abiding citizens,” Massie said, according to Ammoland. “Although Virginia’s a reciprocity state, and most everybody with a permit could have been carrying in Virginia, they couldn’t carry in Washington D.C. where they started their day and where they were going to end their day.”
Both bills have gone nowhere, being referred to committee and then stuck there — and Massie says that’s directly attributable to Ryan’s spinelessness on the issue.
When asked by host Mark Walters why there was no movement on either bill, Massie said, “You know what? The speaker told me he didn’t think the timing was right. And I think this is the exact timing to bring this bill.”
It’s worth noting that Massie — one of the most libertarian members of the Republican caucus — has never been on particularly good terms with Ryan. Just before last fall’s election, Massie said that “very difficult for (Ryan) to get my vote (for speaker) based on what I assume his motives are, which are to run for president in 2020.” Even with that possibility out of the way, Massie still refused to vote for Ryan.
No matter what the personal animus between the two men may be, the fact is that national concealed carry reciprocity — including the District of Columbia — should have been one of the first priorities for the GOP once they controlled both houses of Congress and the White House. It’s as close to a slam dunk as one can get for Republican voters.
Instead, Ryan has decided that the timing “isn’t right” for movement on concealed carry. Which means, given the circumstances, that the timing will never be right for Ryan or the GOP establishment.
Enough is enough. It’s time for leadership to make a stand for the Second Amendment, the way that we elected them to do. Else, conservatives may be reduced to going to Ohio and trying to lure John Boehner out of retirement with a lifetime supply of Luckies.
H/T Truth and Action