January 10th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Some members of Congress to carry guns?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

In light of the tragedy in Tucson and the attempted assassination of a sitting member of Congress, some lawmakers are taking matters into their own hands.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/01/10/art.capitol.night.jpg caption=""]
They say they plan to carry guns in public in their home districts.

Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz of Utah tells CNN he's always had a concealed weapon license and has often carried a weapon, but says now he may "do it more regularly."

Chaffetz says he's already gotten half a dozen threats that have caused him to call the capitol police or local law enforcement - and that's after only 2 years in office.

He also thinks Congress should consider using the U.S. Marshals service to provide security for lawmakers in their districts - like they do for federal judges.

Politico reports that Democratic Congressman Heath Shuler of North Carolina also plans to carry a gun more often and increase security in his district. Shuler is even encouraging staffers to get their own permits to carry a gun. Shuler was the victim of a serious death threat a couple years back.

Other lawmakers are taking steps to tighten security in their offices. Some suggest that local law enforcement could play a larger role at events like the one where Congresswoman Giffords was shot or at town hall meetings.

But - other members of Congress say they won't change their lifestyles at all. They say they'll continue to engage their constituents and offer full access.

Here’s my question to you: What does it say about the U.S. that some members of Congress will now be carrying guns?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Strom in Charleston, South Carolina writes:
I think members of Congress carrying firearms might be going a bit too far, but the days of being able to directly meet with your constituents in a small public forum are simply over. It's just not safe.

Wade in Sacramento, California writes:
It says that the hateful rhetoric has left these leaders fearing for their lives. Who is going to want to serve the people if you can be killed because the likes of Limbaugh, Beck and Palin have inflamed people to become monsters? Sad.

Donald in Missouri writes:
It implies that the Second Amendment is not so old fashioned after all.

Steve in Virginia Beach writes:
It says a lot of things: Our expectations of effective parenting and traditional American values aren't nearly what they used to be. It also says that our politicians' ignoring the importance of the rule of law for so many decades wasn't a good idea either. And it says that Congress is still addressing symptoms instead of the underlying problems.

C. writes:
Hi Jack. Actually I'm surprised that these guys aren't already carrying guns. For years they've claimed to be advocates of pro-gun legislation to the point where they have written legislation to allow guns into our national parks, our universities, our trains, and our political events. Now things are so dangerous they have to protect themselves from lunatics who are armed, thanks to their own legislation.

Lisa writes:
Ridiculous and selfish as usual! Instead of worrying about their own personal safety, how about tightening gun laws in the U.S. so we are all safe from the "crazies" among us?

Kathleen in South Carolina writes:
This is just what we need, Jack. Instead of them calling each other "liar", "socialist", "bigot," they can start shooting each other. This country is becoming more and more like a banana republic!

Filed under: Congress • Firearms
soundoff (252 Responses)
  1. Jim


    It says that some members of Congress misunderstood when the public said they wanted a higher caliber of decorum in the hallowed halls.


    January 10, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  2. Fintastick

    They should carry guns and clean them daily.

    January 10, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  3. Russ in PA

    About time. Now lets get more guns in air plane cockpits, end the wars, end the Patriot Act, close down DHS and TSA, and start living like Americans again...

    January 10, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  4. Johnny L Hatfield

    Hateful rhetoric sometimes is the cause of people going out of their minds and doing harm to others.

    January 10, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  5. Joanne B

    Some have little respect for life. This goes back to the early 1970s...leaders said okay to kill babies, and thus little respect for life.
    From the date of conception a baby in the womb has a heartbeat at 24 days, and fingerprints at 7 weeks.
    Leaders need to show respect for life for young people to do so.

    January 10, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  6. Chris

    I saw a news bit about some members of congress possibly starting to carry guns. Maybe the tradegy in Tuscon has brought the issue to close to home. Perhaps these congressional hypocrites should sponsor meaning legislation to control gun sales. I guess they are too afraid of the NRA and then trying to find a real job!

    From a former gun owner.

    January 10, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  7. Bradley, Portland, OR

    It's pretty sad that there are enough violent crazy people around that the Congresspeople would even need to think about this.

    January 10, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  8. Conor in Chicago

    It means that we are regressing, not progressing.

    January 10, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  9. Peg from N.Y.

    It says that this country is in quite a mess. Our nation is becoming more polarized by the nanosecond. This spells trouble, big trouble.

    Who in their right mind will want to run for office if this is now the new normal.

    It is scarey out there and it is getting scarier.

    January 10, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  10. Don (Ottawa)

    It says that the Wild West is alive and well in America.

    January 10, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  11. John from Alabama

    Jack: It is sad, but under the 2nd Amendment it is legal. I like the 2nd amendment, but I hope they take a course on firearms safety, and they practice shooting the weapon. It is sad that Congresswomen Giffords was shot. She had the energy and the smarts to do a great job. She has a smile that brightens the day. I do not believe she would be happy if people started carrying guns in Congress because she was shot. Jack, it has been sad few days, but today it snowed in Alabama. Yeah, a snow day!!

    January 10, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  12. zayyan


    people shouldn't be obsessed with guns but if there a credible threat
    members of congress who receive death threats should have the right to defend themselves

    January 10, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  13. Jayne

    It sends a bad message and that is: guns are the answer. Guns are the problem when they are made available to people who shouldn't have them and when they are viewed as a solution to disagreement.

    January 10, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  14. Pete from Georgia

    It speaks volumes about what THEY have created. THEM. Not the people.
    The all time low level of honesty and integrity is deplorable in politics today.
    And this is the world we are passing on to our children.

    Beyond pathetic.

    January 10, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  15. Carl


    Sadly what is says is that the good old tax paying people are sick and very tired of getting used, lied to, stolen from, our thoughts and ideas lobbied right out from under us. Most, if not all politicians, serve themselves, instead of serving the trusting people that voted most of these do nothing but lie elected idiots. If our corrupt almost worthless government doesn't get it's act together, and very soon, it will mean the end of our once great way of life that we used to know. Most politicians are talking heads, they talk and tell you what the problems are, but never do anything at all about the problem. By the way, I live in the corrupt state of Illinois, were all of our govenors serve 2 terms, the first in office, the second in prison.

    January 10, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  16. Dave in Arizona

    It's scary. 90% of them won't even know how to use them properly.

    January 10, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  17. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Well now Jack if these same members of congress could shoot as good as they lie then an assassin wouldn't stand a chance. Unfortunately a gun toting congressman firing a weapon into a crowd of constitutes at a possible threat isn't going to win them many elections. Congress would be better off leaving the marksmen duties to the police.

    January 10, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  18. Terry- Greensburg, IN "Hoosier Hillbilly"

    Here’s my question to you: What does it say [[ it says all citizens have the right to bear arms]] about the U.S. that some members of Congress will now be carrying guns? ... better have a private independent organization carry out the gun permits, cause we all know congress can't do it right, just look @ what they ( didn't do ) concerning this fellow that's president and it can't be proven he's a citizen of the "US"...... marshal law ...... gives it a 'whole' new meaning doesn't it?

    January 10, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  19. Kathleen Dean

    It says that our Democracy will forever change and stifle the face-to-face interaction between our elected officials and their constituents. The thought of attending a political event, knowing everyone is "packing", is terrifying.


    January 10, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  20. Dawn

    Hi Jack, good afternoon. Absolute madness if this happens. Talk about the "Wild Wild West".
    Let's be real here, some of these folks in Congress are trigger happy.
    Where is the common sense in this? really.
    Toronto, Canada

    January 10, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  21. rick ohio

    first of all i am so sorry for the shooting in arizona. today i found out i hit my 99 weeks of unemployment and my benefits are gone. the extension that was passed wasn't for the 99ers, it's for the ones who haven't reached their 99 weeks of benefits. so yes the rate goes down to 9.4 from 9.8 cause we can no longer file. so why did they let us think we was going to get help when the bill was passed in december? it left us 99ers out in the cold.

    January 10, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  22. Terry- Greensburg, IN "Hoosier Hillbilly"

    Part # 2:
    Martial law is defined as: authority imposed on a civilian population when the civil authorities cannot maintain law and order, as in a time of congress persons getting shot or during an emergency.

    January 10, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  23. Dr. Giorgio in Italy

    It shows that some members of congress have become realistic to the physical dangers, threats, and menacing that they are facing! But again, Jack, wouldn't these so called brilliant politicians be better off having 24 hour protection by hiring professionally trained body guards! Beetle Juice!

    January 10, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  24. Slotl - Marietta, Ga

    Could the Gifford shooting have been prevented if Congresswoman Gifford carried a gun? I think NOT!!

    January 10, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  25. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    I'm suprised that every government official doesn't carry. with the inflamitory hate speech from the extream elements, their lives are in danger.

    only takes one nut jobs like this insain person in Arizona and your DEAD.

    January 10, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  26. Kevin of SD CA

    This country needs to wake up to the facts that our votes mean nothing, our schools mean nothing, our borders mean nothing, our taxes mean nothing, our signatures mean nothing, our word means nothing. The rhetoric is not the fault! The fault is the failing public schools and the failing government to conduct honest business!
    The only things that means anything in this country anymore is how much the Government Unions, Corporate welfare and government officials can protect corrupt entitlements, pensions, salaries, and bailouts!
    Tightening down the screws of security and spying on private citizens will never correct the damage done by the failures of public education and the extortion of the educated idiots that have run this country into the ground at all levels!
    It is a wonder that there hasn't been a violent revolution already attacking the socialist and corperate greed combined!

    January 10, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  27. Loren

    Guns, guns, guns. It says that they're just as foolish as the people that use them against other people. If someone wants you dead, a gun is not going to help you.

    January 10, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  28. Kevin of SD CA

    I think we should leagalize duels again to thin out the corruption in Government! Give the thieves guns!

    January 10, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  29. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    That we are truly going backwards in history to the days of the 1800's and that we are headed for another Civil War over immigration, taxes and health care.

    January 10, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  30. TomInRochNY

    Yeah, that's what we need, more guns. That will keep people from killing each other.

    January 10, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  31. Kenneth in California

    There are approximately thirty thousand gun related deaths a year in our country. It about time there are those in Congress that are willing to lead by example.

    January 10, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  32. Karen, Idaho

    It says that their mentality is no better than that of the NRA gun slinging radicals. We need to look at the Second Amendment more closely and decide if everyone really needs a gun in his/her back pocket. If you analyze the American mindset in this economy, you will see that anger, hostility, fear, and revenge is dominant. That, mixed with everyone having a gun, is asking for more tragic situations similar to that in Arizona over the weekend.

    January 10, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  33. Jane (Minnesota)

    It says to me that our society is becoming less civilized instead of more civilized. It's pretty sad to me, Jack, sad and scary. After all people are fed political ads that try to scare the daylights out of them to not vote for a specific candidate instead of pointing out why they should vote for a candidate, but else can you expect to happen. Most people are either too busy or too lazy to actually study the issues from more than one perspective and actually think for themselves.

    January 10, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  34. Joe Ft Walton Bch Fl

    We dealing with killers. When they aim at someone, they aim to shoot and kill. For members of Congress to carry guns they have to know and learn how to shoot and kill, if not to be kill. Even if Representative Gifford had a gun, she would have been too slow against someone intend to kill.

    January 10, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  35. bob, ontario, canada

    Jack, if this idea were to be a reality, then situations will arise where the news media might have to explain if a certain Congressman shot himself in the foot was metaphorical or literal. I think comedians will have a field day with this scenario and by extension, the world will view the U.S. as no more civilized than those countries where weapons are allowed to be carried in public. I don't think such a law would bode well for the citizens of the U.S.

    January 10, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  36. Steph from Montreal, Canada

    It says that the only solution to violence in America is MORE GUNS.

    Why is nobody outraged that this obviously unbalanced 22 year old had such easy access to a semi-automatic weapon? Is that what your forefathers had in mind?

    No need to worry about the Taliban, when Americans are hell-bent on murdering themselves.

    January 10, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  37. Richard Oak Harbor, Wa

    Proponents of the Brady Bill can best answer that question. I think that ammunition is about to be taxed out of reach for most of those Americans lower on the economic scale. The taxes can be used for gunshot victims' medical expenses.

    January 10, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  38. Terry- Greensburg, IN "Hoosier Hillbilly"

    In business "I'm sure!" & in politics 'i'm uncertain, but it seems packing a piece is good defense for the weirdos' "WE" have to contend with these days.
    Always did, always will – hasn't got anything to do with my 'nickname'
    just sensible protection, in case of {emergency}!
    You'd be surprised how fast that can calm ( an hysterical person down), it's almost instantly!!!

    January 10, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  39. Phyllis G Williams

    What does it say about the U.S. that some members of Congress will now be carrying guns?

    The All-Wise Creator says “All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword”(Matthew 26: 52), and I have known people who carried a sword (not in war) and it was taken from them and killed them, one of them a professed born-again Christian.

    January 10, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  40. Rick Hall

    Republlicans don't need to. They all know good and well that the gun-loving yahoos buying ammo at Wal-Mart are the same people fueled by Beck, Palin, Fatso Rush etc. They live in the anti-Obama echo chamber and they "want their country back". Bahenor and his gang of idiots are safe as milk, but because no Republican leader has the guts to denounce the hate-speak, even something so obviously distasteful as Palins 'map', the Democratic side will continue to bein danger.
    Palm Beach, FL.

    January 10, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  41. Ron in Ohio

    Certainly not. We don't want to make a Texas or Arizona out of the whole country.

    January 10, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  42. Alex in Gig Harbor, WA

    They can exercise their 2d Amendment rights just like I can. By the way, Jack, who says they weren't ALREADY carrying a concealed weapon?

    January 10, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  43. Wade

    What does it say about the U.S. that some members of Congress will now be carrying guns?

    It says that the Hateful Rhetoric has left these leaders fearing for their lives. Who is going to want to serve the people if you can be killed because the likes of Limbaugh, Beck and Palin have inflamed people to become monsters?


    Sacramento CA

    January 10, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  44. carrotroot

    Hi Jack,

    Actually I'm surprised that these guys aren't already carrying guns. For years they've claimed to be advocates of pro-gun legislation ... to the point where they have written legislation to allow guns into our national parks, and into our universities, and onto our trains, and into our political events. Now that things are so dangerous they now have to protect themselves from lunatics who are armed thanks to their own legislation.

    January 10, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  45. Mark

    My question is "Why haven't they already been carrying guns?"

    January 10, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  46. Kim Smith

    To paraphrase an old saying, "we are what we watch". Violence and hatred sells in this country, the network executives know what butters their bread, and this latest shooting will wind up as an episode on some crime show before you can say pass the remote.

    January 10, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  47. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    It says they better start addressing the reasons why they feel it necessary to carry a gun. Having firefights in large crowds by untrained people can also be disastrous. I wonder how many members of Congress still feels it is OK for people to carry guns to campaign rallies like we seen in the past?

    January 10, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  48. Gary H. Boyd

    Kinda scary Jack. letting 'em carry guns, they'll probably shoot themselves in the foot but, since they're constantly putting their foot in their mouth, maybe it isn't such a bad idea. It could put an end to the rhetoric.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    January 10, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  49. KDS Irvine, CA

    It says the 2nd amendment is here to stay and C-Span The House of Representatives will be worth watching.

    January 10, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  50. bonnie from nj

    More guns, yeah that's the answer. How about just passing legislation making it impossible for clearly mentally disturbed person being able to get a gun? How about finding a way to enforce the already inplace legislation? This is not the wild west, I don't understand why the focus is not on reducing the amount of guns out there rather than increase. If a congressperson feels threatened then hire a qualified bodyguard with proper training who knows how to use a gun.

    January 10, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  51. Eric R

    I don't think they should be the ones to carry guns, although I do think there should be extra security around members of congress, hey, this could also be away to add some jobs!

    Eric R.
    Towson, MD

    January 10, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  52. Dave, Orlando, FL

    It says that the radical right wingnut evangelical Tea Party lunatics have gone way too far and we need to send every last one of them to Iran, Iraq or Uganda. Let Sarah Palin (with her gun sight crosshairs), Sharon Angle and their fruitloop followers lead the way. I’d like to see how far their “Second Amendment remedies” get them in those countries where the targets shoot back. What the hell did they expect would happen with that brand of rhetoric? And this comes from one who strongly supports the Second Amendment.

    Or we could just take their Blackberries away from them and ban all of them from posting to the internet.

    January 10, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  53. richard

    here we go with the gun law debate again ? no one gets it !!!!! GUNS DONT KILL PEOPLE PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE ?

    January 10, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  54. sean

    it means they will shoot one another if they do not vote a certain way....
    which in this case may be a good thing.

    January 10, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  55. Eric

    It say's the filibuster is no longer needed. Instead of preventing legislation by pointless lecture it will now be prevented by political duals and last man standing tactics. When are we going to understand that violence will not solve the problems plaguing this country, that it will only lead to fewer liberties. Wake up people.


    January 10, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  56. Ed from California

    It means the Republican's better tell their party members and affiliates to shut-up, and knock off the BS!

    January 10, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  57. Mark from Boulder City

    They should be afraid, look what they've done to our country. No one is safe from a nut bag. My condolences to the victims.

    January 10, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  58. Lawrence L.Miller

    When this tea party movement began, we as americans knew this wasn't a positive direction politically.
    why don't they ( govt. officials ) " run the country " instead of their mouth's.

    January 10, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  59. ken, atlantic city, nj

    It says that the U.S. is one of the most violent countries in the world, and congress is all about themselves. 20,000 people are murdered every year in the U.S. and yet we never hear anything about it until a congresswomen is shot. We should all be allowed to carry guns in every state and every city. Why is congress more important than the people on main street. Obama and congress seem to be living in a parallel universe. We need a national day of mourning or moment of silence for the 20,000 people on main street who are killed every year. Not only do we kill each other but we invade other countries and kill hundreds of thousands of people because we don't like their politics. Sound familiar.

    January 10, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  60. el don Rodrigo

    Congress has always been in a "shooting match" with each other. Now they want to be able to shoot when they feel cornered. I say good. Now they can show what criminals they really are. When they can't get their way let them shoot each other. Look what Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton did in 1804, had a duel. It wasn't good for Hamilton but it's just another quick process of elimination. The Congressman who will get shot is gone and the one who did the shooting is certainly absent and career is done due to court hearings. What it says Jack, is they have no faith in what they do, making laws that should protect. The make too many laws that are beneficial to the law writer and that should be shot down with six shooters blazing.

    January 10, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  61. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: What it says is that "Stupidity never takes a day off."

    January 10, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  62. Joyce Fesmire

    When the American people stop listening to and supporting some of the wind bags on Fox things will improve. All they do is stir up controversity and offer no solutions to any problems. JF

    January 10, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  63. Jim


    It says a lot of negative things about us and our society. Whatever happened to civility and decency?

    Jim in Denver, CO

    January 10, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  64. Holly

    Todays' CNN quick vote was should congress get security at taxpayers expense. Sure – if they will come down to the common man's level with health insurance and the awful coverage and high premiums the working man has to deal with and not getting salary for life and having to live off social security once they retire.

    January 10, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  65. frank

    only crooks carry guns, oh if forgot they are all crooks, i bet they tone it down now. so sad.

    January 10, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  66. David in Mississippi

    I have a permit to carry and do so in a legal manner. I have way fewer enemies than those up there so it doesn't say much about anything to me.

    January 10, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  67. bud rupert

    Seems like we 're turning inot a 3rd world country. If we're not careful the United States is going to become the laughing stock of the industrialized world. if it's not already

    And as for the self rightous constitutional zealots expousing second amendment rights they should re-think the right to bear arms clause. At least do away with the right to posses hand guns. They say it's the right to self defense but if someone wants to kill you by the time you are able to get defense mode, you're dead.

    January 10, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  68. Paul, New Port Richey, Florida

    Crime takes only seconds. Justice takes forever. Carry a gun legally.

    January 10, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  69. Kathleen Parker , South Carolina

    This is just what we need, Jack. Instead of them calling each other "liar", "socialist", "bigot", they can start shooting each other. This country is becoming more and more like a banana republic!

    January 10, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  70. Rick

    Hi Jack Rick from Canada.
    When are you guys going to wake up to the fact that the the right to bear arms was 300 years ago, and we now need restrictions on who carries arms, especially with the bigotry going on down there.

    January 10, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  71. David in Raleigh, NC

    Just what we need. More partisans with diverse political viewpoints carrying guns around the House and the Senate.

    January 10, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  72. Jerry A - Toronto

    What it says Jack is that they are reaping what they sow. These politicians have fired up the public with all their crazy downright stupid rhetoric just to win an election, and now certain members of the public are taking their hate filled words too literally. When politicians or leaders in the community put on a target on someones back what did they think was going to happen? A pie in the face? A nasty word or two? Violent behavior never solves anything and our political leaders should already know this before opening their mouths. A 9 year old and others have died in recent events because of their hate filled speeches. They created this environment so the big question is, which one of these fools in Washington will stand up and take responsibility for it. My guess is none. They will do the usual and hide behind the flag, say a few kind words then crawl back under a rock from whence they came.

    January 10, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  73. Steve, Clifton, VA

    Members of Congress and their special interest advocates directly contributed to the situation in Arizona and now they want to protect themselves from the climate and mindset that they created? Folks in Congress are distracted enough as it is and now they want to bring self defense into the formula? It seems to me that Congressmen should be looking for ways to ratchet down the use of guns not promote an increase in the use and presence of guns. By the way, will their use of guns be different from the general public?

    January 10, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  74. Craig

    Gimme a break. Thats the dumbest thing I've heard in a while. This is a clear indication that we need a fresh infusion of common sense. Not the likes of Sarah Palin or Ralph Nader or some other knuckle-dragging neanderhtal wanting to quote some part of the constitution that they havent read. I weep for this country.

    January 10, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  75. John from San Antonio

    Perhaps it tells us of the severe amount of guilt they are carrying around with them. Nutso's killing people has been around for a long time, but until now it has been school kids, teachers, postal workers and fellow employees. It just so happenned that this time it was a member of congress.

    January 10, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  76. chaney Louisiana

    It says that we are not as civilized a people as we would like to think we are........

    January 10, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  77. Lori - PA


    No one knows, yet, what the motive for the shooting was. If it's a simple case of someone being angry with how our government has been ignoring us average American citizens, then maybe our elected officials should really start to keep us in mind when writing legislation that affects us average citizens. Until then, let’s hope we don't hear about a tragedy caused by a member of Congress who overreacts to a situation.

    January 10, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  78. Carl


    Sadly what is says is that the good old tax paying people are sick and very tired of getting used, lied to, stolen from, our thoughts and ideas lobbied right out from under us. Most, if not all politicians, serve themselves, instead of serving the trusting people that voted most of these do nothing but lie elected idiots. If our corrupt almost worthless government doesn't get it's act together, and very soon, it will mean the end of our once great way of life that we used to know. Most politicians are talking heads, they talk and tell you what the problems are, but never do anything at all about the problem. By the way, I live in the corrupt state of Illinois, were all of our govenors serve 2 terms, the first in office

    January 10, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  79. Gary L. Wimmer

    What does it say about the U.S. that some members of Congress will now be carrying guns?

    It's absolutely pathetic! The hateful rhetoric we hear 24/7/365 does bring out nutcases on a mission. If we were civil, no one would need guns. And putting crosshairs on politicians’ heads is not only insane to begin with, it caused this new level of fear. Extremist politics are deplorable. What happened to civility? Humanity? Sanity?

    January 10, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  80. Arnold MI

    With the 13% approval rating that the Congress now enjoys it means that they should pack their bags and "get out" rather than pack their guns and meet their constituents at the OK Corral.

    January 10, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  81. Meg from John Boehner's district in Ohio

    It says that we're on the wrong track. Our country is getting less safe and more violent. Threats, targeting, crosshairs on maps, bigoted remarks, intolerance, hatred are attitudes that lead to violence. Each individual American needs to make a conscious decision to speak honestly and act peacefully in our every day lives. More of us carrying guns probably will not solve the problems that we face.

    January 10, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  82. andy

    perhaps a lot of our Gov't servants believe in those 2nd Amendment remedies...

    January 10, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  83. Lavon in Hemet, CA

    Jack, this tells me that things are spiraling out of control. This country has went to hell in a handbasket. Other than that, the GOP are delighted to walk around "armed " no doubt. Afterall, they have always been for this well before the shootings.

    January 10, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  84. Strom

    I think congress members carrying firearms might be going a bit too far, but the days of being able to directly meet with your constituents in a small public forum are simply over. It's just not safe, especially in the volatile political climate of our time. It's unfortunate.

    Strom In Charleston, South Carolina

    January 10, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  85. Gary Bellew

    What has happened to the rule of law? Now it seems to be the rule force, guilty until proven innocent.

    Gary, MO

    January 10, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  86. Chuck, Jasper Ga.

    It says that terrorists come in all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, religions, races, and upbringing. They are here and WE the people create them. We enable them by changing how we live. What next? If someone blows up a an elected offical, they will start carrying bombs? Same logic isn't it? or lack thereof.

    January 10, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  87. Pisher from Harrisburg


    Congresspeople who carry guns are asking to be shot. I had no idea that there was little or no security at these events and I believe that if there were more security with trained police officers, Congresspersons would be safer. Congresspersons make enough poor decisions. The decision to carry a gun is not a good one. They are legislators, not gun slingers.

    January 10, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  88. Renee Peoria,Ill

    Oh, yes. More guns. That'll solve the problem!

    January 10, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  89. Dick B

    Are these the same clowns that sent our troops to Iraq with no body armor and cardboard humvees?

    January 10, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  90. tonie from Broken Arrow OK

    I don't see why not but still when a surprise attack like this happens there would be no chance to pull your gun out for protection when 30 rounds are going off so fast.

    I am all for gun rights but no one on the streets should be allowed to carry or obtain an automatic weapon that shoots 30 rounds. It should be illegal and it was easy for this unstable man to buy that is the problem. Just the police and military are the only exceptions. .

    January 10, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  91. Pat in michigan

    If you are going to inflame the public with wild rhetoric and partisan politics instead of doing your job then I guess you better carry a gun.
    People are at the end of their ropes with all the fiddle players in washington.You can only push people so far and this is what you get.

    January 10, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  92. chris

    s a suprise they don't already considering the low percentage approval of theirjob and back stabbing the average american this has been going for a long time even beforre obama came into offoce but it has been cranked up a heck a lot more since then

    January 10, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  93. Geary Hewett

    Mr. Cafferty, I think it's high time the American people faced the fact that it was the armed citizen that won our freedoms and we must defend those freedoms and be proactive in the defense of ourselves and our fellow citizens; "I am my brother's keeper."

    January 10, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  94. Donald - Missouri

    It implies that the Second Amendment is not so old fashion after all.

    January 10, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  95. Sam Dallas

    It justifies the believe of most people that U.S is a violent society.They can guns all they want, but willl it avail to anything, hell no. The quick fix to this is for politicians to weigh their words and actions. The garbage which comes out of their mouth, will definitely find its way into the mind of some of their delusional grassroot supporters

    January 10, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  96. Jenny from Nanuet, NY

    Giffords still would've been shot if she were carrying a gun. It happened too fast. But having a uniformed law enforcer at every event, keeping an eye on the people, could prevent a similar tragedy.

    January 10, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  97. Greg of Mechanicsburg PA

    It says that some politicians are irresponsible when it comes to making incendiary public addresses. When you end up in the crosshairs of Sarah Palin's scope, you better be prepared to protect yourself from loonies of the right fringe tea baggers. Wearing a bullet proof vest is a good idea, too.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  98. Common Sense

    Good, maybe if more politicians paid heed to the constitution AND exercised their rights as well as their constituents rights, this wouldn't be necessary.
    However, politicians will always be targets and should always remember they should protect themselves and their families. Maybe now they will appreciate what the constitution can do for them individually.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  99. Jim

    US needs serious gun control. If the right wing supports a strict interpretation of the Constitution, then guns should be restricted to "a well-regulated militia," as stated in the second amendment.

    Jim in Syracuse, NY

    January 10, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  100. Jim - Michigan

    The better question Jack, is why is it that congress can move swiftly when their own interest is at stake, yet when it comes to taking care of Americans and focusing on jobs it takes more than two years and we still are not focused.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  101. Phyllis

    Guns breed violence. If members of Congress start carrying guns around to protect themselves, we may begin witnessing politically-incited shoot-outs at state capitals and across congressional districts as a matter of course.

    I've never understood the fervor with which we Americans insist on our right to bear arms, not in this day and age. I think if we put down the guns, throw away the knives and stop searching for new ways to make undetectable bombs, we'll have to face our differences like reasonable human beings.

    Maybe the next generation can be saved from this kind of emotionally charged chaos if we put more emphasis in our educational systems on disciplines like critical and consequential thinking, civilized debate, and tolerance for ideas we don't necessarily support.

    Plainfield, New Jersey

    January 10, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  102. steve in fl

    The answer to the question is in the first line of your piece.... "some lawmakers are taking matters into their own hands." The "matter" was always in their hands. The very hands they've been sitting on. (When they weren't holding them out for lobbyist cash, that is.) Now they're merely loading up with that proverbial pound of cure that an ounce of prevention may have obviated.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  103. Jim - Michigan

    It means that the liberal nut cases will use this as justification for eliminating the second amendment, something I could support after we go after the first amendment and successfully eliminate the rest of the bill of rights. If we are going to use what a few do to justify eliminating one of our rights we might as well remove them all because you can find where the otehrs have equally been abused.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  104. Scott Stodden

    Let Me Say First And Foremost That There Is No Excuse Whatsoever As To What Happened This Weekend In Tucson, Arizona And I Offer My Prayers To CongressWoman Giffords And My Condolences And Sympathies Go Out To The People Who Were Injured And Killed In The Tucson Tradgedy! What It Says About U.S. Elected Officals Wanting To Carry Guns And Wepons Is That Nobody Especially After This Incident Can Be Trusted And I Don't Blame The Elected Officals For Carrying Protection, These Elected Members Of Congress And The Senate Often Have No Security When There Out Campaigning And I Feel That You Can Never Be To Careful! I Just Hope Through All This That This Type Of Incident Never, Ever Happens Again!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    January 10, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  105. Robby Robinson

    Where are we headed as a country?

    I mean come on, when a 9 year old Student Council representative is assassinated, can we as a society go ANY lower ?

    January 10, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  106. Ben from Boston

    I have a vague recollection from my American history class that Andrew Jackson and many of his contemporaries carried guns and some of them shot each other in duels and otherwise. President Jackson, of course, was a founder of the Democratic Party and was shot 13 times by various political opponents – but mostly in the context of duels. When a member of Congress, he sometimes brough pistols and rifles into sessions of Congress, I believe. It seems there was more violence during Jackson's times. Gun-toting Congressmen are an old tradition in American politics.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  107. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    I can just imagine the politicians and their staffs carrying and then someone pops a bag at one of their gatherings and things turn into the OK Coral.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  108. steve - virginia beach

    It says a lot of things. Our expectations of effective parenting and traditional American values aren't nearly what they used to be. It also says that our politicians ignoring the importance of the rule of law for so many decades wasn't a good idea either. And it says that Congress is still addresing symptoms instead of the underlying problems.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  109. Terry- Greensburg, IN "Hoosier Hillbilly"

    How many people in how many places already knew this guy was an accident waiting to happen?

    January 10, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  110. Luci

    NO, I don't think it is a good idea. Giffords wouldn't have had time to get her gun out and shoot him, so NO, not a good idea.
    When Congress is in session, again NO. There are too many hotheads in there and too much temper tantrums.
    I thin guns should be used for wars and sport hunting,

    January 10, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  111. Sean in Michigan

    Whenever gun activists said allowing people to carry sidearms is the best crime deterrence, and the gun control freaks always denied that. Well look at them now!
    Maybe if Gabrielle or someone around her was armed this nut who shot her would have thought twice or have been stopped.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  112. Herman Portland OR

    I am not sure some but probably all. They should also be trained to use them too.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  113. Birddog in Mississippi

    Are we all supposed to carry guns everywhere we go? How about our kids? How about instead NONE of us carry guns – sure would be a lot easier and safer.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  114. Nancy, Tennessee

    The lawmakers that we trust to help keep all Americans safe are hiding behind guns. That doesn't send the most promising message to the rest of the country. It makes the U.S. seem like a barbaric place to live where the law of the land is ineffective at keeping us safe.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  115. Phil

    Jack, what do you suppose Arizona will do about gun control and gun sales in light of the shooting? The usual "criminals will always get guns" argument doesn't hold, he's not a criminal, he's a mental case.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  116. Ed

    Lucky for them they have not been able to outlaw citizens owning guns, if they had they would be criminals simply for having an option of self defense available to them.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  117. Gigi Oregon

    It tells me, that for every member who carries a gun, more unstable persons will also carry guns. If we expect our government to remain some what safe/stable, They/we must put faith in our leaders, as our weapon. And stop our leaders from becoming the leaders of disrespect, which has happened in Congresspersons trying to bully the opposition. This is what drives the unstable thinking that they are a hero to their party by killing another Representatives belief. We the people have been looking the other way to often rather than dealing with unruly behavior of Congress and the Senate. The power of suggestion is too often acted upon by the unstable.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  118. Annie, Atlanta

    I don't know my new congressman, but I don't think if he's going to start carrying I'll be attending any town halls. Republicans already hate us Democrats, demonizing us because we don't fall in line. What if I happened to ask the wrong question?

    January 10, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  119. vanesia williams

    Jack, ask the repubs. It was ok carrying assault weapons at every gathering of our nations President. It was bound to happen. I wonder if Sarah Palin have any remorse

    January 10, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  120. Jafsie

    Only an American could conceive the idea that the solution to the problem of mental patients being able to purchase semiautomatic handguns is TO GIVE MORE PEOPLE MORE GUNS.

    Jafsie - Ontario, Canada

    January 10, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  121. Cecily

    Fanaticism, irrational beliefs, and guns fuel the culture of fear; actually a country that bases it's policies on fear. Powerful people who made the decision to legalize guns in the U.S. were influenced by money and the skewed reading of the constitution. Given the manner in which guns have been used in recent publicized and unpublicized events, it seems to be obvious that the law needs to be changed. What we really don't need is gun toting lawmakers to give more credence to the irrational. If Congressional members do decide to carry guns around with them, that will be clear evidence that the country has truly gone off its' rocker.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  122. Steve

    Davy Crockett carried firearms in his home state when he was a member of Congress. Why is modern times so different? Just because we are in the year 2011 does not diminish the fact that people harm people. No more, no less.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  123. Ron, WA

    It says – thank God & the Founders we have the 2nd Amendment

    January 10, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  124. Olga

    Insanity begets insanity.

    Guns are allowed in universities; public places and now Congress?

    Insane, just insane.

    Austin, Tx

    January 10, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  125. DJ

    When we have members of Congress unable to feel safe in their own district, unsafe enough that they think carrying a gun is a solution,we have lost our democracy to the tyranny of gun power.

    That's not legitimate political activity, that's anarchy.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  126. John Gill

    Why don't we just declare the whole country the OK Corrall?
    What happens whena member of Congress kills an innocent bystander in the middle of a shootout.
    This absolutely sets the wrong tone. Instead of taking some blame for setting a poisonous tone in politics, these idiots want to locka nd load.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  127. Lisa

    Ridiculous and selfish as usual! Instead of worrying about their own personal safety, how about tightening gun laws in the U.S. so we are all safe from the "crazies" that are among us?

    January 10, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  128. Jeremy

    Jack, I think it is great, as long as they have no problems with their citizens also arming themselves. It is not the guns fault. It is the person who misuses it. "Better to have and not need it, than need one and not have it" – Says it all...
    -Fmr. SSgt. U.S. military

    January 10, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  129. Sandra Holloway

    In my humble opinion I think Sarah Palin gave the crazies a road map to "take out" the Democrats even tho' she tried to make it sound harmless; I think she knew exactly what she was doing–inciting those who might act on her "suggestions". It also seems quite clear to me what has been taking place in our political environment==I am a grandmother of 4 and a transplant from Los Angeles to Atlanta, GA. Much of the political discord in my opinion comes from racism, especially here in the South. President Obama has been treated shamefully by Republicans; there was a lot of hateful racial comments and ads here in Georgia during his campaign. I believe there is a definite pattern in relation to the racial problem starting with Abe Lincoln's assassination, the JFK, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr, Medgar Evans, and all the many African Americans who have been hung, tortured, slain for no good reason, terrorized by KKK, etc. We have a long way to go in this country to erase awful racism history and really show we are a country that believes in liberty and justice for all!

    January 10, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  130. James Jones

    They are scared.
    Jared Loughner, Timothy McVeigh and the man who flew his plane into the IRS office last year were all democrats. We were Dems, however no more, it's offensive to us now.
    Spin Doctors can spin all thy want, we know the truth as we have researched the facts. Read quotes from family and friends of the above three.
    As well, the Media did not want to convict Hassan on the Media even though he yelled "Allah Akbar" and killed 13 American Soldiers and wounded some 38 other Soldiers. Evidence is strong against him. It's sick in our mind as "who are the medida today", "who are you"?"
    James J

    January 10, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  131. funscienceguy

    I am not a gun owner, but public officials have as much of a right to carry guns as the rest of us do. It is a sad comment on our society that we feel we need to carry guns to protect ourselves from each other. Maybe I'm showing my age, but I can remember when we only locked the door when we were not at home. Pepsi was 1 cent too.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  132. Allan Marty

    It means that this country is out of control. Greed and hate are driving many of our citizens and distorting the American Dream. Until we get back to treating all persons as equals and not limiting their rights we will continue to need protection from each other.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  133. Laith F. Gulli

    Hi Jack

    I think it says something very scary–it says that untrained politicians may spray bullets in crowd of people who voted for them.

    Laith F. Gulli from Columbus, Indiana

    January 10, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  134. Gray

    It says that they're smarter than I thought they were.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  135. Paul P.

    It means that tension and fear has started to permeate into the political community. Those we look to to help keep us safe are now becoming armed themselves, and soon there will likely be no safe place to go to avoid being around someone packing heat. Kinda hard to relax in that kind of setting isn't it? I guess that whats happens when fear-mongering and easy access to guns becomes part of everyday life in America.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  136. Ted Rogers

    If Congress members want to carry guns, maybe they should enlist in the military and go to Afghanistan. I understand we could use a few more guns over there, and maybe then they'd know what the hell they're voting on.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  137. Milli

    Jack – it's part of the constitution to allow guns. We just need to limit who can own them. There were warnings all over about the shooter, even the US army were worried about his mental state. Again its time to address the condoning the use of drugs. Don't wait for the crazy's to get guns, stop them by having all gun owners pass some psycho testing.
    It should be a privelege to carry a gun! Put that out there and see what the public say.......


    January 10, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  138. Luke

    It says that our congressional leaders are going to exercise their rights as Americans to bear arms. They have as much of a right to carry a weapon as I do. I pray for their safety...God bless!

    January 10, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  139. Raymond C.

    Caring guns won't stop the real problem. How about banning guns, isn't anyone going to talk about that? Failure by congress to do anything about guns is a big sign of incompetence!

    January 10, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  140. Don

    I think It's good for our congress people and senators to carry guns. It is their constitutional right to do so. I also feel if everyone was required to carry a pistol crime would probably reduce due to the inherent risk of being shot for trying to do someone harm.
    glad I can still express this thought without being arrested!

    January 10, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  141. Ralph

    It would not have helped Congresswoman Giffords if she was carrying a gun or not – she never saw it coming.

    But if it makes the Congresspersons more comfortable to carry – they will do so like it was probably very normal in the 17th and 18th centuries.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  142. Cathy L. Clark

    As a child, I watched the news as JFK was killed and later RFK and other attempts. It will be a sad day when Representatives and Congressmen (and women) who are there to REPRESENT the people have to carry a gun to just visit with citizens. Its bad enough that we have to worry about terrorist. Part of the problem is LAX gun laws but moreso that people have so little value on human life. I guess there arent enough popemobiles to go around.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  143. Steve


    It says that when seconds count, the police are only minutes away, and that some members of Congress are finally acknowledging this reality. It's a lesson that other members of Conresss and ordinary citizens would do well to learn.

    Colorado Springs, CO

    January 10, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  144. Dee in New Paris Ohio

    It means three things.

    First, the second amendment will not be overturned any time soon.

    Second, that the members of Congress may be learning what we already know, that laws are made to punish the criminals, NOT to prevent the crime.

    And third, that the members of congress who plan to carry guns have an inflated idea of their ability to quick-draw and shoot the bad guy.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  145. Olga

    People need to be more responsible. Anger is insane and insanity begets insanity.

    Guns are allowed in universities; public places and now Congress?

    Not the correct move, in my opinion...

    Austin, Tx

    January 10, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  146. Dolores Surprise AZ

    Do any of the Congressmen that plan on carrying guns actually think that Congresswoman Giffords would have known to have a gun pulled out before she was shot by this person. Maybe some security person would have been aware of it but I'm sure that the Congresswoman would not have known.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  147. K. Taghavi

    What happened to Gabby Giffords is horrible, disgusting even. But let's be honest, what difference would it have made if she was carrying a gun?
    She would've still been shot at. Carrying a gun won't do anything but increase security constraints and what, are they going to train all members of Congress how to shoot now? Target practice Tuesdays! I don't think so.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  148. R. Barker

    From Watertown, NY that's what we need, MORE idiots with guns

    January 10, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  149. J.C. Smith

    Mama Grizzly puts Congresswoman Giffords in her cross-hairs,
    then sends condolences after someone else pulls her trigger.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  150. Lisa

    Ridiculous and selfish as usual! Instead of worrying about their personal safety, how about toning sown the rhetoric and tightening gun laws in the U.S. so we are all safer from the "crazies" among us?

    January 10, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  151. Dennis north Carolina

    we are a third wolrld nation with all the blame on elected officials and big business. the failure of the education system breeds a violent society!!!!!!!!!

    January 10, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  152. JMBarrett of Rhode Island

    If Congress would pass legislation that would make the ownership of handguns and assault weapons strictly illegal except for members of the law-enforcement community, perhaps they will be able to rest more easily. Hunters should have their rifles and bows. But all weapons should be registered and licensed. Period.

    NRA will never allow it, of course. They protect even the rights of the mentally unbalanced and the criminally violent.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  153. Joe

    It says everyone seems to want their 15 minutes of fame, which includes Congressmen who want to carry their "six-shooters." The world of "Narcissism" (self-love) is prevalent in almost every aspect of our modern world. Sad, but true, as we have less sense of community and think that just because we carry a weapon, we are safer; rather, on the contrary, the more weapons exhibited in our society is a reflection of what our world has become. The Wild West is not a world I think we want to revisit.

    Joe, Binghamton, NY

    January 10, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  154. Dave, British Columbia

    Arming congressmen strikes me as the next logical step in the madness. Who's next? ... The President? ... The first Lady?

    January 10, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  155. hansen

    well jack , i think its simple. In a post 9/11 world, almost every negative thing is scrutinized on a national basis to the tenth. If public servants are pushed to the points of having to carry weapons, what kind of message is displayed to us constituents? They should indeed rethink their true vows. We cannot retreat and become prisoners in our own country due to the ignoroance and selflessness of a few random nuts.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  156. James

    Other than the fact that the 2nd Amendment is alive and well, it means we have reached a point where the concept of compromise is not just dead, but hated. We need to embrace those that value cooperation and vilify the belligerent on both sides. Yes, I'm looking at you Pelosi and the Tea Party.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  157. Bill from Rotonda Florida

    Jack, I see no reason why members of Congress should not carry firearms as long as they have taken classes on use of deadly force to protect themselves or anyone whose life is in grave danger. No one should take this right lightly. There are serious consequences resulting from the use of these weapons even in cases where this use was required to save a life.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  158. Liz

    Jack, I have no problem with members of congress being ready to defend themselves. I'm an RN and I do home health. I carry a gun in the car and pepper spray into the homes of my patients. I found myself in a bad situation once a few years ago and it will not happen again. I'm ready, congress should be too.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  159. Rod Chapman

    What is says Jack is that is't time for serious gun control. Not some watered down,nonenforceable, were going to throw it out in two years anyway. Enough said!

    January 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  160. Mainer

    The government finally gets it! Mark this day on the calendar. The right to bear arms would have saved lives if someone in the crowd was armed.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  161. Lee

    We have to return to a greater sanity than this. Guns in public places , even in schools, "shoot, reload" rhetoric, putting people and districts in crosshairs of a gunsight promote violence. I like my food very spicy, but we need to tone down our political rhetoric. Unless we protest these extremes, they will become the new norms.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  162. steve - virginia beach

    It says that Congress knows that they didn't do their jobs after the Virginia Tech massacre – keeping guns out of the hands of those who pose a danger to themselves or others without infiriging on the 2nd ammendment. I wonder if they'll do their jobs now.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  163. Rocky in LA

    We are devolving back to the wild west. So, strap on your six-guns and nobody will mess with you...unless, of course, they think that they're a faster draw !

    January 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  164. George

    Many Americans legally carry a firearm,our elected officials should share the same prerogative and not be ostracized for doing so if they choose to do so. I'm just hoping congresswoman Giffords pulls through and retains some quality of life.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  165. Bill Farrow

    Well, if Congressmen want to carry guns, why not the entire population, lets just go back to the time of the wild, wild west when everyone carried a gun. Guns should be restricted to hunting clubs, shooting ranges, and Law Enforcement officials. The country needs to look at the hundred of thousands of guns available for purchase by our citizens; perhaps, a mental test should be developed where any one wanting to purchase a gun, should be required to undergo psychological testing to determine if they are sound of mind and the purpose for which the gun will be use make senses, i.e., hunting, sporting gun club, etc.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  166. steve from los angeles

    How many more senseless mass killings are going to have to happen before law makers realize that allowing citizens to carry is the only way to protect us from the psychos out there, such as the Tucson shooter? There are plenty more good, law abiding, upstanding citizens out there than maniac killers. Give us the right to protect ourselves from these wolves.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  167. Barbara Bell


    It won't help! They should instead distance themselves from crackpots who have their own TV and radio shows to spread their hatred of anyone who does not agree with them. Just look back at those town hall meetings in 2008 over health care reform. Those folks who were screaming and ranting were fired up by the media crackpots, e.g. Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, et al. Seems people are so gullible and are driven by fear instilled by these crackpots!

    January 10, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  168. Ian

    It means Americans are staring down the barrel of ignorance! Even well educated people throw their egomaniacle language around with the idea that they are exempt from the consequences of their actions. What happened to respecting your fellow humans as you are only human yourself?

    January 10, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  169. Steve


    It says that when seconds count, the police are only minutes away, and that some members of Congress are finally acknowledging this reality. It's a lesson that other members of Congress and ordinary citizens would do well to learn.

    Colorado Springs, CO

    January 10, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  170. Jay, New Brunswick Canada

    It means they are as crazy as their constituates. Do they think Gifford should have whipped out a gun and fired into the crowd because her "6th sense" told her there was a nut out there? Just what you need... Pistol-packin' politicians!!

    January 10, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  171. Clarence in Texas

    Seems to me members of Congress live in a free country with the right to keep and bear arms. The the concept that people, have an individual right to own and carry weapons is not new to this country.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  172. Greg in Arkansas

    I suspect that many Congressmen WON'T carry a gun for fear of actually shooting themselves in the foot.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  173. Robert Hieftje

    What about the fact that some of these same lawmakers have passed legislation that allow people like this guy to walk into a sporting goods store and legally purchase a 9 mm handgun with ammo? What could possibly go wrong? Just ask the families of everyone who was shot or killed. You live by the sword, you die by the sword. We can all thank the NRA for this.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  174. Warren in NC

    I am not a gun owner, but public officials have the same right to carry a gun that the rest of us do. What is sad is an attitude, perhaps for good reason, that we must protect ourselves from fellow citizens.

    There was a time when we were not afraid to lock our doors.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  175. Bob in Fla

    What does it say? Well, some people want us to return to 1850, they may be happy about it.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  176. robert

    this nation has had a long standing love affair with guns. so, the chickens have come home to roost. i lived in australia for 8 years, they have gun control, which added up to about 5- 15 murders a year. you can own a shotgun but you also have to belong to a gun club and you must leave your gun at the club..... australians are able to raise their children-go to work- go to church- and live happy lives without guns..... americans have this insatiable need to own firearms and to use them when a confrontation occurs.....so, as long as guns are readily available to homegrown nuts. be prepared to be shot wherever you go............

    January 10, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  177. Tyson

    It rediculous and seeks like more fear mongering....it scares the heck outta me to think your poloticians would contemplate carrying guns...what is our society coming to?

    Toronto, Canada

    January 10, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  178. Chuck Wright, Georgia

    It tells us that they are slowly getting the message that the public is not fooled by their big talk and now cooperative action. They shirk their responsibility of serving all citizens just as corporate executives (their doners) slight the workers. A good example is the financial crisis which produced a self serving bubble of prosperity for the wealthy and now they all want to return to the bubble. It is diet time! Will they figure it out before it gets worse?

    January 10, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  179. Joyce Kelly - MD

    We definitely need more guns – we should start arming children at 6 yrs when they enter school, every pne should walk around with a gun and threaten to use it at any time.
    Follow the NRA mantra – no background checks, all assault weapons allowed – no restrictions, no controls on dealers, ship as many weapons as possible to Mexico and other countries to facilitate the drug trade, etc.
    Have we lost our minds? And Congress should be given no more protection than the rest of us until they consider the rest of us who believe the obsession with guns must stop. What about our rights?

    January 10, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  180. Michael Armstrong Sr. Tx.

    It say's America is regressing backwards towards the wild wild west because we have gangsters like Billy the kid and modern day punks thinking there doing justice by shooting women and children thats all we need is democrats that cant shoot straight shooting into crowds of people .

    January 10, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  181. Karl in Mich

    It says we are becoming a self-inflicted third world country. The next step to the rhetoric is physical confrontation like we see in parliaments and assemblies of many third world countries. They have the good sense to not carry forearms but don’t have enough sense to keep their mouths shut when prudent. Hopefully our members of Congress will have the good sense in the future to not be so vocal with uncivilized rhetoric which appears to be pushing some member to now feel they need to carry armaments. Let’s hope they can’t carry them into the House and Senate chambers.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  182. cathy warren

    If the congresswoman had been careing a gun she could'nt use it..she did'n know her shooter was in back of her. So a gun in her sitiuation would'nt of help her. Stepping out on fate we do it everyday

    January 10, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  183. John Moore - New Britain, PA

    Guess we will soon see Kevlar as the number one clothing fabric.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  184. Vish Ayengar

    Jack, here's a straight answer to your straight question. We will be taking our country back to the days of Old Wild West.

    Vish Ayengar
    Wappingers Falls, New York

    January 10, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  185. Jerry Sawick

    We have seen this violence against leaders since the beginning of time. Socrates, Julius Caeser, Abraham Lincoln, John Kennedy, and many sad etcs. But now we have people like Palin who had Ms. Giffords in crosshairs on her map of targeted foes. Now she says those crosshairs are surveyors symbols. Rush Limbaugh has been spouting his hate for years. As long as they have ratings, they will have the power to influence the wingnutz into action. America is dying and with it our ideals and many sad etcs.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  186. Ralph

    Well, let's just hope and pray they can shoot better than Dick Cheney.
    Ralph-Corpus Christi, Texas

    January 10, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  187. Max Ford

    When members of congress start carrying guns, it will be the final proof that the US has become a third rate banana republic.
    Max Ford
    Camden, SC

    January 10, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  188. Alvin

    As the law makers are trying to take the weapons out of the ordinary citizens hands it is only fit that they should arm themselves. They have for years tried to remove handguns from the population. Maybe the next step will be to hire armed guards to escort them to work. It's funny, they created the world we live in and yet it has become dangerous for them. It may not be a good day to be a congressman. What does that say about our state of affairs? Perhaps they can look at this as their little way of stimulating the economy, you know, with all the guns being purchased. Maybe now the gun salesmen can offer guns that fit their particular fashions. Pink for the ladies and black, brown or grey for the men. If they are scared, how do they think there costituent's feel? If this is not a message to our government, then they are clearly blinded by the power. Maybe this is just the begining. This could be the shot heard around the world and the revolution is about to begin.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  189. John

    Carrying a gun does not guarantee safety. Example: Everyone at the gunfight at the O.K. Corral had a gun and many died or were wounded. This is an episode that Arizona should be familiar with. Police statistics will confirm that a lot of innocent people have died in exchanges of gunfire on the streets and public places of our country. If grown up, intelligent people feel warmth and security from a deadly weapon on their person, they are delusional.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  190. Dick Scanlon

    What it says is that we have a Congress more interested in impressing the National Rifle Association than in doing anything to protect citizens. That's why we have people gunned down at public events.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  191. twiddly from Golden CO

    This is just what the NRA and Palin want.
    We're all in the crosshairs now.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  192. Paul Pritchett, SGM, US Army Retired

    Jack, there is nothing wrong with members of congress carrying guns (if they are qualified to use them properly) to use in a defensive mode. I have a conceal carry permit and carry a gun at all times, with the exception of places that specifically post a sign that guns are not permitted.
    We never know who will attack any of our politicians considering the hateful rhetoric that is ongoing constantly by the likes of Limbaugh, Beck, Fox News, Hannity, Coulter, and more, including sone elected officials who should know better. I fully support freedom of speech but let's remember that it is illegal to shout FIRE! in a crowded theater. Perhaps such a prohibition is needed on our airwaves.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  193. Todd

    I have no problem with members of Congress or the Sentate to carry firearms, as long as they can't tell me that I can not carry a firearm.
    I also agree that they should have security as long as the Taxpays do not foot the bill. They make enough money to provide their own security.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  194. Stephanie from Kansas

    It says we are living in too much fear of all the guns out there already. It wouldn't have helped Congresswoman Gifford to have a gun since she was shot in the head suddenly from behind.
    What I can't figure out is why, with the lax gun laws in Arizona, and so many people carrying concealed weapons, no one was able to shoot the shooter. If guns are carried for protection, this would have been a perfect scenerio for gun carriers to prove it.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  195. David Robinson - New Orleans, LA


    I think it's ridiculous that politicians are talking about carrying guns. The political tone has been violent enough lately. The last thing this country needs is more people walking around with guns. Lawmakers carrying them around would set a bad example. They should instead have armed Secret Service agents, that are trained to neutralize a threat in a split second, by their side at all public appearances.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  196. Mary Hernandez

    Having lived in and visited other parts of this globe, it terrifies me that we are becoming a "society" of guntotting, shoot first, ask questions later people. When I was growing up, many of my father's friends were hunters. They kept those guns under lock and key when they were home, taught their sons (who wanted to learn) how to use them, SAFELY, and NEVER, EVER advocated the use of guns for ANYTHING other than hunting! In those days, the mentally unstable were housed in places where they would/could not harm anyone other than the staff. I know this is true because my father and my uncle worked with the mentally unhealthy and were both attacked while on duty. Now anyone and everyone can purchase a gun without training and without finding out whether they have any issues dealing with mental health!

    January 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  197. Nina Palmer

    I am waiting for someone to explain to me just how it would have helped Representative Giffords if she had been carrying a gun.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  198. Katie

    As a government employee, I would love to carry a gun at work. After eight years of President Bush and the anti government rhetoric; members of congress are not the only ones worried about their safety. I had a fellow government coworker assaulted by a beef packing house employee (dislocated her shoulder) government management did NOTHING! She reported to the police and all our employer did was ask for a copy of the police report three days after the incident. Members of congress will get protection while other government employees get nothing but pay cuts and/or pay freezes!

    January 10, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  199. kathy peoria az

    Why does everyone think guns are the answer? I own a gun, bought it 30 years ago with a 7 day waiting period and also took a class on how to use it. Here in Arizona anyone can buy a gun at your local gun show just like buying a hamburger from a fast food place. Even dogs have to have licenses but not gun owners. Come to Arizona and buy all the guns you want,carry them in bars and restuarants and now the legislation wants them in schools. Welcome back to the wild wild west. At least they had to put their guns away before they went in to a saloon.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  200. Ron

    In Arizona? Really? there was nobody there at all who was packing heat to at least try to intervene to minimize the damage. If it were Chicago I might understand. So what if Congressmen wish to carry, they are no different than the rest of us. One Congressmen gets shot and NOW it's dangerous everywhere? We the people are under fire here way more than the average Congressman. It's going on every day. It took this for the Washington insiders to do a little soul searching?Really? If our representatives concentrated on doing right by the people who would want to shoot anyone?

    January 10, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  201. Steve Batts Edna, Kansas

    Jack as a Concealed Carry permit gun owning Democrat, the thought of congress carrying guns, when they can't even carry out what they where elected to do? Hey !!!What am I saying make it mandatory. Give them all guns and ammunition. That might solve the whole filibuster rule.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  202. Joe R - Houston

    I see I'm not the only person who wonders why they aren't already armed. The fact that some of them no longer want to be seen in victim free zones illustrates to me that they aren't all dumber than an oak stump. Just most of them.

    The blood of at least half the victims of this tragedy is on the hands of the mainstream media. AZ is an open carry state. If it weren't for the ridicule and condescending attitude the media has uniformly directed at law abiding citizens openly carrying to political events such as this, more people in the gathering would have been armed... equipped to put an immediate end to the carnage. Shame on you all.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  203. Ben

    It says about that that society is angry about the way government is doing its job and some people are crazy enough to actually go on a shooting rampage. We've had acts of violence in the against government officials in the past. Nothing has changed in this country, people will always be bitter and angry enough against government. I'm not surprised by this at all, in fact I'd be more surprised if they didn't carry guns now tha Republicans have back control of Congress.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  204. Angela Savage Austin

    Blame all who promote hatred, bigotry and prejudice no matter what badge they may wear...Republican, Tea Party, Democrat, Red, Blue Or White. When will we recognize that Racism, Bigotry, Hatred, and Prejudice is all mental illness????? Call a SPADE A SPADE AND GET THESE PEOPLE SOME HELP...BEFORE THEY CAN'T HELP THEMSELVES.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  205. honest John in Vermont

    They are well within their rights to carry a gun although I hope they can all tame down their rhetorhic and finger pointing and not have a shoot-'em-up-in Congress live on CSPAN.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  206. steve

    Politicians choose language that is powerful and emotive and when it is also incendiary and militant, why would it not elevate the risk of violence? Our representatives can greatly enhance their security by enhancing their civility. Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  207. Greg Crites

    And who says history doesn't repeat itself? We're back to the wild, wild west!

    January 10, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  208. Dick Martin

    Some would say that it is a duty to be armed. I agree with Thomas Jefferson, who wrote in 1824:

    "The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people;... that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed;...

    –Thomas Jefferson to John Cartwright, 1824

    January 10, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  209. RedmanRanch

    It says that, they are smart. More folks need to have Conceal Carry Permits and use them. Many of the Signers to our Construction Owned and Carried Side Arms. If there had been someone at the Congresswoman’s event or at similar situations with a Concealed Weapon the damage may have been minimized. Long live the 2nd Amendment!!

    January 10, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  210. Michael Kydes

    Mike, Boston

    In times of tragedy, especially those caused by unspeakable violence there is a kneejerk reaction to fight fire with fire. Regardless of how an individual might feel on the issue of gun rights or their use in self defence we must all consider that the weapon would almost certainly be employed in a crowd. Consider the actions of secret service. We never hear of them opening fire on the shooter in these situations because they risk hitting innocent bystanders.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  211. Barb Sitter

    It says that this doesn't feel like America to me anymore. Are we growing into a police-state sort of country? What happened to "We the people...?" Why does so much of what I read in newspapers and magazines, and what I hear on TV and the radio, come across as "us versus them?" Why must we be so divided on almost everything? And, why must anyone is my country, other than law enforcement and security professionals, carry a concealed weapon? Good grief.
    Oshkosh, Wisconsin

    January 10, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  212. Jackson Lore

    What a sick society it is that uses the 2nd. ammendment to justify the right to carry arms and uses this right to kill anyone that doesen't agree with them. Time to get some gun control legislation like we have here in Canada – when congressmen/women has to pack a gun to go to a public gathering there is something wrong with the picture- it is not what the founding fathers had in mind.
    Nova Scotia

    January 10, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  213. Angela Savage Austin

    When they shoot off their mouth irresponsibly and promote hate and bigotry...those words are bullets...killing hope and brotherhood and eventually will bring the downfall of this country from within ...as history taught us so many times before. Great Empires Fall From Within. Unconditional Love will deliver us all from evil.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  214. Ken Engel

    This is further evidence of our morral demise into third world country status. The Republican appeal to the radical voters who believe the Democrats are all about taking away guns has come home to roost. Well, you got your votes, welcome to the Wild Wild West where we all feel comfortable taking the law into our own hands.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  215. Don

    What it "says" when our congress carries guns is most likely that we the U.S are no longer untouchable and that our society is at best moving towards a revolution.
    I hope i'm wrong

    January 10, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  216. Paul

    What it means is that those Congressmen who now carry guns are sucking up to the NRA and the 2nd Amendment No Gun Control at All fringe for more lobbyist money and votes; shame on them for playing on the emotions of the American people! Face it, given the circumstances of the recent shooting, it is very probable that Congresswoman Gifford would have been shot even if she had been packing a gun. Besides, if someone wants to shoot you and they are concerned about your gun, all they have to do is get a good rifle with a scope and a concealed firing position; I guarantee that your concealed gun will do you no good whatsoever. Until we have decent gun control in this country, we should consider trained armed security personnel for our federal officials.

    Rome, Georgia

    January 10, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  217. Joanne Hogan

    Why not do this if most everyone is going to start carring a gun. Put a horse or 2 & a wagon in their back yard like preautomobile days. That would gratly cut the need fpr foreign crude. In stead of keeping convicted felons on death row for years & years, take them out & hang them like they used to do. This would save taxpayers millions of dollars. Why not? Joanne

    January 10, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  218. R.J. Indehang

    That's the difference between the right-wingers and the liberals. If it would have been a GOP rally everybody there would have had a gun, and that shooter wouldn't have lived to pull the trigger. Arizona allows everyone to carry a concealed weapon, even without a permit. But none of the liberals had one. In Arizona, you're either a gun owner or a victim. Hm, anybody smell coffee?

    January 10, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  219. Ken in NC

    Unfortunately it is saying that what goes up must come down. It's a sad day in our country when people start to seek second amendment remedies because they do not like the out come of an election.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  220. Don Drake

    What does it say about the U.S. that some members of Congress will now be carrying guns?

    Is says the same thing as Air Marshals on every US flight after 911. The US has to stop being so naive and better protect all of our officials and people the best we can.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  221. tom Bulger Canandaigua

    It says they don't pay attention to law enforcement or statistics. If they did, they know they were increasing the danger to themselves and innocent people.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  222. Don Bertetto

    It's back tothe wild wild west. The one that has the biggest gun, fastest draw, best shot, wins.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  223. Mary Cazalas

    I think it is really sad when members of Congress feel that they have to carry fire arms. I am all in favor of Congressmen feeling secure, however, what about the rest of us? I don’t want to go to the grocery store, gas station, church, etc. and worry about some insane gun toting person standing next to me going off the deep end.
    It seems to me that it is more than a little ridiculous for legislators and judges to keep allowing easier and easier access to weapons and then want to pass laws that protect legislators and judges without protecting the rest of us.
    I think the NRA and the gun manufacturers would like nothing more than for all Americans to feel they had to carry a gun in order to be secure. The problem is not securing legislators, but problem is securing legislators and the rest of us by curtailing gun ownership by insane people.
    I think it should be at least as difficult to buy a gun as it is to get a driver’s license.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  224. Jay

    It means your country is nuts. I doubt theFounders would have written the Second Ammendment if they could see what an AK-47 could do. Gun ownership isn't a birthright.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  225. Jim Blevins

    Violence has become a plague in this country. The problem isn't guns, politics, or any other scapegoat. At one time, baseball was America's favorite sport, now it is football - the difference is violence. Gaining in popularity are unlimited fighting - maximize violence. I am sure that some people are wondering when America will be ready for gladiatorial combats. Look at the popular video game - incredible violence. Mass killings are almost normal these days. The solution is for society to become totally intolerant of violence.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    January 10, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  226. Jay Jablonski / Pennsylvania

    I'm all for it. I don't currently own a gun but I'm well trained and know how to shoot very well. I think that we may all be all carrying guns very soon as we can't expect our police to protect us all the time.

    A blind man could have seen this shooting coming. Our government is absent of any consence. Millions have lost their homes and millions more have lost their jobs with Washinton still in a business as usual mode. If I was a public official right now I would carry a weapon every second. Our government has many enemies right now and their probably all taxpayers.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  227. vannamocha

    Someone... ANYone, please name 3 liberals who have killed people they disagree with.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  228. Bill in S TX

    Jefferson may have written "all power is inherent in the people...." But he meant the landed aristocracy not the hugely powerful corporations now free to bribe at will. In the guise as "persons" which they are not.

    The tone of anger./hate spewing from our mass media have a profound and negative effect on our behavior. The mentally ill will now shoot rather than stand on street corners talking about god in their tin hats.

    The hate mongers have real American blood on their tongues.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  229. Jerry

    Jack, I hope not, the questions takes be back to John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart in "Who shot Liberty Valance". We have to accespt this for what it is, a loose cannon ignited by unfounded rethoric and political agendas. We have to be responsible as a society and understand the end doesn't always justify the means.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  230. gunny

    Jack, it means that we are people with rights to include firearms for protection from evil people and tyrannical government! But it does not include killing people by any means! But it happens! Laws are only applicable to those who want to follow them. To blame anything other than the lawless individuals who violate our laws is ridiculous. The mentally unstable must have a file that precludes them from lots of dangerous things! In the military we have ptsd annotated which precludes weapon possession. When my children died from health issues I locked up my firearms to prevent my wife and I direct contact with them!

    January 10, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  231. Steve, NY

    My pappy used to say, you take religeon and God out of the classrooms in schools and you get the devil taking over. Kids don't understand right from wrong today. Watch Jerry Springer show, it's a good example, kids are confused.
    The parents aren't getting any better either.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  232. Maria

    These assassinations were an attack by a very ill young man. We will always doubt whether the violent language used by the extreme right inspired him. If he is not ill, soon we'll learn who inspired his actions. If he is ill, according to law enforcement agents notes with his violent plans were found at the home he shared with his parents, why was he never treated? At high school and later at college his parents were advised of his difficulties. If they had no health care the Tea Party can feel proud of their crusade against a comprehensive health system that can care for the mentally ill.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  233. Brittany

    In my opinion, I do not think they should carry guns. That is what local security and their own security force is for. Security is trying to do the best they can in protecting Congress members. If Congress members start carrying guns, they can give off bad vibes and it will probably worry more people than necessary. They should just let security do their jobs to the best of their abilities.

    Long Beach, MS

    January 10, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  234. thom richer

    It reinforces the fact that we live under a failed government and are incapable of solving our problems political, religious or personal. If their answer to this tragedy is more guns or to carry a gun, we truly have no concept of what is wrong with America. The Second Amendment guarantees the right to own and bear arms but we have twisted it yet again to suit our personal desires. What does carrying a weapon by elected officials guarantee? Not much. I have always believed that America has and will always strive to be a peaceful nation but that perception or belief is no longer true. It seems our solution to any problem, be it personal or political, is violence or war. More guns will solve nothing, carrying a weapon will prevent nothing, relying on war to bring peace will never happen. Relying on the 2nd Amendment to solve our problems will not work.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    January 10, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  235. Don Womack

    Jack, there have been some interesting answers on this subject but the one thing that stands out in my mind is the vitriolic rhetoric in the pathos mode whereby members and former members of our Congress fan the flames of hatred and distrust of their opponents. It's possible that this rhetoric has driven the unbalanced who are looking for direction and the uneducated/unaware who simply don't know any better.

    To think that our country has been reduced to the point that our state and federal representatives have been reduced to the point of bearing arms is reprehensible and akin to some third world countries. I proudly served my country and it has come to this?

    Positive political debate is a good thing but it's time the media celebs and media it's self toned it down and once again act like a country united, not divided.
    Don Womack
    Granbury, TX

    January 10, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  236. Seth

    I think that it is good for our members of congress to protect themselves. It has been proven time and again that a police force no mater how effective at enforcing laws once they have been broken are incapable of preventing you from having a crime committed against you. The only thing that can prevent a masacre like the one in arizona from happening is a well armed and vigilant populace. After all if there had been armed supporters of the congresswoman in the audience or if she had been armed the shooter might have been stopped before shooting so many people. Im not saying that there wont be shootings in the future, im just saying that in the future maybe we could stop an armed assailant before he shoots twenty people. The members of congress that choose to carry guns showing us that we as individuals are capable of protecting ourselves and others.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  237. John P

    While I am sure that everyone would agree that it is a sad state of affairs that both private citizens and elected officials feel the need to carry a concealed weapon to protect themselves and their families, fortunately, it is their right.
    I would like to think that if someone in that crowd in Tucson, (besides the homicidal maniac), had been carrying a weapon and was trained to use it, Gabby Gifford, that little girl and the other five people who lost their lives would have required nothing more than stress counseling.
    As a child, I remember Israel made it manditory that adults were REQUIRED to carry automatic weapons when in public. Of course this was to increase response times to combat terrorism. But I think their concept was sound. No matter how nuts this guy in Tucson was. he may have thought twice if he thought there was a likelyhood that someone would shoot back!

    January 10, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  238. Leonard Thomason

    I am 67 years old and I never though I would see this come to pass. I lived and worked in China for three years and traveled all over the country, I never saw this happen there. No one there has a gun even the police do not carry guns. The U.S. is obsessed with guns when will this stop? "NEVER"

    January 10, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  239. aliou salam

    If I know anyone including officials at a rally is carrying a gun, I would simply stay home. I don't want to be in the mist of a gun battle between the representative and "his admirers".

    It's laughable how tea party and republicans know just how to turn the tables on subjects or events and everyone just goes apologetic, including media and liberals.

    Their hate of Pres. Obama is the bullet that killed more than half a dozen people in AZ, and injured more, including this Jewish Congress woman, a judge and a 9 years old. Let's face the truth and stop the charade.

    We have turned to the intolerant and racist nation that would go to any length, even calls to the failure of our president, thus our country, because our pres. happens to have half of his blood line a shade of black.

    we can't have a police man behind all our representatives. Remember that we want to cut cost?
    So now we are going to force every American to pay more to gun manufacturers to cover our congress.

    It would cost us nothing to shut up and screen our rhetoric.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  240. James in Tennessee

    It's typical. Whenever something like this happens we go to the extreme measure of protection and not look at ways to avoid it in the future. Decrease the polical rhetoric and hateful politics. I just wonder if these same Congress men and women will rethink gun reform. The Constitution is a living document and can be changed.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  241. lynnej in north carolina

    It means all hope is lost. If they carry guns, it only reinforces the violence.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  242. Brad kaldahl

    Yeah Great! Two guns firing into a crowd is always better than one, right?

    January 10, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  243. grant marcus

    You mean to tell me the best thing the Congress can do is to
    carry guns like the perpetrator? What can you say except,
    monkey see, monkey do. I suppose a knee jerk response is far easier than Congress actually engaging with their constituents, or making fair legislation that includes all Americans rather than those
    elite few. And, with all the hate rhetoric and preemptive wars,
    maybe it was really Loughner following the example of his leaders.
    Some of their violent policies seem deranged to me.
    –Grant, ventura, CA

    January 10, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  244. Mary Bennett

    Jack, Do we really wonder why our country is in the shape it is?
    Our leaders are setting a great example for the US, young or old.
    When you see the second most powerful man in the world use the F word when congratulating our President, (REALLY ?).
    They steal, cheat, lie, use people and set a very high standard for our children.
    When I grew up in the 50's and 60's these things were unheard of.

    Worried about bullies in school, they can learn from the best.

    They need to wake up, grow up and be an example to all of us.
    Good luck with that.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  245. Swampfox

    Congress with guns: Good idea, as long as they don't give themselves special privileges(avg citizen level). Just exercising their God-given Constitutional right. They should meet the requirements of their home state. And in D.C. follow D.C. rules(tough luck!). Is there space for the Capitol firing range(dead serious)? Quarterly test required, they have to buy their own ammo.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  246. barbara in NC

    The rudeness of the bussed-in tea-baggers last year for town hall meetings was just the beginning. Did you notice it was only the Democrats that got the bus-loads of screamers?

    Aren't the tea-baggers just hunky dorey? They must be reloading as we speak, because their boss-lady told them not to retreat.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  247. Stan

    What part of the crazies will get the guns regardless of the laws do you not understand. The most effective way is for the citizens who wish to carry firearms to do so. Had there been a person or two in that crowd with a handgun perhaps there would have been fewer deaths and maybe if we were truly fortunate one less trial.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  248. Jason Hollis

    Anyone who can pass the class and the background check should be able to carry concealed.

    Congress people have a particular need for security, so frankly I'm surprised they're not all carrying.

    That said, if demagogues like Palin, Beck, Limbaugh et al weren't throwing gasoline on the crazy-fire, this wouldn't be such an issue. Words mean things. Inflammatory speech has consequences.

    When there's a constant stream of eliminationist rhetoric directed at liberals, Democrats, and elected officials – a constant drum beat of claims that said people are going to kill you and yours and ruin the country – sooner or later someone is going to be crazy enough _or have the strength of their own convictions enough_ to act on that paradigm.

    END the eliminationist rhetoric.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  249. Don

    Why should we pay to have extra security for Congressmen? They are subject to the same crazies that the children at Columbine, the Amish schoolchildren, the soldiers at Fort Hood, and the shoppers and employees at Von Maur in Omaha had. We have reports of some deranged person shooting up some place. We can't hire body guards for the rest of us, why do it for the 535 members of Congress.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  250. Michael Sanchez

    Dear Jack,

    The "responsibility" and "opportunistic" finger pointing is an insult to the victims of the Arizona Massacre; and an insult to the intelligence of Americans.

    Yes, in the United States, toxic hate mongers like Kelly and Palin are free to feed the fires of violence and hate with "Help remove Giffords from office" fundraisers AT A SHOOTING RANGE and talk of figuratively "reloading" and "targeting" congressional districts on a map. However, after this tragic wake up call, it's time they are held responsible for their actions.

    Although they didn't literally pull the trigger, the blood of Giffords and the other victims is on their hands and there should be consequences. I can't wait to see how Bill O'Reilly and the right wing hate machine try to SPIN their way out of this one.

    Loughner is obviously mentally ill AND hate-speak (like that of Jesse Kelly and Sarah Palin) fed the fires of his homicidal insanity. The two are NOT mutually exclusive.

    This is a great opportunity for Palin to FINALLY act Presidential by apologizing for using violent-themed imagery and promising never to use it again!


    Los Angeles

    January 10, 2011 at 5:59 pm |

    I Refuse to let anyone on the right, left or center attribute to any citizen or group of citizens the responsibility for the actions of a crazed man. The system had several opportunities to investigate and act, in advance of the actions taken by this disturbed twenty-two year old young man. Nothing can be gained by anyone calling names, naming media outlets or their spokespersons to try to redirect the actions taken by him.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  252. Scotty G

    Although Gabby was a pro gun Democrat...Democrats are historically anti gun. Given this fact, would less people have been killed if Gabby was a republican / tea party candidate, with a republican/tea party following since it is the Tea Party and Republicans that support and practice concealed carry – would this nut job have gotten 30 rds off? I say one of us would have taken him out within the first 5 rounds – saving countless lives...such a shame

    gun laws just prevent law abiding people from having guns – no law would have kept a gun out of the nut jobs hands and the people who were there to see their Democrat rep are just as responsible for NOT exercising their 2nd amendment rights

    January 10, 2011 at 6:00 pm |