Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) said witnessing the shooting attack on House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and four others last week motivated his call for members of Congress to circumvent D.C. gun laws and arm themselves, the Washington Post reports. Brooks, who was on the playing field when the shooting began last week at the Republican congressional baseball practice, plans to introduce legislation this week to allow members of Congress to carry concealed weapons anywhere in the U.S., except the Capitol or events where the president and vice president are present.
Brooks said he has a concealed-carry permit in Alabama but declined to say whether he carries a weapon because he doesn’t “want the bad guys to know about our defense capabilities.” Brooks, who took cover in the first-base dugout during the shooting, said that if he had had his pistol he would have fired at the gunman “with a surprise short-range attack … As a consequence of none of us in that dugout having the ability to defend ourselves, that shooter was able to wound three more people.” Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat, accused Brooks of politicizing the shooting and trying to interfere with local laws passed by elected officials. “Representative Brooks apparently did not want to be left out as members use last week’s horrific shooting to go after D.C.’s local gun safety laws,” Norton said. Brooks said Norton might react differently if she were pinned in a dugout during a shooting. “Maybe Eleanor Holmes Norton is willing to go down without a fight. I’m not,” he said. “It’s one thing to talk hypothetical, it’s another thing to talk real life.”