Representative Chris Collins is acting tough.
“Here’s what’s not up for debate,” the New York Republican wrote in Monday’s Washington Post. “From now on, I’ll be exercising my Second Amendment right to carry a firearm as I travel my district.”
Collins has some right to feel the need for protection. A gunman went ballistic last week in Virginia, shooting at congressmen, U.S. Capitol Police, and staffers as they practiced for a charity baseball game. There’s no denying that it’s his right to carry a gun, within the confines limited by his permit.
But rather than play the victim of intimidation by firearms, Collins might instead have noted that congressional failure to better legislate sensible measures is part—not all, but part—of the problem he now wants to arm himself against. This failure puts all citizens in jeopardy, not just the seersucker crowd on Capitol Hill.
Or would Rootin’ Tootin’ Collins have our six year olds protect themselves from the next school shooting by tucking pistols in their Pokemon lunch boxes?
What Collins has told us is, when it comes to curbing the plague of gun violence in America, “I give up.” He isn’t bravely facing a fight; he is in cowardly fashion disturbing the peace, yelling ‘FIRE’ in a movie theater and standing smugly back with a matchstick in his hand.