Trump Cabinet Officials Urged to Get CCWs in Wake of Harassment
Officials in President Donald Trump’s cabinet are being urged to get concealed carry permits and pistols due to mounting harassment while out in public.
Harassment of Trump Cabinet Officials
Recently, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her family were asked to leave the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Va. because of her work in the Trump administration. In addition, White House senior advisor Stephen Miller was harassed by a group of activists over Trump’s immigration policy while he ate at a Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C. Lastly, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was forced to leave another Mexican eatery in D.C. after protesters shouted at her while she ate. Days later, protestors gathered outside Nielsen’s Virginia home to once again voice opposition to the administration’s controversial immigration policies. Stephen Miller’s home was also targeted.
Last weekend, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA, told supporters at a rally that she approves of the tactics.
“Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up,” Waters said. “And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them … you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”
Later that day, Waters said in an interview on MSNBC that she had “no sympathy” for Trump cabinet officials facing harassment.
“The people are going to turn on them. They’re going to protest. They’re going to absolutely harass them until they decide that they’re going to tell the President, ‘No, I can’t hang with you,’” Waters said.
In the wake of this harassment, and Waters’ apparent encouragement of it, Trump officials are being advised to take measures to protect themselves.
“There are simply not enough police in D.C. or Virginia or Maryland to protect all Trump officials at their homes and when they go out to restaurants. Getting a concealed handgun permit would be helpful to protect themselves and their family,” John R. Lott Jr., president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, told the Washington Examiner.
Public interest law professor John Banzhaf III agreed with Lott.
“High level officials in the Trump administration, especially if their faces are likely to be recognized by many in the public as a result of appearances on TV, might want to consider applying for a license to carry a concealed weapon in the District of Columbia, and/or other states they frequent, in view of the call by Rep. Maxine Waters for the public to ‘absolutely harass’ these officials in public places, and other recent events indicating the increased danger they are in,” Banzhaf said.
Mark Smith, the author of “#Duped: How the Anti-gun Lobby Exploits the Parkland School Shooting – and How Gun Owners Can Fight Back,” said, “While I do not think Maxine Waters wishes violence on anyone including on Trump supporters, the reality is her rhetoric that liberals should ‘harass’ Trump supporters could easily be misconstrued by someone predisposed to criminal violence as encouragement to commit violence on Trump supporters and staff.”
Smith also stated, “All law-abiding citizens should exercise their Constitutional right to choose whether to own and carry a gun to protect themselves and their families.”
Since obtaining a concealed carry permit in D.C. is a lengthy and arduous process, Banzhaf says Trump cabinet officials shouldn’t wait to start the process of getting one.
“That way, if and when they decide that they should carry a small firearm to protect themselves and/or their families, they will be able to do so. Obviously it will always be their own choice, since having a permit certainly does not require them to carry a gun at all times, or even at any time,” Banzhaf said.
But, as Lott points out, even if a person is able to get a D.C. concealed carry permit, there are still many areas in the capital where carrying is forbidden.
“There are so many places in D.C. where you can’t carry, that a permit is of very limited use there,” Lott said.
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