On Wednesday June 14, congressional Republicans were gathered at a ball field, practicing for the annual fundraising softball game, when a lone gunman opened fire, wounding Rep. Steve Scalise. Since that shooting, a number of politicians have called for the right to carry a concealed weapon with them on the job in government buildings.
One such piece of legislation is being introduced into the Ohio state legislature by State Rep Nino Vitale (R-District 85). His bill would allow all elected officials in the state, including county and municipal officials, to carry concealed weapons while on the job in government buildings.
However, not all gun advocates are supportive of Vitale’s bill. They question if elected officials should have special rights that are not allowed by ordinary people who work in or visit the government buildings.
State Rep. Nino Vitale is pretty confident he can take care of himself: he is a firearms instructor who routinely carries a weapon, he has 25 years of martial arts training and he runs 20 miles a week.
But state law prohibits the Urbana Republican from carrying his concealed guns inside the Ohio Statehouse and other government buildings. Given today’s hyper-charged political environment and the recent shooting at a Congressional softball team practice, Vitale wants to change that.
“If you’re an elected official, you should have the right to defend yourself. I’ve had people watch me come out of the Statehouse,” Vitale said. “During certain bills or debates, I’ve had people walk after me and it’s quite uncomfortable because you really don’t know (their intentions.)” …
For instance, should a mayor have the right to carry a concealed weapon at city hall while none of his aides or secretaries are given the same right to protect themselves? Why should an elected official be given the special right to conceal carry but no one else working alongside the get the same right?