In the wake of Hurricane Irma in Florida, there have reportedly been dozens of looters arrested for looting, and these Florida freeloaders are benefiting from geography, because if they were doing this in Texas following Hurricane Harvey, they might face getting shot…dead.
The Daily Mail reported Monday that “At least 32 people have been arrested across Florida for trying to loot empty businesses and homes that have been evacuated in preparation for Hurricane Irma – 28 alone in Miami, according to local authorities.” The story also noted that a couple of people had been arrested for breaking into an Orlando sporting goods store, allegedly to steal firearms, but found themselves outnumbered by a responding police SWAT team.
After Harvey hammered the Houston area, one resident in the Atascocita community posted this sign: “Looters will be shot dead.” That doesn’t leave any room for doubt.
With all of this happening, private residences with guns might also be a target, which begs the question about federal reciprocity and taking guns along if you are forced to evacuate, especially to another state, to escape a disaster.
Days ago on Armed American Radio’s Daily Defense, host Mark Walters interviewed Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) about reciprocity. Massie is sponsoring one such bill, to allow members of Congress and their staffs to carry if they have licenses/permits from their home states. But no reciprocity legislation has moved on Capitol Hill, and the congressman was candid with Walters.
“The speaker told me he didn’t think the timing was right,” Massie disclosed, “and I said this is the exact timing to bring this bill, so it is frustrating for me.”
With so many people fleeing from hurricanes, this is exactly the time to be talking about reciprocity. That observation came via email from Joe Waldron, retired Marine lieutenant colonel and legislative director for the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
So, what are people supposed to do? Dialing 911 in an emergency following a disaster on the scale of a hurricane will get you nothing, and the authorities know it.
House Speaker Paul Ryan got to where he is because gun owners in his home district voted for him, and gun owners across the country voted for Republicans to give them the majority. Many gun owners think they’re owed something for their loyalty; something beyond lip service during an election campaign.
The question for gun owners is this: Is Ryan the only member of Congress who is reluctant to cast a recorded vote on concealed carry reciprocity? When they want your votes, they’re all for your rights. Once they have your votes, then what?
Gun voters can be a patient lot, but that patience is not without limits. Something for Ryan to chew on.