NO ’SOFT TARGET’
On Jan. 2, the Democratic-controlled House in the state of New Hampshire voted to ban all firearms and “deadly weapons” from the premises of their 200-yearold statehouse in a move now known as “Rule 63.” State lawmakers now must surrender their weapons to security personnel — or risk ejection and even arrest. Eight Republicans who say they have receive death threats are vowing to disobey the rule, and have denounced it as unconstitutional and illegitimate in an open letter published by the Concord Monitor.
“Contrary to popular belief, the New Hampshire House will not be a gun-free zone. Any violent extremist who thinks that we’ve become a soft target needs to reassess the situation,” writes Rep. Jess Edwards, a Republican from Auburn, on behalf of seven GOP peers.
“Our right to self-defense cannot be infringed by any government body. Due to our willingness to exercise our constitutional rights and because any attempt to disarm House members is foolish public policy, we reserve the right to refuse to comply. We are not talking about an imaginary threat,” he continued, citing the grave wounding of House Minority Whip Steve Scalise and adding that terrorists “seek out high-value, soft targets to achieve maximum political effect.”
Mr. Edwards also cited the “civil disobedience” of Henry David Thoreau as a rationale, among other historical moments.
“We view Rule 63 as illegitimate. We view Rule 63 as having the perverse effect of increasing the risk to everyone in the House gallery and chambers. To make this point of view more approachable for our progressive friends, we are morally obligated to ‘resist.’ To any violent extremist with intent to do harm, know that the N.H. House will not be a soft target,” Mr. Edwards warns.