Why Charlie Rangel’s remarks are not really about guns

House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel, D-NY, takes questions from reporters regarding alleged financial improprieties on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2008 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (WDCPIX.COM/Lauren Victoria Burke)

Charlie Rangel is one of the Congressman participating in the “sit-in” to fight against civil rights. He’s a perennial favorite for any blogger since he has basically become a caricature of the self-important statist liberal. His recent comments prove no exception.

Here is part of his conversation with The Daily Caller:

Rangel: I’m glad to hear you said that very few people can get [a concealed carry permit in New York City]. We don’t need that many guns… but overall if it’s difficult to get a concealed carry permit I’m glad to hear that.

Daily Caller: …and then the people in your district, a number of them were law-abiding citizens, many of them would want to carry a concealed carry

Rangel: I wouldn’t want them to have it.

Rangel: Our law-abiding citizens shouldn’t have to carry a gun, you know that, so you’re not going to push me in that direction.

Daily Caller: But you’re protected by guns all over the place here in The Capitol.

Rangel: (Pretentious chuckling) Well that’s a little different… I think we need to be protected down here.

The real issue here is not Mr. Rangel’s hypocrisy on guns, although you could argue that. I wouldn’t. Hypocrisy is saying one thing and doing another. Mr. Rangel is not doing that. You see, in his mind, being a member of the elite clubs known as the Democratic Establishment and the US Congress makes him above the average citizen in importance. So it’s not hypocritical for him to think he deserves more protection, it’s just, as Thomas Sowell says, the conceit of “the anointed.”

Let’s break this down for anyone who thinks I’m inferring too much. Congressman Rangel understands that guns can protect people. I’m not sure what else would be implied by his last statement. However, he expressed quite clearly, multiple times, that he doesn’t want citizens to have guns. That leads to one of two conclusions – A) he deserves protection more than his citizens since he is more valuable, or B) He thinks his life is more in danger than the average citizen in his district.

Well, let’s explore the latter one. I think as decent people we want to believe that one. Rangel represents New York’s 13th Congressional District. This looks, geographically, to be around 40% of Manhattan. Here is a crime map for Manhattan. There were 57 murders for a borough of 1.6 million. Odds of survival seem pretty good, but keep in mind Rangel represents the northern portion where many neighborhoods have the lowest safety rating. You can get detailed info on each little area by clicking on it if you’re interested. Suffice it to say, the murder rate in Manhattan, particularly Rangel’s district, is much higher than the murder rate of Congressmen. To say nothing of all other violent crimes. So it appears Rangel’s constituents need protection more than him. To those who want me to compare apples to apples by using the District of Columbia’s crime rate, instead of “congressmen” as a group – don’t you have to stop and think to yourself “hmmm I wonder why there’s a fair amount of crime in DC, but it never happens to congressmen…” Keep thinking about it. I think you’ll figure out the answer.

So the only option we are left with is that he genuinely thinks he is more important; more valuable a life than the people he represents. No, I don’t think he actually thinks that consciously, but it drives his thinking and behavior nonetheless. This mentality is the problem with Washington, and its not unique to Mr. Rangel. It is pervasive and cuts across party lines. This is why we need term limits. Politics shouldn’t become a career where you make backroom deals and put your own political survival above all else. We need a citizen legislature with people grounded in reality, knowing that they only get to be in Washington for a while, and that another citizen will have their turn next. Until then, we are stuck with people like Mr. Rangel getting paid to sit down and protest for a chance to vote against your civil liberties – all in the name of trying to help you.

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