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Rep. Lauren Boebert

Screenshot from Rep. Lauren Boebert's Twitter (LaurenBoebert)

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) said on Tuesday that a supermarket's ban on the open carry of guns contributed to the number of casualties in the mass shooting that occurred there on Monday in Boulder, Colorado, and complained that the supermarket was a "soft target."

A gunman killed 10 people at the King Soopers grocery store.

Appearing on Newsmax TV's Greg Kelly Reports, Boebert said of calls by Democratic lawmakers for more gun safety legislation in the aftermath of the shooting, "It's very unfortunate that their first, knee-jerk reaction is to limit our ability to defend ourself."

According to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence,

"Open carry" refers to the practice of carrying openly visible firearms in public. Though most states continue to require a permit in order to carry a concealed weapon, many states now place few or no restrictions on open carry. In fact, some states have imposed draconian requirements on private businesses that wish to keep deadly weapons off their property.

Boebert said she openly carries a gun with her when shopping because "unfortunately you don't know if there's going to be something like this that happens in a grocery store."

The congresswoman claimed that the supermarket in question was "very much a soft target where open carry was banned."

"It's very — looked down upon, so a lot of law-abiding gun owners don't want to patronize businesses like that. And they'll go on down the road and shop elsewhere," she added.

Boebert lashed out at gun safety groups like Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action, which have pushed for restrictions on firearms after frequent mass shootings.

"What they don't want, really, is to empower people to stop things like this. To give us the tools to stop things like this, and that's guns," Boebert said. "That would absolutely neutralize a threat like this, and we would have seen less casualties."

The Giffords Law Center says that open carry of firearms can escalate tense situations, adding an element of greater danger to already volatile situations. It also notes, "White Supremacists have long used firearms—and permissive open carry laws—to threaten and intimidate others, with examples of such violence going back to the Reconstruction era."

Open carry also contributes to confusion on the part of law enforcement when officers are responding to deadly situations, making it more difficult for them to determine the source of the threat.

From the March 23 edition of Newsmax TV's "Greg Kelly Reports":

GREG KELLY, host: It seems like we've seen this movie before, Congresswoman?
LAUREN BOEBERT: Yes, and it's very unfortunate that their first, knee-jerk reaction is to limit our ability to defend ourself. There are bad people who do bad things, and we need a way to protect ourselves because we don't know when they're going to act on the things that are rolling through their minds and consuming their thoughts.
And so we need a way to protect ourself [sic]. That's why I carry. You know, I've been asked many times, "Why do you carry in a grocery store?" Well, unfortunately, you don't know if there's going to be something like this that happens in a grocery store. But at the end of the day, when violence occurs, my first reaction will never be to try to disarm and restrict the American people.
Ninety-six percent of mass public shootings occur in gun-free zones, and this King Soopers in Boulder, Colorado, was very much a soft target where open carry was banned, and it's very discouraged in Boulder, of all places, in Colorado, to carry a firearm.
And it's very – looked down upon, so a lot of law-abiding gun owners don't want to patronize businesses like that. And they'll go on down the road and shop elsewhere.
You know, we hear from groups like Everytown and Moms Demand Action, who don't want our thoughts and prayers, which is really unfortunate, because first of all, prayer works, and I believe in a God that hears us and a God who cares for us. But what they don't want, really, is to empower people to stop things like this, to give us the tools to stop things like this, and that's guns. That would absolutely neutralize a threat like this, and we would have seen less casualties.
But we need to stop creating target-rich environments for evil people to attack.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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