GOP rep: More people being armed worked in 'the Old West'

GOP rep: More people being armed worked in 'the Old West'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Joe BartonJoe Linus BartonGOP nears deal on list of demands for DACA GOP lawmaker calls for vote on DREAM Act More than a dozen lawmakers put family on campaign payroll MORE (R-Texas) on Wednesday suggested that more people being armed might have prevented the mass shooting in Las Vegas, saying that method worked "in the Old West."

“I think if that guy had known that there were armed personnel with the types of weapons he had that would immediately shoot at him, that might have deterred him. I don’t know,” Barton told Vox when asked if he thinks the crowd in Las Vegas should have been armed.
 
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After being further pressed on whether he thinks there is a "middle ground" when it came to gun control, he said: "I don’t know. What I just suggested — more people being armed, and people know it. That did work in the Old West."
 
"You didn’t go around shooting people up too much, despite all the Hollywood movies, because if you did, someone was gonna shoot you. And that did work."
 
His comments come after at least 58 people were killed and hundreds were injured when a gunman opened fire at a country music festival in Las Vegas.
 
Barton isn't the first lawmaker to point to the "Old West" as an example of how more guns can lead to less gun violence. For example, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) did so as well when asked by Bob Schieffer on CBS's "Face the Nation" in 2014 if the U.S. was being pulled "back to the day of the OK Corral."
 
“You know, everybody romanticizes the OK Corral and all of the things that happened. But gun crimes were not very prevalent back then. Why? Because people carry guns," Santorum said.
 
According to The Washington Post, however, Western frontier towns often had stricter gun control laws than many realize. 
 
“Carrying of guns within the city limits of a frontier town was generally prohibited. Laws barring people from carrying weapons were commonplace, from Dodge City to Tombstone,” Adam Winkler, a UCLA law professor, told the Post.
 
Several Democratic lawmakers have called for stricter gun control measures in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting.