With this week’s debate over federal concealed carry reciprocity legislation, the gun prohibitionist lobby – which sadly appears to include some law enforcement officials – has revealed (once again) that hypocrisy rather than bedrock is at its foundation.
To wit: Suddenly gun control advocates have become states’ rights advocates.
On Monday, a coalition of 600 mayors, along with police organizations, domestic violence groups, and prosecutors, announced a campaign to defend the states’ rights to decide who can carry concealed weapons. In less than five days more than 45,000 signed a petition against the bill.—SecurityManagement.com
Not that we disagree, but so now, according to the gun ban lobby, each state should have the right to regulate firearms the way it sees fit, eh?
How does that square with the on-going – albeit consistently unsuccessful – effort to renew the nationwide ban on so-called “assault weapons?”
How does this new political positioning stack up to the National Instant Check System (NICS)?
What about the campaign for federal legislation to close the so-called “gun show loophole”; nothing “states’ rights” about that.
Anti-gun newspaper editorial boards are weighing in, twisting the argument 180 degrees:
The National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act, introduced by Rep. Cliff Stearns, a Florida Republican, and Heath Schuler, a North Carolina Democrat, not only is ill-advised and dangerous, but an attack on the very notion of states’ rights.
Under the bill, all states would have to honor concealed-carry weapons permits issued by any state.—Scranton Times-Tribune
Perhaps someone should ask the Times-Tribune why that’s any different than states recognizing drivers’ licenses from other states. How many times have we heard the argument from gun prohibitionists that we should “regulate guns like we regulate driving” with licensing and registration? Okay, here’s an opportunity for the gun control crowd to put up or shut up.
UPDATE: An interesting question posed via private e-mail: Would adoption of federal reciprocity legislation pave the way for Congress to set a national standard/requirement for issuance of a concealed pistol license? Some states have training requirements, others, including Washington, do not. How would we square that nationwide?
More than 6 million American citizens have concealed carry permits or licenses. They’ve gone through background checks, and in some cases state-mandated training courses. If these people have shown responsibility in their own state, what – other than hysterical paranoia, perhaps – makes anyone believe that these citizens will be any less responsible with their legally-concealed handguns when they cross state lines?
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey testified yesterday that Congress should not allow people to carry firearms nationwide “without consideration for the minimum standards” created by each state. He added: “What works where I currently serve as Commissioner in Philadelphia, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, does not work for our neighbor across the river in New Jersey.”—Wall Street Journal
A few states have individually decided to honor all permits and licenses from all other states. This has not resulted in a sudden spike in violent crime.
Of course, states do have the authority to regulate firearms within their borders. That’s a given. We are, after all, the United States of America, a union of 50 separate states with individual state constitutions and state legislatures.
However, certain freedoms and rights of citizenship are recognized across the land. Free speech, freedom of religion and to peacefully assemble, the right to legal representation if charged with a criminal offense and, thanks to last year’s Supreme Court ruling in McDonald v. City of Chicago, the right to keep and bear arms.
The argument against national concealed carry reciprocity seems to boil down to this: Government and its police are unable to keep a lid on local criminals, so they believe the solution is to make visitors from other states more vulnerable to their home-grown thugs.
But George Mason University law school professor Joyce Lee Malcom countered that the legislation would make the country safer. “If self-defense is to be effective people must be able to be armed,” she told lawmakers. “The American system of trusting ordinary people to protect themselves and carry firearms responsibly has enhanced public safety.”—Wall Street Journal
Earlier this week, this column provoked a huge reaction to a simple question: Why do you carry a gun?
With increasing economic instability, layoffs at some police agencies around the country, and a somewhat dismal outlook, perhaps the better question should be: “Why don’t you?”
If increasing numbers of law-abiding American citizens are exercising their right to bear arms, it becomes even more important to enable their ability to do that anywhere they travel.
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