By Emily Geiger
So, I hear some “gun rights advocates” are upset that the NRA/Clel Baudler version of the gun bill is being revived by desperate Democrats who need an issue to hang their hat on for the next election, and Kent Sorenson’s Alaska-style concealed carry bill is still dead in the water.
They’re saying that this “incremental” step isn’t worthwhile and will only serve to bolster the Democrats who supported this in November.
First of all, anybody who believes Mike Gronstal and his ilk are serious supporters of gun rights is a moron. If that were true, we would have had this bill passed years ago, and not just when Democrats look like they are politically vulnerable in an election year. I don’t think anyone who is serious about gun rights or anyone with half brain is going to fall for this one.
Second of all, if I have to hear any more whining about how this isn’t good enough and we need to have the Alaska-style carry bill where anyone and everyone can carry a concealed gun anywhere and everywhere, I’m going to have to go hurl.
I went to a lawyer friend of mine to talk about this issue and got a fascinating perspective. This lawyer dealt with clients who had been court ordered to be hospitalized for mental health or drug addiction issues. The lawyer said that it would be terrifying to think that these people could legally carry guns with them at all times. If you’ve ever spent time with drug addicts or severely mentally ill people, I think you’d agree.
Will not having a permit stop all criminals from carrying guns? No, of course not. But it might stop some of them. And, even if they are caught after the fact, an added firearms violation means that the bad guy is going to be in jail a lot longer than he otherwise would be.
The other thing that is driving me nuts is when the proponents of the Alaska-carry style bill argue that the Constitution’s 2nd Amendment doesn’t make any exceptions for felons or mentally ill people or drug addicts, and so the laws that might restrict these people from carrying guns in public are unconstitutional.
Well, the 1st amendment doesn’t list any permissible restrictions on free speech, but that doesn’t mean you can yell “fire” in a crowded theater, and you can’t drop an f-bomb on primetime TV. There are permissible, constitutional time, place, and manner restrictions placed on free speech all the time. I would say that restricting certain people who have proven themselves to be dangerous from carrying guns in public is a similar permissible restriction.
Now, I know I’m going to be accused by the previously discussed Mr. and Mrs. Coo-Coo-For CoCo Puffs of being a left-wing liberal on this issue, but nothing could be further from the truth. I love guns. I own a gun. I actually plan on obtaining concealed carry permit soon. I’ve always said that one of the few ways a woman can put herself on equal physical footing with a man is by having a gun to protect herself.
I just think that there should be some minimal criteria that should be met before someone can carry a concealed firearm in public (like not being a crack addict with 5 different personalities), and that means some sort of fair, reasonable, nonarbitrary permit system.
blog comments powered by Disqus