In the tradition of The Clear Skies Act, Senators David Vitter, R-La., and John Thune, R-S.D, have introduced legislation that appears to have little or nothing in common with its title. The “Respecting States’ Rights and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act” intends to allow gun owners to carry concealed weapons from state to state. This is a very interesting and very bad proposition that tears at the line drawn by all sides. More
How does this ‘respecting States’ Rights’ proposition respect the rights of states that don’t allow concealed weapons? If you’re conservative you have to oppose this as a clear cut violation of States’ Rights. The whole theory at the core of “states’ rights” conservatism is that states get to decide on laws so long as they don’t infringe on a constitutional right. This is one of those areas that states get to decide.
And a progressive will call it what it is: an expansion of gun rights.
I’ve had some spirited debate over this on my Facebook site and have run into two trains of thought. One: “Guns need to be treated like a driver’s license. More people are killed every year in auto accidents than by guns.” I’m not sure that this is the best argument since a driver’s license is considered a privilege rather than a right. And if we were to have as many guns on the streets as cars, and were using them as often, I think those numbers would turn around real fast.
Two: “The constitution guarantees my right to carry a concealed weapon.” All I can say is that’s a pretty broad reading of the Second Amendment, which says nothing about a right to carry a concealed weapon.
I don’t begrudge anyone the right to have a gun if they wish, but this law fails on multiple levels and from multiple ideological viewpoints in my opinion. I’m not sure Sen. Vitter really wants to start going down the road where we demand that all states be required to respect the laws of all other states. Ask him, for instance, if he would extend marriage status in Louisiana to two men married in Vermont if you really want to see him back off of that proposition real fast.
He should likewise back off of this one…it’s just a bad idea.