Don't Let The Gun Nuts Win!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009 | Author: Mad Typist
I don't usually forward emails or post about things happening in Congress with headlines like, "Crucial bill coming up! Email your senator now!". However, this particular amendment is so troubling that I really want to spread the word about the insanity being proposed.

Sen John Thune (R-ND) has introduced an amendment that would effectively gut the concealed carry laws of a majority of states. From the op-ed published in the NY Times:

Nearly all states issue licenses to carry concealed firearms, but the criteria for granting such permits vary widely, and it is now, sensibly, up to each state to decide whether to accept another state’s permits.

At least 35 states prevent people from carrying concealed weapons if they have certain misdemeanor convictions. At least 31 states prohibit alcohol abusers from obtaining a concealed carry permit and require gun safety training. The Thune amendment would force states with more restrictive standards to accept concealed carry permits from states with less stringent rules — in effect giving the lax rules national reach.

This is insanity. I don't begrudge a place like Alaska for having more lax gun laws. I really don't. I mean, that's the kind of place where you can literally be assaulted by a grizzly bear or a moose (true story) on the way to you car in the parking lot. It's also the kind of place where you have low population density and lack many of the problems of major urban environments that the rest of the country has. However, to force states - who have radically different situations and gun-control requirements - to accept Alaska's concealed carry criteria (or ANY other state's criteria) is stupid, and more importantly, dangerous.

Steve Benen at Political Animal has more to say:
Despite the large Democratic majority, three Senate Democrats - Max Baucus and Jon Tester of Montana and Mark Begich of Alaska - are co-sponsors of the measure, and Sens. Harry Reid (D) of Nevada and Ben Nelson (D) of Nebraska both announced their support for the amendment yesterday.

The administration hasn't had much to say about this, suggesting that if the larger spending bill passes with Thune's amendment in the legislation, it will become law.
Really? Shame on you, Harry Reid.

Essentially, this is allowing the state with the most lax gun control laws to dictate federal gun control policy.

Seriously, people, this is a major public safety concern. If ever you felt an urge to get active, to write to your Congressmen and Senators, this is the time. Forward the op-ed to everyone you know, make people aware of this issue. Flood the Obama Facebook page wall with your opinion (but keep it civil - this issue is bigger than our need to be profane or stupid on the Internet).
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