O.K. then. Let's get started. First of all, LaPierre admits that H.R. 822, the National Conceal and Carry Reciprocity Act is what the NRA has been working towards for the last 20 years. " We are going to keep coming back on reciprocity until it becomes the law of the land", he says. They are determined to get what they want. Those of us who have gone through the battles over conceal and carry laws in our states know that this is true. The NRA and its' power and influence has managed to pass bills in most states that are some form of conceal and carry. 41 states, according to LaPierre, are "shall issue" states. That means that no need has to be shown for carrying a loaded gun around in public places. It's a want to carry. I remind my readers that this is roughly 2-3% of Americans who have permits and perhaps even fewer carry their guns. So think about this one. For 2-3% of the population, elected leaders have pandered and capitulated to the NRA. We are not safer as a result in spite of what LaPierre asserts in the video.
I have referred many times to the permit holders who have killed others or the permit holders involved in crimes. Sure, the gun rights extremists can claim that permit holders may be involved in crimes less frequently than average folks. But they can't claim that more guns carried by permit holders have made us more safe. But I digress. Getting back to the video- LaPierre makes a claim in the video that the majority of Americans want H.R. 822. He is wrong. In recent polling by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, here are the actual figures for support for the bill:
There is no mandate for concealed carry reciprocity• Voters also overwhelmingly prefer stricter to relaxed gun laws• Yet even gun HH and Republicans don’t strongly support reciprocityThis politically divided electorate is initially divided on reciprocityDiscussing provisions and balanced arguments reveals clear opposition
There are two main drivers of opposition
• States’ rights
• Voters prioritize states’ rights over reciprocity
• And states’ rights over Washington making decisions
• A desire for people to meet their state’s requirements
• And for those requirements to be tougher
GOP and voters in gun HH are also opposed to reciprocity after hearing more
Specific permitting requirements receive widespread strong support
• Nearly every single one receives majority strong support, even in gun HH
• Majorities strongly support at least eight of the 12 requirements testedAs it turns out, voters are opposed to H.R. 822. Even gun owners opposed the bill in this survey. 50% of Republicans and 47% of gun households supported the provisions of the bill in the initial asking of the question in the above poll. But when the bill was explained, the support dropped to 35% of gun households supporting and 34% of Republican supporting the bill. Does that sound like overwhelming support to you? I didn't think so. Check out the charts and graphs for yourself. The NRA hates Mayors Against Illegal Guns and doesn't find their polling data to be valid even though it is. So what is LaPierre talking about here?
Later in the video, the host of the radio show alludes to going to England to cover the "riots" that happened there this past summer. There is a lot of chatter between the 2 of them about what happened in England and then the conclusion that the folks in England would have liked to have had their guns during those riots. Really? Prove it. Are there any surveys showing that? Or is this anecdotal evidence? And what difference does it make to the discussion of H.R. 822? Oh yes, when "scary" people demonstrate, you might need your guns to shoot them. See my next post for more about this scenario as seen through the eyes of the gun rights extremists.
As for LaPierre claiming that there is a constitutional right to carry guns for self defense in public, he is on shaky ground. Even the courts have rejected cases about self defense outside of the home. In the Heller and McDonald cases the Supreme Court made sure to mention that restrictions on who can carry, where they can carry and types of guns to be carried are constitutional. So that being the case H.R. 822 does not really deal in constitutional issues and is fraught with inconsistencies and flaws. The NRA is not only interested in passing laws that will allow anyone to carry their guns everywhere, but they seem to think that if they "normalize" openly carried guns, the public will just get used to it. Check out this article about the California Open Carry rally held this week-end. In the recently passed law, open carrying of handguns is now banned in California. But never mind, gun rights extremists thought it would be great to make a point by showing up ( in small numbers) at a public rally with their openly carried long guns. I'm sure the public would get used to that idea! Does anyone else think these guys look stupid and potentially dangerous? From this article, written by gun rights advocate Robert Farago, even he has his concerns about this idea but they might be different than the concerns that you or I have:
So if the open carriers are white, will we accept seeing them carrying guns? But if they are of a minority race, then not so much? Hmmm. I'm just wondering if maybe these folks are "shooting themselves in the foot" by pushing this too far. I don't know about you but if I see someone openly carrying a long gun or even a pistol around in public, my first reaction is not to calm down. Let's hope that common sense will show this for what it is. Is there some hypocrisy here? I'm just asking. And speaking of hypocrisy Wayne LaPierre did in the video above when he said, "The American public- they see straight through the hypocrisy."Good scary: when someone who doesn’t like / hates guns sees “a” gun on “a” civilian, freaks a bit and then, eventually, calms down. The more “normal” (and no I don’t mean white) the open carrier appears, the more innocuously the gun owner goes about their business, the faster the non-gun carrier loses their adrenal response. Wash, rinse, repeat, desensitize. Done.Bad scary: flag-waving groups of “normal” gun owners (and yes I do mean white) gathered in a public place with “assault rifles” saying stuff like “I’m not here trying to intimidate people. Our government is trying to make life difficult, and this is the only option [for self-protection].” Note to Adnan Shahab: if you don’t want to intimidate someone don’t use the word “intimidate.” And most Californians consider SPF15 adequate person protection.
Indeed we do. If everyone can open carry guns- handguns or long guns in public, then EVERYONE will, including felons, domestic abusers, felons, etc. Some states allow open carry. Others do not. How will the police and the public know the difference between a "law abiding" gun carrier from out of state and a felon? They may look the same to law enforcement. Is it a law abiding permit holder who was trying to "save the day" or the criminal? The tired old NRA line about claiming that if guns are banned ( as they are sure the "antis" are will do) then only criminals will have guns is totally false. Criminals, mentally ill people, domestic abusers, etc. already have guns, as we know, and there are plenty of places for them to get them since we refuse to pass laws to stop them from doing so. Maybe I'm crazy but doesn't it seem like total hypocrisy for the NRA to be against laws to require background checks on all sales of guns to stop the prohibited people from getting them in the first place? If we had more assurance that only the law abiding were carrying, maybe then the NRA's arguments would stand a chance. But their circular reasoning is that since the criminals have guns, they need guns. This is the philosophical gap between the gun rights extremists and the gun control advocates. And further, most states have already found that citizens can carry guns if they so choose. And so we have a solution looking for a problem. Only 2-3% of people have this perceived problem.
Back to the video of Wayne LaPierre ( above) and the back and forth conversation, we know that H.R. 822 is the bill the gun rights extremists have been waiting for. They are willing to sacrifice states' rights and public safety so that the 2-3% of people who carry guns won't have to be inconvenienced by state laws. If Minnesota would have wanted Florida's gun laws, they would have passed similar laws. But they didn't. It's bad enough here in Minnesota but at least people have a minimum training requirement and domestic abusers can't get permits to carry. The House will take a vote during the first week of November. Then the Senate, who didn't manage to attach the bill as an amendment to appropriations bills on Friday, will have to decide if they are going to stand with the majority along with law enforcement, or stand with the 2%ers ( gun permit holders) who are making a big noise as always about their conflated rights to self defense. Gun control advocates all over the country are activated and have given voice to their opposition. Let's hope that common sense will prevail. Let's hope that people with hearts realize that insane gun laws such as H.R. 822 are not only not needed but are not morally right for the American citizenry.