The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act and Right-Wing Hypocrisy

The Republican Party took another step toward  chipping away at our freedoms by passing the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act this week. This bill would strip state and local governments of the power to enforce their own firearm laws. Instead, if this thing becomes law any right-wing yahoo from Alabama will be able to stroll around Manhattan with a concealed firearm. Which, I assure you, is something the large majority of New Yorkers do not want.

States rights? What a joke. “States rights” arguments only apply to laws and policies right wingers don’t like, such as desegregation. They like laws that impose their twisted values on blue states just fine.

We’re not just talking about New York, of course. The Los Angeles Times:

Under the proposed reciprocity law, anyone with a valid permit from another state would be able to carry a concealed firearm in California, even if they do not meet California’s more stringent standards. This is a highly objectionable infringement on the responsibilities of state and local law enforcement to maintain public safety, and is clearly aimed at undermining gun control efforts nationally. What’s more, it will put guns into the hands of more people who shouldn’t have them.

Right-wing myth to the contrary, there is a strong correlation between higher gun violence and loose gun control laws.

The rates of gun violence in the 10 states with the weakest gun laws are more than three times higher than those in the 10 states with the strongest gun laws. That’s one of the major findings of a new report from the Center for American Progress (CAP) that analyzes 10 indicators of firearm violence—including suicide, murder, fatal gun accidents, and mass shootings—in all 50 states and finds a “strong” correlation between gun violence and weak gun laws.

Gail Collins:

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would make it impossible for states to do anything about people who carry in guns from other states.

We have seen this idea, known as “concealed carry reciprocity,” before. It basically says gun owners only have to follow the laws of the state they hail from. Some states will give a permit to carry a concealed weapon to an 18-year-old. Some don’t care about a record of stalking. Some don’t have any rules at all — you’re O.K. to pack a pistol if you can breathe.

“The Republicans yell states’ rights all the time, but they’re hypocrites,” said Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York. He claimed, in a phone interview, that the last time Congress passed a bill to impose the laws of one state on a different state “it was the Fugitive Slave Act.” We can look forward to more of this discussion since Nadler is now the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee. It used to be John Conyers, but then there was that sexual harassment matter.

Jerrold Nadler is a good guy, and I only wish he were chair of the House Judiciary Committee. Maybe some day.

Gun nuttery takes away our freedom. Gun nuttery puts us all at the mercy of hotheads with more testosterone than sense. A guy waving a gun can disrupt your children’s play in a public park, and there’s nothing you can do about it but go home, because his right to wave a gun around overrides yours. Strangers can walk through residential neighborhoods, or near schools, or anywhere else, carrying guns, and nothing can be done until they start killing people.

And if you don’t like it, expect your public demonstration to be menaced by goons with guns. Speak at your own risk.