Gun Folly in D.C.

Republicans around the country, especially those in leadership positions in the House of Representatives, regularly deliver homilies about shrinking the federal government and giving more power back to individual states.

Those heartfelt positions, however, come with an asterisk. Republican leaders in the House may like the idea of state’s rights—but they’re not so keen about local control when states like New York decide that it’s a bad idea for people to carry concealed weapons, because, well, you just never know when a whack job might open fire on a crowded street.

In an astonishing and dangerous bit of pandering to the nation’s gun nuts, House leaders (with the cooperation of 43 misguided Democrats) recently rammed through a bill that would force states with tough gun-control laws to honor concealed weapons permits issued in other states. Give the Republicans credit for candor—they didn’t try to conceal their intentions. They labeled the bill the “National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011.” Not the “Protect Your Spouse and Children Act” or the “Go Ahead, Make My Day Self-Protection Act.”

The candor may be refreshing, but the thinking behind this bit of insanity is not. It’s the same old argument: The Second Amendment guarantees Americans in any mental state to stockpile and carry their favorite weapons of choice. Mayor Bloomberg, one of the nation’s most vocal proponents of gun restrictions, rightly noted that the House approved this bill less than a year after one of its members, Gabrielle Giffords, was gravely wounded in a murderous rampage in Arizona.

While the bill is mind-numbingly stupid, there is a bit of heartening news to report: Several New York Republicans refused to toe the party line. They voted against their leadership and in favor of sanity­—an all-too-rare act of political courage. Michael Grimm of Staten Island; Robert Turner, who won Anthony Weiner’s old seat in Brooklyn and Queens; and Long Island’s iconoclastic Peter King sided with most Democrats on this issue.

What a shame that two of their Republican colleagues from New Jersey, Leonard Lance and Rodney Frelinghuysen, couldn’t summon the nerve to defy the GOP’s gun-lovers. Other Republicans from the metropolitan area also voted with their caucus, but Mr. Lance and Mr. Frelinghuysen have sought to distance themselves from their party’s extremists. Both see themselves as prototypical moderate Republicans in the model of former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean. This vote makes them no different from the yahoos who think they have a right to carry and conceal their handguns in places like Midtown Manhattan.

All the more reason to give a pat on the back to Congressmen Grimm, Turner and King. It would have been far easier for them to go along with their party’s agenda. Instead, they put their constituents’ safety—and, let’s remember, the safety of police officers—ahead of partisan politics.

Good for them. Great for us.


  1. spencer60 says:

    Wow! Were to start? 

    The Editors obviously don’t believe that firearms used for self defense should be allowed in any way, shape or form. That may be their opinion, but the emotional tirade  along with the abuse and invective hurled against responsible armed citizens here is truly frightening.The sad thing here is that everything said is also completely wrong. Citizens who have been issued concealed carry licenses by their state are far less likely than any other statistical group (sadly, including police officers) to commit a crime using a gun. In fact they have the lowest overall criminal rate of any group studied according to one Department of Justice report.Articles like this are written any time truly rational gun laws are being proposed, laws that stop trying to make honest citizens criminals because they choose to exercise their Second Amendment rights. There are always articles wailing that blood will run in the streets, and that traffic accidents will turn into the OK Corral.  Unfortunately for the professional gun control lobby, none of this ever comes to pass.Forty nine states now have concealed carry laws on their books, and none of them have had a problem. In fact in most cases crime has gone down in the area with the least restrictive carry laws, while staying high in places (like NY and DC) that continue to make it difficult or impossible for their own citizens to legally carry a firearm for their own protection. In NY it seems that only NFL players and political cronies of the Mayor are able to avail themselves of the right to self defense. My prediction. If this bill passes and is signed into law, New Yorkers (among others) will see… nothing much. No blood in the streets. No vigilante killings. Just normal people going about their business.Criminals will probably pick up on the change first, and realize that it’s no longer safe to target out-of-towners. I’m guessing they will switch their attentions to the ‘natives’, who they can be sure aren’t armed. Hopefully, New Yorkers (and others) will see that concealed carry license holders aren’t crazed gun nuts or whack jobs (to use The Editors terms), and that carrying a gun  for self-defense does not instantly make you into a terrorist.Once they see that their politicians have been making a mountain out of a molehill (it’s a great fundraising tactic), maybe then rational gun laws can be passed that will allow the citizen, not the elected official to make their own choices on whether carrying a firearm for defensive purposes is right for them. After all, that is the true intent of the Second Amendment, and is why the Founders placed it in our Constitution from the beginning.

    1. old owlish says:

      Very well reasoned, very well said!

  2. Dsdsd says:

    You are a bunch of idiots……

  3. Dsdsd says:

    the editors…that is…..spencer60 is right on…..

  4. Don't be a mindless Zombie says:

    Is the editor Canadian?

  5. old owlish says:

    “mind-numbingly stupid”, “a whack job might open fire on a crowded street”! Sad description of this author….

  6. Ambiguus says:

    Good news.  I hope this soon goes to the Senate, and is quickly passed as an amendment to an “Obama must-sign” bill.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The editors who penned this piece are not terribly smart.

    The Bill of Rights enumerates the fundamental rights all of us have, whether we live in New York City or Three Forks, Montana.  Infringing any of those rights is beyond the power of any state, any municipality, or the federal government for that matter.  The gun control laws we have are constitutionally onerous. 

    Would these editors like their local government to assert authority to license religious practices?  Or, more to the point, license editorial writers? 


    1. Anonymous says:

      Yes. This.

  8. Bruce Krafft says:

    I wonder if the Observer equally supported the states’ rights argument when the Federal government was trying to undo Jim Crow laws?

    1. Anonymous says:

      Poor Bruce, why do you insist on arguing about something that has never existed, states rights?

      Oh maybe you finally have some proof, like the state is an individual sentient human being, uh no.

      Or maybe that the US Supreme Court has ruled the state can be treated like a corporation which has rights and can be sued for their actions, unlike the state/government which can not, uh no.

      Or maybe you have the bill or legislation that has changed the 10th amend ment to no longer say ” states have powers”, uh no.

      So what proof do you have that states have rights eh einstein?

  9. Alwin Roe says:

    How dare you libel the law-abiding in order to keep criminals safe by making their victims defenseless!

  10. Anonymous says:

    I completely agree with this editorial.

    Guns owners are disrespectful of authority. A failure to rely on authorities is an invariable sign of improper and overly independent attitudes. The mere fact that they gather together to talk about guns at gun shops, gun shows, shooting ranges, and on the internet means that they have some plot going against us normal people. A gun owner has no right to associate with another gun owner.

    Therefore, to help ensure our right to happiness and safety we must ban and seize all guns from private hands, and forbid NRA-based criticism towards people who are only trying to help. Searching the homes of all NRA members for any guns and pro-gun literature will go a long way towards reducing crime. If we need help doing this we can invite people like the Australians and Norwegians to help rummage through people’s property.

    Common sense requires only uniformed soldiers, police, and other agents of the state have access to firearms, and think of all the money we can save by just taking away the guns from private owners and giving them to the military and police. No person should be able to challenge this by writing to Congress or the President. If they do they should be forced in court to admit to it and then fined a hundred million dollars for each time. Subjecting them to torture will probably change their minds.

    Making it mandatory that church ministers preach against guns or else they can’t get licensed will certainly force the church folk onto our side.

    People who don’t like all this prove they are on the side of the killers with the guns and should be put in jail along side all the gangbangers and other gun nuts. Letting them sit in jail for a few years before they are charged will give the government plenty of time to find something wrong in their lives. Anything they say, write, or express should be held against them to prove their guilt. We should bring all of them here to Chicago to be tried by Mayor Daly as judge, and we should allow only mothers who have lost children to gunfire to be on the juries. Any attorney who tries to defend them should be arrested also. If we don’t get the right verdict the first time we can just keep trying them until we do.

    No woman needs to protect herself from rape, assault or murder and should just leave crime prevention to the Police who are properly equipped to investigate following the crime’s completion. Women using a gun in self-defense interferes with and makes the attempted crime a “non-event,” which unnecessarily complicates the Police investigation. Any woman who does this should be put in jail for interfering with an investigation.

    If someone still really, really thinks they have a need for a gun in their home for protection then the Army should just force them to host and feed some armed soldiers.

    Those who claim that the 2nd amendment was given to us because we might someday need guns to use against an oppressive government forget that Constitution has strong internal safeguards to protect our freedoms. So there!

    Long live our Constitution!

  11. Martin449 says:

    Concealed carry permit holders are less likely to commit serious crimes (felonies) than the legislators who enact the laws or the police who enforce them.

    By all means, disarm the politicians and the cops – and let citizen concealed carry permit holders carry EVERYWHERE.

  12. Harold Racca says:

    Dear Editors

    States don’t have rights. “WE THE PEOPLE” do. 

  13. Harold Racca says:

    Dear Editors, and others  Regarding conceal carry license.

    Why should “WE THE PEOPLE” be required to pay a fee/TAX, to the state, for a license(permission slip,expires in most states) which grants us the priviledge to  exercise a right we already posses? 

  14. Harold Racca says:

    state shall convert a liberty to a privilege, license it, and charge
    a fee therefor.- Murdock vs Pennsylvania 319 US 105

  15. Harold Racca says:

    the state converts a right into a privilege, the citizen can ignore
    the license and fee and engage in the right… with impunity.-
    Shuttleworth vs City of Birmingham, Alabama 317 US 262

  16. Anonymous says:

    The fact is that bearing arms is a right, and rights transcend state borders. New York’s Sullivan Act is destined for the sh!tpile – when a case challenging it reaches the SCOTUS, it won’t survive.

    Additionally, Article IV Section 1. of the Constitution specifically delegates the power to mandate “Full Faith and Credit” of carry permits to all the states. It’s funny – when the federal government exercises domestic power, even if that power is unenumrated and therefore illegitimate, the liberals rejoice. Except in THIS case, where the power is in unanswerable constitutional black letter.

    Sauce for the goose, a-hole, sauce for the goose.

  17. Larry Arnold says:

    Anyone notice that the folks yelling about states rights for concealed carry are the same ones who want federal “assault weapon” and gun show bans? Pot calling the kettle a hypocrite?

  18. Luis says:

    Some 100 million firearm-owning Americans = “the nation’s gun nuts”.

    How pathetic, that they fear millions of Americans exercising their Constitution right to keep and bear arms. I’ll bet their parents were the ones screaming “power to the people” in the 1960s, because they knew it was an empty, feel-good, slogan.

    “Pwer comes from the barrel of a gun”, is attributed to Mao Tse-Tung, a man who was venerated by thousands of American college students during the 1960s. And yet they fear the power that American firearm owners possess.

    Civil War II is just around the corner.