Of all the legislation we advocates for gun owners civil rights are expecting from the new administration, long-hoped for national reciprocity for concealed carry is in my view the most important. There are too many jurisdictions where residents can’t get permits to carry unless they’re judges, movie stars, or super-rich with political pull. Law-abiding gun carriers in “free states” can’t exercise their right to protect themselves and their families in public when business, pleasure, or family take them to numerous American jurisdictions from Hawaii to New York. Behold the already introduced HR38.
As written, it would appear that a resident of, say, San Francisco who currently pretty much has to get elected to the city’s Board of Supervisors to qualify for a permit, would be able to carry in their home city on a non-resident permit from Utah or Florida if HR 38 became the law of the land. And their law-abiding friends and relatives all over the country could carry for their and their loved ones’ protection while visiting.
Predictably, the possibility of nationwide concealed carry drives the anti-gunners nuts. The National Rifle Association and its Institute for Legislative Action has this to say about that.
Many on the pro-gun side have stated that they don’t like the idea of Federally-enacted reciprocity. One reason often stated is, “What the Federal government gives, the Federal government can take away.” So, if we get it and four or eight years from now it is repealed, where are we? Why, right back where we are now. So, what will we have lost compared to now?
Another argument against the bill is that it violates states’ rights. That’s debatable. Here’s a scholarly take on it by old friend and brilliant researcher Clayton Cramer.
NRA-ILA is supporting it. Ditto Gun Owners of America, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, and an organization where I’ve long served proudly on the board of trustees, Second Amendment Foundation. Needless to say, I support it too.
I am very much interested in you folks’ take on it.
The SHOT Show goes far beyond just guns. One of the hottest accessories today is the sound suppressor – silencer – which is riding a huge wave of popularity that has yet to crest. My old friend Jeff Chudwin is a retired police chief, several-time national patrol rifle champion, head of the Illinois Tactical Officers Association, and one of the great street survival gurus of all time. He has flatly stated that he thinks every police patrol rifle should be equipped with a silencer. Not just for tactical reasons, but also because of the risk of hearing loss in training with very loud guns. He cites the case of an officer he knows who lost 50% of his hearing when a brother officer fired a 5.56mm M4 rifle near him in the course of an on-duty shooting where naturally, no one was wearing ear protection. Today’s silencers are better than ever, and we have gun-makers such as SIG and Ruger making their own.
For some time now, the SHOT Show schedule has included not just show and tell/show and sell, but training. Some of it has to do with marketing and management for firearms dealers and shooting range owners, but some of it also has to do with survival. Some highly-credentialed people are teaching initial police response to mass murder incidents, and offering tactics for unarmed civilians caught up in such atrocities.
Today some of us from Massad Ayoob Group took a well-attended class on firearms dealers’ role in suicide prevention. The National Shooting Sports Foundation has joined with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to help gun dealers recognize customers with suicidal ideation in hopes of denying those people the means to carry out impulsive self-destruction. Though some have the impression that this is a new concept, it actually follows in the footsteps of the New Hampshire Firearms Safety Coalition under Elaine Frank, and the Gun Shop Project spearheaded by gun shop owner Ralph Demicco, an active member of NHFSC. This program puts suicide prevention posters and literature into the shops themselves, and offers training for gun shop staff on how to pick up subtle indications of suicidal ideation. There have already been “saves” with it, and many other states have developed programs modeled on New Hampshire’s. It is good to see a national organization picking up that ball and running with it, given that some two-thirds of the “deaths by gun violence” that prohibitionists cite as a reason for you and I not to own firearms are in fact suicides.
Christine Moutier, MD, Chief Medical Officer of AFSP yields the microphone to Bill Bussard of NSSF at SHOT Show suicide prevention lecture.
Latest variant of Ruger Mark IV .22 pistol, the 22/45 lightweight, mounts Ruger’s own suppressor. Handy thing to have around farm or ranch. Yes, suppressor requires BATFE licensing.
Activists for the civil rights of gun owners know how destructive a bullet we dodged when Hillary Clinton lost the “foregone conclusion election.” Hell, I felt the way the English must have felt when they learned that unexpected circumstances had warded off the invading Spanish Armada.
If I have learned anything in an adult lifetime spent teaching the management of high-stakes human conflict, it is this: one cannot expect to defeat an opponent one does not understand. It is with that in mind that I offer the following as suggested reading.
It’s not the first time one side has confronted the other, and won’t be the last, but I commend the way this interaction was carried out. The prohibitionist side tends to denigrate the gun owners as ignorant hayseeds and the pro-gun side tends to paint their opponents as wimpy limousine liberals, but the fact is that both sides have very visceral feelings which those who debate these issues need to take into consideration.
You’ll see some things you agree with and some that you don’t. For instance, having gotten to know George Zimmerman personally, I disagree with the assessment of him put forth by the man who sold Zimmerman’s gun.
My own opinions remain unchanged…
…but, please read…
…and please, share YOUR thoughts on the linked article, here.
If you listen to what the anti-gun activists say about us gun owners (and to us on the rare occasions when there is actually dialogue), you can see the parallels to bullying, elitist high school cliques as typified in the movie “Mean Girls.”
A certain kind of person needs to feel they’re better than others, and comes to believe that belittling others will so elevate them. “We’re better than you because –“
“We make more money than you.” “Our house/watch/car is more expensive than yours.” “Our skin color is more politically correct today than yours.” And cetera.
Here’s an example. Budget yourself about ten minutes for this Not Safe For Work or Little Kids diatribe against a guy wearing a #BuildTheWall shirt, delivered by a couple of lightweight yuppies who have yet to realize that denigrating people they don’t know does not create the smug superiority to others that they seek, seem to feel, but do not achieve:
I just learned that Professor Don Kates passed away on the first of the month. Don was a personal and family friend, my student in some things but my teacher in more, and one of the deans of the gun owners’ civil rights movement.
A classic example of the thinking liberal who realized restricting gun ownership caused more bad than good, Don rode with the Freedom Riders as a young man, and clerked with William Kunstler. Don stood alongside other famous liberal thinkers and doers who had come to the same realization: Marc Benenson, for example, and Carol Ruth Silver.