Yes, Your Legislator Is Anti-Gun

I received a comment on an earlier blog post calling me out for being unfair to Congressman Dean Heller (R-Safest Seat In The Country) and at least one state legislator. I’ve gotten comments like this in person as well. Most often state legislators Ty Cobb and James Settlemeyer are mentioned as being friends of gun rights. Mind you, I never mentioned any of these people by name in that blog post. I merely said we have no friends in Carson City when it comes to gun rights. And I stand by that statement.

Let me make this clear. If you are not a leader on gun rights – if you don’t have that fire in the belly for the right to self-defense of every American citizen – then you are not a friend of gun rights. It’s just that simple.Yes, all three of the above mentioned legislators are above average when voting on gun rights. But in this case, average stinks and above average is not praise worthy. Above average merely means you’re a little less awful. And all evidence to the contrary, I’d like to believe we can do a little better than that.

If I vote correctly on 9 out of 10 gun rights bills, then vote incorrectly on the tenth, I do not get a grade of 90%. That’s not how rights work. This isn’t your high school civics class. This is your rights we’re talking about. You either have them, ALL OF THE TIME, or you don’t have them at all.

And when have any of these stalwart supporters of gun rights introduced a constitutional carry bill? (Constitutional carry is what they have in Vermont: No license, no fees, you can concealed carry a gun as long as you are not a violent felon.) When has any of them worked to get such a bill out of committee? Worked to garner a majority on the floor? Want to know the answer to those questions? Never. Want to guess when they will do so in the future? How’s the week after never strike you? Congressman Heller wouldn’t be able to introduce such a bill. But when has he introduced a bill to repeal one single gun control statute? Answer: Never. He found time, by the way, to introduce an “English Only” ballot law. And while I heartily applaud any senseless bigotry we can muster these days (irony alert), I think his time might have been better spent bolstering one of our foundational rights, don’t you?

Yes, I have been unfair to these legislators. I have treated them as adult humans, rather than the self-serving, ambitious creatures they are. I have given them the benefit of the doubt rather than scold them for being lapdogs of the NRA. I have failed to point out that the NRA is not a gun rights group, but an anti-gun rights monstrosity that’s more interested in its bloated budget than our right to defend ourselves. These have been my failings, and I promise never to do them again.

If a legislator is not promoting your right to self-defense as his top priority, then he’s not doing his job. I know one state legislator who is, his friends assure me, “pro-gun” but hasn’t introduced a constitutional carry bill because, as he explained to me, “I don’t have any bill drafts left.” But he did have a bill draft available to allow motorcyclists to ride without a helmet.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for motorcyclists being free to maim themselves as much as they feel necessary. But it seems to me that when our basic right to self-defense has been licensed and regulated into a privilege, encouraging head trauma can wait. Don’t ya think?

A Democratic state legislator introduced a “Castle Doctrine” bill this last session. (The Castle Doctrine states that you do not have a duty to retreat if attacked in your home. And you are justified in using lethal force to resist that attack.) This legislator, when asked point blank, didn’t even know what the castle doctrine was. Really. But some of his constituents must have asked for it, so he introduced it. He didn’t do anything to get it passed, and it died. But at least he introduced it. Have any of our Republican stalwarts, our gun rights heroes, done as much? Did any one of them take up the charge and fight for the castle doctrine to get hearings? Did any of them notice that they’re supposed to be from the party of gun rights?

I have a friend who has theorized as to why Democrats regularly introduce anti-gun bills that end up going nowhere, while Republicans rarely introduce pro-gun legislation. First, Democratic legislators understand that eventually, no matter how bad an idea their bill embodies, they may wear down the opposition and sneak it through. For instance, bills banning ammunition and certain classes of weapons are introduced just about every session, both federally and in every state. They usually go nowhere. The faithful are rallied on each side and the bill dies. In the meantime we get great fund raising for the gun grabbers in favor of the bill, and great fund raising for the NRA gun grabbers and their clones on the other side. And it didn’t cost the Democratic legislator(s) who introduced the bill one thin dime.

Now, take a Republican legislator. He says he’s pro-gun. His constituents beg him to introduce pro-gun legislation, or to repeal some already passed piece of gun control legislation. But he never does introduce it. Why? Because Republicans are charged a nickel a word for their bill submissions.

Sound silly? Okay, have you got a better explanation? Would your better explanation sound like this? “Well, um . . . uh . . . he’s . . ahem . . really not . . . cough cough . . .  pro-gun.” Because that’s the only explanation that makes sense if they’re not being charged by the word.

So, let’s be realistic here. Until one of our stalwart state assemblymen and one of our stalwart state senators introduce a constitutional carry bill and attempt to get it passed, they are all anti-gun rights. Not one of them favors your right to self-defense. And no matter what that blaze orange NRA report card says come election day, they are not your friends, and they are most certainly not doing their job to protect your rights. Until next time.

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Published in: on August 8, 2009 at 8:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

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