Debate Magazine

Dennis A. Henigan on HR-822

Posted on the 30 November 2011 by Mikeb302000
Huffington Post published an article by Dennis Henigan which contained some extremely clear examples of what's wrong with concealed carry reciprocity.
First, when it comes to gun issues, we often hear the refrain from the right, "We don't need new laws, we need to enforce the laws we have." Yet the "Packing Heat on Your Street Act" is a proposed new law that undercuts the authority of states to enforce their existing laws on concealed weapons. Even states that have relatively permissive concealed carry laws still have restrictions that have been built into current law in the interest of public safety.
For example, the State of Arkansas bars concealed carry by persons who have voluntarily committed themselves to a mental institution or who are chronic abusers of alcohol. Under H.R. 822, Arkansas could enforce those restrictions against its own residents, but not against visitors who have licenses to carry from states that lack the same restrictions.
He goes on the mention what everybody's talking about, even some of the gun-rights folks, that the proposed legislation trumps states' rights in favor of the fed. This is the very thing the gun-rights crowd usually opposes.
He also touched upon something the pro-gun voices keep trying to slip into the argument, the idea that concealed carry is protected by the 2nd Amendment.  It isn't.
The right recognized in Justice Scalia's majority opinion in Heller is that of "law abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home," not the right to carry guns in public.
Most people seem to think the bill will not go further than the Senate. But the fact that it passed Congress by a huge margin is a terrible indictment of the system which is corrupted by the NRA and gun lobby. The special interests carry more weight than simple questions of right and wrong.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

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