Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Thune Amendment, I'm torn

I can't decide, I know this has already been shot down, but I'm trying to figure out which of my senators (Lugar, a republican who's getting a lot of credit for shooting it down, or Bayh, a democrat who voted for it, crazy) to send the angry letter to. On one hand I personally would like other states to recognize my concealed carry permit. On the other hand, I don't want the federal government meddling in state affairs.

Federal standardization of permit requirements was a fear of opponents, who stated that the amendment would essentially allow non-residents to carry without meeting the visited state's requirements. The opponents also cited extreme cases of criminals with guns, child molesters, etc. Ok, we get it, your rare exceptions to the rule and crazy examples are valid reasons to oppose this amendment.

So what do I think? I was surprised to learn that 48 states allow concealed carry, only my two neighbors Illinois and Wisconsin do not (they're 'special'). I like the idea to be able to carry into other states, but not necessarily at the expense of state sovereignty. I believe I'll take the Star Trek way out, and propose a third option. Expand on what already exists. Several states have already figured out on their own, without any federal legislation, how to identify other states that share similar permit requirements, and have decided to acknowledge them. Indiana requires a background check to obtain a permit, if Virginia requires a background check and a training course, Indiana should happily recognize their permit. So if the Fed wants to do something, create a voluntary group of which participating states meet a set of minimum permit requirements.

One last comment, it's pretty absurd to allow visiting residents a pass on any law just because it's law in their state. Would that ever slide with gay marriage, tax rates, um, uh, gun laws? Next time I visit Illinios I'll just tell them, "Well we don't have a county tax back home, I'll just go ahead and not pay that here either."


Chrissy Conklin said...

Send angry letters to everyone. I find that sharing rage is quite calming.

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