The Incomplete PassOpinion
OPINION — Last week, amid cheers and tears, the US House of Representatives voted to pass the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017. The bill is now on its way to the US Senate, and unless it was entrusted to the US Postal Service, we can assume it will arrive there, and be voted on sometime in the near future. It’s anybody’s guess whether the bill will pass in the Senate. I’m guessing it won’t, but if it does, then it goes to the president, and he will almost certainly sign it. If the Russians haven’t stolen his pen.
Although it’s unlikely CCR will pass the Senate, the possibility has excited a lot of people, both those who want it to pass, and those who don’t. Claims are being made about what the law would do, if implemented. Danders are raised, socks are wadded, feathers are ruffled, and, most unsettling, noses are horribly out of joint. The situation has almost reached crisis mode, and the DoD has raised the national defense threat level to ‘Worry.’ The DoD is not clear on who should worry, or what they should worry about, but that’s not their job, so I guess the onus is on the American People.
As one of the American People, I decided to break my long-standing rule about avoiding research at all costs. I violated my principles and actually looked up the CCR bill in question, which, in the House, is called H.R. 38. Kind of prophetic, maybe. The number, I mean. Also it’s prophetic that I’m actually doing research. Mostly the number, though.
Now, those who don’t want this bill to become law are saying that, if passed, it will allow convicted murderers, rapists, child molesters, jaywalkers, sneak thieves, and even politicians to legally carry guns anywhere they want, in whatever state they want, and no one will be able to stop them. They’re predicting an immediate return of the Old West, indicating that the blood will run hip-deep in the streets of America, and no one will be safe. Because of a bill becoming law.
Of course, these same people predicted the same result each time there was a debate about making it legal for those with concealed weapons licenses to carry guns on college campuses. So far, the only people who have ever used guns to cause problems on college campuses are people who don’t have concealed carry licenses, so the predictions were wrong by, according to my calculations, 100%. Ball park.
So obviously the predictions are overreactions, and because I have actually read the entire bill, moving my lips the whole time, I know what it says. Well, it’s in lawyerese, but I got the gist. You can, too, if you care to look it up. I recommend you do that, if you’re interested. That way you won’t make the mistake Nancy Pelosi did, when she said, on Twitter, “Inviting violent criminals, domestic abusers, and convicted stalkers to carry concealed weapons doesn’t save lives.”
Now, Nancy is right about that, but she indicated that CCR would do those things. It would not. Those people are all barred from being able to get licenses in all 57 states, so CCR would not allow them to legally carry guns anywhere, anytime, for any reason. And Nancy’s claims are indicative of all the others, so that’s enough about that.
What CCR would do, all it would do, would be to require every state to honor concealed carry licenses issued by all other states. CCW holders would still be required to obey the pertinent laws in whatever state they visited, instead of their home state laws, while they were visiting. So, a Texas resident with a CCW would be allowed to legally carry a gun openly at home, but not in Colorado, where that’s illegal. You can legally smoke pot in Colorado, though, so maybe they should be left out of this whole thing.
Most important, to those who are screaming bloody murder, CCR would not allow criminals to carry guns legally anywhere. Criminals would be unaffected by CCR, just as they are unaffected by any other laws. Criminals can already carry guns, concealed, anywhere they want, in any state they want, and they often do that. They just don’t do it legally. That’s pretty much what it means to be a criminal. Laws only affect those who are inclined to obey them. Criminals are, typically, very criminally and stuff.
Now, once a law has been broken, and the perpetrator is caught, the law affects them. They have to pay the penalty then, so laws are good, but they can’t prevent crime, or else there would be no crime now. Because every crime is already against the law. That’s pretty much what crime means. This is all written down someplace. In books, I think.
Anyway, CCR probably won’t pass, partly because it’s lumped in with the bill to beef up the NICS system, which everybody knows is a great idea, so of course a bunch of people are against it. More on that later, unless I forget.
There is also the fact that all states run checks on CCW applicants before they’re issued licenses, so every CCW holder has been judged and found not to be a criminal.
Maybe we should do that with politicians . . .