Print Edition - 2017-12-07 | Oped
Nationalizing concealed guns
- The Senate may have to stop a dangerous attempt to nationalize concealed-carry
Dec 7, 2017-
It’s hard to believe that congressional Republicans would react to the nation’s latest mass shootings by advancing a measure that would allow travelers to more easily carry loaded handguns across state lines. But that’s exactly what the G.O.P. majority on the House Judiciary Committee did last week when it approved a bill that pleases the National Rifle Association while ignoring the public’s need for stronger gun safety. The bill would require each state to recognize the “concealed carry” gun permits of all other states. The permit of a gun owner from Georgia, where weak standards allow even abusive partners to carry hidden guns, would be legally valid in New York, which strictly restricts gun sales and does not recognize any other state’s concealed-carry permits. The measure fits well with the fantasies of vigilante justice peddled by President Trump in last year’s campaign and enthusiastically embraced by the N.R.A. Mr. Trump, who once favored strong gun controls, reduced the mass shooting epidemic to a Marvel comics scenario in which justice is done and deliverance achieved by heroic gunplay. Genuine self-defense episodes, however, are scarce. Deaths caused by concealed-carry gun owners are not. Research shows that far from stopping mayhem, concealed-carry gun owners have been doing more harm to themselves, their family members and other innocent victims. Concealed-carry has basically become a marketing tool as gun ownership has been dropping. Nevertheless, some buyers are sold on the idea that they are somehow safer if they can carry a loaded pistol concealed from the rest of society. The Senate may ultimately have to stop this dangerous attempt to nationalize concealed-carry against the wishes of safety-minded states.
Published: 07-12-2017 07:37