If you live in, near, or have some relationship to Kansas, be sure to contact Governor Brownback to ensure we get a signature here. Remember, Bloomberg tried pretty hard to stop Constitutional Carry in Kansas, and it would be an awful shame to get this far and fail because the Governor didn’t hear from enough of us. If a signature is forthcoming, Kansas will join Vermont, Alaska, Arizona, Wyoming, and Arkansas to become the sixth state to pass Constitutional Carry.
This is continuing to progress. Maybe not quite as fast as shall-issue licensed carry, but it is continuing.
And yet, I hated every single moment of the address. Why? Well, because for all his obvious talent Cruz’s rhetorical style frankly makes my hair curl a little. Striking a pose that lands somewhere between the oleaginousness of a Joel Osteen and the self-assuredness of a midwestern vacuum-cleaner salesman, Cruz delivers his speeches as might a mass-market motivational speaker in an Atlantic City Convention Center.
Opening your campaign at Liberty U doesn’t signal to me. Well, it does, but not the benefit of Ted Cruz. I’m still leaning Walker. Tactically, I think Cruz was smart coming out early. He’ll consolidate a lot of support around him that might otherwise go to Huckabee, Santorum, or some of the other culture warriors who may enter the race.
It’s probably important for Walker to win the Iowa Caucuses. That’s probably why he’ll pander. Iowa is a neighboring mid-western state, and a loss there will signal Walker can’t find traction even among his own people. Rand might give Walker a run for his money in New Hampshire and Colorado, and non-southern politicians typically don’t do well in southern primaries, so South Carolina isn’t a sure thing either.
Still, we’re a year away from the start of the silly season, and Putin could get a lot more frisky, the middle east could be an even bigger mess, the economy could tank again, and all that could change the dynamic of the race.
I was previously wary of National Reciprocity supported solely on the herpes theory of the commerce clause, so I don’t outright scoff at people’s concerns with federal involvement in this area. But with the advent of Heller and McDonald rulings, Congress now has another, more constitutional avenue to legislature in this area, namely Section 5 of the 14th Amendment, which grants Congress the power to enforce its provisions that guarantee rights. This has been used to promote civil rights in many contexts in the post-Civil-War period. National Reciprocity is really a quite appropriate exercise of this power, given that the Heller decision assumed a right to carry a firearm, and the Court applied it to the states in McDonald. In fact, I’ll go farther and argue that Congressional action is likely the only way we’re going to restore the Second Amendment to the few remaining states which disrespect it. So let me take on some of NAGR’s arguments.
NAGR argues that the Second Amendment is the only license you should need. No one steeped in this debate disagrees that there should be no licensing requirement for exercising your Second Amendment rights. But Congressional action here doesn’t necessarily legitimize licensing. Previous Supreme Court rulings make Congressional action on unsettled issues like licensing problematic. Even with National Reciprocity, the other side will certainly argue City of Boerne v. Flores, which circumscribed Congressional power under the 14th Amendment. Congress attacking licensing might spark a turf war with the courts, such as happened in the City of Boerne case. We want to be cautious about reaching too far without more guidance from the Court.
NAGR argues that this bill is a trojan horse that will pave the way for federal control of licensing and carry. That is false. This bill gives no federal agency any regulatory control. It will be a law passed by Congress and enforced by the federal courts against the states. Could Congress pass such regulatory control in the future? Sure. But they can do that whether we pass National Reciprocity or not. Groups like NAGR act like anti-gun folks never thought of passing federal gun control before we gave them the idea. Nonsense!
NAGR uses Obama’s lawlessness as a reason not to do this. But this bill offers Obama no regulatory power to abuse. Could he just mandate something anyway? Sure, but again, he could do that right now. It will come down to what the federal courts let him get away with. That’s true with or without federal reciprocity.
NAGR calls this the “National CCW Registration Act,” despite the fact that there is no registration component to the bill. Nothing changes in regards to federal involvement in carry permitting, and nothing could change. All the law does is demand that states recognize each other’s licenses to carry. No more, no less.
NAGR is simply wrong on this issue, very badly wrong. Some Senators and Congressmen may use Dudley Brown’s opposition as cover to avoid taking a hard vote on this. I’ve made no secret that I don’t like Brown or his organization, but even I honestly don’t know what’s he’s even thinking here.
I don’t think we ought to stop with National Reciprocity either. Lately I’ve liked Glenn Reynolds idea of mandating that, for someone not prohibited by federal law from possessing a firearm, they can’t be sentenced to more than a petty offense, with a fine not to exceed $500 dollars, for any firearm violation not involving the commission of another serious, violent crime. It would be a good next step, and hopefully compatible with City of Boerne. At the least, it represents the kind of remedy we can probably only get from Congressional action under the 14th Amendment.
I would ignore NAGR’s plea to oppose this law, and make sure your friends know it too. NAGR has built up quite a Facebook presence, so Dudley could do serious damage in trying to move this or any other federal civil rights bills forward if more sensible people don’t help educate.
This bit from Jim Geraghty might shed some light on why so many Republicans are reluctant to alienate hispanic voters:
There are, in some circles, this insistence that “if we Republicans want to win again, we just need to do what Ronald Reagan did” as if 30 years hadn’t passed since Reagan’s last electoral victory. (If you plug Reagan’s winning percentages among various demographics into the 2012 electorate, Reagan loses.)
It might also explain why they want to run Jeb, as his brother managed to peel off a good big of the Hispanic vote from the Dems. Personally, rather than the mindless pandering the establishment GOP seems to like, I think the solution is “libertarian populism,” as it’s being called; basically railing against crony capitalism going after big corporations that buy favors and protection from government reduce competition in the marketplace. You can read more about that in Glenn Reynolds latest USA Today column.
Bloomberg has launched a campaign to stop constitutional carry’s momentum, which is evident from all the opposition pieces in the media using their poll showing people don’t want it. If you read how the poll was asked, there is probably a lot of confusion about whether support for the permit system is a pro or anti-gun position. I would argue their poll results are useless for supporting their position.
And this is hardly a comprehensive list. Overall, we’re doing pretty well, though we do risk going backwards in Oregon. There are a lot of blue states that are unfortunately probably lost causes over the long term.
All it took to get my PA License to Carry was to go down to the local County Office, fill out a form, get my photo taken, pay $26 dollars, and one week later the license came in the mail after clearing the PICS check. That’s it.
To get a Florida license, I first had to get a training certificate. That wasn’t free. I think the one day course cost about 150 dollars. Next, I had to go down to my local police station and get fingerprinted. They charge ten dollars to do that. I had to get passport photos, so another $15 or so dollars. I had to fill out a form that was much more involved than the one Pennsylvania requires. I had to write out a check for 112 dollars, and send the application packet in. I had it sent back, because they require the LEO contact information to be on the fingerprint card, and I had forgotten that. Then I had to wait while they ran the FBI check. The license came in about 4 weeks.
No one who has ever had to use both systems would argue that Florida has the weaker system.
I’d also point out that no one on the editorial board even bothered to look up that Pennsylvania and Florida already have reciprocity, and that the bill currently in Congress would not allow a state resident to carry in her-or-her own state solely on an out-of-state license. So with regards to their objection about Florida, the bill in Congress would change absolutely nothing.
Another case of CSGV being classy. Personally, I think it’s a tacit admission that their side is more motivated to action by cultural condescension and hate than they are by reducing gun violence. Where’s the fun if you can’t hate on people you think are beneath you?
Many conservatives are blowing it on Ferguson, according to Red State. Red State is usually a bit too SoCo for my tastes, but they are absolutely right in pointing this out. Conservatives have to start taking police abuses seriously if they want to have any prayer of splitting black voters away from the Democrats. It’s also the right thing to do.