USA Today Fundamentally Misunderstands the Issue

Via Another Gun Blog, we have this interesting story from USA Today, where they seem to make the common mistake of thinking that guns are a rural vs. urban issue:

It makes no sense to make cities such as Los Angeles and Boston, which have significant urban crime, to conform to the politics of rural places. Nor is there much sense in forcing urban police officers to make instant decisions on the legitimacy of pieces of paper handed to them by menacing looking people packing heat.

USA Today overlook the fact that of our major cities, most of them are in states that allow law abiding citizens to obtain licenses to carry concealed firearms.  Let’s take a look at our top 20 cities by population.  Of the top 5 cities, two of them are in right-to-carry states.  Of the top 10, a full half are in right-to-carry states.  Of the top 20, 13 are in right-to-carry states.  If you look at the safest large cities in America, six of the top ten are located in right-to-carry states, four of those being in gun loving Texas.

So, USA Today, the vast majority of urban areas are already under the circumstances you so lament, and many of them have remarkably low crime rates.  This is not a rural vs. urban issue.  It’s a freedom issue.  And it’s been demonstrated time and again that people are responsible enough to use this freedom wisely.

9 thoughts on “USA Today Fundamentally Misunderstands the Issue”

  1. The argument USA today is trying to make, makes absolutely no sense.

    “It makes no sense to make cities such as Los Angeles and Boston, which have significant urban crime, to conform to the politics of rural places.”

    This is an ignorant argument that keeps popping up in the media. First off, it’s not a political issue, it’s a civil rights issue. And as a civil rights issue, the argument is completely invalid.

    The same argument would support the idea that Los Angeles and Boston should have the right to restrict suspend all civil rights of the people because of the unique problems they have.

    “Nor is there much sense in forcing urban police officers to make instant decisions on the legitimacy of pieces of paper handed to them by menacing looking people packing heat.”

    The process of verifying a CCW permit would be no different than how they verify an out of state drivers license.

    1. Heh, I love the reference to Boston. I used to carry in Boston all the time. I even took my gun to the State House. Granted, I had to check it, but they did allow me to load it in front of all the visitors when I was ready to leave. That was fun. :)

  2. Sebastian, I think some folks (and possibly lawmakers) have another twist on the issue, that of States’ Rights (or better, State sovereignty). I just heard Glen Beck (big gun lover and 2A supporter) on Fox News tell Senator Thune that he was not unhappy with the voting results, that he (Beck) felt it was a victory for the 10th Amendment. He made some good points, although Mr. Thune countered with some good points of his own (“full faith and credit” requirements, akin to drivers’ and marriage licenses). It was a very educational discussion, but it shows we in the pro-constitutional camp need to reconcile some of our issues before we can present a united front to Congress.
    I think it can be done with a little tweaking. Certainly the problems facing transient carry through States can be remedied without violating a State’s sovereign power to determine standards for their own residents. I know we can do that without a major overhaul in time to attach it to the next Obama-must-sign bill.

  3. Arnie:

    Congress has the power to do something like this under the 14th Amendment. It’s not a 10th Amendment issues, because protecting enumerated constitutional rights is a power explicitly granted to Congress.

  4. Just once I would like a newspaper or TV journalist to explain why the “urban” is different from the “rural”. They both have guns, but only one has runaway crime. To insist that the guns be taken away is to assert that the residents cannot hold themselves to a decent standard of civilized behavior – and should not be thus held by the rest of us. This oblique statement of belief in their inferiority is nothing other than latent racism. I tried to explain this once to the editor-in-chief of the Philly Inquirer. He didn’t understand. In general, journalists are nowhere near as bright as they’d have you believe they are.

  5. Sebastian, I must admit to some confusion here. It may be I am just misreading your last post, and if so, I apologize. But if you would bear with me perhaps I can explain my bewilderment.
    Are you saying that one State’s concealed carry permit is an “enumerated Constitutional right” that the 14th Amendment empowers Congress to protect against infringement by another State within the latter’s borders?
    Or are you sayng Concealed Carry is a 2A right against Federal infringement that the 14th Amendment incorporates against State governments as well?
    Or are you referring to a right to interstate travel without undue interference by States along the route (this, I think, was Thune’s point to Glen Beck)?
    I apologize for the inquiry, but you really stunned me with that assertion. I am at a loss to denominate the specific “enumerated Constitutional right” you mentioned in regard to this bill. I keep thinking I must have missed something here (and I confess I have not read the actual text of the bill). In all sincerity, please help me.
    As always,

  6. It’s a difficult issue Arnie, because this is a very non-ideal situation. Ideally the bill would have just said any American citizen who can legally own a gun can carry or transport the gun anywhere in the United States.

    What you have is the federal government demanding, under the 14th amendment, that the states recognize each other’s permits, and with Vermonters and Alaskans, who don’t need permits, allowed to carry anywhere in the United States without a license (as it should be). It’s not so much a question of whether you have an enumerated right to a license, so much as whether you have an enumerated right to carry a gun, which I think you do. The question then becomes what restrictions the state governments may place on the exercise of that right. This bill did not choose to address whether state permits to carry were constitutional, but merely suggested the patchwork of reciprocity arrangement interfered too greatly with the fundamental right.

  7. Thank you, Sebastian! You are right, reciprocity is a complicated issue (after all, look at State disparities re same-sex marriage!). I agree wholeheartedly that States need to respect other States’ permitted CC by interstate transients. I know that can be a can of worms, but the inalienable right to self-defense (covered, I believe, by the Ninth Amendment and thus also the 14th) is worth the hassle.
    Thanks again for helping me understand.
    All the best,

  8. No, it’s not a complicated issue. Permits should be honored under the full faith and credit clause of the constitution. It’s no different than a marriage license or a drivers license.

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