It has been a heck of a week, hasn’t it? As I write this, HR 38…the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017…just passed the House of Representatives. But apparently that is not good news, since the bill does not reset American gun control law back to 1791 in one fell swoop. I am also apparently not pure in my support of the 2nd Amendment, unless I reject all gun legislation which does not do precisely that.
At least that’s what it sounds like, if you listen to the furball of commentary on the internet surrounding the passage of HR 38, which was combined with a “fix NICS” bill designed to enforce compliance from Federal and state agencies who are required to submit certain records to the NICS system. The aforementioned commentary from self-proclaimed 2nd Amendment purists has informed me that because requiring permits to carry is unconstitutional, and because background checks are unconstitutional…that an otherwise positive piece of legislation must be run through the shredder, and the bits lit on fire.
While a law ensuring that citizens who can carry a gun in one jurisdiction will be able to carry in all of them might seem like a good thing, purists insist that in fact it is not. And although ensuring that currently prohibited persons are reported as required by law might sound reasonable, purists are quite clear that in fact it is not.
Give me a break.
Ideologically, I am about as pure on the 2nd Amendment as you can get. I have positions on gun freedom that will make many “gun people” cringe, if not try to throw a net over me. As such, I submit to you some of those positions, as the 2nd Amendment Purity Test:
- I believe that no one should be required to have any sort of permit to own or to carry a gun. Period.
- I believe that there should be no background checks whatsoever.
- I do not believe there should be such a thing as a “prohibited person.” If you cannot be trusted to have a gun because of criminal tendencies or mental illness, you should be confined.
- I do not believe that there should be any restrictions on the type of firearm a free person may own.
- I do not believe there should be any such thing as a Federal Firearms License to sell guns, even as a business.
- I do not believe that there should be any “gun free zones,” anywhere. Period.
But this is an admittedly Utopian ideal, and I am not going to oppose legislation which does not achieve it. Not because I don’t want it, but because I live in the real world. And because I live in the real world, I can accept measures which, while imperfect, increase gun freedom. This is not 1791, and it is unrealistic to expect that it ever will be again. We have the world we have, and we must work within the confines of reality if we expect to regain even a little of the liberty we enjoyed in the past. Rejecting national reciprocity because we’d prefer national Constitutional carry is dumb. Rejecting the enforcement of NICS because we disagree with it is just as dumb. And if we continue to reject progress simply because it does not return us to the days of the founding, we will continue to lose.
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