Bullet in the head of a ridiculous law

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By Ben Carlson


Column as I see ’em …

It’s rare these days when proponents of the 2nd Amendment have a reason to celebrate, and rarer yet when that reason emanates from a state like California.

With little fanfare and a begrudging attitude from gun control advocates disguised as reporters, news broke Thursday that the United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel overturned restrictions on carrying concealed handguns.

No, that doesn’t mean gun owners no longer need to apply and be approved for concealed carry permits, but pending future and inevitable appeals from gun control zealots, it does strike a blow to local municipalities that place unrealistic restrictions on those who apply for a permit.

Those restrictions can border on lunacy, and in often make obtaining a concealed carry permit so daunting that many don’t even bother to apply.

In 2012, California lawmakers foolishly took away the right to openly carry even unloaded guns, let alone guns that are concealed.

Gun owners sued, saying that between the outrageous requirements to obtain a conceal carry permit and the inability to openly carry, the government had effectively taken away their constitutional right to defend themselves.

‘Ya think?

These weren’t shady characters seeking loopholes in gun laws so they could knock off the corner liquor store. They were law-abiding citizens who were trained in gun use and had met the requirements of a background check.

So why were they denied a conceal carry permit? Because they couldn’t cite a specific reason why they needed to carry a gun, that’s why, which is nothing short of ridiculous.

Of course, the reaction from anti-gun groups is equal parts hilarious and predictable. Almost immediately, gun haters started tossing around all manner of irresponsible rhetoric, including describing the decision as “an aberrant and reckless expansion of law that would lead to more gun violence,” according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

No, the “aberrant and reckless expansion of the law” came in the form of laws that violated the 2nd Amendment, and when they were overturned by a panel of the most openly liberal U.S. Circuit Court in the United States, even zealots should realize how aberrant those laws truly are.

Speaking of gun laws …

As a native of the state of New York, I clenched my teeth from afar when the legislature there violated the 2nd Amendment regarding military-styled rifles.

No more than seven round magazines, no collapsible stocks, pistol grips, blah, blah, blah. Of course, none of that made any difference to those who live in the real world because those guns were functionally no different or more powerful than some used every day by hunters, target shooters and the like.

Trouble was, pistol grips, flash suppressors and the like looked mean and scary and for those who allow their emotions to trump rational thought, and banning them, while accomplishing absolutely nothing, made them feel better.

News surfaced last week that gun manufacturers have already designed an AR-15 that does everything an AR is supposed to do, but meets New York’s ridiculous requirements.

Now a nearly identical rifle with the same capabilities is once again available to New Yorkers, proving that when ignorant people create stupid laws, intelligent people will almost immediately figure out how to render them, and their foolishness, useless.

Speaking of foolishness …

I heard on the radio a sound bite of Gov. Susana Martinez lobbying to get more money into the state budget to buy school textbooks.

That’s admirable, but it has always flummoxed me to understand why it’s so hard these days to provide students with textbooks, and why that job has fallen to states vs. local school districts.

Given the amount of money spent on everything, but specific items used directly in educating a child, it’s a wonder that local boards of education don’t list textbooks among the top budget priorities each year, and place other, non-classroom items a bit further down the list.

Instead, they — and by “they” I mean districts across the country — have fallen into a trap that, without the state and federal government, local folks don’t have the capacity or wherewithal to educate their own children.

That might be true in terms of big-ticket items such as new buildings that otherwise wouldn’t be built without federal aid, but surely there are budget items in even the poorest of districts that could and should be supplanted to ensure each child has the required textbooks.


Ben Carlson is publisher of the Los Alamos Monitor, and he genuinely enjoys responses to his columns, particularly from those who disagree. Reach him at bcarlson@lamonitor.com.