One of the few so-called ‘reasonable’ Civil Rights restrictions President Elect Obama endorsed while actually campaigning for the presidency was a Federal level ban on legal Concealed Carry of Firearms.
While I don’t think Obama will come out and ask Congress to pass such a law as part of his agenda, he doesn’t have to. I think Congress knows his preference and if they can pass it without too much trouble, from constituents, the opposition, or the States, Reid and Pelosi will. Obama would certainly sign such a bill into law if it landed on his desk and he doesn’t have to take a position publicly other than that.
Let’s examine the ramifications if it does happen.
40 some states have Shall Issue conceal carry laws. 48 have some sort of conceal carry provision. All those states would be stepped on. But let’s put aside that federal republic falderal for now.
The purpose of banning conceal carry to protect people from being shot by someone. Someone with a concealed weapon could assault or murder an innocent with that weapon. It’s purpose is also to cut down on accidents, but the rate of accidental shootings approaches zero, statistically. The main purpose is to cut down on gun crime.
Current CCW holders are some of the most vetted and law abiding people in the country. Many are better trained than any standard police officer. And many ARE police officers. The Secret Service would much prefer to have the President in a room full of CCW holders than a room full of armed criminals. And the President would be, in fact, much safer in a room of CCW holders, all armed, than in a room of criminals, all armed.
CCW holders don’t commit crime. The crime statistics from legal conceal carry permit holders is even smaller than accidental shootings from negligent discharges from the same group. Police officers commit felonies at a higher rate than CCW holders.
Those people, the CCW holders, are most likely to comply with a ban on conceal carry. They are not scofflaws. They wouldn’t like it, and a small subset wouldn’t comply, but for the most part they would render themselves defenseless.
Criminals already don’t comply with Conceal Carry laws, and there is no indication that they would if conceal carry was made MORE illegal. They are criminals, they break laws by definition. If they are willing to rape, rob, and kill they are certainly willing to violate a law with less punishment like concealed weapon prohibitions.
Conclusion: A federal ban on Conceal Carry would do next to nothing to fulfill it’s stated purpose of reducing crime and accidents. Many more people will be victimized by being rendered defenseless than would be saved by the law’s passing. The ban isn’t targeted at crime, but against law abiding innocents.
Further, rational actors know this.
So, passing of a federal ban must have a purpose beyond the stated. Unless it’s proponents are acting irrationally. I believe most are. They support such a law because they are politicians and believe their constituency wants it. Political action is certainly not rational all the time. Politicians may have political principles that necessitate an action that complies with their world view, and that is impervious to rational argument, as well. They comply with their erroneous political philosophy on how they WISHED the world worked, not how it actually does. Finally there are those, motivated by a thirst for power over others, that want to subjugate the people and control them, and they can more easily do this if the subjects can’t resist agents of the government. Paranoids believe this last type of supporter is the most numerous. They may be right. Just because they are paranoid doesn’t mean they are wrong. Optimistic little old me believes this third group are a much smaller subset than assumed by the most strident 2nd Amendment enthusiast. Most politicians enjoy their power, but not to that great an extent. Most politicians are not monsters.
So three types of politicians support the federal ban, those acting purely on politics and damn the truth, those that adhere to an erroneous irrational political philosophy, and tyrants. None of these motivations is truly defensible except perhaps the first. And that purely political calculation goes away when the voting public is informed about the issue.
And hence the purpose of this post…
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