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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Like The Old West, Only A Black Man Is In Charge

Having grown up in a family where guns were not only used for sport, they were a tradition, of sorts.

I am proud to be the holder of a shotgun that my grandfather made himself back in the early 40s. It is one of my most prized possessions. I also own two small caliber rifles that my father bought me when I turned 13. I haven't used them for many years, but they are still treasured heirlooms.

Several men in my family are avid hunters and my brother owns what can only be described as a cross between a Desert Eagle and something that Harry Callahan would have threatened thugs with in films.

I can understand and appreciate people owning guns, whether to take to the range and fire off a few rounds after work or to hunt with so they can have some trophy or perhaps dinner on a camping trip. But what is the rationale for not only carrying your gun on you at all times but taking it across state lines?

The Thune Amendment thankfully died in the Senate yesterday afternoon.

In a 58-39 vote, supporters of the looser gun law -- including all but two Republicans and 20 moderate Democrats -- fell two votes short of the 60 they needed under Senate rules to approve the measure. The amendment, sponsored by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), showed the bitter divisions among a Democratic caucus that now holds 60 seats, many of whom got to the Senate by winning in conservative states as they proudly supported gun rights. It also divided the party's leadership, as Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), campaigning for re-election in 2010, sided with gun rights supporters. His top lieutenants, Sens. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), led the push against the measure.

Even in defeat, the debate demonstrated the continued power of the National Rifle Association and gun rights advocates in Congress, because the Thune amendment was considered the most far reaching federal effort ever proposed to expand laws to allow weapons ownership.

Considering the very real rift that is growing ever larger within the American community over how Barack Obama and his administration are running things, is this really the time to create a law that would allow anyone with a conceal/carry permit to go trotting across the country with pistol, rifle, shotgun at the ready?

Is this such a concern in these times? Is that what is on the minds of people ( not only in South Dakota ) but in my state of Kentucky - whether or not you can take a gun with you on your travels?

And make no mistake about it, there are some crazy people that own and carry guns.

More from Think Progress

1 comment:

Troy Camplin said...

To be honest, it's not a matter of rationale, but of the Constitution. The 2nd Amendment applies to the federal government, meaning the federal government cannot make any law pohibiting the right to bear arms. It would seem to me that this would necessarily apply to interstate travel. It seems to me that this was an attempt to reinforce the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. Further, the 2nd Amendment was designed to ensure that the populace would be armed, and not just the governments. It's about maintaining a distribution of power in the country. A right to own weapons is one way of ensuring that. I myself don't own a weapon, and I have no interest in doing so. But what I do or don't do has nothing to do with my recognition of the need and desire for such a right to ensure a distribution of power in this country and, thus, the maintenance of some level of liberty.

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