A quick thought.
Had a lively discussion with a friend over last weekend regarding HB822. This is a guy I took shooting for his first time (well, he participated in some reenactments (Revolutionary War or War Between the States, I don’t remember)) several months ago. He is apparently against the bill as he thinks it violates state sovereignty (i.e.: a violation of the 10th Amendment). But he’s from New Jersey, so I can forgive him for not fully grasping what a Constitutional Republic is. After all, being from the Volksrepublik of Massachusetts, it took me a while to really get it. And I’m still learning.
He set up a straw man argument saying that, assuming that a state’s laws are constitutional (a huge and largely incorrect assumption, in this case), then why should states not be able to set up their own rules for carrying a firearm?
My answer to that is that first, any restriction on keeping or bearing arms is unconstitutional, so the argument is moot in this case. However, New Jersey and New York (and really, Maryland, as well, but I don’t hear about them violating FOPA in practice like I do NJ and NY, but they do join NJ and NY in violating my right to bear arms), are also interfering with my right to travel to New Hampshire. His response was “…travel with a weapon.”
Well, I say that even the “weapon” moniker is a distinction without significance. After all, there are a number of things I can use as a weapon. Are you going to allow for states to require that I travel naked, encased in a straight jacket? Heck, even if I acknowledge that the primary purpose of a gun, particularly a handgun, are to repel a threat (i.e.: used as a weapon), is that not the right that the 2nd Amendment acknowledges and guarantees?
So then we went on to discuss the nature of a right. I explained that it is perfectly appropriate for the FedGov to intervene when a state is stomping on individual rights, as it is also appropriate for state or local governments to intervene when the FedGov is harassing the people and eating out their substance. But what it came down to is that we had different opinions on the nature of a human right. He brought up voting rights, but I quickly shot back that that is not a human right, as it is quite irrelevant if there is no government to begin with. The RKBA exists regardless of the existence of any government.
My friend apparently missed the “infringed” part of the 2A. He seemed to believe it was not an infringement for state government to require training or impose other restrictions on a right.
Anyhow, what boggled my mind later, and what I’ll probably ask my friend when I see him next, is this: So you are okay with forcing states to recognize my license to propel a 3000+ lbs. hunk of metal barreling down their highways with up to 15 gallons of liquid explosive? And it kills up to 50% more Americans every year than guns.
All that said, I do agree with the GOA that HB2900 is a much better piece of legislation, partly because it relies on Full Faith and Credit, rather the flawed basis of the Commerce Clause. It also doesn’t leave Vermont in the dust, and if I’m not mistaken, will also allow, for example, MA residents to obtain FL carry permits that allow them to carry in MA.