The shooting and killing of a security guard at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC may be the catalyst that gay rights groups have been looking for to be added to protected individuals in federal hate crime legislation.
And a pro-gun gay rights organization in DC now wants national concealed carry added to the bill, saying not only are they a group that is preyed upon, but that they should have the right to carry firearms anywhere in the U.S. to defend themselves.
That has gun rights organizations split. GOProud, the organization in Washington DC pushing the issue.
"The amendment to the hate-crimes bill would allow Americans with concealed-weapons permits to carry their guns across state lines. Congress "should pass legislation that will empower individuals to defend themselves before they become another hate crime victim," wrote GOProud board member Christopher Barron in a commentary."
Interestingly, a small national gun rights organization is coming out strongly against this move. The National Association for Gun Rights' Dudley Brown has been sending emails urging that such a measure not pass. His argument:
"Hear me out. I know some of our supporters like this idea, and I can understand that. But there's more going on here than you may realize. First of all, once you let federal bureaucrats control CCW permits for all 50 states, the same bureaucrats will control the content of those permits.
"Understand this: Once you've handed the reins over to Washington to federalize CCWs nationwide, the gun grabbers would only need to amend this one piece of code to strip the whole nation of its gun rights -- because that code determines the CCW rules of all 50 states. And what's the easiest place to start with such a broadly-written bill like this? Legislate by the least common denominator: Do you want to see New York-style CCW in your home state?
"And those of you with New England-style rules who enjoy carrying in schools, restaurants, and bars: Do you want those liberties to disappear? While it may not happen THIS YEAR, it will be a constant threat and a real danger every year. In truth, this is exactly the opposite of what Montana did with its groundbreaking “Montana Made” legislation. Instead of telling the feds to get out of the firearm regulation business, national reciprocity invites them in. That’s not a good thing.
"Second, if this bill passes, the feds will have a complete list of CCW holders for all 50 states. How else would they make the states enforce CCWs nationwide? Do you want the ATF to have a list of every CCW holder in America? I know I don't. This amendment is a question of power and regulation -- and of stripping rights from states and giving them to the feds."
I still need to do some more research on this. One comment from a criminologist has some legs that, sadly, may resonate with the public, though I sense he is anti-gun. He parrots the anti self defense crowd when he states that because the recent crimes have been shootings, that public opinion may go against firearms. Frankly I doubt this. We have had school shootings in the past year and public opinion has galvanized that the public has the right to defend itself. Much to the anti-gunner chagrin, the public is coming around to the fact that violent criminals have guns. That is why we are seeing a significant uptick in firearms purchases at retail outlets, and by people attending gun shows -- who have never been there before -- to pick up books and purchase firearms and ammunition for their self defense.
This is an interesting debate. I will comment more on this as I delve more deeply into it.