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Thursday, July 30, 2009

E. J. Dionne's Snarky Guns in the Capitol Column

On Monday, the E. J. Dionne, Jr had a snarky little column in the Washington Post titled Arm the Senate. In this column the opines about the hypocrisy of the Senate because guns are banned at the Capitol but a bipartisan majority of the members voted for the Thune Amendment on National Concealed Carry Reciprocity allowing individuals who have concealed carry permits to be able to carry across state lines. People carrying concealed from one state to another would have to abide by the laws in the state in which they are carrying regarding where they can carry etc. Many of the Senators including Virginia's Jim Webb stated this is would help deter crime.

Dionne writes:

If they believe that, why don't they live by it?

Why would freedom-loving lawmakers want to hide behind guards and metal detectors? Shouldn't NRA members be outraged that Second Amendment rights mean nothing in the very seat of our democracy?
Dionne's article prompted Martina Leinz, President of the Northern Virginia Chapter of the Million Mom March, to write the usual rant against the NRA and the so-called "gun show loophole" in a letter to the editor published yesterday:

At gun shows in Virginia, and other states, private sellers aren't required to conduct background checks, so anyone can purchase anything, even high-powered assault weapons, no questions asked. Congress has failed to close the gun-show loophole, and pro-gun Republicans and Democrats alike continually try, at the NRA's urging, to repeal sensible measures such as outlawing guns on college campuses, in bars and in national parks.
I did not post about this article on Monday because it was typical Dionne and Washington Post tripe but I ran across the Leinz LTE and a good rebuttal on National Review Online, so I thought I would take a moment to share the rebuttal as well as the Dionne piece for context.

On the Corner blog at NRO, Ramesh Ponnuru wrote:
It is a clever idea for a column, and it took me a little while to think through why I think Dionne's logic is unsound. But unsound I think it is. I think supporters of conceal carry can readily concede that a regime of metal detectors and armed officers trained to protect people and surrounding the workplace is superior to conceal carry as a way of protecting congressmen and their staff. But 1) nobody is proposing to implement such a regime for every 7-11 clerk working the night shift somewhere in this country, 2) doing so would be impractical, and 3) doing so would come with non-monetary costs that we are prepared to pay in the case of Congress but not for society generally.

The hypocrisy of the ant-rights crowd, especially those in the elected class, is to try and disarm people like you and me all the while they have armed guards and security. At least a bipartisan majority in the Senate understand that the rest of us have a right to protect ourselves and our families while the elected elite are protected by security guards.

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