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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Baltimore Sun Should Stick to Analyzing Maryland Legislation

Rob Kasper posted an opinion article today on the Baltimore Sun Editorial Blog Second Opinion that takes the Virginia General Assembly to task for considering legislation that would ban firearms at the State Capitol but continue to allow them elsewhere.  It is clear from Mr. Kasper's post that he knows nothing about Virginia's legislature.

Del. Hope argued that since guns were not permitted in airports, the U.S. Capitol or federal courthouses, they should not be allowed in the Virginia legislature. He said the bill would improve security for lawmakers, their staff members and visitors. But what he considered good for lawmakers, he apparently didn’t see any need to extend to the general public; even if his bill passed (and after the show of arms last week, it probably won’t) it would still leave in place relatively permissive standards for carrying concealed weapons. Interestingly, it comes at the same time that Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell lifted a ban on people openly carrying firearms in state parks.
Just because a bill is sponsered by a legislator does not mean it is being "considered."  If Mr. Kasper knew anything about the General Assembly, he would know Delegate Hope's bill is not likely to even get a hearing in the House Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee.  Further, does Mr. Kasper think that Delegate Hope had any prayer of repealing Virginia's concealed carry statute, enact a law banning openly carrying a firearm (the Code of Virginia is silent on open carry which is why it is legal to do so) or overturn the Supreme Court's McDonald decisions which found the Second Amendment is a fundamental right?

Nor is Kentucky likely to pass the legislation being proposed to ban firearms in their state captiol.  As with U.S. Representatives and U.S. Senators, state legislators are free to propose legislation during their legislative sessions.  It does not mean that the bills have a serious chance of passage.  Look at the number of gun control bills that have been proposed year after year in congress  over the last 15 or so years only to grow mold in committee, never to be heard.

Mr. Kapser should spend his time analyzing legislation in his home state because he clearly does not have any idea of how things work in Virginia.

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