Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Article Of The Week

Syndicated columnist and author E.J. Dionne asks a poignant question:

Isn't it time to dismantle the metal detectors, send the guards at the doors away and allow Americans to exercise their Second Amendment rights by being free to carry their firearms into the nation's Capitol?

Dionne notes that Senator John Thune (R.-S.D.) barely failed to get the 60 votes he needed for approval of his amendment to mandate all states to allow anyone with a concealed weapons permit to carry a firearm into any state. And that NRA shills have pushed legislation to allow guns into taverns, colleges, and workplaces. And that legislation already has been approved legalizing firearms in national parks.

In support of his amendment, Thune claimed "The benefits of conceal and carry extend to more than just the individuals who actually carry the firearms. Since criminals are unable to tell who is and who is not carrying a firearm just by looking at a potential victim, they are less likely to commit a crime when they fear they may come in direct contact with an individual who is armed."

The logic, then, of permitting firearms in the Capitol building is inescapable. If felons are deterred by the fear that a law-abiding individual in a bar or at a college will be packing heat, won't there be even more certainty that a member of Congress will be in possession of a firearm- especially because that same Congress has approved the legislation authorizing carrying of the gun?

Congressional conservatives should demonstrate that they are willing to live under the same set of (Wild West) rules to which they're anxious to subject other Americans. Dionne is not offering his piece as a joke, as a humorous antidote to the serious business of reform of the health care industry, the financial sector, or of energy policy. Instead, he challenges them "to put up or shut up," an approach insufficiently displayed by House, Senate, and Oval Office Democrats these days.

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