Posted on July 22, 2017
It’s Time for National Reciprocity
As a Soldier, I’ve traveled this country from coast to coast as the Army moved me to new duty stations. Thankfully, all of my duty stations were in the South, except for Fort Irwin and training at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterey. Technically, Maryland is in “the South,” even though most people wouldn’t consider it to be any part of southern culture. So, even that duty station was technically in the south despite the fact we don’t want her.
As I’ve traveled this country, most of my rights have been protected irrespective of state borders. My right to free speech was no different while stationed in the D.C. area than it was in the Mojave Desert of California. My right to vote was unencumbered as much at Fort Ord as it was at Fort Hood. My right to be free of illegal searches and seizures was absolute whether I was in Huntsville, Alabama, or Hinesville, Georgia.
So, why is my right to keep and bear arms somehow different? I know the sycophants in the gun control crowd yell that people can’t be killed by free speech (yet they love to use the “yell fire in a crowded theater” excuse where being trampled could kill someone) or voting (tell that to all the countries our elected leaders have bombed). The right of a law abiding citizen to carry a firearm in defense of himself or others should be inviolable in every single state just as the rest of the Constitution is.
The problem with the patchwork of gun laws in the United States is that it requires a citizen who travels to understand all the intricacies of the laws each time he crosses a border. Nothing other right is like that. I know when I cross borders that I have to drive the speed limit, can’t rob a store, need to move over for a police officer or ambulance to pass with his lights on, should only use one parking space, can’t assault or murder people, must have a driver’s license, etc. The basic rules in every state are the same, but the right to keep and bear arms is a patchwork of over 20,000 gun laws that change depending on where you plant your feet.
The driver license is a good example of how messed up our right to keep and bear arms is. Each state in the Union has much different training requirements to obtain a driver’s license. However, that doesn’t mean that a driver’s license in the State of California isn’t recognized in Idaho simply because the way in which they license and what training is required to receive one is different.
A person traveling from Georgia to New Hampshire along I-95 – both states with good gun laws – with a gun in their vehicle would need some good luck making it through Maryland, New Jersey, or New York without becoming a criminal. How you carry along 2/3 of that round is perfectly legal until you hit that imaginary line. John Lott recently noted that, leaving out New York and California, 8% of Americans have a permit to carry a firearm. As we know, there are 33 states that don’t require a permit to carry in some form, so the number of Americans legally carrying with our without a permit is perhaps much higher.
Initially, I was a bit critical of the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 because I’m a big state’s rights proponent; however, I don’t think this is a state’s rights issue anymore. The right to keep and bear arms is a natural right, not limited by artificial boundaries that call themselves states. Therefore, if a state is infringing on a fundamental right, the federal government should and ought to step in force them to recognize it. We shouldn’t even need licensing to begin with and then we wouldn’t be having this problem. I’d rather see the Constitutional Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 even though it’s not even needed – WE ALREADY HAVE THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO CARRY! We don’t just have a right to keep arms; we have a right to bear them too! Until we get to that point, H.R. 38 is a necessary evil for now that needs to be passed. The bill already has over 200 sponsors and since they aren’t doing anything about ObummerCare or lowering taxes, they should at least force the states to obey the constitution (yes, I know the irony in that statement).