Wednesday, February 3, 2016

It's a Game of Inches

There's been a lot of discussion the past few days regarding the recent "compromise" on gun rights in Virginia. While nothing has yet been signed, and legislation is still in the works, the details are starting to emerge. While most gun owners are seeing good in this, some gun rights activists are upset at the notion of ANY compromise. Unfortunately that attitude could also mean no progress. It's also become quite apparent that the anti-rights contingent on the left is absolutely livid. (That in itself gives me pleasure and is a positive sign.)

If the governor keeps his word, Virginia will honor concealed carry permits from ALL states. This is an improvement over what we had before the Attorney General and State Police Supervisor plotted to rescind reciprocity agreements with 25 states. If all the legislation involved moves forward, and if McAuliffe signs it, Virginia permits could probably possibly be accepted in most other states which allow concealed carry. It will likely take some time before those additional reciprocity agreements are hashed out across the country.  (I'm keeping my Utah permit nonetheless.)

During his press conference last Friday, Governor McAuliffe spent a lot of time hyping the closing of the so-called "gun show loophole" and fighting domestic violence. Some 2nd Amendment rights advocates have argued that forcing these "fixes" was the intent all along of McAuliffe and Herring. If that's the case, the governor is an extremely poor negotiator, or just not very smart. Or both. The "fix" for the "loophole" is to require the State Police to be on hand at all gun shows to perform VOLUNTARY background checks for sellers who want to do them before selling a gun. Private sellers have ALWAYS had the option to do that. The proposed regulation regarding Permanent Protective Orders simply models law that already exists under federal law.

I happen to believe that McAuliffe was never fully supportive of Herring's action, even if he agreed on principle. This week the Governor even admitted "But we have no record of anyone in the last 25 years being injured or hurt with (sic) someone who came into our state with a concealed weapon." Once he saw the fallout from his Attorney General's decree, he became downright scared. He has come to recognize just how strong the pro-rights support is in the legislature, and learned that gun rights is not a strict Republican/Democrat issue. "Pro-gun" bills have been moving forward, and some possibly with veto-proof majorities. As a friend termed it, McAuliffe made a "tactical retreat." It's telling that while McAuliffe was touting this "historic" compromise, while heaping praise on Mark Herring for helping to initiate it, the Attorney General was conspicuously absent from the stage. A planned strategy or a mistake, the end result is the same — the leftists took another beating and freedom won. Although the politicians are apparently not allowed to admit it.

My impression is there is national trend towards the restoration of 2nd Amendment rights, despite the occasional setbacks. There are losses at times, but net change seems to be happening for the good. Those fighting for gun rights with an "all or nothing" attitude will be disappointed and, I think, may even hurt the fight. I strongly believe we should ask permission of NO person, or state, to exercise a right and to provide for the defense of our families and ourselves in the best means possible. Unfortunately the rules imposed on us by the power-hungry elite have reduced our expression of certain rights. We must fight continually to have the recognition (not granting) of those rights restored. It seems, for now, patriots in Virginia are making steps in the right direction.

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