Thursday, April 29, 2010

Guns and insincerity not a good mix

Posted By on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 3:07 PM

click to enlarge Sen. David Shafer, R-Duluth
  • Sen. David Shafer, R-Duluth

The thing I've never cared for about debates over gun laws is that, all too often, the arguments in favor of an expansive view of the Second Amendment seem misleading, disingenuous or irrational.

I've never owned a gun, but I know a number of gun owners and I have some appreciation for why many people feel safer having a gun. What I don't understand is why some folks believe they should be allowed to carry their guns anywhere they want.

I also have a real problem with politicians who use misinformation and straw-man arguments to win debating points. When you're dealing with such an important public-safety issue, that kind of insincerity does not serve the public good.

Here's what I'm talking about: on Tuesday, the 39th day of the General Assembly, the House approved Senate Bill 291, which includes an NRA-endorsed measure that allows people to carry guns when they pick someone up at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.

The bill's sponsor, Sen. David Shafer, who's no stranger to politically expedient hyperbole, had this to say in a subsequent press release:

Shafer added that the bill overturns a policy by Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport that “literally requires a firearms permit holder to toss his gun out his window on to the interstate before exiting to the airport, even if he is only picking up or dropping off a passenger.”

Of course, that's just nonsense. That's like saying that, because the federal courthouse doesn't allow firearms, federal law mandates that citizens must leave their guns on the curb before entering the building.

If we can't debate and discuss these matters in a serious way, I don't have much faith in the solutions we reach.

(Photo by Jim Stawniak)

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