As my regular readers know, I am not an anti-gun person. My wife, Kathy, and I have owned various firearms over the decades.
In a previous life, Kathy was a hunter. In a previous life, I had to carry for my job.
I strongly support mandatory gun training requirements for the ownership of handguns, rifles and shotguns.
I also believe that all hunters need to attend an annual firearms safety program. It is my belief that such training will reduce the number of accidental shootings in the U.S., especially by children who somehow get ahold of a parent's handgun or rifle.
What I am against is weapon ownership without the responsibility that goes along with owning a tool that is designed only to kill — unlike a knife (the normal argument from the pro-gun ownership people), which is designed as a utility tool as well as a weapon.
On Oct. 14, the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary conducted its final review of HR 822, National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011.
The bill will allow an individual with a valid state-issued concealed carry permit and photo ID to carry concealed handguns in multiple states, if that individual abides by the restrictions of those states.
This is generally known as a “compact law,” a law to which multiple parties have working agreements because it concerns a mutual interest or interests.
There are other laws that allow this reciprocity. Your Missouri driver’s license is recognized in all other states, for example.
We also have some notable exceptions to "compact laws." For example, some states do not recognize the marriages of same-sex couples, though legal in the state where the marriage license was issued.
At issue in HR 822 is not the conceal-and-carry permit, nor one's rights to gun ownership.
It is, as the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns suggests, a "measure (that) would strip states of the right to decide who can legally carry a hidden, loaded gun in our communities."
Gun control has returned as a states' rights issue. A survey, conducted by Momentum Analysis and American Viewpoint, indicates that "74 percent (of respondents) say that 'each state should decide for themselves.'"
I could not find a National Rifle Association survey saying anything different.
Here is where conservative states' rights and liberal gun control people seem to agree. This is not a case of gun ownership, of Second Amendment rights or whether mandatory firearms training should be required for everyone for the purpose of ownership.
It is a case of who gets to make the laws about who can and cannot carry a concealed weapon — in this case, in the state of Missouri.
Should not Missouri decide whether or not to permit a non-law enforcement person who is duly licensed to carry a concealed pistol in his home state to carry a concealed weapon in the Show-Me State?
The proposed law is clear about one thing: The person crossing state lines with a concealed weapon must abide by the laws of the state he is entering. So, no matter what, no one will be permitted to carry a concealed weapon in Illinois, which does not allow such permits.
This means that state would have to "opt out," something that conservative legislators would never do.
There is a bigger question, at least for me. It is not whether one can carry a concealed firearm across state lines, but how does this bill affect the bigger issue our legislators are supposed to be tackling: Does it create jobs?
This Republican-sponsored bill is doing nothing to meet that immediate goal. In fact, this tactic only diverts the voter's attention from the real problems of the day to a relatively minor but emotionally raw subject.
Reps. Vicky Hartzler and Blaine Luetkemeyer are co-sponsors of this bill. It is time we tell Hartzler and Luetkemeyer to stop messing around and get to the business at hand.
Either fix the economy and create jobs or your re-election in 2012 will be shot down.
David Rosman is an editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in Communications, Ethics, Business and Politics. David’s new book, “A Christian Nation? An examination of Christian nation theories and proofs” is now on pre-release sale at Books.InkandVoice.com.