A bill to force state-issued concealed weapons permits to be honored when the gun-bearer steps into another state was narrowly defeated yesterday, and I feel an uneasy relief.
I'm a firm supporter guns, armed citizens and concealed-weapon programs, but I found myself in an uncomfortable position when I heard about the bill. While I like the idea of extending gun rights, I found the method of a federal law to be a little too Gabriel-Over-the-White-House for me.
An armed citizen has more freedom than an unarmed citizen. That's why I take a pro-firearm position. But positions come from principals, and an important principal for me is to keep the power of the federal government in check through states rights.
As principals determine positions, they are more important to protect.
Federal anti-states rights bills, like the villainous Fugitive Slave Act, force states to enforce laws within their own borders that their voters never approved – and often voted against. What good are "laboratories of democracy” if we expose the subject to outside contamination?
Thanks, Congress, for offering something we want. But I don't want to compromise my principals to get it.