Sometime Wednesday the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on legislation that has combined national concealed carry reciprocity with legislation to improve the ailing National Instant Check System (NICS), and some gun rights activists apparently have a problem with this.
There are some objections to having the two bills combined, by both proponents and the opposition.
But are they guilty of sacrificing “the good” in search of “the perfect?”
National concealed carry recognition is no small accomplishment. In the House Rules Committee hearing Tuesday, the opposition brought up all the arguments against reciprocity, including a few that didn’t seem to have any remote connection to concealed carry.
Anti-gun New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler perpetuated the myth that there are 30,000 homicides in this country annually:
“No other country in the world has a homicide rate exceeding 200, 250,” he said in remarks that seemed to ramble a bit at times, “and we do it, 30,000 a year.”
Nadler should know that about two-thirds of all firearms deaths each year are suicides, not homicides, and the FBI Uniform Crime Reports clearly demonstrates that the United States does not log anywhere near 30,000 homicides annually, from all causes combined.
The discussion noted how states recognize driver’s licenses from all other states.
House Judiciary Chair Bob Goodlatte also testified in the Rules hearing, and the most significant point he made was when he reminded the panel, “The difference here is that there is no federal constitutional right to drive a car. There is a federal constitutional right to keep and bear arms.”
In the end, the Rules Committee advanced the combined bill on a pure party line vote of 8-3. The full House will take up the issue and the debate could be contentious.
Politics is supposed to be “the art of compromise.” As this legislation moves forward, any semblance of compromise seems to be drifting farther away. Some activists seem willing to ditch national reciprocity because they don’t like some of the things they have heard, or read about on the Internet (where everything must be true), or simply imagined by over-thinking.
As noted by Entrepreneur, Voltaire once observed that “The best is the enemy of the good.” Confucius similarly noted that, “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” And Shakespeare put it this way: “Striving to better, oft we mar what’s well.”
Or put it another way, that some people would rather fight than win. Without a battle, they are like Don Quixote; tilting at windmills.
Gun prohibitionists, it has been noted, are big on symbolism. A House victory on concealed carry reciprocity would be a huge symbolic victory for the Second Amendment movement. While it may not be “perfect,” those who put things in perspective realize that perfection is in the eye of the beholder.
A win on national reciprocity will be perfectly awful for the gun control lobby.