Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Push is on to ease Arizona's gun laws

These bills are still in the works but it is a huge step toward giving the people their constitutional rights back.

I have taken some quotes from the article and commented on them below.

- "These laws are not going to be seen as friendly to business, friendly to children and good for the economy of Arizona," she said. "This is a very critical time, and we are turning people away from Arizona, making them more fearful of coming to the Wild West."

Same arguement based zero fact. I am not most Americans but I feel a lot safer in states that have minimal gun laws. I travel a lot and it is not really an option to take my gun with me everywhere I go. Mostly because I never know if I am going to be diverted to a shitty place like Chicago or San Fran where my gun is not welcome and I will not have the ability or time to properly deal with the weapon. I also feel safer knowing that there is a strong likelyhood that others are armed who can take care of a situation if it arrises. It also means that criminals don't know if I am armed or not, so that is a plus. The part about the kids is just rediculous on multiple points, but just strictly argueing the bills, they have nothing to do with more guns or how people store them. It does not increase or decrease the risk to children.

-"I'm not sure the general public wants to go back to the day when people could walk into any saloon with a firearm strapped to their hip, but it seems like the majority party does."

This is just a using movies to scare people. The old west was not as bad as the movies and regardless, ciminals shoot people, they stab people, and they bludgen people. The only difference are the tools used to perform the assault.

-The largest hurdle these bills face this year, as in past years, is likely opposition from law-enforcement groups. The Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police opposes Pearce's bill.
"If enacted, (the bill) will take Arizona back to Wild West carry, with no consideration for officer safety," association lobbyist John Thomas said.

It has always baffled me that police are so afraid of the public having guns. I understand that police would prefer it if they were the only ones with guns, but the truth is that not all cops are good guys and cops are never around when you need them. I am sure that if we tried to take their off duty guns from them they would not like it. My other guess is that some cops like gun control because it is job security. With all data (not counting made up crap from The Brady Campaign) pointing at guns lowering crime rates, it lowers our need of more police officers.

-"You have no laws meant to reduce gun violence and protect the public, and you have an active gun lobby there that wants to do away with even the bare threshold of laws you do have," said Ladd Everitt of the Washington, D.C.-based national Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.


I am so sick of the term gun violence. How about criminal violence. Studies show that when gun laws were inacted in England and Australia, gun violence did go down. Stabbings, clubbings, rape, home invasions, and other non gun related crimes went up. For the most part, these crimes were committed against people weaker than the criminals. The gun bans took away the great equalizer and put the bullies back in control. Congratulations.

This is the best one
-"You would have dangerous individuals and criminals carrying weapons in public," he [Everitt] said.


This guy is an idiot and very naive. Does he think that dangerous individuals and criminals are not currently carrying weapons in public? Does he think these people care about laws? I am pretty sure the definition of a criminal is "person who doesn't give a shit about laws".

Finally some common sense:
"When you have restrictive laws, the only people you restrict are the good guys," he [Pearce] said. "I've never been afraid of a good citizen."

Push is on to ease Arizona's gun laws
Alia Beard Rau - Feb. 3, 2010 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic

Arizona has always held tightly to its legacy as part of the gun-toting Wild West and a protector of individual rights.

This year, the state's Republican governor and a conservative Legislature may continue that tradition by giving Arizonans some of the least-restrictive weapons laws in the nation.


This session, state lawmakers have proposed more than a dozen bills on expanding rights to carry and use guns and knives.

The proposed laws would allow people to carry concealed weapons without a permit, end requirements that guns manufactured and kept in Arizona be registered, and allow university professors to carry guns on school grounds.

Although the number of bills on the subject is not unusual, weapons-rights supporters believe this year - with a conservative governor, a Legislature sympathetic to their cause and more freedom to address issues other than the budget - may be their year to lift many limits. It also is an election year, and gun rights have always been a popular campaign platform among conservatives.

"Arizona is very gun-friendly, and we've made a lot of progress over the past probably 10 to 12 years," weapons-rights lobbyist Todd Rathner said. "But, right now, the Legislature and the governor are favorable to a pro-Second Amendment agenda, so we're trying to accomplish as much as we can."

Weapons advocates are so optimistic about their chances this year that a knife-rights advocacy group hopes to use Arizona to launch a national effort to give state Legislatures exclusive authority over local governments to regulate knife use.

The efforts won't be without opposition.

Sen. Meg Burton Cahill, D-Tempe, said some of the legislative efforts could hurt the state economically.

"These laws are not going to be seen as friendly to business, friendly to children and good for the economy of Arizona," she said. "This is a very critical time, and we are turning people away from Arizona, making them more fearful of coming to the Wild West."


Gun-friendly state

Then-Gov. Janet Napolitano, a Democrat, vetoed at least a dozen weapons bills that crossed her desk during her seven years in office, all of which would have loosened gun restrictions. In 2005, Napolitano rejected a bill that would have allowed patrons to carry loaded guns into bars and restaurants. In 2008, she also vetoed a bill that would have allowed people to have a hidden gun in vehicles without a concealed-carry permit.

In January 2009, Napolitano resigned to become U.S. Homeland Security secretary and Republican Secretary of State Jan Brewer became governor. Lawmakers quickly proposed weapons legislation, and Brewer began signing it.

During her first year in office, Brewer signed a bill allowing loaded guns in bars and restaurants, as well as another that prohibits property owners from banning guns from parking areas, so long as the weapons are kept locked in vehicles.

Brewer has been a supporter of Second Amendment rights over her elected career, spokesman Paul Senseman said. He said having her as governor has helped the effort in the state over the past year.

"I think last year was very productive in terms of extending the protections of the Second Amendment," Senseman said.

Brewer would not comment on specific legislation before it reached her desk.

"But it will be important that we continue to be judicious and responsible in enacting good protections for our Second Amendment rights," he said.


Testing ground



Rathner said Arizona's current political atmosphere is precisely why Knife Rights Inc. chose this time and this state to propose a bill that would pre-empt local governments from regulating knives.

Rathner for years represented the National Rifle Association in Arizona, but this year, he is lobbying for the national knife-owner advocacy group. Knife Rights, which Rathner said has a few thousand members nationwide, is based in Gilbert and was started in 2006.

"Guns have been pre-emptive for a decade, and there's been no problem with it," he said. "Knives are the next step."

Rathner said about 10 Arizona cities restrict knives, including Phoenix. Phoenix outlaws carrying knives, except for pocketknives. If the bill becomes law, Phoenix's ordinance would no longer be enforceable.

If successful, Rathner said, the group will push other states to pass the law.

Several Arizona cities oppose the bill, including Phoenix.


The Legislature

The gun measure likely to draw the biggest buzz proposes to no longer require people to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, is sponsoring the Senate version of the bill. He said his bill simply puts into law what Arizona and the nation's founders always intended.

"If you are a law-abiding citizen, you have a right to carry," Pearce said.

Whether they support the bills or not, legislators agree on one thing: Many of the bills have a good chance of becoming law.

Rep. Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix, said he has owned guns most of his life. He said that changing the concealed-weapon permit law moves Arizona in the wrong direction but that his opinion may not matter.

"If the Republicans want to push this through, we can't stop it. They run the Legislature, they run the Governor's Office," he said. "I'm not sure the general public wants to go back to the day when people could walk into any saloon with a firearm strapped to their hip, but it seems like the majority party does."

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, warned that nothing is a sure thing in the Legislature, particularly this year.

"The budget is casting such a gloomy cloud over everything that it's hard to get a read," he said.

However, Republican House Majority Leader Chuck Gray said Second Amendment rights also are a priority.

"Most of the gun issues are going to be looked at to make sure they are written correctly, but we will be very favorable toward the rights of the people," Gray said.

The largest hurdle these bills face this year, as in past years, is likely opposition from law-enforcement groups. The Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police opposes Pearce's bill.

"If enacted, (the bill) will take Arizona back to Wild West carry, with no consideration for officer safety," association lobbyist John Thomas said.

Only nine states have fewer gun restrictions than Arizona, according to a scorecard released last year by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, a gun-restriction advocacy group.

If some of the legislation is passed, Arizona will likely move lower on the list.

"You have no laws meant to reduce gun violence and protect the public, and you have an active gun lobby there that wants to do away with even the bare threshold of laws you do have," said Ladd Everitt of the Washington, D.C.-based national Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.

Two bills, one to allow concealed weapons without a permit and the other to exempt guns made and kept in the state from federal regulation, each has more than a dozen legislators backing them. If passed, Arizona would be only the third state in the nation to allow either of the looser restrictions.

Everitt called the proposal to no longer require a concealed-carry permit "crazy."

"You would have dangerous individuals and criminals carrying weapons in public," he said.

Pearce said he thinks the legislation will help make Arizonans safer.

"When you have restrictive laws, the only people you restrict are the good guys," he said. "I've never been afraid of a good citizen."

4 comments:

James said...

I think we can learn from the tragedy that occured in Gilbert last week. I don't know for sure if an armed citizen could have helped the fallen Gilbert Officer, but I do know that citizens arrived within seconds of the Officer being killed.

The pieces of shit that killed him were career criminals that did not care if there were laws prohibiting them from having weapons. Police Officers have nothing to fear from law abiding citizens that decide to carry.

MediumX said...

I definitely agree with James on this one, but the thing I think is really important is education. I understand that a 8 hour class isn't going to make someone a great shooter or understand every law in the book. But I think there needs to be some level of education to help people understand the responsibility they have. Perhaps a gun safety course or even make it a high school course (Warthog I know you love that concept). I just wouldn't want to see the statistics jump from accidental discharges or random acts of vigilance that were not justified, because people didn't know the first thing about firearms. I think that would hurt our cause more than help. I'm not even saying that would happen but I could see it being a possibility, and when has MORE education ever hurt anyone.

On a side not, I am very sorry to hear about the Gilbert Officer and I hope those scum bags pay for what they did.

Warthog said...

James:
I was a bit hard on the cops in this post but it is officers like you who give me hope. Unfortunately, I do not believe an armed citizen would have been able to help the Gilbert Officer but armed and unarmed civilians have assisted police in the past.

There was an officer who was getting beat up by a man and the man was trying to get the officers gun. An armed civilian ran up and told the man to freeze, the man complied, and the officer was able to handcuff him while the civilian held him at gun point.

Medium:

As you stated, I would love to see firearm safetly manditory in school and marksmanship be an elective. But in relation to the story above I do not think it is one and the same.

Do you feel that you are any more qualified or trained in weapons usage after your CCW class?

I found the class to be more geared toward keeping you out of jail by scaring you into really thinking before you shoot.

My opinion is that good people know when to shoot and when not to shoot a majority of the time. Its the fine line and tricky laws that cause people to hesitate and end up dead.

The news also points out stupid people making stupid decisions, which leads us to believe there are far more idiots than there really are.

I also do not believe that these bills will increase the number of gun owners, but it might increase the number of owners who carry on a regular basis. The hope would be that they are safe, but that is the scary thing about liberty, everyone has the right to be stupid. At least once.

MediumX said...

Warthog: I do feel like I have benefited from the classes I have taken, but not the Arizona class. The AZ CCW course is a pretty big joke in my opinion. What benefit is it to listen to a "expert" talk for 7.5 hours then shoot ten rounds and get a go at a simulator. To some I’m sure it was a pretty cool experience, but I walked out of the class kind of scratching my head and wondering is this it?

The first firearm safety course I took was in Colorado, it was Hunter Safety, a MANDATORY class for anyone of any age that wanted to hunt in that state. In this class it was 16 hours of not only hunting education but also firearms safety in general. we got to handle dummy guns, watch videos, ask questions, listen to people talk as well as shoot about 20-30 rounds out of a rifle. My entire family took this class together when we moved to CO and we all found it very informative for a bunch of city folk moving to the country.

Next class I took was again in CO and it was my first CCW class. AGAIN a 16 hour class. We still had to listen to a so called Expert, but the difference was in the material they provided us with and the range time we got. To this day I still flip through the books that I received in the course. And on the range it was a mandatory 200 rounds of ammo with an option to shoot more. On the range we learned about different shooting positions (isosceles, weaver etc). As well as weak hand shooting, shooting around barricades, shooting while prone with barricades, kneeling, holster drawing and a few other exercises that would take a lot more typing to describe.

Then there was the AZ Class

I didn’t mean to dump my life story into this comment section but I thought it was relevant. But to answer your question yes I do feel that I am more qualified because of my training.

I totally agree that good people know when to shoot and when not to, but I’m talking about accidents and a serious lack of knowledge. I know that I have witnessed a number of people (mostly inexperienced shooters but some experienced) pick up a firearm and put their finger directly on the trigger. Hell I have been to numerous gun stores where they hand rifle after rifle over the counter without checking the action. What I’m getting at here is even the most experienced shooters make their mistakes (I know you and I have both had ours Warthog, luckily they turned out ok). But every bit of knowledge that someone knows will better their chances of surviving those bad situations. It comes down to things like muscle memory and thought process. This in most cases can ONLY be achieved with practice. I don’t know about you but I don’t want someone covering my back that can’t clear a jam or maybe can’t even load the gun. But they carry anyways because they heard the law changed and their buddy let them borrow his gun.

Again I am for this kind of action to reduce the requirements on us, but you can’t say that because you CAN buy a gun means you SHOULD carry a gun (and that goes for everyone). Like I said I am all for this type of action but I also have no problem with the current class, in fact I wish that the class had more practical stuff and not so much law talk, and I really wish that there would be some type of education process in our society but I know that’s a tall order.

Sorry again about the life story.