Friday, April 20, 2012

Diane Feinstein Fears Concealed Carry Reciprocity

This week, in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, Senate Diane Feinstein (D – CA) described the reasons for her opposition to two concealed carry reciprocity bills currently in the Senate:

"Imagine that a man who has been convicted of a domestic violence crime against a woman he had been dating seeks — and obtains — a permit to carry a concealed firearm from his state of residence," she wrote. "Under the concealed carry reciprocity bills, he could legally travel across state lines and confront his former girlfriend ..."

Comments and articles decrying the apparent cluelessness of this scenario have sprouted up all over the blogosphere, many people incredulous over Feinsteins idiocy. First, Diane Feinstein is not an idiot.  She is actually very smart, and I am sure that she is familiar with the laws the result in one becoming a prohibited person for firearm possession: she wrote or sponsored many of them.

The above  statement is actually a cunning appeal to a certain class of voter, especially women, voters who are ignorant of gun laws and who will accept the scenario without questioning it.  Feinsteins real goal here is to head-off a California problem: the horror of people people from flyover country carrying concealed weapons in California.  What would happen if (or, more likely, when) people started carrying concealed weapons in California and no Wild West Shootouts happened? Would the people of California demand shall-issue or themselves?  What would happen nationally if California went shall-issue?  Is is just possible that entire debate over concealed carry would be over?

Take a look at two maps that illustrate the types of concealed carry permits systems adopted by the various states.  Here is one from 1992, the year Feinstein was elected to the Senate: 

and here is another from 2011, the last year that the status of a state changed. 

Quite a change, almost a complete reversal! Only Illinois among the fifty states still bars public carry of concealed weapons, and only California, New York, and a handful of Eastern states still have may-issue laws, laws that are often interpreted by authorities to result in de-facto no-issue, especially California, which has only  37465 current concealed weapons licenses. 

Diane Feinstein is well aware of these maps, and what they mean politically for gun control, an issue very near her heart, in which a handgun ban was highly desired:

 "If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them . . . Mr. and Mrs. America, turn 'em all in, I would have done it. I could not do that. The votes weren't here." -- 60 Minutes, Feb. 5, 1995.

What would happen to gun control as a political issue if California, one of the last great bastions limiting concealed carry (Illinois and New York being the other two) were to change from yellow to blue on the map?  I think Feinstein fears that gun control would be  truly dead.

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