Over the weekend, I was perusing the online NRA-ILA newsletter. If you are gun enthusiast, own and/or carry a weapon, or merely a supporter of the Second Amendment and gun rights, I would suggest you sign up for the newsletter.
Most articles interest me, but one in particular seemed intriguing. It is entitled, “5 reasons to support National Reciprocity.”
Although every year I feel I’m a bit closer to becoming a self-taught, “so-called” constitutional expert, I’m still far from it. So I thought, why not read what the real experts had to say on the matter of reciprocity, or the extension of rights and privileges from state to state.
The five reasons, according to the NRA-ILA, are: “1. Exercising a right shouldn’t be contingent upon what state you’re in; 2. You don’t want to be an accidental criminal; 3. Concealed carry permit holders are among the most law-abiding citizens in the country; 4. Reciprocity laws can change frequently with little notice … and 5. Law-abiding concealed carriers can protect YOU in all 50 states.”
To open-minded and reasonable Americans, all five of these points seem factual and have merit. But it is not open-minded and reasonable Americans we have to concern ourselves with when it comes to owning and carrying guns.
Study after study proves these assertions that gun owners and carriers are indeed, with few exceptions, the most law-abiding and model citizens. So what! It is not gun-rights supporters they must convince who the good guys are. It is the rest of society. Yet it is the liberals most on the right continue to try to persuade.
As we’ve known for some time, however, attempting to convince a liberal that guns and citizens who carry them are not their enemy is like trying to teach a cat to fetch your paper off the front lawn. It ain’t gonna happen!
This is why, in my opinion, the only point of these five that counts is No. 1: “Exercising a right shouldn’t be contingent upon what state you’re in.” After that, none of the other four arguments matter.
Under the heading, they state:
“This seems like it would be obvious. Sadly, it’s not. The Supreme Court affirmed in 2008 that Americans have a constitutionally protected individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms for self-defense. What’s more, no state can deny a Constitutional right. All national reciprocity means is that state governments must respect non-residents’ right to carry a firearm for self-defense to the same degree as residents of the state. And despite rumors to the contrary, national reciprocity legislation would not dictate to states how and where residents could carry concealed. Non-residents would also have to abide by state regulations governing behavior and places of carry.”
Although what they wrote in the heading seems factual, the rest is not necessarily. First: the heading should instead read, “Exercising a right shall not be contingent upon what state you’re in.” This, according to the Constitution, is not a suggestion, but a mandate. It is spelled out in both the Second Amendment and Article VI, clause 2 – the so-called Supremacy Clause.
Second: Yes, it is a fact that the Supreme Court did affirm “that Americans have a constitutionally protected individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms for self-defense.” This is an absurdity. It’s as ridiculous as saying scientists affirmed that the sun rose again today. Why on Earth would the high court feel they had/have the right to rule on the constitutionality of the Constitution? I’m not blaming the NRA for citing it – just pointing out how incredibly arrogant the court is.
Lastly, consider the Supremacy Clause itself. Article VI, clause 2, reads in part:
“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby. …”
What does it mean, Mr. Expert? As I said, I’m not an expert, but I can read plain English, and this is about as plain as it gets. It means that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land and thus any and all federal, state, or municipal laws that are passed in nonpursuance of the Constitution are automatically invalid.
In other words, no state can pass any law or seek to regulate in any way, a law-abiding citizen’s right to own and carry a firearm – period. I’m sorry to all you liberals, moderates and yes, even the NRA-ILA. The Constitution is clear as a bell on this issue and provides for zero wiggle room for state or municipal laws and/or regulations to curtail this right. Support for “National Reciprocity,” or not, is immaterial.
No court decision, law, or regulation can provide for school “gun free zones,” or no guns in public buildings, etc. The only way to accommodate such things is to change the Constitution. Like it or hate it – that’s the way it is.