17
Mar
11

Protection for me, not for thee

California lawmakers would like to remind you that carrying a concealed handgun doesn’t make you or those around you any safer … unless you happen to be a California lawmaker.

Legislators in California have introduced a bill that would allow themselves to carry concealed handguns, a right not extended to the general public. Under California law, one must apply to the sheriff’s office and present “good cause” to get a CHL. “Good cause,” in this case, usually constitutes working in a dangerous job, such as bail bondsmen or a jeweler. The sponsors of the California bill apparently think they deserve special treatment because people hate them for being politicians. From the L.A. Times:

“I’ve had guys physically come up to me ready to punch me out,” said Democratic state Sen. Lou Correa of Santa Ana, co-author of a new permit proposal.

Correa, who owns a gun but doesn’t have a concealed-weapon permit, said he has received threats of violence in e-mails, some of which are filled with racial slurs. He said staffers in his Orange County district office have been spat upon, and some have felt threatened by members of the public who come into the office and scream at them because they don’t like the way the state is run.

After the Arizona shooting, one staffer requested that Correa provide a Taser for the office, something he is considering.

Sen. Rod Wright (D-Inglewood), another gun owner and co-author of the proposal, maintains that lawmakers need permits as much as other professionals who have them. Permission should be available, he said, “if you have people who might shoot you because of your occupation.”

And the hypocritical cherry on top:

Opponents of gun control note that some of the lawmakers behind SB 610, including its third author, Assemblywoman Cathleen Galgiani (D-Tracy), have opposed some efforts to make it easier for others to carry guns.

Wright and Galgiani voted for legislation in 2009 that limits the ability of residents in small counties to use their gun permits in big urban areas. Wright and Correa supported a Galgiani bill last year that barred people from carrying even unloaded firearms into the state Capitol or any legislative office or hearing room.

I’d like to see the look on these legislators’ faces if someone used the same arguments that anti-gun politicians and lobbyists use to keep law-abiding citizens from carrying guns at public universities. Let’s try, shall we?

It’s just plain dangerous to add firearms to a Capitol atmosphere of politics, fiery tempers and booze, and shootings like the one that occurred in Arizona are so rare that it doesn’t warrant the risk of allowing legislators to arm themselves. Second, legislators have well-trained police and security forces to protect them. There’s simply no need for self-defense. Third, it is largely a myth that legislators can effectively protect themselves with a handgun (Harrison Ford in Air Force One notwithstanding). In all likelihood, they would accidentally shoot someone else. How will police tell the difference between a real threat and a politician anyway? Finally, it would make the other legislators very uncomfortable to know their colleagues were potentially armed.

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