Washington State Democrats could learn a few things from their fellow legislators in South Dakota, and from a Florida panel created to investigate last year’s Parkland school shooting and provide recommendations on how to prevent or at least respond to future attacks.
Lawmakers in South Dakota on Tuesday passed a bill that will allow residents of that state to carry concealed firearms without a permit. The 47-23 vote in the House underscores the difference in philosophy between legislators who trust their constituents with a fundamental, constitutional right, and those – such as the sponsors of a Washington State House bill that seeks to add red tape to getting a concealed pistol license – who do not.
The South Dakota bill is now headed to Gov. Kristi Noem’s desk, where she is expected to sign it, since she supported the idea of “constitutional carry” (no license or permit required) during her successful campaign last year.
In the Evergreen State, however, the sponsors of HB 1315 think that adding training requirements – thus adding a thick layer of red tape that might be costly and time prohibitive for the more than 608,000 citizens currently licensed to carry – is a smart idea. Some in the firearms community believe such requirements are not proposed in order to promote firearms safety, but to discourage citizens from exercising their rights.
Rights activists and firearms organizations have always supported the idea that gun owners should seek competent instruction, but turn thumbs down on mandatory training because the requirement can be abused to deny someone their right of personal protection outside the home.
Backers of HB 1315 are State Reps. John Lovick, Amy Walen, Steve Bergquist, Lauren Davis, Roger Goodman, Laurie Jinkins, Christine Kilduff, Shelley Kloba, Gerry Pollet, Cindy Ryu, Tana Senn and Derek Stanford, all Democrats. Contact information for all of them may be found here.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press and Seattle P-I.com are reporting that school safety measures now being mulled in Olympia show a striking divide between Democrat and Republican approaches. Republican lawmakers “favor measures that focus on increasing police presence in schools and arming staff, including teachers,” the story noted.
“But Democrats,” the AP added, “who hold the majority in both the House and Senate, rejected the idea.”
The story quoted State Rep. Laurie Dolan, an Olympia Democrat, who insisted, “We believe that guns do not belong in schools.”
Maybe Dolan should tell that to the teen accused in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, or any of the other school shooters who evidently didn’t care what “we” think about guns in schools. Among the recommendations from the panel appointed to investigate the shooting and make recommendations to prevent repeats is that teachers who volunteer fr the assignment should be allowed to carry guns on campus.
Dolan’s reaction reveals the stubborn mindset of anti-gunners who refuse to acknowledge that there are times – such as when bullets are flying – when force must be met with force.
Likewise, the dozen Democrats who want to make it more difficult for honest Evergreen State citizens to defend themselves outside the home probably need to hear from those hundreds of thousands of legally-armed constituents who don’t carry firearms to harm anyone, but to keep from being harmed by some illegally-armed thug or crazy person.