I won't call Mike Marshall a lying sack of donkey dung, but I will fisk his recent editorial regarding legislation that would allow law abiding Alabama citizens to carry a handgun in their vehicle without permit.
First, a couple of points. Alabama is an open carry state; however, a handgun is considered to be 'concealed' if carried in a vehicle under the current law. Carry permits are issued by the Sheriff in each county. The state sets a minimum cost for each permit, but the sheriff may tack on a higher price tag in order to cover administrative cost related to the permitting system. Many sheriff's have used this as a way to boost revenue and are against changing the current law because it might dry up the gravy train.
So here is the editorial regarding the bill and my fisking of this idiocy. Original will be in italics, I'll be in bold.
Kill that gun bill before it kills some of us by Mike Marshall
Last week the state Senate passed pro-gun legislation that would imperil law enforcement officers and contains a bewildering amendment no one has been able to interpret.
The heart of the bill would make it legal for car drivers and passengers to keep loaded firearms within easy reach, even those who are mentally unstable or have long criminal records.
Law enforcement officers would face no greater danger than they do today. A criminal is going to carry a gun no matter what the law says if he wants to. I agree about the amendment, but we'll get to that later. If you are a criminal it is illegal for you to possess a gun. This law doesn't change that, sorry Mike. Ditto if you've been adjudicated mentally defective.
Right now, state law requires that firearms inside a vehicle be kept unloaded and secured in a compartment unless the gun owner has been issued a concealed-carry permit.
The bill to change that was co-sponsored by all of South Alabama's Republican state senators: Bill Hightower of Mobile, Trip Pittman of Montrose and Rusty Glover of Semmes.
Our senators supported the bill despite staunch opposition from Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran, Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich, Mobile Police Chief Jim Barber, Baldwin County Sheriff Hoss Mack and both of the candidates who are opposing Mack in the Republican primary for the sheriff's office.
Thanks for the list of people who want to keep bilking the public of their hard earned cash in these trying economic times and for those who oppose law abiding citizens having guns.
Our law enforcement experts don't want routine traffic stops to become a greater risk than they already are.
They won't be. Criminals are already carrying guns and the current law does not one thing to stop them.
But that did not stop the Senate from sending the bill to the House last week by a vote of 20-7. That's how afraid Alabama politicians are of the gun lobby.
Good, the Senate is responding to the will of the people and not falling for the misrepresentations and outright lies of the antigun crowd.
And those 20 senators dared not vote against the bill even after Sen. Phil Williams, R-Rainbow City, added a mysterious amendment requiring that revenue streams (presumably including concealed-carry permit revenues) created by existing law be uninterrupted by the new bill. When asked what impact that amendment would have, Williams referred a reporter to Sen. Scott Beason, R-Gardendale, the bill's gun-happy author. Beason said this week he does not know what impact the change would have: "You'll have to ask him (Williams)."
Lawyers who have looked at the amendment just scratch their heads.
The change in law is a good one, and voting against it would have pissed off the people who put them in office. As to the amendment it doesn't make any sense to me either and is probably one of those that will have to be addressed later. Frankly, it seems like a sop to those who want to keep sucking on the tit of the public's wallet.
Here's what we do know about the bill:
- That it will provide drivers prone to road rage ready access to a loaded handgun.
- That it will enable mentally incapacitated people to legally keep loaded guns in their cars. (Right now, they have to go through the concealed pistol permit screening process.)
- That it will prevent police from stopping juveniles openly possessing loaded firearms in a car.
- That it will be a gangbanger's dream come true. A convicted felon will be able to have a gun close by as long as another person without a criminal record purports to be the owner. As Sheriff Mack put it: "Five convicted felons are sitting in a car with someone who still has a clean record. Guess who will claim ownership of any firearms in that car?"
- Red herring. Violent people will be violent. Those who would use a gun to kill someone aren't going to stop just because the law says they can't.
- If they'd be stopped from getting a permit to carry because of their mental health, they can't legally be in possession of a gun so it's a moot point.
- I must assume that juvenile in this context refers to a subset of adults 18 or older. You must be 18 in order to own a handgun (you can't buy one until 21, but at 18 you can own and carry a handgun openly or concealed with a permit if you are not prohibited from firearms by law). In other words the law would prevent law enforcement from harassing adults for carrying a gun.
- Really? That's the kind of twisted logic I expect to see from the antigun crowd. Under current law this same bong smoke induced scenario is also possible. The only difference is that the non-felon would have to have a permit....and since he's a legal gun owner he can have one for a few bucks. So how does this proposed law change the situation? It doesn't.
AL.com's Mobile editorial board is a defender of the right to bear arms but this latest gun bill takes that right to a dangerous extreme. Let's not strip some Alabamians of their right to life and liberty in favor of giving mental patients and gangbangers access to loaded firearms when they're on the road.
"I'm a gun owner, but..." Sorry, Mike. We've heard that one before. Gangbangers and the mentally ill who have guns have them in violation of the law. This change in law will only matter to those who can legally have guns. The nightmare scenarios you are dreaming up are already in existence. Criminals and nut cases are out there right now with guns. All this law will do is allow a law abiding citizen to have a loaded gun in his car to protect himself from those criminals and nut cases you pretend to be so worried about without having to go beg the Sheriff of his county for permission to do so...after paying a small fee, of course, and waiting around for weeks. A right delayed is a right denied.
We urge our House members to make sure this halfcocked bill never sees the light of day in the short time left this legislative session.
This bill is well thought out (aside from that one pesky amendment, but what do yo expect from politicians?). It addresses an issue that only affects legal gun owners and does so in a manner that removes an undue burden placed upon them by the current law.
Current law does not one thing to stop felons and mental patients from carrying guns in their cars. It does not one thing to keep me, a legal gun owner, safe from these criminals and mental patients. Changing the law, though, might just give a legal gun owner a better chance at overcoming a criminal or mental patient on the attack.