During his inaugural address Monday, President Barack Obama offered that, “We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate.”
If only Senator Charles Schumer and Congressman Hank Johnson would take his advice, the political climate inside the Beltway might be a bit more agreeable. Fox News offers this transcript of the president's address.
Johnson pushed the envelope a bit farther when he contended that the NRA has “invoked racist sensitivities” because it opposes the president’s gun control proposals which are, themselves, extremist in nature, say gun rights activists.
The president should also be careful about selective civil rights preferences. When he observed that “Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote,” he should demand the same speed for every “instant” background check through the National Instant Check System (NICS). He wants to make background checks universal, and that subject just might open some doors to lively negotiation.
Gun prohibitionists have complained lately that the NRA and other gun rights organizations have not been willing to negotiate. Here’s a proposition for the anti-gunners, who claim a majority of citizens want such checks:
In exchange for “universal” background checks, how about “universal” recognition of concealed carry permits and licenses? For example, a Washington concealed pistol license would be recognized and honored in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Illinois and elsewhere, no questions asked.
In exchange for “universal” background checks, how about a repeal of that section of the Gun Control Act of 1968 that prohibits residents of one state from buying handguns in another state? After all, if a person goes through a NICS check and passes it, why should he not be able to buy a handgun in any state where he happens to be? Someone who passes a NICS check in Spokane would pass the same NICS check in Saratoga or Schenectady, right?
Give and take; that is the foundation of good faith negotiations. So far, the gun prohibition lobby and its soul mates on Capitol Hill have only wanted to take. They come to the table with a wish list and nothing to offer. They have traditionally expected gun owners to give up something without getting anything in return. Their idea of a “concession” is that at the end of the day, the gun owners would have “peace of mind.”
Let’s allow the public to see just who is flexible and reasonable, and who is unyielding and stubborn.
Universal background checks in exchange for unconditional national concealed carry reciprocity and the ability of a law-abiding citizen to stroll into any gun shop in the country and buy a handgun.
Perhaps tomorrow we can talk about rights restoration and full-auto, eh?
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