Thursday, April 1, 2010

"The Perfect Is The Enemy Of The Good"

Nowhere is Voltaire's quote more true than when applied to concealed carry legislation.

There's a lot of angst flying around the Intertubes about the changes to Iowa's carry laws now awaiting the Governor's signature. The bill that survived running the legislature gauntlet is far short of the Vermont-style carry promoted by some in that state, but it's still a huge improvement over what Iowa had before.

Nebraska was the 48th of 50 states to pass a law allowing concealed carry. When our bill was slogging through the Unicameral, there were plenty of people complaining it wasn't good enough. Had those voices won out, I believe a more (dare I say it?) radical bill would have failed, and we Nebraskans might still be in the same sad boat as Wisconsin and Illinois.

Every year since, though, more bills have passed improving Nebraska's carry laws. What was wrong with that first landmark effort is gradually being whittled away.

Of course Vermont-style carry is the ideal. The bad guys don't get permits and would be disqualified if they tried. In states that don't protect their permit rolls, the lamestream media loves to use that information to demonize and denigrate those who have them while making them attractive targets for gun thieves. Not to mention the absence of a person's name from the list could reassure a stalker or home invader that his prey is helpless.

If you don't require permits, there aren't any lists of who has guns to be exploited.

Going for the whole works in the beginning is an all-or-nothing effort with the outcome heavily loaded toward nothing. There are still plenty of issues with the law in Nebraska that need to be resolved. A Castle Doctrine bill introduced this session languished in the judiciary committee because of the usual hoplophobic FUD about meter readers and firefighters getting shot. At least a good bill was introduced, and we'll probably get it done next year. Many more tries to get concealed carry at all failed before the Concealed Handgun Permit Act was finally signed in 2006.

Incrementalism works both ways. At least the majority of the chipping away at the status quo is currently going in our favor. We need to do everything we can to see it continues.

1 comment:

Chris said...

It would be nice if we could carry loaded weapons in our cars in Illinois. That would be a start.