Friday, January 14, 2011

Rep. Peter King - Stupid Legislation

I find this proposal bafflingly stupid. I'm still wondering who the security experts are that he spoke with. Do they honestly believe a 1000 ft. zone would stop anyone intent on murder? Or will this further exacerbate the harassment of lawfully acting citizens in public places? This is security theater at it's most pathetic.

I have to say I'm glad NRO did this article. It really leaves you wondering why they can't realize that making a law that will be difficult to enforce and difficult to interpret is worth the effort.

Here's a great start:
King, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, acknowledges that his legislation, if it had been on the books, might not have prevented the attack on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D., Ariz.) and others. “Maybe not in this case, but in others it could be prevention,” he argues
Prevention? I find that highly unlikely. I can't see someone just randomly deciding to off a congresscritter because they just happen to be walking by with a gun. If there are such people I'm betting they are very rare. My bet is on the perp generally planning out the whole thing and knowingly ignoring all the laws against murder before they even think about any law about carrying a gun within 1000 ft of a politician.
What about a situation where a gun is fully concealed and law-enforcement officials are unable to spot anything suspicious? “In that case, then this wouldn’t work, but there can be cases where it will. Would it work in five percent of cases? Ten percent? Twenty percent? Thirty percent? I don’t know, but I do believe it would certainly work in some instances. I don’t see the downside.”
He doesn't see the downside. Obviously because he isn't thinking. How much will cops be forced on trying to detect concealed weapons rather than actually watching for odd behavior. Or, how many cops will be looking for the concealed carrier? What about events with no LEO involvement? What about the person who didn't know that a political master was in the area and came out of a shop with a gun, would they be breaking the law? Do concealed carry permit holders have to run searches to find where the politicos are and map ways around them to ensure they don't break the law? The point is this legislation would make criminals out of most law abiding citizens for just living normally.

This bit is the saddest:

In Tucson, onlooker Joe Zamudio was armed when he witnessed the developing scene in the parking lot. Zamudio, within seconds, had his hand on his gun, ready to shoot, in case Loughner was not subdued. Does King think citizens have the right to be armed, and respond, during unexpected violent outbursts in public?

“It’s more helpful if you had security in the area,” King replies. “If something did start, and police were firing, I would not want a civilian firing at the same time. When we balance the equities, I’m saying there is a greater good to be obtained by keeping weapons out of that thousand-foot zone.”

Ok, what if there aren't any police in the area? Not to mention I can't recall an instance where a CCW holder got into the fight when the police were involved. And I'm betting when it has occurred it has been extremely rare.

Then there is the enforcement angle.

Enforcement, King admits, would be tricky, so “reasonable exceptions” will be detailed in the legislative language. “I don’t think the federal government has the right to keep someone from bringing a gun to a state or local event,” he says. “We will have to make exceptions, for example, for storeowners who have guns in their store for protection; it’s their right to have them there.”

Another exception may be making the so-called ‘bubble’ around public officials only applicable at public events — enabling neighbors of public officials who may own firearms to not be bothered. “It would be primarily about public events,” King says. “Again, laws should be interpreted reasonably and we will write it to allow reasonable exceptions.”

You have to love that part. How complicated will the law be when you add all exceptions? What if you miss something reasonable? This bill will quickly turn into the law that forgot that people lead varied lives and just because a politico couldn't think of all exceptions that are reasonable for everyone's life doesn't mean that the law abiding citizen should now be the criminal.

Just a very clueless politician.

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