A dangerous bill

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The House of Representatives keeps surprising everyone with its priorities in these times of crisis, which are so dogmatic and removed from the concerns of the average American. That is the only way to explain a bill approved last Wednesday that broadens the right to carry concealed weapons nationwide.

The measure basically requires reciprocation between states that issue concealed-weapons permits. In practice, this means that someone from New York who obtains this type of permit by mail from Utah should be allowed by the state of California to carry a concealed weapon-even if they do not meet California’s requirements for the permit.

This bill violates the principle of state sovereignty, which Republicans value so much, except when the issue involves firearms and they want to curry favor with the powerful National Rifle Association.

During the House debate, arguments in favor of the law of the Old West mentioned that having more armed citizens results in a safer society. There have been cases in which an armed civilian prevented a crime. Nevertheless, more often than that, easy access to a weapon has turned a dispute into a tragedy or a massacre where friends or acquaintances are killed.

Others argued that, like with other rights such as the right of expression, the Second Amendment of the Constitution should not be limited. However, as they failed to mention, unlike other constitutional guarantees, the right to bear arms is far from being completely defined and its interpretation by the courts continues to change.

In principle, we reject the idea that someone who obtained a concealed-weapons permit in another state can come to California thinking they can become a civilian vigilante with the power to protect Californians with their weapon. Having more weapons on the street poses an increased danger. As easy as that.

At the same time, we think it would be much more productive for members of Congress to focus on dealing with the numerous problems the country is facing rather than making those problems worse with absurd and dangerous bills, such as this one broadening firearm possession.