Re: a few more notes on concealed weapons

From: Peter Smagorinsky (
Date: Fri Jun 11 2004 - 13:35:33 PDT

Let's not overlook Kennesaw, Georgia, which in 1982 passed an ordinance
that required heads of households to maintain a firearm and ammunition in
their homes. Kennesaw is in Cobb County, which for years sent Newt
Gingrich and Bob Barr to congress. p

At 04:23 PM 6/11/2004, you wrote:

>I've just spent a little time looking around at other facts and opinions
>on the concealed weapons issue.
>I must say that I was personally quite surprised to learn about the
>Wisconsin situation. I am now even more surprised to discover that for the
>last ten years there has been an organized and concerted campaign all
>across the US to change laws dating from the late 1800s up to the 1920s
>which regulated concealed weapons ... all toward making it possible for
>people to carry them around almost anywhere, and with very little
>restriction on who can do so.
>It does seem to be the consensus of observers that it is being pushed by
>the NRA, on its own behalf for membership expansion reasons, and political
>credibility (it lost some major battles in the early 1990s and then
>started this campaign), as well as more covertly on behalf of the small
>arms industry. It seems that even in American gun sales are down ! And the
>new market, as detected also in their advertising campaigns, is for
>concealable weapons. Weapons meant to be taken out in public, concealed.
>I may have overestimated the effect of the campaign on average citizens.
>Polls and referenda show that the campaign gets defeated if put up to the
>decision of ordinary citizens, but more often it is done through the
>lobbying process in state legislatures, and now 34 of the 50 states
>require issuing of concealed weapons permits to everyone who is not
>certifiably insane or an ex-convict. Texas was one of the first. Michigan,
>my current state of residence, approved such a law in 2000, taking effect
>2001, though there is a campaign to force a referendum (opposed by the
>NRA, which knows it would lose a popular vote). Fortunately, the Michigan
>law does not permit concealed weapons in university classrooms, or bars.
>However, in states like Texas and Utah, which have had the law for a while
>now, it seems that people are arrested everyday for serious crimes while
>carrying concealed weapons -- and they have their little state permits
>allowing them to carry! So I am not much comforted by the few exclusions
>in the law. Four US states, including New Hampshire and Oregon, which I
>think of as relatively intelligent places, do not exclude concealed
>weapons in schools.
>I take some comfort that not everyone in my country has gone entirely
>nuts. And perhaps I should moderate my critique of democracy (a little)
>away from voters and toward a political system which is clearly quite
>anti-democratic when legislatures pass laws against the will of the people
>because of the fear of individual legislators that they will be targeted
>by well-funded and morally reckless opposition (such as the NRA, which has
>a history of this). This is not to say that media hysteria, racisms, and
>media fantasies have not made it a lot easier for the NRA to push its
>agenda. But there is also clearly a structural flaw in our legislative
>system, one which shows up in many other ways (e.g. special interest
>legislation against the general interest).
>If you'd like to find out whether your neighbors, especially your
>right-wing neighbors, may be carrying concealed weapons to work or in the
>supermarket, here are some places to look:
>and for other interesting background:
>God Bless America.
>Jay Lemke
>University of Michigan
>School of Education
>610 East University
>Ann Arbor, MI 48109
>Tel. 734-763-9276

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