Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Dan Burton "Bites the Bullet" for Political Expediency

I don't feel as excited about being a blogger now that I know that even Dan Burton has a blog. Sigh. : (

BUT I learned something unbelievable today on "Burton's Blog." Though we're struggling with a mortgage crisis, health care deficiencies, job loss, and rampant gas prices, Americans apparently need to make something else a priority. What's your guess? Accounting for the billions that nobody can find in Iraq? Curbing illegal immigration? Oh, no, my friends.

Our new priority needs to be ensuring that citizens can carry their firearms into other states.

Here's Burton's Blog regarding a bill he just authored:

"The SAFE Act protects the right of citizens to carry their firearms into other states by allowing law-abiding citizens who can legally carry in their home state -- even without a permit -- to carry all across the country."

This is what I loooooove about Republicans. They're for states' rights UNTIL a state doesn't give them the result they like. THEN they're all for federal control over issues such as whether a state can impose reasonable registration requirements on firearms that enter their boundaries and whether parents of kids who died after a hospital gave them the wrong drug can get punitive damages.

The grand irony in this case is that Republicans oppose full faith and credit for gay marriages. In other words, if you're married in Massachusetts (i.e., "you have a permit"), you're NO longer "legal" when you cross the state line. This is the reverse of what they want for guns.

If you're on vacation with your "partner" of twenty years who you married in Massachusetts, and (s)he is hospitalized, your rights in every state that does not recognize gay marriage, including Indiana, will be subordinate to the rights of your partner's parents, even though they ostracized him/her for being gay and haven't spoken to him/her for a decade. Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to a large chunk of your Republican Party and its inherent contradictions.

(This is not to say that Democrats don't have contradictions. Sometimes Democrats are more of a contradiction than a political party, but seriously, this contradiction is MAJOR).

But, friends, we MUST put aside the meaty debate of gun rights, gay rights, and states' rights.
Instead, I want you to think about the following:

(1) Burton's own blog says the goal is to allow people who can carry in their own states - EVEN WITHOUT A PERMIT - to carry anywhere. But in Indiana, you must have a permit to carry. In other words, the principal benefit of this bill WOULD NOT EVEN APPLY TO HOOSIERS because we already have one of the more rigorous laws in the country.

(2) For grins and giggles, though, let's say Indiana didn't have ANY state requirements. How is this bill a priority? Is there some massive outbreak of Hoosiers being arrested when they cross into Louisville for work? Is the Ohio State Police doing random searches to find Hoosiers carrying guns without an Ohio license?

I assure you that even IF something like this happened (and I'm begging ANYONE to send me a story about such an incident ANYWHERE in the country), the most likely folks who are stopped are those who consistently enter neighboring states because they live near the borders. You know who that would include? Not a single one of Burton's constituents, all of whom are at least two counties away from an adjacent state.

Burton's Blog says, "The Gun Owners of America is supporting the bill." And there you have it.

Burton is in a tough primary, so now he's trying to curry favor with the gunnies by passing a law that will likely not help a single one of his constituents. It is a waste of public resources printing this bill, having it read into the Congressional Record, and having someone say its name on C-SPAN.

If this is the most pressing issue for Dan Burton's constituents, then maybe Obama was right about people clinging to their guns when everything else goes wrong in their lives because I've been to a lot of his district, and it's hurting for jobs.

In the interest of full disclosure, I've never liked Dan Burton.

It started when I was a senior at Ben Davis High School. Three classmates of mine and I qualified to go to the national competition in "congressional debate." As a "reward," we went to see Dan Burton. I wanted to see Andy Jacobs, but my classmates were R's, and I got outvoted.

I still have the photo of Congressman Burton and a pristine recollection of our conversation, though it's now 20 years past. Dan Burton told four high school kids that he was the individual almost exclusively responsible for keeping Nicaragua from falling "under the iron thumb" of Daniel Ortega and the communist Sandinistas. Little did I know at that time that he was essentially fessing up to his support for illegally funding "the Contras." Burton acted like Ortega was evil incarnate.

Anybody seen who the democratically elected president of Nicaragua is lately?

Yeah, that would be Daniel Ortega. What a dictator!



varangianguard said...

Maybe you should ask Frugal Hoosiers about borrowing their recent Pander Bear image.

artfuggins said...

MAaybe the repubican blog Advance Indiana should concentrate on ridding their party of Burton instead of bashing Dems all of the time...usually with inaccurate info.

Anonymous said...

One of the real fallacies in this state, and probably across the country as well, is that people who possess gun permits are "law-abiding citizens". In Indiana all you must do to get a gun permit is submit an application and pay the fee. If you have never been convicted of a felony you will almost automatically get the gun permit. During my law practice I routinely become aware of arrests of people for major felony charges that possess gun permits. To their credit, the State Police does a decent job of conducting revocation hearings for those persons (who rarely show up for those hearings, I might add). The point here is that just because you have a gun permit it doesn't mean you are automatically a "proper person" as the law requires. Most high level drug dealers have partners that have gun permits so that at least one of them can be armed while the other one carries the dope. And by the way, you can have as many misdemeanor convictions as you want as long as they don't involve a conviction for domestic battery and still obtain a gun permit in Indiana. Just something to think about.

Local Lawyer

Anonymous said...

nra...The evil empire.

Chris Worden said...

Anon 7:04:

You'll be suprised to hear this from a Democrat outside Southern Indiana, but I support gun rights, so while I think the NRA IS "way out there" when they oppose a ban on automatic weapons and cop killer bullets, and fights limits to how many purchases you can make at a gun show, my sentiments about them are probably no different than how I feel about the ACLU.

They're easy to lampoon on the extreme issues, but their political and legal fight on the "fringe" keep things like a total ban on guns or a theocracy from occurring.

My blog entry is actually less about the limited merits of Burton's bill and more about Burton's complete inability to prioritize what really matters to his own constituents.

Anonymous said...

Here's Burton's Blog regarding a bill he just authored:

"The SAFE Act protects the right of citizens to carry their firearms into other states by allowing law-abiding citizens who can legally carry in their home state -- even without a permit -- to carry all across the country."

I thought that crowd loved to crow about "states rights". I guess that only applies when you have some discriminatin' to do.