Here go the steadfast and dripping-with-integrity GOP and Blue Dog Dems once again. Tomorrow at noon, we get the Thune Amendment -- as in John Thune from South Dakota -- which assaults both the federalism they cherish in rhetoric and the common sense we cherish post-Enlightenment. The Thune Amendment would make it so a concealed-carry permit handed out in any state would be good in any state that has concealed carry.
So Texas will determine you gun laws. Next up, Utah decides who you can marry, Mississippi decides whether or not you have the death penalty and Kansas decides where church stops and state begins. And to the denizens of those fine states who are progressive, please take no offense, you know I am with you in spirit. I am talking state politics here (I live in Ohio, and wouldn't want to export our gun laws to my state of birth, New York). And this means that if your state is one of 31 that requires some form of gun-safety course before you get to carry a concealed weapon, forget about that. If your state is one of 35 who think that misdemeanors, such as, oh, having previously carried a concealed gun illegally, should prevent you from getting a permit, too bad. If your state thinks habitual alcohol abusers perhaps shouldn't be afforded this right, as 31 states do, so sorry Charlie.
On record against Mr. Thune's legislative loophole are mayors of all stripes, more than 450 of them, or those for whom gun violence is up close and personal, and they are appalled at this Washington GOP power grab. But hey, torture, Gitmo and proposed amendments to ban abortion and gay marriage don't quite live up to the "state's rights" mantra now either, do they...
States and localities should have the right to make their own gun laws. My son should have the right to go into a school where AKs are not present. And a group of wavering Senators need to hear how you feel about this usurping of our rights. Call, be polite, and say hi to these folks. Remind them that you don't want Texas' gun laws...
Those whose minds need to be changed:
Bayh (D IN) 202-224-5623
Bennet (D CO) (202) 224-5852
Collins (R ME) (202) 224-2523
Conrad (D ND) (202) 224-2043
Feingold (D WI) 202/224-5323
Hagan (D NC) 202-224-6342
Landrieu (D LA) (202)224-5824
Lincoln (D AR) (202) 224-4843
McCain (R- AZ) (202) 224-2235
Pryor (D-AR) (202) 224-2353
Reid (D - NV) 202-224-3542
Snowe (R - ME) (202) 224-5344
Udall (D - NM) 202-224-6621
Udall (D - CO) 202-224-5941
Voinovich (R- OH) (202) 224-3353
Warner (D - VA) 202-224-2023
Webb (D -VA) 202-224-4024
Those we must hold:
Kohl (D - WI) (202) 224-5653
Klobuchar (D - MN) 202-224-3244
Nelson (D - FL) 202-224-5274
Two notes: First, the vote is at noon Wednesday (as in today), so call early and often (and be nice!). Second, full disclosure, I have been hired to work with Mayors Against Illegal Guns (mayorsagainstillegalguns.org) on this effort, and couldn't be happier or more passionate about it.
Update: Keep the calls coming to weak-kneed Dems and "moderate" Republicans. Sen. Arlen Specter just caved last night.
Follow Cliff Schecter on Twitter: www.twitter.com/http://twitter.