October 30, 2008

It is down to the wire, and the voters will soon have their say on what kinds of education and experience are most important for effective representation for the 7th District. I’ve had a few phone calls and e-mails about specific issues as well, and it has been my pleasure to respond to each one. I truly appreciate it when citizens take their civic duty seriously and do their research.

One last time, for the record - I support the 2nd amendment in its original meaning – the individual’s right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The introductory part about a well regulated militia is an 18th century turn of phrase, and since the entire Bill of Rights speaks to individual rights, so does the 2nd amendment. What I told an NRA rep is that I couldn’t agree to abolishing ALL current laws until I found out what that meant. I have to admit that I don’t know what ALL the laws are currently on the books beyond the laws about getting a concealed carry permit and felons losing their right to bear arms. Felons lose other kinds of rights as well, and losing the right to bear arms may be an appropriate consequence for particular crimes. Society can remove rights (for example, locking somebody up in jail and removing the right to free association) when sanctions are called for. The first half dozen NRA members I asked about this issue all had some version of “we need to abolish the laws, except maybe _______” (fill in the blank with different points of view – registering machine guns, or felons, or licensing owners but not registering the guns, etc.).

I hope the voters would not want to support a representative who would give a blank check to a lobbyist for any organization. If I had said yes, I’ll support abolishing ALL laws, I would have to mean it and do it. I won’t make a commitment to an absolute statement like that without meaning it or understanding the consequences. If anyone is filling out their ballot this weekend and has any questions on this or another issue, I welcome your e-mails or phone calls. I’ll give you a straight answer.