Saturday, February 09, 2008

...shall not be infringed... as long as you're well connected

In the Metro section of the 2/6/08 edition of the Sacramento Bee, they ran an article with the headline: Judge tosses gun permit suit. The first paragraph of the story reads as follows:
A federal judge threw out a civil rights lawsuit Tuesday that alleged the Sacramento Country Sheriff's Department had showed favoritism in granting concealed gun permits
The fun part is when you reach the ninth paragraph of the article and find that,
A Bee review of concealed weapons applications, published in December, showed that more than 70 past and current permit holders had collectively contributed at least $200,000 to [Sheriff] Blanas' campaigns...
Here is how the racket works: In many states, they have what is called a shall-issue law. This means that unless you have a criminal record or you have a background of mental instability, you cannot be denied a license to carry a concealed handgun. Then you have anti-gun states like California, where your right to carry a concealed handgun is decided by the whim of the county sheriff. In some counties in the extreme north part of the state, such as Shasta County, getting a CCW permit is not as difficult. I believe El Dorado County is even a shall-issue county. In the urban counties however, such as in the Bay Area, and yes, Sacramento, you can forget about ever getting a CCW permit. Unless that is, you have connections (rulings to the contrary by federal judges be damned), and the easiest way to get those connections is to give a big fat campaign contribution to your local sheriff, or to be a local politician or celebrity. My favorite example is an outgoing California state senator named Don Perata. He earned the moniker "Pistol-packin'" Don Perata from talk radio after it came to light that he had a permit to carry a concealed handgun, even though he opposes the right of us common folk to carry one as well.

This is the problem with requiring the acquisition of a permit or license in order to exercise what is supposed to be a God-given right. In the end, I don't care if Sheriff Blanas was showing favoritism or not - I should not have to depend upon his benevolence if I want to carry a handgun while walking with my family along K Street, downtown. I don't even agree with shall-issue laws, but as a matter of pragmatism, they are much preferable to what we have in California, and that is the fact that if I want to protect myself and my family if we are away from the house, I have to become a criminal in order to do so.

Good Day to You, Sir


Darren said...

I hadn't heard that about Perata before. Shades of Oprah and Rosie :-)

nebraska girl said...

As the old movie says "Support your local sheriff"

Don, American said...

I've walked on K Street, and all you need is some "spare change" to appease the beggers, or a good pair of running shoes.

Law and Order Teacher said...

In Ohio we have a permit system. After completing some training and a criminal background check, you get your permit. I don't like the law, but at least we can carry. I don't have to get the training b/c I'm a retired officer. You're right. Government controlling a right really opens it up for abuse. Too much power and all that.

Aristomenes said...

Fed up with our "may-issue" laws, I got myself a Utah Non-Resident CCW, that is good in 26 or so states (not CA, of course). I use it when driving my family back to WI for the summers, or when traveling around here. The guy I got the required 4 hours or so of training from is a great guy - Jim Amentler.