Sitting deep in the bowels of the Idaho Capitol is a bill that, if passed, would allow law-abiding citizens to carry a concealed weapon without a government-approved license.
This so-called Constitutional Carry legislation has met significant resistance, even though it's a significant step forward in gun rights in the traditionally firearms-friendly Legislature.
Legislative gatekeepers may not even give this plan a full hearing. An important question I must ask: Why do some lawmakers fear the passage of this bill?
By definition, criminals are individuals who do not abide by the law. If a criminal decides to carry a concealed weapon, they are unlikely to consult Idaho code, much less abide by it before doing so. They, in my opinion, are the bad guys.
The way Idaho law reads now, law-abiding citizens may carry a concealed weapon only if they pay a fee, enter their personal information into a government database and sustain certain training requirements. They in my opinion, are the good guys.
Knowing the bad guys have no regard for the law and will carry their weapons with the possible intent of using them for destructive purposes, why would we want to protect barriers that discourage armed good guys from being able to potentially thwart the activities of armed bad guys?
The answer? Control. Government's natural tendency is to try to control things; and an armed populace threatens that. In the minds of many government officials, public safety has little to do with the issue. Rather, an armed populace threatens government's ability to control the people.
That's why I support Constitutional Carry.
After all, the Founding Fathers of this great nation intended the people to be the pinnacle of governance: "Of the people, by the people, for the people," as President Abraham Lincoln so eloquently explained.
When lawmakers discourage a law-abiding citizen's right to bear arms, I question their motive – and accordingly, their trustworthiness.
At no time in world history has the disarmament of a citizenry resulted in the increased safety, freedom or prosperity of that citizenry. To the contrary, disarmament has repeatedly led to tyranny and, eventually, slavery.
In short, don't trust a government with weapons that won't trust you with yours.
Former state Sen. Russ Fulcher is a member of the Idaho Freedom Foundation's governing board.
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