Friday, August 09, 2013

Political coverage in the news.... -

From the HUFF POST - Chris Christie Signs Gun Control Legislation In New Jersey

"New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a likely Republican contender for the White House in 2016, on Thursday signed into law 10 bills tightening restrictions on guns in the state....."

OK, so this is a story about the New Jersey Governor seeming to go against his GOP base.
So what did the legislation do?  The signed measures including 1) banning the purchase of handguns by people on a federal watch list of potential terrorism suspects, 2) stepping up penalties on some firearms violations and 3) exempting gun records from the state's open public records law.   None of those would seem to limit Second Amendment rights.

The bills also include bans on sales of .50 caliber weapons, institute background checks for private sales and require gun buyers to go through a safety course (which is currently required for to be eligible for a hunting license in California).   Those might be a bit more problematic but this is a state law not a federal one.

The Governor took no action on three bills which were of concern to gun activists.

What concerns me most about the headline and the subsequent story are two things.   First, accuracy - the first three bills, in my opinion are not gun control measures.  The second three are measures that, depending on local conditions, make sense.    

Second, despite the gun violence in the last year, I do not see a clamor for gun control legislation - but every state is different.   When I begin to look for candidates for President in 2016, gun control stands will not be an important part of my search.  Based on national polling - most Americans feel the same way.   The political conditions in New Jersey may warrant some new laws in this area, but as long as Mr. Christie respects the fundamental Constitutional rights in the Second Amendment, his actions as governor have no interest to me.   

I am not criticizing Huffpost exclusively.   I am sure some conservative sources are yammering about the Governor's signing of legislation - but as always one needs to look well beyond the headlines.

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