Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act will create more debate

Monday, February 12, 2018

Sex scandals, health care and the investigation of Russian influence in 2016 are taking the headlines of late, and now President Trump is proposing $200 billion to entice state governments and private entities to pitch in to create $1.5 trillion for infrastructure improvements.

Infrastructure is indeed a needed investment, everywhere, including local projects like the planned conversion of U.S. 83 into a “super two,” to the replacement of century-old water and sewer lines in McCook.

But another issue is likely to capture headlines in the near future, increasing the division between red and blue states even farther.

Responding to an editorial about the opioid crisis, which has claimed about 20,000 lives, a reader noted that gunfire claims about 33,000 deaths per year in the United States, about the same as traffic deaths.

The reader is right that gun deaths should be of concern, and there’s a racial component as well.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2,533 black males, ages 15-24, died from gunshot wounds in 2014, 89 percent of them homicide, 9 percent by suicide and 2 percent through unintentional injuries.

At the same time, 2,670 white males of the same age died of gunshot wounds, but only 33 percent of those were homicide, 64 percent were suicides and 3 percent were accidents.

The numbers will become more significant as a piece of legislation makes its way through Congress, a law which would make a license to carry a concealed weapon a lot like a drivers license.

The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act has already been passed by the House of Representatives with the full support of President Trump.

It has about 40 co-sponsors in the Senate, where it’s likely to generate an intense debate over states’ rights and the Second Amendment.

Concealed carry classes are popular around Southwest Nebraska, and anyone who’s taken one knows maps are an important part of the curriculum — some instructors recommend avoiding certain states altogether when traveling.

Restrictions vary from places like California, where all firearm sales and transfers must go through a licensed firearms dealer, to Wyoming, where anyone 21 or older who is not a “prohibited possessor” because of a felony or court order, is automatically allowed to carry a concealed weapon.

Passage of the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act will certainly not put the debate to rest, especially if and when another mass murder arises.

And, it will certainly not change attitudes of those who live in rural areas like ours, or those who live on the south side of Chicago.

Do you favor the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act?

Visit http://bit.ly/2CeTufY to cast your vote.

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