A gun fight: One the GOP should pickEDITORIAL BOARD
January 26. 2015 6:02PM
Republicans in the state Legislature have a great opportunity to promote gun rights while forcing Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan into a corner on the issue. They would be fools not to take it.
Sen. Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro, has introduced a bill to allow legal gun owners to carry their weapons concealed without a permit. We can just hear the howls of horror now.
If the government does not have the authority to deny concealed carry permits to those it deems unsuited to the task, then New Hampshire will turn into the Wild West, the critics will say. We will have shootouts in the streets, vigilantes roaming the state unchecked, and weapons everywhere. Petty arguments will result in bloodshed as gun-crazed lunatics play out their Clint Eastwood fantasies.
We know these arguments are coming because this is what the anti-gun crusaders always say when their efforts to separate law-abiding citizens from their firearms are thwarted. The reality is that New Hampshire would become more like Vermont.
Our neighbor to the left (both geographically and politically) lets its citizens carry concealed without a permit. Yet Vermont has a lower homicide rate and a much lower violent crime rate than New Hampshire does. If the anti-gun zealots were right, Vermont would be awash in blood.
This ought to be an easy issue for Republicans, who claim to support gun rights. Make Gov. Hassan, who is uncomfortable with gun rights, choose between the people and the anti-gun activists.