Question of the Day: What’s the Best Litmus Test for Gun Rights Advocates?

When I interviewed Glenn Beck at the NRA hoedown, I asked the conservative talk show host whether or not he supported Constitutional Carry (i.e., no paperwork required for concealed carry). To my surprise Mr. Beck said “the people” aren’t ready for it. This despite the fact that concealed carry-related blood isn’t running in the streets of Alaska, Arizona, Vermont and Wyoming. Is that a fair litmus test for a gun rights advocate? To that I would add a thumbs-up or thumbs-down on restored gun rights for felons. A test that Mitt Romney would fail. “I do support the current National Instant Check System,” the presidential hopeful told the Chris Cox in an NRA sit-down, “because it simply verifies that a gun buyer is not disqualified under current law.” Obviously, Romney can’t go there. Is it even fair to ask? What else should be asked?

avatar

About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

61 Responses to Question of the Day: What’s the Best Litmus Test for Gun Rights Advocates?

  1. avatarAaronW says:

    “… and then, at last, they came from my spring-air pellet rifles, for there were no other weapons for them to take away….”

  2. avatarRalph says:

    Other questions that should be asked:

    1. What do you think is more dangerous: a pistol with a 19 round assault clip or a Big Gulp?
    2. That Carolyn McCarthy woman — is she a mutt or what?
    3. What kind of ammo do you use in your AK-47?
    4. You’ve been invited to a pheasant hunt by Dick Cheney. You bring:
    a. Body armor
    b. Your personal EMT
    c. A prayer book
    d. All of the above.

    And the most important question:

    5. Do you read TTAG?

  3. avatarPascal says:

    “To my surprise Mr. Beck said “the people” aren’t ready for it. ”

    Deprogramming be it from a cult or far left liberal assault for many years (note we were at one time able to purchase from a Sears catalog and have them sent to our homes via USPS) takes time. So, I can understand his answer.

    • You spin doctors are all skipping the part where Glenn Beck didn’t even know what Constitutional Carry means. Robert had to tell him.

      How embarrassing is that, and not just for him but for you who look up to him as some kind of leader of your pathetic movement.

    • avatarHSR47 says:

      “Deprogramming be it from a cult or far left liberal assault for many years (note we were at one time able to purchase [MACHINEGUNS from the] Sears catalog and have them sent to our homes via USPS) takes time. So, I can understand his answer.”

      Fixed.

  4. avatarAharon says:

    The following question intended for a political candidate running for office:

    Will you introduce, advocate for, and sign-off on a bill that unconditionally protects the rights of gun owing citizens not to have their guns confiscated by anyone anywhere to include all levels of government during a natural disaster, and any other event or crisis?

  5. avatarCinSC says:

    I think a lot of Americans feel that their rights are under attack, and so what they want to hear is someone openly, eloquently and firmly speaking out in defense of ALL their rights. So the question would go something like “Will you promise to steadfastly defend these rights with all the power the office of the presidency gives you?” In other words, “Will you vigorously do what you swear to do upon your inauguration: defend and uphold the constitution?”

    Fight for us, dammit! That’s how to win our loyalty.

    • avatarPeritas says:

      I understand the sentiment of your question, but what would be the point? Do you imagine a candidate actually answering “No, I won’t defend your rights or uphold the constitution.”? They already swear to do this and that when in office, and then backpedal once there.

      • avatarNot Too Eloquent says:

        Exactly. I have no idea how many hundreds of single issue groups ask candidates to sign pledges for their particular causes, but it has to be a bunch.

      • avatarCinSC says:

        Well, I’m rather wistfully imagining myself in a one on one conversation with the candidate and explaining to them how it feels from the perspective of ordinary citizens. We see these big, powerful figures pontificating about guns or health care in what looks to us like a big power grab and then when the cameras are on our so-called champions they adopt these sickening tones of appeasement, instantly placing themselves in a position of weakness and that leaves us feeling defenseless.

        And so I would say to Romney, or whoever, this is how we feel, get out there and fight for us. Stand up to the power grabbers; the would-be dictators. Show us you have a spine and we will support you.

        Does this make sense to you?

  6. avatarPeritas says:

    Here’s a litmus test for if they’re mentally stable enough to own a firearm: Do you listen to Glenn Beck, Rush, or other fear-mongering demagogues? If they say yes, run.

    Depending on your jurisdiction you may have to report this mental illness to the local health department.

    • avatarNot Too Eloquent says:

      You would be reporting a much higher group of people listening to these conservative show hosts that the group of people listening to liberal show hosts. Simple fact. Now get busy reporting.

      • avatarDan says:

        Agreed, I am also a rural Texan, gun owning, Christian, Military Vet, and all horrors I am also a White Male. Peritas you could get probably triple the bounty from your masters.

  7. avatarShire-man says:

    The only real question is: liberty or not. There is no gray area. No shady in between zone magically made of a delicate balance of liberty and security. If it isnt in support of liberty it is in support of tyranny.

    Beck, in his response, supports tyranny. As does Romney.

  8. avatarsurlycmd says:

    If a person is deemed too irresponsible, due to past behavior, to own a firearm should they also be prevented from having children? Nothing is more dangerous to society than a parent who cannot raise a child to be a law abiding citizen.

  9. avatarQajaqon says:

    They both look at guns as if they are looking into the eyes of a wild wolf standing in front of them, ready to eat them. I would ask: Are you going to protect the rights of the people or are you going to continue to allow each state to chip and slash away at our right to keep and bear arms? How are you going to address and act upon the “infringement” that has already taken place? Being a leader, are you going to support freedom or take it away?

    Nous Defions

    • avatarNot Too Eloquent says:

      My state has not been “slashing” away at my gun rights at all. In fact, things are steadily loosening up throughout Florida.

      • avatarBruce says:

        But what’s to stop them starting to “slash” again?

        • avatarNot Too Eloquent says:

          What’s to stop the government from dropping a Hellfire missile on my house tonight?

          Single issue voter groups aren’t taken seriously by politicians as one side has these group’s votes locked up regardless.

  10. avatarSilver says:

    Well, this sort of assumes that the politician will tell the truth about his stance. And I’d never bet on that.

    The only real test is their history of voting and activity on gun rights matters.

  11. avatarRoll says:

    To be honest, I’d like “the people” to have a bit of firearms training and education before they CC. Some of the people I’ve seen try to buy guns have the IQ of a pineapple and I’d feel guilty about selling a gun to someone that dumb.

  12. avatarST says:

    “To my surprise Mr. Beck said “the people” aren’t ready for it.”

    Hate to pee in your Wheaties Mr. Farago,but he is right.

    Most people in America haven’t read the whole US Constitution -ever. To the uneducated mind freedom is indistinguishable from madness.

    A Presidential candidate who seriously advocated Constitutional Carry would be laughed out of the polls as a nutcase. People are barely ready to accept shall issue CCW ; IMO the primary reason right to carry has advanced with the speed it has is BECAUSE a state agency is involved in the process with background checks and mandated training in some cases. The teeming masses-including a lot of gun owners-think selling arms & carrying weapons without government interference is extremely reckless.

    • avatarBob says:

      True.

      I don’t LIKE what ST said, but I do believe that he accurately described the current situation in America. “The people” are not ready for a discussion about constitutional carry yet. They will be someday, and I hope they will be soon, but they’re not ready today.

    • avatarThomasR says:

      I’d agree ST, I believe much of the visceral even viscious attacks by many CC people against OC people is based on this idea; most states that allow OC do so without a license; the other part of that equation is that for much of the last hundred years only designated agents of the state would OC a weapon; all of them carrying that shiny talismen showing they had been annointed and blessed by the PTB.
      Now people are OCing that symbol of power and authority without the blessing of the STATE! OMG! Something is wrong!
      So when people world view is upset, they go on the attack, basic human instinct.

  13. avatarAverage_Casey says:

    I would like to ask each candidate about their experience with shooting firearms. Ask them if they have shot and if so, what was it they shot? After that, I would ask approximately how many rounds have you shot out of a rifle and a pistol that are not pellet guns or .22s? Then, we would know their experience. I truly believe that if most of the politicians shot enough, the fear of guns would be removed. There was a story a few months ago about Justice Scalia taking out one of the newer Supreme Court Liberals (I don’t remember who) shooting. Next thing you heard was how she had different feelings about firearms. It may not change her vote but at least it put an idea in her head that guns aren’t evil weapons.

    • avatarBruce says:

      What’s wrong with 22′s? Most of us have very fond memories of plinking with a 22.

    • avatarGuy22 says:

      “I would like to ask each candidate about their experience with shooting firearms. Ask them if they have shot and if so, what was it they shot? After that, I would ask approximately how many rounds have you shot out of a rifle and a pistol that are not pellet guns or .22s?”?

      I’m not sure why that would matter? In thinking about my shooting life. I would venture, that I have shoot a lot more BB’s, and .22lr’s than any other caliber. I go shooting about once a week and usally run through ~ 300 rounds of .22lr. I can afford that.
      A few years ago I bought a cheap crossman BB gun. I chase critters in the back yard. Another 100 or so a week.

      I also note that you didn’t mention shotgun ammo. I started shooting a .410 @ 12 years old. Have shot them now for 45 years. Have no idea how many shots put down range. But I would love to have a dollar for each shot.
      Buy that Corvette I have been looking at.

      Better questions: Why did you start/stop shooting?
      When was the last time you took the time to hunt or shoot?
      What do you enjoy about shooting?
      What guns do you currently own?
      Which SS agent on your detail is the best shot? Have you ever hit the range with the detail?
      Things like that.

      Guy22

  14. avatarLoyd says:

    “What is your CCW?”

  15. avatarIndyEric says:

    Am I permitted to own, without permit or registration, any weapon that is typically carried by a United States infantryman?

    • avataranonymous says:

      “Am I permitted to own, without permit or registration, any weapon that is typically carried by a United States infantryman?”

      How about replacing “United States infantryman” with “local police officer”?

      Ten years ago, Dave Kopel proposed the following “gun control amendment

      1. No government agency, nor employee of any government agency, shall be allowed to possess firearms prohibited to the citizens of the state, county, or municipality in which they serve.

      2. No government agency, nor any employee of any government agency, shall be exempt from laws and regulations regarding the possession or use of firearms which affect the citizens of the state, county, or municipality in which they serve.

  16. avatarAnon in CT says:

    Questions aside – something to think about re the upcoming election:

    Heller was decided 4-5

    Who do you want (or who do you less want) appointing the next 1 or 2 USSC Justices?

    http://dailycaller.com/2012/09/26/this-november-cling-to-your-gun-rights/

    • avatarHenry Bowman says:

      How do we explain the Obamacare decision then? Roberts was a Bush appointee yet he sided with the “liberal” judges.

      To me, this SCOTUS appointment arguement doesn’t hold water. It’s highly unlikely that they will ever take sides against federal overreach in support of liberty. They are federal employees, after all.

      • avatarBob says:

        Justice Roberts said that it is not the job of the Supreme Court to correct the mistakes of the Legislative Branch. Roberts didn’t like the law, but he couldn’t find any part of the law that he thought violated the Constitution, so he let it stand.

        • avatarTotenglocke says:

          Which is a lot of crap. Before he said that bullshit, he said that he voted for it because since they voted in favor of the Republicans law regarding corporate donations for campaigns, he was worried that Democrats would cry that the court is biased if they voted against a major Democrat law.

          There is no part of the Constitution authorizing the Federal government to force people to buy a product of any sort, nor to enact punitive taxes for not buying a product / service. Roberts is a perfect example of why our system doesn’t work – because there’s zero accountability to the people and the SCOTUS judges are put in place for their politics, not for their understanding of the Constitution.

        • avatarWill says:

          Funny thing is, the SCOTUS is appointed, not voted, for for such reasons as making them bend to political pressures in order for them to keep their jobs.

          Also of note is The Constitution makes no mandates on a SCOTUS judge having a legal background of any type. Which means anywhere between elitistville and hicksville, ANY citizen of the United States may hold the position, regardless of education or experience.

        • avatarAndo says:

          “he couldn’t find any part of the law that he thought violated the Constitution, so he let it stand.”

          Not true. As the case was argued, that Obamacare was a mandate, Roberts found that was not constitutional, but per the reasons given above, that perception of the court would be too conservative, Roberts created his own arguement to support his political decision.

      • avatarTotenglocke says:

        You seem to be under the misconception that G-dub was a conservative….he most certainly was not.

        • avatarMD Matt says:

          Roberts’s ruling was that the government had the legal authority to do what the law set forth.
          You know, like social security, medicare…etc.
          And if you read his ruling, it isn’t based on congress’s ability to force people to buy things, but tax them in support of programs.
          I hate the law, but think legally he’s right. Most of the writing I’ve seen on this issue looks at the sc’s decision in a very narrow window, picking one part of the law and cherry picking the decision from that limited perspective.
          The ruling doesn’t say that congress should do something; it simply says that precedent says they have the ability to do so.
          I don’t see why this was a surprise. It isn’t like participation in social security is voluntary.
          His commentary rings very true to me. This law was made by elected representatives of the people. The court isn’t there to protect us from our own mistakes; it’s just there to make sure the other branches act within the limits of the system.
          Sucks, but there you go

        • avatarHenry Bowman says:

          No, I know he is a statist just like all the rest. I was just using it as an example to counteract the argument that Republicans appoint “good” judges and Democrats appoint “bad” judges… so vote Republican. The truth is that both R’s and D’s appoint statist judges.

    • I completely agree. The old lady, forget her name – the one who falls asleep during every state of the union, is almost 80 and will definately step down during another 4 years of Obama, so that he can appoint another young judge in her place. It’s standard political courtesy. There’s also two more guys who are in their early 70′s and one of them could kick the bucket anytime.

      I personally am more concerned about the potential 2 supreme court justices with lifetime appointments that could be coming up than I am about the next president. Since I’m not very high on either candidate and NJ will go blue no matter what I do, I will probably throw my vote away for Ron Paul, who I actually like and agree with on a whole lot more than the other two.

  17. avatarWes says:

    “Would you support and push for the repeal of the 1934 National Firearms Act?”

    What? Too much to hope for?

  18. avatarMike in NC says:

    To be fair to Glenn Beck, when you had that interview he had only recently moved to Texas from NYC. It takes time for all that NYC anti-gun brainwashing to wear away. You might get a better, although probably still an imperfect response out of him with that question today.

  19. avatarjwm says:

    Unless you’ve been convicted of a violent felony or as a pedophile i see no reason to not allow you to own a gun. Provided of course you’re not currently serving a sentance. Non violent felonies and misdemeaners should nor be a block to gun ownership so long as you’ve done your time.

    As for the type of weapon, anything the civil police, regardless if they’re local or federal are allowed should be allowed for the citizens as well.

    I personally am in favor of constitutional carry but would “settle” at this point with a federal shall issue. We could keep working for constitutional carry as time goes on.

    We’ll get none of the above so long as people like difi, schumer, the clintons,rahm and bloomberg are in positions of power.

  20. avatarChad says:

    I don’t really care what questions Mitt Romney is asked, because I know one thing. That is, that we know what we are getting with Obama. His record is totally clear, on his opposition to national reciprocity, concealed carry, reinstating the assault weapons ban.

    Non of the things I just mentioned, are on Mitt Romney’s plate. Therefore, Romney/Ryan is who we have to vote for, hands down.

    Stop with all the write in candidate bullshit as well. If you don’t vote Romney/Ryan then your voting for OBAMA, PERIOD!

  21. avatarDerryM says:

    I believe there are two questions that should be asked of every political candidate:
    1) Do you unequivocally support the Second Amendment and the “right of the People to keep and bear arms”?
    2)Will you, if elected, work diligently to remove and repeal all Federal, State and Local laws, regulations and executive orders that infringe or restrict the “right of the People to keep and bear arms”?

    I don’t believe many political candidates will answer those questions honestly and most will make every effort to evade making any sort of committed answer, but those are the questions that should be put to them in every election campaign. The only acceptable answers are “Yes, I do!” and “Yes, I will!”

    It’s a wild dream, but there it is…

  22. avatarmike says:

    I wish you would be as excited to ask obama a question or two about guns and gun rights. oh wait, he won’t even sit down with the NRA or a gun advocate? hmmm, i wonder why. speaking of which, this site has said nothing about obama expanding the civil foeretifitures provision for the DOJ to make it easier for the feds to sieze a citizens weapon/weapons without due process. that doesnt sound under the radar does it? cause that comment was never said, right? you are an asshat farago. admit it, you are voting for obama. quit acting like you arent. you bash his challengers more than the man who is using his public power to constrict our rights you claim to fight for. quit acting like obama stands up for the 2nd amendment. he is a left wing hack whose ideology cannot allow free individuals. A firearm is the ultimate symbol of individual freedom and self-reliance. somehting that a man like obama is an opponent of. and i know some of you will write me off as some right wing nut, but i ask you to look at reality, leave the lame ass talking points behind, and actually consider what i have said, and form your own opinion. im sick of you farago and your site. i will never visit this know it all, self important, arrogant, and ignorant website again, goodbye.

    ps here are the links to what i was refering to:

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/sep/6/atfs-latest-gun-grab/

    • avatarjwm says:

      Mike, if I’m not mistaken Farago has come out on the side of voting for Romney. As for RF being an asshat, well I’ll let you two talk that out.

  23. avatarJ- says:

    I agree, most states arn’t (or will ever be) ready for constitutional carry. A permit for CCW is not unreasonable, assuming it is shall issue and not excessively burdensome to obtain (background check and maybe some classroom time). I see a CCW permit (touching on ideas in other recent TTAG posts) as a piece of paper that LEO’s can use to separate “good guys” from criminals, those who want to carry guns for self protection and those who carry guns for malicious intent.

    My question is “do you believe ‘full faith and credit’ extends to CCW permits such that a permit holder from one state can carry in all other states?” Why does my permit from Utah allow me to carry in every state that borders the one I live in (Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa, Mossouri, Kentucky) but not the one I live in (Illinois) why do 38 states trust me to carry a loaded pistol on my person but 12 don’t?

  24. avatargabba says:

    “to my surprise beck said…” what?! glenn beck said that obama has a deep seated hatred of white people within 90 seconds of saying “i’m not saying he doesn’t like white people”. he literally doesn’t control what he says. not even mitt romney contradicts himself in less than two minutes! how can you possibly be surprised by anything he says.

  25. avatarBruce W. Krafft says:

    David Codrea has a pretty good candidate’s questionnaire here.

  26. avatarLarry says:

    Robert Farago, if you don’t want the HNIC to win re-election, stop dissing Romney. At least, wait until after the election if you just can’t resist saying unflattering things about him.

Leave a Reply

Please use your real name instead of you company name or keyword spam.