I took a number of steps before I started carrying a gun. I got training, I read books and articles by self-defense experts, I learned the laws of my state, I started going to the range regularly, and I did “dry fire” exercises at home to keep my shooting skills up.
I also got a concealed-carry permit, which in Virginia required almost none of the above preparation. All I had to do was get a form notarized and send it in — along with $50 and a copy of the hunter’s-safety card I earned in Wisconsin when I was 13 years old, which allegedly proved my “competency with a handgun.” Nothing would have stopped me from getting a permit and carrying a gun legally if I hadn’t touched a firearm since 1997 and had received no training at all that pertained specifically to concealed carry or self-defense, as opposed to shooting deer in the freezing cold.I have attended concealed carry training in Virginia as well, and had a carry permit there for a number of years. Personally, I thought Virginia's approach to concealed carry training struck the right balance between training on the law and recognizing that those seeking a permit are adults who can decide for themselves if, and what kind of training they may need. It is clear then, that Mr. Verbruggen's unwritten attitude is that only those who have gone to the training classes he has, and have the proper accreditation should be allowed to carry a handgun. All others are just too immature, too uneducated, too...unwashed. At the same time, he seems to recognize that even states with more lax requirements such as Constitutional Carry do not have blood running in the streets as predicted.
It’s perfectly fine, of course, for the state of Virginia to have lax permitting standards and trust that its residents will get the training they need of their own volition and good sense. In fact, a growing number of states don’t require a permit to carry at all — some call it “constitutional carry” — and their streets are not running red with blood.So, Mr. Verbruggen's sense is, like a lot of anti-gunners, a simple distrust of his fellow men and women, but at least he sees the truth, unlike the hoplophobes who just don't get it. Verbruggen then goes on to claim that the Constitutional claims for interstate reciprocity do not rest on the Second Amendment (but they do partially) or the Commerce Clause (they don't). But then he finds the Full Faith and Credit clause. And he is correct here that the Full Faith and Credit clause does indeed compel states to recognize each other's gun permits just as each state must recognize each other's marriages and each other's drivers licenses. The existence of more stringent requirements in one state does not therefore make the drivers licenses of another state with more lax requirements somehow not recognized. The same reasoning applies. After all, an automobile is capable of delivering even greater loss of life than a handgun.
There is, however, a constitutional defense of concealed-carry reciprocity that works, one recently advanced by a trio of highly respected constitutional scholars. It’s rooted in the much-neglected and much-misunderstood Full Faith and Credit Clause:...snip...
Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.
So, it’s constitutional for Congress to prescribe the effects that one state’s concealed-carry policies and permits will have in another. But not everything that’s constitutional is wise, and conservatives in particular should be wary of forcing their legislative preferences on unwilling states via federal decree.So Mr. Verbruggen is squeamish about actually forcing states to do their duty under the Constitution for fear of making them mad. But the Left is already mad, and getting madder. And I don't mean this in the sense colloquial sense, but in its original meaning of being crazy loons. They already accuse us of trying to legislate morality. So let's get on with actually doing some of it. They will, of course, immediately appeal and the Supreme Court will have to get involved. And that will tell us something as well. so yes, let's have a reciprocity bill, and then we'll see where everybody stands.
Conservatives have been too timid for too long. The Left has no such qualms, Just as I believe the Church should again adopt the idea of the Church Militant in support of Christianity, so should conservatives adopt the idea of Conservatism Militant in support of conservative principles. One important principle is that of self defense.
While you are at National Review you might as well read David French's article entitled Sad Supreme Court Case Highlights the Need for Smarter Second Amendment Jurisprudence.