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Have Assault Rifle, Will Travel

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What an exciting weekend this shall be for freedom-loving Americans: it’s the annual NRA convention! And now that little PR flaps like “lots of kids getting shot in an elementary school” are well in the rearview, our beloved gun manufacturers trade association can pivot to further pro-gun legislative action. Go forth, NRA convention, and fight to loosen that state patchwork of gun laws! From The Huffington Post:

With concealed weapons now legal in all 50 states, the National Rifle Association’s focus at this week’s annual meeting is less about enacting additional state protections than on making sure the permits already issued still apply when the gun owners travel across the country.

The nation’s largest gun-rights group, which officially opens its meeting of about 70,000 people Friday in Indianapolis, wants Congress to require that concealed weapons permits issued in one state be recognized everywhere, even when the local requirements differ. Advocates say the effort would eliminate a patchwork of state-specific regulations that lead to carriers unwittingly violating the law when traveling.

This, friends, is truly the civil rights travesty of our time. Joe Diggity gets his gun in a state where the only requirement is a pulse, but if he wants to take it to a hoity-toity liberal blue state where there are more goddamn bureaucratic hoops to jump through, suddenly he’s a crook? Jesus Christ, Congress, fix this post-haste. Because, as the NRA explains, you never know where you’ll be when some dodgy hoodlum attacks:

NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam noted that gun laws vary widely, with some states requiring strict background checks and a handful not even requiring a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

“It is vital because crime can and does happen anywhere,” Arulanandam said. “Just because an individual or a family crosses one state boundary to another doesn’t mean they are immune to crime.”

A couple of things strike me about this.

First is the ease, calm, and general matter-of-factness with which NRA spokespeople describe legislation that essentially nullifies states’ ability to enact gun-control laws. “Reciprocity” is a clever, bureaucratic sounding term—ehh, just a modest tweak to this patchwork system here—for legislation that gives gun carriers the right to not abide by a state’s law.

But there’s also something about the self-defense justification used here: “crime can and does happen everywhere.” With the nation under threat from “those whom NRA chief Wayne LaPierre has dubbed “rapers” and “knockout gamers,” among other scumbags, “it is vital” to be carrying at all times. Only to protect oneself, of course.

But what if there was another reason to travel with guns? What if loosening the laws made it easier to, say, fight a made-up roving war against agents of the federal government? Something in the news recently makes me think of this, somehow . . . . From Business Insider:

Last Tuesday, as he started to read more and more about the situation on The Drudge Report, Jerry DeLemus decided to give Bundy a call.

They spent more than an hour on the phone. “What do you need?” said DeLemus, who was calling from some 2,700 miles away in Dover, N.H.

“I need help,” Bundy told him. “I need bodies.”

“I’m coming,” DeLemus said.

Bundy’s ranch is located approximately 80 miles from the Vegas strip.

It was as simple as that, DeLemus told Business Insider Tuesday. Soon, he began the long drive in his truck. His son; his friend, Jack; and Jack’s son accompanied him on the cross-country trip. All in all, it took 41 hours across a three-day span. They began driving at 5:30 a.m. last Thursday and made it there by Saturday afternoon. They barely took any breaks.

This Wednesday, DeLemus remains in Nevada. He is now running the makeshift “militia” of conservatives protecting the ranch, some of whom are armed with handguns and rifles. DeLemus said about 100 conservative activists are still there, three days after federal agents returned hundreds of cattle they had taken from the ranch.

Loosen the state patchwork of gun laws! Otherwise it will be difficult for nationally-sourced gun nut militias to gather wherever and whenever they want to whip up a little impromptu sedition.