Bill Wayne's Political Pages

Discussion on Concealed Carry legislation
In answer to two editorials in the Warrensburg Daily Star Journal
Posted August 4, 1998

Editor, Daily Star Journal

Your editorial on 5/12 asked for good reasons not to have a referendum on the concealed carry legislation. I can think of two, one philosophical and one practical.

If the granting of what many of us believe to be a basic right guaranteed by the Bill of Rights is to be decided by popular vote, a precedent would be set that could allow similar restriction of other enumerated rights. James Madison would be as astounded by the very idea as you, the editor, would be by a proposed election to restrict certain types of news stories.

A very practical objection is the huge expense of a campaign on this issue, especially when supporters must overcome the editorial bias of this paper and other media in addition to the money and celebrities that would be poured in by outside interests whose real agenda is to ban all private ownership of firearms. Your editorial of 5/14, which proves my point about editorial bias, states (while condemning Charlton Heston) that "legitimate ownership of guns has constitutional protection." The question you didn't address is which self-styled elite will determine what gun ownership (or free speech?) is "legitimate."

I suspect that relatively few people will find a concealed carry permit worth the expense and hassle (I certainly won't); those who do will be so well-investigated and well-trained as to be cleaner and safer than a BATF agent. So, why demagogue the issue by forcing an expensive referendum? Then again, if we're forced into a vote maybe we can have that Moses versus Funny Girl debate right here in Warrensburg.

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Bill Wayne
431 Southeast County Road Y
Warrensburg, Missouri, 64093