As noted in the previous post, Jeane Combs has pulled her priority status on LB 454, the bill that if enacted would have created a concealed carry law in Nebraska. I do not find any fault with Senator Combs for her actions. LB 454 or any of its previous forms have not been a popular issue with many of the Senators and they have always worked behind the scenes to prevent it. Any CCW legislation in Nebraska is an uphill against the windmills battle and Jeanne Combs deserves the thanks of all safety concious Nebraskans for her efforts in trying to make LB 454 a reality.
Granted I have not been in favor of this truely restrictive bill or any other for that matter. Anyone that has been reading this Blog for any length of time knows that I have articulated rather well that under the Nebraska Constitution and Statutes CCW is already legal in as it is in Vermont and Alaska.
I am appalled however at the treatment that this bill has gotten from the members of the Unicameral. Their attitude suggests that the citizens of Nebraska are inferior to the citizens of several other states that have successfully enacted CCW with out any of the problems that it is claimed will be visited upon the Cornhusker State.
It really was inevitable that it not advance this year or in any other year for that matter. There just is not now, nor has there been the grassroots support in Nebraska needed for this law to be enacted.
My main critique of this whole situation stems from the fact that the minimum 33 votes to bring cloture were apparently there this year and House speaker Kermit Brashear is gaffing off not only Senator Combs, but the citizens of Nebraska that support LB 454.
Combs and other supporters of the idea say it is their constitutional right to carry a concealed weapon and that doing so will help thwart crime.
My question here is why should any American citizen be required to petition the Government for a license to exercise a Constitutional Right, especially when that Right is so succenctly spelled out in the Constitution?
Article CI-1 of the Nebraska state Constitution reads;
All persons are by nature free and independent,
and have certain inherent and inalienable rights; among these are
life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and the right to keep
and bear arms for security or defense of self, family, home, and
others, and for lawful common defense, hunting, recreational use,
and all other lawful purposes, and such rights shall not be
denied or infringed by the state or any subdivision thereof. To
secure these rights, and the protection of property, governments
are instituted among people, deriving their just powers from the
consent of the governed.
Further CI-26 of the Constitution states;
This enumeration of rights shall not be construed
to impair or deny others, retained by the people, and all powers
not herein delegated, remain with the people.
No where in the Constitution has the people given power to the Legislature to regulate firearms and with Ballot Initiative No. 403 in 1988 a majority of the people told the Unicameral to keep their hands off the subject;
............ and such rights shall not be
denied or infringed by the state or any subdivision thereof.
When a government agency creates a system of bells and whistles that have to be blown and hoops that must be jumped through they are infringing and/or denying a Right
I do with a certain amount of trepidation accept the fact the the only way this will be settled to the satisfaction of all is a specific law that addresses CCW.
Running out of time is as convenient an excuse as any. And this is not a slight to Senator Combs that she was convinced to "pull in her guns" for another year. The popular support for LB 454 and the resulting pressure that a bill like this calls for just cannot be brought to bear on the Unicameral.
"With only 14 days left in the session, I had to strongly consider this compromise," Combs said.
Combs is further quoted;
Making the time crunch even tighter, said Combs, was the imminent threat of a filibuster attempt from Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha at every turn. Votes to cease debate and force a final vote normally come after eight hours of debate; there have been only about two hours thus far on the gun bill, and those during just the first of three legislative rounds.
Combs does have assurances, for what they are worth that LB 454 will be fore front on the aganda next year;
Brashear had no obligation to save a spot for it on next year's agenda. But Combs said he agreed, in writing, to put it on the agenda within the first 21 days of next session in exchange for her "passing over" her bill for this year. "This is an iron-clad guarantee," she said.
If Brashear had no obligation then what ever he agreed to in writing is not worth the paper it is printed on.
This isn't the first time a CCW bill has been carried over;
Former Sen. Gene Tyson of Norfolk introduced such a measure in 2003. It was advanced to second-round debate but never returned to the agenda — dying last year because of a rule that gives legislation a two-year shelf-life to be passed.
Since this bill (LB 454) didn't even make it past the first round what makes anyone think things will be different next year? It would seem that there is just to much attention being paid to this bill, both locally and nationally right now and those that oppose it hope to spirit it away until next year where it can be left out to dry with out the fanfare of national attention.
One of the biggest obstacles to LB 454 is the continued lies put forth by members of the Unicameral and certain Chiefs of Police around the state.
Chief Muldoon of Nebraska city has been the media poster boy since he testified before the Judiciary Committee;
"I'm simply pleased it didn't go through because it will give people more time to think about the bill," said William Muldoon, police chief in Nebraska City, upon learning of the development.
"But with all the organized support, it's getting more difficult to reason the safety issues because so many people see this as the right to defend themselves, and don't see the dangers of having more guns in people's houses."
I question the reference to organized support that the Chief aludes to. There has been no more support than usual from the NRA or any of the other groups in regards to Lb 454. If the Chief is referring to the number of people that testified on behalf of LB 454 at the Judiciary Committee hearing, they/we do not belong to any local grassroots organization. I/We are all independant citizens of Nebraska that are concerned with our safety as we go about our LAWFULL PURPOSES.
Hey Chief it is the Right of the people to defend themselves, that is the issue of safety.
Bill get a grip; the guns your worried about are already in peoples houses. CCW is not about more guns in houses it is about guns in the hands of law abiding citizens on the streets to defend themselves against the criminal element that you can't seem to catch or that the judges refuse to keep locked up. Stop twisting the issue into something it is not.
Show us where the enactment of a CCW law in any of the other states has resulted in the doom and gloom that you prophisize Chief.
Senator DiAnna Schimek of Lincoln along with a few otheres have constantly been wringing their hands, gnashing teeth, renting garments and harping that;
"I believe that it encourages what is already prevalent in our society — a more violent attitude," said Sen. DiAnna Schimek of Lincoln. "I don't think that it's healthy for our young people to grow up in an atmosphere where everybody feels like they have to have a gun in their pocket to protect themselves."
There it is the, "Oh Woe is me, if we pass this there will be blood in the streets and shootouts over parking spaces" mantra that has been proven false in every single state that has enacted a CCW law. CWW laws have been so much a non-issue that in many states many of the original restrictions have been taken out of the law.
Wake up Di that kind of cut & paste diatribe from the daily rants of the Brady Bunch and the Million Commie Mommies got old a long time ago. Blood in the streets and the other acts of violence that you claim will visit Nebraska HAVE NOT manifested themselves in any other state that has passed this legislation.
The bottom line appears to be that you DO NOT trust nor do you have any faith in the citizens that elected you to office.
Show us where the enactment of a CCW law in any of the other states has resulted in the doom and gloom that you prophisize Di.
LB 454 had been receiving to much attention this year with the Judiciary testimony and national publicity. Something had to be done behind the scenes to quell the issue for a time when it can quietly go away. Senator tyson learned that two years ago and it seems that all of us are learning it now.
Without all of the hoopla and fanfare of public comment the bill can be passed over for "more important issues" in the next session (the short one) much the same as it has been this year and in years passed. There will not be the attention given to it next year that it saw this year and that is a lesson from 2004.