As if I needed another reason to sleep in on Sundays, Arkansas’ legislators have passed a bill allowing concealed handguns to be carried into churches. I don’t know what I’m getting so foamy at the mouth about. Apparently my home state is only one of ten in the country that doesn’t already allow this.* Supposedly this is so that God-fearing church members can protect themselves when their churches cannot afford security. (Hey! Here’s an idea: Instead of raising funds so your youth group can visit the Dallas Cowboys stadium, how about fundraising for a professional security guard salary if you’re really so worried about congregation safety. Just a thought, but I’m a heathen, so what do I know?) Governor Mike Beebe is in all likelihood going to sign The Church Protection Act 0f 2013, because, hey, if individual churches don’t want guns in their places of worship, they don’t have to have them.
In another bit of brilliant lawmaking-in-process, also up for consideration is a bill that would make the list of those gun toters secret. You see, they want to carry their guns, but they don’t want anyone else to know they’re carrying guns. The Legislature already tried this back in 2009, but Governor Beebe is generally opposed to restrictions to the Freedom of Information Act (you go, Mikey!), so the outcome of that was the current compromise that makes public only the names and zip codes of persons with concealed carry permits.
I’m seriously confused about the logic behind this one. I understand the privacy issue–people say they are concerned about news organizations publishing the list as was done in Newtown. But some folks claim their main concern is their safety if the list became general knowledge. Hm. I thought carrying the gun was supposed to make them safe?
Oh, and here’s a few things that were going on in the rest of my home state while legislators planned to loosen gun laws:
More guns for everyone!
*That statistic is cited here, Church concealed carry bill passed by Arkansas Senate, but I couldn’t find anything from the NRA to corroborate.