- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Recent editorials from Alabama newspapers:

March 2

Times Daily, Florence, Ala. on firearms legislation:

State legislators fought every effort last year to ensure deadly weapons are carried only by those who will use them properly.

Their reasoning was if they give the anti-gun crowd an inch, they will take a mile. With that logic in place, legislators loosened gun permit and concealed carry laws, and attempted to put weapons in the hands of gun-trained teachers in schools in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shootings in Connecticut.

Now they are the ones trying to stretch an inch into a mile.

Legislation moving through Montgomery would allow people to carry loaded guns on them or in their cars without a concealed carry permit. Last year, the state Legislature passed a law saying without a permit, guns must be carried out of the reach of a driver and unloaded.

In Alabama, guns are uniquely a part of our history. When our ancestors landed on the beaches of the Carolinas and Georgia, they hit the woods with their guns. It was the smartphone of its day - it provided settlers with their best means of survival.

Their traditions have been handed down, and though we don’t need them for daily survival anymore, many of us use our guns for hunting, target competitions, and perhaps most important, protection. We believe strongly in our rights to protect ourselves, and we’ve inherited an independence from a time not so long ago when there was little else to help guarantee that protection.

But our ancestors were living in a time with less access to health care. We still have much rural countryside, but they had few options when faced with danger other than to pull their shotguns or revolvers.

Most significantly, when they loaded the wagon for a road trip, they weren’t traveling interstate highways at 70 mph. Allowing every driver to have a gun within reach, and little means to trace that weapon if it is unpermitted, is not self-protection. It’s self-endangerment.

While we hold on to our traditions, it’s important that we ensure not only our rights, but the safety of ourselves and our loved ones. To call this bill a good idea is not to protect our rights to self-defense. It’s legally allowing the road-rager in the next lane access to a weapon within arm’s length.

We ask our legislators to think this through carefully. They can say this is about Second Amendment freedom, which they have done a good job protecting. But in this instance, they should acknowledge that this bill is going to endanger honest Alabamians.



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