Unlike urban areas where guns can be a big deal, in the rural West people grow up with guns, respect them, they’re part of the culture, and thus no big deal
These handguns belong to a friend who grew up in southern Utah, where I am now. One of the guns belonged to his dad and has probably been fired 500,000 times. He has a rifle that his grandfather owned. Like I said, it’s part of the culture – and a big difference between urban and rural culture.
And it seems odd that two of the handguns on the table would get you arrested in California for possessing (because of the size of the clips) while you can walk down the street in Utah with it in an open holster with no permit and that’s completely legal. Our gun laws are a crazy, contradictory mish-mash.
“Our gun laws are a crazy, contradictory mish-mash.” That’s what happens when you let The People decide. But OTOH, why *should* gun laws in California be the same as gun laws in Utah? Having lived 25 years in LA and 25 in small towns, I can attest that there is nowhere in Utah that faces the challenges LA does, and that California-style gun laws would cause an uprising in places like UT, AZ, NH, VT, TX, etc. So we are faced with the choice of making solutions local, or imposing a one-size-fits-all solution that clearly does NOT fit all.
Gun laws are but the most obvious example of this; there are many issues to which we seek a national solution, when in reality the solutions should be decided by states or even municipalities based on their own unique experience. Not only does this provide better solutions on many issues, it also distributes power back to the people. Isn’t it funny how we complain about our leaders abusing power, while time after time we allow them to take more power from us? We continue to think everything would be better if we just elected the right people. Good luck with that! Benevolent dictators are hard to find.
The Principle of Subsidiarity suggests that decisions should be made at the lowest practical level. Some government functions must be national (military, currency management, civil rights enforcement), but many issues should be decided much closer to home. “Think local” should not just be an economic slogan, it should be our watchword for politics as well.
I hear you, but we do have a mostly one-size-fits-all when it comes to driver’s licenses and speed limits on roads. Using guns laws as applied to driving would result in something like one state allowing you to drive at 12 with no license and no speed limit and another at 21 with strict license requirements and a 35 mph maximum limit.
The speed limit on the freeway by my house is 80. Some states still have max 55, 70, or 75. And driving ages and requirements DO vary from state to state. Did you know that in Utah, a child can drive an ATV (with no license required) on any non-highway public road? It’s common up our way to see 6-year-olds driving around town. I am not exaggerating – it shocked me the first time I saw it, now I take it for granted. But I sure wouldn’t want to see that in Los Angeles!
It’s true that the major requirements don’t vary – you need a license, and if you have one and comply with posted regulations you can go anywhere you want. At least, so long as you don’t pass on the right in NH and move to the left lane when passing a cop in UT and don’t make a u-turn in front of a business in Culver City, CA – failure to comply with any of these (non-posted) local laws will get you a moving violation.
Analogously, it seems that there should be some national basic agreement on firearms so that, for example, a person could carry his/her handgun through contiguous states, like from NH to RI without getting arrested in MA. But MA doesn’t want it, and NH sure doesn’t want the restrictive regulations MA has. And each has valid and compelling reasons for its position. So, which one gets trampled by a one-size-fits-all plan?