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Handgun debate

For those who haven't heard, federal legislation that would have allowed those who hold a pistol permit to transport a handgun into nearly any other state fell short in the Senate last week by just two votes.

The move died for a number of reasons, most notably the fact opponents said it would undermine tough requirements put in place by some states for the issuance of a license to conceal a handgun - like mandatory training courses and background checks. New York and California are two such states.

Others argued the move was unconstitutional and would restrict states' rights by forcing them to accept other states' gun carry permits.

I'm not sure if either of these are legit.

First, there is no live fire requirement in New York, so some of the people who complete the required course to obtain a pistol here will do so without ever having fired one - some without ever having fired a weapon, period.

Does that make them more experienced than, say, your average Vermont resident who is allowed to carry a concealed gun without a course or permit?

I know one thing - the debate showed just how loyal our freshman Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is going to be to the constituency who put her in Washington.

On this debate, she came down squarely on the side of inner-city Democrats and voted "no." As did Chuck Schumer, of course, but not before both used the debate as a bully pulpit for anti-gun rhetoric.

"The Thune amendment would invite chaos in our cities," Gillibrand said about the proposal. Schumer added, "The passage of this amendment would have done more to threaten the safety of New Yorkers than anything since the repeal of the assault weapons ban."

First of all, the assault weapons ban wasn't repealed, it was allowed to expire and rioting in the streets hasn't exactly transpired as a result.

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