It was just last Thursday that Jeff Woods was telling us the darling story about Ron Ramsey's grandfather — which for some reason meant that we couldn't have universal background checks when it comes to gun purchases. You may recall from that post that Ramsey considers Wayne LaPierre, the public face of the NRA, to be a "a personal friend" of his.
So it is with some surprise that I read Monday about Ron Ramsey publicly opposing the NRA when it comes to closing the records of handgun-carry permit holders. The AP's Erik Schelzig reports:
A National Rifle Association-backed effort to block public access to handgun carry permits goes too far for Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey, one of the top gun rights advocates in the Tennessee General Assembly.
Ramsey told The Associated Press that the ability to scrutinize the identities of people with handgun carry permits strengthens arguments that gun enthusiasts are worthy of carrying loaded firearms in public.
I have to tell you, I find this somewhat baffling. It's an insult to Ron Ramsey's grandpa if gun sellers have to know something about you before selling you a gun. And it's a terrible injustice if your employer wants to know if you're bringing a gun onto their property and wants you not to. But the names of people who hold handgun carry permits should be open to the public?
It's not that I disagree with Ramsey on the last point. I do think that if the government issues a permit for anything, taxpayers should be able to see the names of the people who have been issued those permits, for guns or for construction, whatever.
But I don't understand the logic behind Ramsey's gun stance this session. We shouldn't do too much to prevent law-breakers from getting a hold of guns. And law-breakers who keep guns in the parking lots of their employers right now need to be cut a break and have the law changed to make them no longer law-breakers. But law-abiding permit holders shouldn't be ashamed of being open to scrutiny?
What the fuck? Coddle the law breakers and tell those who abide by the law to suck it up?
If I were a law-abiding gun owner, I'd be wondering just whose side Ron Ramsey was on here.