CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

Editorials

August 6, 2013

Guns and rights

CULLMAN — Alabama’s new gun law was fashioned under the guise of offering better clarification to residents about what’s acceptable and not acceptable regarding the right to carry firearms. But the law is so confusing that even the most avid gun advocates must be wondering what lawmakers were thinking.

In the state House of Representative, Ed Henry was the author of this bill. At the time the bill was constructed, many Alabama lawmakers were wagging their fists at the president and federal lawmakers who were discussing more gun control measures and the banning of certain ammunition and weapons. So it’s reasonable to assume that most of Alabama’s effort was simply a chance to rant at the feds and win favor with state voters.

Most Alabamians are pretty much sold on the benefits and the right to own guns. What’s uncertain is whether Alabamians would want to see folks strapping on pistols and walking down the streets of their home towns.

In essence, this state law has taken orderly gun ownership and behavior and opened the door for chaos. Business owners now have to worry whether long established policies are obsolete. Others must worry that customers can walk in the door of businesses with no thought of leaving their guns in the car.

Unfortunately, Alabama lawmakers have approved another piece of legislation that is destined to be challenged in the courts and ring up a hefty bill at the taxpayers’ expense.

When lawmakers return to session next year, every effort should be made to amend this law so that fewer guns are appearing on the streets, not more. The right to own guns is secure in this country, but practicing reason in public places should not be abandoned.

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