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Credit Cards and Guns in National Parks

This article was written by in Economy. 36 comments.


While the Senate is working hard to put together their version of the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights some Senators are taking the opportunity of a sure-to-pass bill to tag on unrelated amendments. One example is Senator Tom Coburn’s amendment, S.AMDT.1068, whose stated purpose is “to protect innocent Americans from violent crime in national parks and refuges.” Interestingly, the way innocent Americans are protected according to this amendment is by allowing firearms in National Parks.

The amendment passed with a 67-29 vote earlier this week.

It might be worthwhile to debate whether the statutes restricting weapons from National Parks violate Second Amendment rights, but this doesn’t seem to be the appropriate place. Amendments to a bill should be related to that bill. With this amendment, a congressman on behalf of his or her constituents might vote for the complete bill package while objecting to this amendment or any others.

Published or updated May 15, 2009. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Eric

So random and unbelievable!

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avatar Squeezer

i disagree. if you disarm law abiding citizens, then only criminals have guns. also in national parks you can have wild and dangerous animals attack you and you’d want a gun to protect yourself from them. How come cities with strict gun control laws have the highest crime rates? chicago, D.C., etc.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,365 (Platinum)

You disagree with what? Whether you’re right or wrong, why should an amendment about firearms be tacked onto a bill about credit cards? Are the Senators afraid a pro-firearm bill wouldn’t pass the Senate’s vote if it stood on its own rather than on an unrelated bill almost guaranteed to pass?

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avatar Squeezer

You stated: “Interestingly, the way innocent Americans are protected according to this amendment is by allowing firearms in National Parks.”

Which to me sounds like you have the opinion that americans shouldn’t be allowed to carry in national parks. I disagree with that. I think that the best way to protect myself is by arming myself. Show me a criminal that obeys gun free zone laws. You can’t, thats why they are criminals, because they don’t follow the law. Laws that create gun free zones only disarm law abiding citizens.

I think it is being tacked onto this bill because it is likely to pass and if it was on a bill all by itself, it probably would not pass because the democrats are historically anti-gun. Bush changed the national parks rule on I believe it was Dec 10th that allowed concealed carrying in parks, and the obama administration stated back in late january or early february that this was one of the last minute bush administration changes that obama wanted to reverse. Although Bush didn’t have that much to do with it, it was brought about by a lawsuit from a Virginia gun owners group that won a court case.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,365 (Platinum)

I have no opinion about or interest in guns in National Parks, but what I do find interesting is that A) this amendment is being tacked on to a bill about credit cards (closer to the topic I write about here) and that B) the amendment, in governmental doublespeak fashion, would do the opposite of the stated purpose (more guns result in more chaos, not more law-abiding, well-mannered citizens behaving in an orderly fashion). Make assumptions about my beliefs if you will, but keep in mind I would have been just as “interested” in the unrelatedness of an amendment tacked on to the credit card bill whose purpose was to end our involvement in the Middle East war or to increase federal funding for education.

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avatar Squeezer

A) Lots of non-related amendments are tacked onto any bill. The constitution does not state that the title of a bill has to contain solely the legislation about the title.

B) Show me how more guns in america result in more chaos. North Dakota has very generous firearms laws ( http://www.handgunlaw.us/states/northdakota.pdf and http://www.stategunlaws.org/viewstate.php?st=ND ) yet in 2008 there were no murders caused by firearms ( http://www.kxmb.com/t/schools/313515.asp ). The two murders that did happen in North Dakota were stabbings. I guess we should ban knives in North Dakota because they are more likely to cause a murder then a firearm is.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,365 (Platinum)

Regarding point A, I assure you I realize that unrelated amendments being tacked onto bills happens all the time and the Constitution doesn’t forbid it. That doesn’t make it sensible. Yes, it’s how government gets done, so bills that have no chance of passing on their own can sneak by. That’s the point of this particular post.

Regarding point B, there are numerous studies favoring either side of the debate about the correlation (and existence of a causality) between firearm availability and violent crimes (not just murder) involving (not “due to”) firearms, and the sources you cite don’t prove that low rate of murder in North Dakota involving a firearm is due to generous laws. I’ll let you take your pick of research for whichever side you want to argue, but I’m not arguing anything, particularly not on Consumerism Commentary. I’m not disagreeing with you, just pointing out that you haven’t proven your point and that further discussion isn’t appropriate here.

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avatar Mike

“if you disarm law abiding citizens, then only criminals have guns.”

____________

How dare you refer to those who “protect and serve” as criminals. Shame on you.

Or perhaps you don’t understand what the word “only” actually means… I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt on that one.

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avatar Mike

“Show me a criminal that obeys gun free zone laws.You can’t, …”

______________

Of course I can. Hong Kong is a gun free zone, and ALMOST EVERY criminal is gun-free. Not all of them are, of course, but most are… and you only asked to be shown “a” criminal, and that’s OBVIOUSLY an easy task.

The 2nd Amendment is what it is, of course. But all the silly sloganeering that goes on… some of you seem oblivious to the fact that statistically Americans more often accidentally shoot themselves or their children or have their children shoot themselves or some such than actually stop a crime with a gun. I know, I know: that’s the kind of stuff that happens to “other” people, not you, but still, check out the numbers some time.

And then there’s the joke you always here about how your guns protect you from tyranny. I’m pretty sure most people who say that one don’t actually believe it– the Feds have guns, too, better guns than you do, and your pathetic little guns won’t stop the Feds if they decide to come after you. In fact, if you ever accumulate a large enough stockpile to do yourself even the slightest amount of good against the Feds that will simply make you a target. (Ask David Koresh).

The credible defense of gun ownership is purely and simply a matter of 2nd Amendment rights. The silly slogans like “outlaw guns and only outlaws will have guns” or images of a citizen militia standing up against the tyranny of the Federal government are so ridiculous that they insult the intelligence of a 3rd grader.

On another note, most of us have hijacked the OP… but to speak to the OP’s point, I’m afraid we’ve long since lost this battle. Irrelevant riders to bills aren’t going away any time soon. They’ve long been and will long be part of how Congress does business.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,365 (Platinum)

I’m afraid we’ve long since lost this battle. Irrelevant riders to bills aren’t going away any time soon. They’ve long been and will long be part of how Congress does business.

The House of Representatives doesn’t allow unrelated amendments while the Senate does. It’s simply a matter of policy, something that can be changed at any time if enough people desire. If you look at all the House of Representatives’ amendments submitted to the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act, each has a purpose directly related to the act itself. Not so with the Senate.

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avatar TJJ

I see great restraint on the part of congress (House of Representatives or Senate) that “Gun in National Parks” was the only rider on this bill. Or, did you agree with all the other non credit card provisions and did not bother to mention them? Maybe you wanted to stir up a reaction to Guns being on this bill and only pointed out this one provision.

Let us be fair and unless you got this topic from some Anti or Pro Gun website, why don’t you point out all the other non Credit Card provisions added to this bill.

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avatar David C

I’m also disappointed in how Washington works. BTW, bare in mind that I’m a huge 2nd amendment supporter but this isn’t the right way to pass legislation. There are rumors (http://www.miamiherald.com/business/story/1047354.html) that a “cash for clunkers” deal may be tacked on a war appropriations bill next week so this tactic appears to be alive and well… unfortunately…

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avatar TJJ

This is the way Washington has always worked and will continue to work. It does not matter who is in charge.

If you actually read the “Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights” or the “war appropriations bill”, I am sure you will find other off topic items in the bill.

My question: has there been a single bill passed during the last 20 years that contained items that were not off topic from the name of the bill. I doubt it.

People only complain when the off topic item is something that they do not like.

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avatar Smithee ♦1,358 (Quarter)

I’d like to add a rider to this post declaring that only people with painted toenails be allowed to comment.

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