When people think of Oregon, these days they tend to think of Portland and its Antifa insanity. It wasn’t that long ago that every night was rocked by riots, after all, and the city did absolutely nothing to address the issue.
But there’s a lot more to Oregon than just Portland.
In fact, a report out of that state argues that the divide on gun issues there is reflective of the nation as a whole.
An emotionally charged debate over Oregon’s gun-related legislation recently brought lawmakers on different sides of the issue near tears, reflecting a passionate divide over gun rights that is also playing out nationwide.
One of the most sweeping bills being proposed in the politically diverse state — the one that led to highly personal speeches from both Republican and Democratic lawmakers at a committee hearing last week — would increase the purchasing age to 21 for AR-15s and similar types of guns, impose penalties for possessing undetectable firearms and allow for more limited concealed-carry rights.
Republican lawmakers in Oregon said community safety depends on access to firearms, while Democrats conversely called for greater restrictions in the name of safety.
The debate in the Oregon State Capitol comes as Democrats and Republicans across the country spar over gun rights, and as the number of gun violence deaths nationwide has risen to 11,767 so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
“I have a beautiful 19-year-old daughter and I want to know, what did she do wrong to have this imposed on her?” Republican Rep. Greg Smith, his voice cracking with emotion, remarked of the proposed restrictions. “I want to know, what did my beautiful daughter do wrong to where she can’t protect herself? I don’t get it.”
The report then goes on to note similar battles in numerous other states.
Here’s the thing, though. They’re not wrong. These fights are happening all over the country. At least to some degree.
However, what they miss is that there are fights and then there are fights.
For example, what’s likely to pass in Oregon isn’t likely to fly in Tennessee. Yes, the governor there is calling for red flag laws, but absolutely no one is interested in restricting concealed carry. That’s not even on the table there.
That’s where this report kind of breaks down.
What’s happening in Oregon–measures that have a decent chance of passing–won’t happen in Alabama or Texas.
Meanwhile, Florida’s passage of permitless carry isn’t likely to be mirrored in California or Massachusetts.
They’re right that there are discussions over Second Amendment issues all over the nation, but how many of these battles are battles to pass gun control and how many are just to get them out of committee? Then we need to consider how many of these fights are really just holding actions trying to stop something from passing that probably will anyway?
The issue is that while our nation is divided on gun issues, it’s not uniformly so, which is probably a good thing. Especially since so many states have absolutely no respect for the Second Amendment, as is clear from the measures Oregon is considering.