Day 500 of the Trump Administration almost feels like Year 500. Each day is so packed with scandal, incompetence, destruction and disgrace that it can feel overwhelming. But the most important action we can take concerns our local political future–working to fire John Faso.
Faso was part of a panel this weekend in Hudson on Gun Laws, School Safety & Mental Health, that included mental health professionals and members of law enforcement. Faso was repeatedly asked about his support of and vote for the CCRA–Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act–which will allow people from states with lax or no gun laws to carry their concealed weapons to any other state without legal jeopardy. In other words, the CCRA is a Federal law that would effectively make all state carry laws equal to the least restrictive state’s carry law, which is to say, practically nothing.
Law enforcement hates the CCRA because it introduces yet another element of lethal risk, uncertainty and danger into their daily interactions. Is the person carrying that concealed weapon a good guy or a bad guy? And of course, mental health professionals don’t want disturbed people to be able to carry guns across state lines with impunity. But Faso thinks it’s a great idea because of the Second Amendment. This is almost precisely his rationale. Anyone should be able to do anything with a gun at any time…because of the Second Amendment. And because there are “thousands of sportsmen and gun owners in my district” who care about the issue, even though it doesn’t directly affect them, only residents of other states.
Faso failed to offer any compelling interpretation of the language of the Second Amendment, specifically in terms of a “well regulated militia”, and he refused to acknowledge that the Supreme Court has said clearly that guns can be regulated if done sensibly. He frames the gun issue like a Neanderthal. Guns good, regulations bad.
What Faso will never admit, and what his NRA-worshiping supporters deny, is that national polling consistently shows 90% of the American public support universal background checks, and 2/3rds of Americans support an assault-weapons ban. In fact, Republican support for stricter gun control was at an all-time polling high not long after the Parkland massacre.
But Faso sticks with his small band of vocal NRA extremists, acting is if they are a huge voting block in our district. He’s in for a surprise, just like conservative voters in Virginia were surprised when gun-control candidate Ralph Northam was elected governor by a wide margin. Virginia is the home state of the NRA.
We have to keep the pressure on Faso when it comes to guns. We are not “trying to take away all their guns”, which is the fearmongering rally cry of the NRA. We want sensible regulations that will reduce gun fatalities and increase public safety. The freedom to own a gun should be balanced by the freedom to live without gun violence. Right now, the issue is tilted strongly toward the NRA, since they are the ones with a lot of money to buy off politicians like John Faso. Let’s keep working to fire him…