It should surprise no one that the Republican-dominated Indiana General Assembly has passed resolutions in both houses that encourage gun makers to relocate here in the Hoosier State. From an economic standpoint, it's sound policy that, if successful, would provide jobs for Hoosiers. This would be nothing different than Governor Mitch Daniels' initiative to woo motorsports development to the Hoosier State. That initiative felt right. This just feels wrong.
Now, before you go off and call me a bleeding heart liberal, I understand that the vast majority of gun makers in this country produce their products for law-abiding citizens. I am not quibbling with any of your Second Amendment rights when I say that you should have a right to own firearms in your home to collect them or use them for defense or hunting or whatever lawful use you wish to use them for. I get that, and I support that. There's nothing inherently wrong with gun making nor the state's pursuit of gun makers to locate here.
For me, though, it just feels dirty...the kind of ground in dirty that even the most intense shower won't remove.
If you go back a year ago, we were in the midst of this gun control debate, but the heat wasn't as high then. The massacres in Newtown and in Aurora had not occurred yet. There wasn't as much impetus by state legislatures to tighten gun laws.
While other states tighten up gun laws, Indiana continues to loosen them. Long regarded as one of the more gun-friendly states in the union, Indiana's climate seems to get more and more friendly to guns with every General Assembly session.
For gun makers, they are looking at the climate in the states they are in and are trying to determine if their business model matches the state climate for guns. In a few cases, it just doesn't agree. That business decision is theirs to make.
Still, the fact is that likely the main reason these companies are leaving those states is because those states chose to make it more difficult for the wrong kind of person to get hold of weapon with the capability of creating the kinds of massacres have seen over the last year. It should come as no surprise that both Connecticut and Colorado as well as some of their neighboring states have taken action and passed some new and more restrictive gun laws.
Now, I know opponents of tightening restrictions on firearms will say that there are enough unenforced laws on the books to take care of our problems. They will also say that more guns and not less guns are the answer to the issues we face. They may even point out that the reason that Indiana hasn't seen some of the horrible mass shooting tragedies that have occurred in other states is that we have more guns than those other places. I am not going to enter into that argument. I continue to maintain that more guns are not the answer. The answers aren't just as simple as adding more guns or more guards.
As I see it, what's wrong with this goes right back to the original reason these companies want to move. The reason goes back to why this new rash of legislation was passed. The mass shootings touched all of this shuffling off. Thus, isn't Indiana competing for the business of companies whose business models and products do little to help reduce the chances of another mass shooting?
Yeah, it feels wrong to me.