Tuesday, October 11, 2011
By Tom Rhodes 10/11/2011
The St. Pete Times Tuesday October 11, 2011 editorial was based on a recent Philadelphia Inquirer editorial, even though the times treats it as a news article. The basis is: if the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania won't issue a person a carry concealed weapons (CCW) permit then Florida shouldn't be allowed to issue such a permit to the same person. Florida issues concealed weapons permits to all applicants who hold a valid driver’s license in their state of residency, are mentally sound, have never been convicted of a felony, and have had firearms training. Philly won’t issue CCW’s to anybody they don’t like.
Because the government in Philadelphia either cannot or will not convict a person of some crimes, but that person is “known” to be a criminal, they think that is justifiable reason to restrict a person’s rights. The Times laments that the State of Florida may grant a CCW permit to a person whom the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has denied. They seem to think the Florida standard of guilty until PROVEN innocent is extreme. They want to Florida to accept Pennsylvania’s standard of guilt by association. The Times tries to make this out to be a State’s Rights argument. They blame the agreement Florida has with Pennsylvania honoring the CCW permits issued from each other.
It is not a State’s Rights issue; Pennsylvania is free to change its laws, and/or modify its agreement to only honor Florida CCW permits from Florida residents or not honor Florida CCW permits at all. The Times fails to even recognize that people are Innocent until Proven Guilty, and accepts the standards of guilt by association, and guilty until proven innocent. Not one time to they think about the rights of individuals, nor consider that a person should be treated as innocent until proven guilty. Yes, by the standard of treating people innocent until PROVEN guilty, some guilty people will get through the cracks, but as a society we long ago determined that it is better for some guilty people to go free, than infringe upon the basic rights of all people.
So what is the point in noting that the Philadelphia Inquirer and St. Petersburg Times have a bias against citizens having guns? Both of these newspapers have proven and long standing “liberal” bias, and have consistently held anti-gun positions. The point is not to further expose known truths about them, but to note that they are in fact not liberal newspapers. A liberal, by definition, is someone who is favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, especially as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties. The articles from both papers lament the fact that Florida honors and protects civil rights over the interest of the State. They conclude that the State should have the authority to restrict an individual’s civil liberties without due process or having to actually prove a person is guilty of something. They want to allow the State to instill a penalty for merely being suspect of committing a crime. They in fact are not “liberal” newspapers but “statist” rags. They actively promote principles and policies of concentrating extensive economic, political, and related controls in the state at the cost of individual liberty. This is the very definition of Statism.
My open question to the Philadelphia Inquirer is why don’t you condemn the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for restricting fundamental rights of its citizens without due process?
My open question to the St. Petersburg Times is why do you consider Florida’s belief and protection of the concept that all individuals are “Innocent Until Proven Guilty” and as such should be treated as innocent unless actually convicted of a crime do you find radical or extreme?