Armed and dangerous

A Gazette editorial from the Charleston Gazette-Mail 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia’s government is drowning in the worst budget crisis within memory. So what are conservative legislators doing? Passing absurd right-wing bills to hurt gays, restrict women’s rights, and let everyone carry hidden pistols without licenses, background checks or safety training, even when their own constituents largely say no thanks to such a bill.

The pistols-for-all bill would let virtually anyone be armed to kill — no questions asked. Are lawmakers deliberately trying to make the Mountain State a national butt of jokes? Or just a more dangerous place to live?

The “concealed carry” proposal flying through both chambers would let unsuitable people skulk around — in stores, churches, sports arenas, beer taverns, schools or wherever — with loaded guns, like drug dealers in high-crime neighborhoods.

But the pistol-packers couldn’t enter Legislature chambers, because guards and metal detectors have been installed at the Capitol. If lawmakers are so afraid that they hide behind metal detectors, why do they want to inflict hidden guns on West Virginians lacking such protection?

Gov. Tomblin should veto this monstrosity…

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