Weak enough that she's begun full-scale pandering to the gun lobby.
Senator Blanche Lincoln announced today that she'll seek to enact into law a Bush administration rule that has been challenged in court -- allowing carrying of concealed weapons in national parks and wildlife refuges. The professional employees of the National Park Service have stoutly opposed allowing concealed guns. What do they know about providing a safe and pleasant experience for American vacationers?
Lincoln engages, again, in her propensity to dishonestly frame issues by saying her bill would "restore Second Amendment gun rights." It does no such thing. It merely creates a new privilege for gun people.
The gun nuts believe the Second Amendment is absolute and without qualification, despite centuries of court rulings to the contrary. There ARE places where guns may be prohibited. There ARE certain types of weapons that may be prohibited in civilian hands. There ARE permissible reporting, permit and sale requirements. Among others, the Second Amendment allows the government to limit guns in parks and it did so far years, until the waning hours of the Bush administration. The Congress may change the policy if it chooses.
The senator need not prevaricate or exaggerate in the course of pandering to the NRA, but she's done it on the estate tax and there's no reason to expect better from her on this important voter niche -- the angry white male. Oddly, since she's always been pro-gun, polls show it is her weakest voter segment. Thus today's blast.
BLANCHE LINCOLN NEWS RELEASE
Washington – U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln is fighting on behalf of Arkansans’ Second Amendment rights. This week, Lincoln introduced legislation that would restore Second Amendment gun rights to visitors of national parks and wildlife refuges.
Lincoln’s legislation is aimed at codifying a recent Department of the Interior (DOI) rule to allow law-abiding citizens to carry a concealed firearm in national parks and wildlife refuges. Earlier this year, that rule was put in jeopardy by a Washington, DC-based federal district court’s granting a preliminary injunction against the new rule’s implementation.
“The Second Amendment affords law-abiding Arkansans the right to own and carry firearms. Those rights should extend to national parks and wildlife refuges, as the Department of Interior has so determined,” Lincoln said. “I will continue to fight to protect Arkansans’ Second Amendment rights.”
Lincoln, an avid sportsman who hails from a seventh-generation Arkansas farm family, has fought to protect Arkansans’ Second Amendment rights throughout her tenure in Congress. In a December 14, 2007 letter, Lincoln pressed then-Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne to remove DOI’s prohibitions on law-abiding citizens from transporting and carrying firearms on lands managed by the National Park Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service. Lincoln and her Senate colleagues were instrumental in the DOI regulation change.
Chris W. Cox, Executive Director, National Rifle Association - Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) said, “I would like to thank Sen. Lincoln and the other sponsors of this legislation for supporting the right of law-abiding gun owners to protect themselves in our federal parks and wildlife refuges. This bill is a much-needed, common-sense measure that will amend out-of-date regulations and restore the Second Amendment rights of American gun owners.”
Lincoln joined Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Bob Bennett (R-Utah), and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) in introducing this legislation.