Mitt Romney - Gun Owner/Idiot
To the caller, I will offer this advice.
Don't attack the concept of licensing, per se. As much as I, and countless others, feel your pain and understand where you're coming from, that's not the best way to go about reclaiming the rights that have been taken away from us over the last 20 years or so.
We, the law-abiding citizens, must go about restoring our rights in the same manner they have been taken away - one step at a time. That's the cold reality of the situation. Unfortunately, the colder reality is that there's little (read: no) hope for any improvement on this front with ignorant buffoons like Senator Jarrett Barrios chairing the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security.
It shall be the duty of the committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security to consider all matters concerning laws relating to shipping or otherwise transporting energy sources, the safety of the public, including civil defense, firearms and gun control, fire laws, motor vehicle laws, motor vehicle safety belts (including school buses), the correction system including administration, prisoners' rights, furloughs, work release, probation, rehabilitation, homeland or Commonwealth security matters, other matters related to federal affairs, including, but not limited to, the prevention of terrorist attacks; the reduction of the vulnerability to terrorism; the minimizing of the damage and recovery from possible attacks that may occur, and the coordination of homeland security related activities of the Commonwealth with those of the Federal Government, including certain confidential and guarded information and such other matters as may be referred.
Hmmm...no mention of gun owners' rights. I see plenty of prisoners' rights issues highlighted (furloughs, work release, probation). But, the only reference to laws affecting the rights of gun owners is in the context of gun control.
The caller would have been better served asking the Governor if it's reasonable to expect the residents of Boston to have to spend in excess of $900 for the purpose of obtaining a permit to own a $200 gun to keep at home.
I'd like Mitt to take a stab at this one: Governor Romney, why have you done nothing to address the discriminatory gun laws in the Commonwealth that have resulted in a de facto handgun ban for the low-income residents of some of the most crime-ridden neighborhoods in the state?
Better yet, a simple "YES or NO" question: Do the law-abiding citizens of Massachusetts have the right to defend themselves and their families from violent criminals (and coyotes, pit bulls, etc.)?
The governor's response to the aforementioned caller, of course, was boilerplate politico-speak. Apparently, he believes gun licensing is important so that gun owners can be traced to guns involved in "accidental" shootings, citing an incident where his son allegedly shot out a neighbors window with a BB gun.
The Governor then further demonstrated his lack of knowledge on the firearms laws of Massachusetts by claiming he had to obtain a Firearms Identification (FID) Card to buy the BB gun for his kid.
With friends like this, who needs enemies?