REP. CAROL Carol Shea-Porter has a gun problem.
Specifically, she seems unsure of her position on the 2nd Amendment. She has always proclaimed herself a supporter of the 2nd Amendment's declaration that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." It is what she thinks that statement means, however, that is unclear.
For years, the District of Columbia has prohibited its residents from owning handguns. Dick Heller, a D.C. special police officer, and five other residents sued, and the case went before the U.S. Supreme Court last month. Every member of New Hampshire's congressional delegation except Carol Shea-Porter signed an amicus brief supporting the plaintiffs in their effort to overturn the ban.
On WMUR, Shea-Porter was asked to explain her thoughts on the case. She said:
"Well, I'll tell you. I support the 2nd Amendment as well. And I come from a state where people hunt. I understand that. I've lived in the North Country, and I support their right to hunt. I support all that. However, there is another issue: states' rights. And so I am waiting for the court to make a decision about this.
"And there are two different issues here. And we also want to make sure we protect states' rights. In New Hampshire we're very, very big on that. I mean, look at our reaction to the federal ID. But we don't want it. So here we have a case where one state, or in this case the District of Columbia, is passing rules for themselves, and the federal government's coming in, and I'm stepping aside until we decide what comes, and you know, who has the priority here. Is it a states' rights issue, or, or exactly how will it shake out?"
Where to begin?
First, the District of Columbia is not a state and does not share "states' rights."
Second, does Rep. Shea-Porter really believe the Founding Fathers were concerned about losing their right to hunt? If so, why did they mention militias in the 2nd Amendment and not hunters?
Third, if you have no opinion on whether "states' rights" trump the 2nd Amendment, then you don't support the 2nd Amendment, which guarantees the individual right to bear arms in self defense. What other constitutional rights does Rep. Shea-Porter think states can override?
We asked Rep. Shea-Porter's office to clarify her position on the 2nd Amendment. We asked if she believes that the amendment guarantees the right to own handguns. We received no response last week.
However, we did inadvertently receive an e-mail from Rep. Shea-Porter's chief of staff who forwarded our query to his boss, preceding it with a question, "Do you want to answer this?"
As we never got a response, we guess the answer was "no."