Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Debate Over Gun Control is One-Sided in Idaho

BOISE, Idaho — Somewhere in America, supposedly, there is a debate about regulating guns. But it is hard to find here.

In Idaho’s graceful, striated-marble Capitol, home to one of the more ardent and adamant state legislatures in the nation in standing up for the Second Amendment, lawmakers from both parties say that a torrent of public passion, even panic, about new proposed federal gun rules is pushing in only one direction: toward more guns, not fewer.

If Idahoans, like Americans in many states, have rushed to buy guns out of fear for personal safety in the aftermath of recent mass shootings, or out of fear of tighter legal controls, then democracy has already spoken, many lawmakers said. People have voted with their pocketbooks.

"Enable them to do what they believe is right," said State Senator Marv Hagedorn, a Republican who was designated to be his chamber’s point man on proposed gun legislation in the session that began in January, describing what he sees as his mandate. "There’s a huge call to all of us to protect the Second Amendment rights."

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