(The opinions expressed on this page are not necessarily those of the New Hampshire Journal. The Journal welcomes opinions on all sides of issues and from all candidates for office.)
By KIMBERLY MORIN
My Grandmother, God rest her soul, was born in 1902. She was fighting for women to earn the right to vote in 1920. We won! Women also had the right to protect themselves however they saw fit at that time in New Hampshire.
Then in 1923, legislators decided they didn’t like some of the people that were moving into the state and put into place the pistol license law that still exists. This law intentionally allowed police chiefs or other town administrators to discriminatorily profile against people. And it still does today.
Before women had the right to vote, we had the right to protect ourselves. Once women finally earned the right to vote, in New Hampshire, they suddenly lost their right to freely practice their fundamental right to self-defense. Ironic that in 2015 I’m discussing a right that my grandmother had in 1920 that I do not have now.
HB 582 as well as SB 116 – aka ‘Constitutional Carry’ bills are such simple legislation. All these bills do is take away the requirement that if a New Hampshire resident wants to carry concealed, they do not have to ask permission or be discriminatorily profiled by their local police chief.
Currently anyone who is legally able to purchase and possess a firearm in New Hampshire can ‘Open Carry’. The law in place since 1923 forces people to fill out an application, provide references, pay a fee and ask permission of their local police chief to concealed carry (even though the federal government has deemed they ‘fit’ to own a firearm).
These bills still only apply to those who are legally able to purchase and possess firearms without allowing discrimination. Note: criminals don’t ask permission to concealed carry.
Is it really “radical” to give women a choice in how we want to protect ourselves? Is it really radical to stop women from being discriminated against simply because we are women?
And yes, there are at least 2 cases (and more) that we have been told about in which women were indeed discriminated against when seeking a pistol license. And yes, they were discriminated against based on their gender.
The opponents of this simple modification to a 90 year old discriminatory law seem to have little respect for women. Some men in the senate have suddenly decided that THEY get to choose what issues are women’s rights issues (Senator Pierce). Even going so far as to saying that it was ‘insulting to intelligent debate’ that women who are fighting for their 2nd Amendment right is a women’s rights issue.
When I looked in the NH Constitution, bearing arms is indeed listed as a right. I am a woman and there are many women who support the passage of HB 582 (this will be voted on in the House Criminal Justice Committee next Tuesday).
I’d say that is the definition of a women’s rights issue. But I’m just a little ‘half baked’ and clearly don’t understand women’s issues according to some male opponents (Senator Hosmer).
These are the same people who believe women are too weak-minded and fragile to possibly protect ourselves and therefore must get a piece of paper or call 911 in order to do so.
These are the same people who believe law-abiding Granite Staters are nothing but violent criminals who may shoot you over a parking space or because we may get emotional over a sporting event. The opponents of Constitutional Carry do not think highly of the people they reside with in the state.
Woman had to ask permission of men in order to earn their right to vote in 1920. At the same time, they freely had the right to protect themselves how they saw fit.
Women now have to ask permission of men (most police chiefs in NH are indeed men) in order to practice their fundamental right to self-defense. And if they are granted that permission they then have to PAY to BUY BACK that right.
In 1920 women earned the right to vote. Self-defense is already a right. In 2015, the NH Legislature should allow women to freely practice their rights without having to ask permission.
Every single NH Senate Democrat voted against SB 116 – the Senate’s version of HB 582. These are people who pretend to be proponents of ‘women’s rights’. Their actions speak louder than words.
Will Democrats in the House vote to move women’s rights forward or will they keep us in the back of the bus like Senate Democrats?
Will House Democrats actually RESTORE women’s rights?
(Kimberly Morin is the Manchester Political Buzz Examiner as well as the Political Buzz Anchor on Girard at Large. She is a self-described lifelong independent, policy researcher and conservative commentator who says that she doesn’t “shy away from asking tough questions and revealing the truth.”)