Liberals had been demonizing the concept since forced school integration brought it to everyone’s attention in the 1950s and 1960s, culminating in the utter destruction of the Boston public school system by the late federal judge and unhinged Liberal activist Arthur Garrity in the 1970s. Liberals cheered the trumping of local rule by the federal government in matters which they deemed important, such as public education. Indeed, the term “local rule” was made a synonym for “bigotry,” “racist,” and “stupid redneck” by the chortling trust babies at The New York Times and The Boston Globe, they of private schools and Beacon Hill. But after the second Bush win in 2004, many on the Left started angry mumblings about “local rule” as a way of inoculating themselves from the actions of a federal government they saw as having been seized by a cabal of the Ku Klux Klan, the Christian Right, and the National Rifle Association. Who else would have voted for Bush? There came a *spang* from the heads of otherwise sane commentators, who began demanding that the benighted, racist, gun-loving, gay-bashing, church-going, military-loving southern United States be surgically removed from the Progressive North. On a smaller scale, they embraced local rule as a way to keep what they saw as evil conservative policies and laws out of their towns and states. Local rights suddenly seemed awfully attractive.
During the just concluded campaign for governor here in Massachusetts, Republican Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey opined that Massachusetts’ Worst in the Country Gun Prohibition Laws © could be improved slightly if the state assumed the job of approving applications for gun licenses. Under Chapter 180 of the Laws of 1998, all applications for firearms identification cards (for long guns and ammo) and licenses to carry firearms (for owning handguns) have to be made in person to your town’s chief of police. Thus, each of Massachusetts’ 351 chiefs of police has his or her own unappealable (1) power in town to deny you your right to own or carry a firearm, based upon his whim and the secret dictates of the selectmen or mayor.
This has created, as any reasonable person would predict, a crazy patchwork of who can carry a gun and who cannot and is rich with unintended consequences. Boston simply denies FIDs and LTCs to anyone (unless they are personal friends of Mayor Tom Menino, House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi, or Senate President Robert E. Travaglini, as some animals in Massachusetts are created and kept ‘more equal than others’). This leaves Boston residents helpless prey to the city’s vigorous gangland of armed predators who have, in the past several years, created a wasteland of gunned-down unarmed citizens amid Boston’s poisonous atmosphere of criminal violence (2). Yet as Boston’s residents walk stiffly with fear through many neighborhoods by day and simply cower inside at night, residents of the state’s other cities and towns – where the chiefs of police are not brainwashed gun-grabbers -- may walk Boston’s streets armed and unafraid. Thus the Liberals have created a system in which those residents most likely to be from conservative towns are also most likely to be armed. To Boston Liberals, local rights extend into someone else’s state. Mayor Menino has joined New York Mayor Bloomberg is running allegedly illegal “sting” operations in other states in an attempt to stop the illegal flow of guns into Boston and New York.
During the recent campaign, gubernatorial candidate and Designated Sacrificial Republican Kerry Healey proposed that the law be changed to have all FID and LTC applications processed by the state in one central office. If anything good can be said about her loss to uber-Leftist Deval Patrick it is that this proposal dies with her candidacy. Sometimes, it seems. both conservatives and Liberals can agree that local rule is a good thing.
Not from Boston
(1) Massachusetts legislators had no problem with stripping a firearms owner of the most basic Constitutional rights. Lawful firearms owners must also register as "pre-criminals" with the Massachusetts Criminal Records System Board.
(2) “Shootings in Hub rise 77%”, Boston Globe, November 3, 2005