Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisana, recently signed a bill into law that would allow people to bring firearms to houses of worship. According to an article in the Huffington Post, the law would “authorize persons who qualified to carry concealed weapons having passed the training and background checks to bring them to churches, mosques, synagogues, or other houses of worship as part of a security force.”
Two Republican shibboleths are beginning to collide: the right to have guns anywhere, anytime without restrictions, and fear of Muslims. So far it seems that “gun ownership über alles” is winning. The next logical step is to remove background checks, then no longer require training, and finally allow guns to be sold between diapers and barrels of fertilizer.
By allowing everyone to carry guns into churches, anyone could be Scott Roeder; shoot anyone you disagree with. Of course, who might bring a gun to synagogue? Perhaps Jewish Defense League, one of America’s homegrown terrorist groups. Faisal Shahzad, the failed Times Square Bomber, wanted to be an Eric Rudolph, but imagine the Columbine-like carnage if he could get guns to protect “Al-Qaeda Mosque 666.”
This law is bad policy, cynically using religion to expand access to guns. Eventually the Republican Party will have to decide whether it’s more important to have a gun in every crèche and Easter basket or to make sure every religious extremist does not have easy access to weapons of their choice. I would think the answer is simple.