The vote of the day is definitely the one on Sen. Wicker’s (R-MS) amendment to the Transportation & HUD Appropriations bill that allows all Amtrak travelers to carry weapons and ammo in their checked baggage. It passed 68-30. So, the next time you use Amtrak, remember to bring your firearms. But, you know, don’t forget to check them. The NRA rules our world.

I’m not really a gun control kind of a guy. I support the original (traditional) interpretation of the Second Amendment that it doesn’t create a federal right to bear arms that overrides local laws. But I prefer each locality to create their own gun laws. Philadelphia should be allowed to have more gun restrictions than the state of Pennsylvania as a whole. I think that flexibility is useful and politically smart. People are happier that way.

I think there is a place for some state and federal laws limiting the sale and purchase of guns and ammunition, but they should restrict themselves to dealing with registration and safety. In other words, leave it to local governments to determine their tolerance for guns, but make sure that it is difficult to own an unregistered, untraceable gun, or to sell them.

I probably have a center-left position on this issue, but it fits into my generally libertarian temperament. But I can’t see the benefit of making the federal railways a gun-smuggling conduit.

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