This is article 2 of 3.
December 20. 2012 10:41AM
Free State movement not embraced by all Granite Staters
By Henry Metz, email@example.com http://www.unionleader.com/article/20121220/NEWHAMPSHIRE14/121229936
It was designed to be a critical article so it isn't positive. Here is the 2nd half of it. Click on the link for the 1st half of the article.
Among the characteristics that Free Staters admire about the Granite State is its relatively unrestrictive gun laws.
State Rep. Warden, in previous legislative sessions, sponsored bills that would lessen the restrictions on gun laws.
Specifically, Warden voted in favor of HB210, otherwise known as the “Stand Your Ground” bill which eliminates a person’s duty to retreat when they perceive a threat or are threatened in a public setting, such as a shopping mall. Under previous state law, a person had no legal duty to retreat when threatened in their home, but HB210 expands that to apply to public spaces. Warden was in favor of HB 334, which would have allowed guns on college campuses and dormitories, as well as sports venues, state parks and beaches.
In addition, Warden voted in favor of eliminating licensing requirements to carry firearms “whether openly or concealed.”
Such legislation is at the core of the Free State movement, which aims to place the burdens of accountability and responsibility on the individual. And that can best be accomplished, according to libertarian principles, by reducing or eliminating regulation – both in the areas of business and personal behavior – and by reducing or eliminating local, state and federal taxes, which Free Staters see as little more than a form of indentured servitude to the government.
Survival of the fittest
Still, those critical of the Free State Project see the movement in a much less favorable light than what Free Staters themselves would describe.
“I’ve spoken to several Free Staters who’ve moved here, in part, because they see economic and social disaster ahead for the U.S. – so it will be survival of the fittest played out in New Hampshire,” said Parmele. “Their goal is to shrink government down to essentially nothing, including removing safety nets of all kinds, leaving us all to fend for ourselves. This is completely impractical in this complicated world, as well as cruel. The idea of the common good, beyond themselves and their own community, is largely irrelevant to them. To me, they are naive and narcissistic in their quest for liberty. It’s really disturbing to think about what 20,000 of them – assuming they are all serious about coming here – could do to New Hampshire.”
In what may seem like an odd bit of irony for some, most Free Staters who run for public office in New Hampshire run on the Republican ticket. And that is something that irritates Soltani.
In a recent post on his Facebook page, he said Free Staters give traditional New Hampshire Republicans a bad name.
“I am a real Republican,” Soltani wrote. “I have never been the libertarian or anything else for that matter.”
In the post, Soltani is critical of House leadership and its so-called “gang of Free Staters” who he accuses of “trampling civility” during official House business and for whom the rules of the House “were optional” and the state Constitution was “a mere suggestion.”