Friday, February 18, 2011

Open Carry Response

My friend at Gort Nation has published a personal opinion generally in disfavor of gun ownership. It has generated some discussion and one of the people to whom I wanted to respond was Oblio, who also expressed some anti-gun opinions. I don't want to beat up on these folks I simply want to explain and since the comments on Gort Nation do not allow a long enough response,l I decided to respond on my blog here.

Here we go.

Respondent Oblio apparently does not like open carry in Arizona because some guy in a Blackwater tee-shirt is scary. I don't doubt it but here is my response to Oblio...

I welcome open carry because nothing is gained by concealed carry other than "ignorance is bliss" (Read George Orwell's 1984). Some people think that bad guys go away by covering their eyes. This is obviously foolish and you don't seem like a fool. Therefore, logically speaking, you are suggesting that all guns must be removed from Arizona. This is impossible without violating the 2nd Amendment (whatever your position on what it means) and it is logistically impossible because then you would have to go door-to-door and search every home for a gun. Failing that, you would have to ask people to turn in their guns. Well... the only people who would do that are the good, responsible, law-abiding citizens of Arizona. the Bad, irresponsible, scary citizens of Arizona would laugh and keep their guns. Thus only the scary people will dare to keep a gun illegally... the people you have very good reason to fear. And those for whom you have no reason to fear (but fear nevertheless) are the ones who might protect you... yet you disarm them and keep the bad people armed.

I listen to the Handgun Podcast that originates in Arizona. Eric Shelton is a young military man... one of those guys who (no matter how you interpret the 2nd Amendment) has every right to own and carry a firearm. He speaks out AGAINST those open carry guys wearing "Blackwater" tee shirts. He says that anyone deciding to open carry should be wearing a tie and nice clothes because when you open carry you are representing all gun owners to the public and you have a responsibility. However... he understands the impulse to scare the living pee-waddles out of the nervous-nancies who tell us all how to walk, talk and wipe our backsides at every opportunity.

So... free speech is a natural right. Government does not grant me this right. It is my right by virtue of being born. Free speech is difficult at times and we may not like it. We might even fear it, but unless it is a direct threat, we do not limit it

Freedom is not absolute. My right to swing my arms ends at the tip of your nose, but my  freedom must be accommodated unless I forfeit that right due to my bad behavior or in some obvious way that makes sense. Regarding gun carry .. one should not carry a weapon into a courtroom or a town hall meeting. Leave your weapon at the door. (Accommodating that makes sense like having a coat-check person at the door.) On the other hand disarming me on the off chance that a judge or a congress woman might show up at a random grocery store is not reasonable.

I thought it was reasonable when President Obama came to Arizona and open carry individuals were prevented from coming near the President. One guy I saw on TV who was carrying openly thought it was reasonable. He was a black man in a shirt and tie slinging what looked like an AR-15 on his back. Here is a link to a picture of the man from behind...

The picture is set at an angle and cropped so that you cannot see that he is a black man. No mention of his race was made at MSNBC who showed a video of the man (very difficult to do and not show that he was a black man) while the news people commented on white rednecks carrying guns.... giving the impression that the man with the gun was white.

Do you know WHY and WHEN gun regulation was instituted? It was started in the South during the Reconstruction Era in order to make sure the ... uh... people of the black persuasion would not get weapons... and thus protect themselves from the KKK. For some odd reason the KKK didn't like it when black people protected themselves effectively so regulations were passed to limit gun ownership to friends of the Sheriff and everyone can trust the friends of the Sheriff. Right? Not always.

An unarmed citizenry is more easily controlled and terrorized. As long as those in control are trustworthy and good, then no problem, but leadership changes over time. Doesn't it? Although I am sure we all trust President Bush and President Obama to look carefully after our rights and we need never fear anything they might do, some day someone less trustworthy will take their place and start rounding up the Japanese or the Jews or the Mexicans and then what will we do?

You say it can't happen? President Woodrow Wilson rounded up foreigners and anti-war Americans (mostly of German and Irish ancestry). FDR rounded up the Japanese "for their own protection". President Truman gave the order to drop two atomic bombs on men, women and children (all foreigners of course). Yet... all of these Presidents are seen as good men. Great monuments and institutions have been established to honor them. They were all Democrats... the "good" Party.

There is no good Party. There are only good individuals and bad ones. Guns are not bad. There are only bad people and good ones. Don't disarm the good ones.


  1. Thanks for the sane response, but re-reading my original post will reveal that I did not call for the removal of firearms from the populace... I did not say that guns should be banned... in fact, I mentioned several times that as long as sanity and civility is kept in mind, I have no problems with folks buying, keeping and using weapons. My issue is the casualness that we as a nation have with guns as an ingrained part of our psyche.

    As for someone who open-carries while wearing a shirt and tie, what difference does that make? I simply do not want strangers with guns in my vicinity, no matter what they are wearing. A person who open-carries a gun is a threat to me and my life, regardless of that person's intentions. My rights may end at the tip of my nose, but if you are carrying a gun, you have the ability to kill me from a distance, regardless of my rights. How can that be just or fair? Why should I be forced to accommodate someone else's need to pack heat?

    I admit that I despise guns, but as I posted, I will always fight to defend your right to keep them.

  2. Yes. I understood that you did not call for a ban, but as you repeated now and as any objective parsing of your words will reveal, the only way you can get what you want is to go house-by-house searching for guns and randomly searching people on the street looking for guns. Since I seriously doubt you would support such a move then there is no way for you to feel safer other than to cover the guns so that you don't see them. They are still there but you don't see them. Feel better? I'm not sure why. However, in support of covering up guns... I believe that concealed carry is a valuable deterrent. Since a criminal cannot know who is armed and who is not. It keeps the unarmed citizen safer unless one is wearing a tee shirt that says "Gun-Free Zone." Then it makes a person a target. He might as well wear a bulls-eye on his tee shirt then.

    Know what I mean?