Friday, July 27, 2007

Gun owner registration

The most common question I get when I talk about concealed carry permits is why I don't automatically recommend people get them.

Washington is a shall-issue state for concealed carry, and the fee isn't too bad. Of course, the cost or availability are not the issue here. Of course you shouldn't worry too much about an extra 50 bucks or the possibility they'll turn you down.

No, the issue here is the willingness of so many people to beg for their rights, then happily take a license and a pat on the head when they should demand the state not interfere with any rights. We have grown so complacent about government interference. We allow the government to tell us how, when, and where to carry. We allow them to force seatbelt use and motorcycle helmets. We allow them to meddle.

A government should leave the citizenry to live their lives. It should not tell people what to think, nor show them how. It should exist merely to keep the peace and provide only those services absolutely necessary (provide for defense, enforce the few laws necessary to keep people from trampling each other, etc.). We forget that the government has no right or need to constantly grow. A government by the people and for the people should never control the people.

Back to carry permits, the biggest problem isn't just that we've already given the government too much power, but that we show no sign of slowing government's expansion. Carry permits are gun owner registration. In Washington, your permit is supposed to be kept on record for one year after it expires. Do you believe it always gets removed right away? These sorts of records have this knack for getting overlooked. As I've told some folks, the first people disarmed are those who have submitted to every infringement the government dishes out. After all, they've already complied with a lot, why not get them to comply with a few more "reasonable" "requests?"

I'm not saying that everyone who gets a permit will comply with further infringement, mind you, but they're already on a list, so they're convenient targets even if they resist. Their names and addresses are on record, so the police just go knocking on doors. Mind you, I have no illusions about how easily I can be found, with or without a permit, especially being the outspoken gun guy I am. If I really wanted to keep my name off lists, I wouldn't be blogging about this and I'd buy all of my guns from private owners, rather than hitting the gun shop.

There are advantages, of course, to having a permit, but most people hear those a lot. It's the disadvantages that need a bit of spotlight now and then.

Yes, I'm aware that I've said all this before, but I keep hearing more of the same lines, and I think I've been getting more visitors.

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