Monday, August 25, 2008

What's enough?

According to this op-ed, concealed carry should be plenty of freedom.

"The ability to conceal a weapon is all that is needed to protect yourself and your fellow classmates from a targeted attack. It might be a pain and not as comfortable to conceal your weapon, but it is effective and efficient." It isn't just about comfort or convenience. It's about restrictions and hiding. A visible weapon can be a very effective deterrent, and it can show the world that people who carry guns are not unstable or aggressive.

And while we're deciding what is "enough," I wonder if you have specific weapons in mind. Or maybe you'd like to tell me how many times per week I can exercise my freedom of religion by attending church. Or which churches are acceptable.

"Utahns should be thankful they are allowed to have guns on campus and quit trying to push the system." Oh, yes, we should all be good little subjects and be happy with whatever scraps we are thrown. And we shouldn't push the system, because someone may decide we don't deserve our scraps. Or, y'know, we could point out that we are allegedly free.

"'The problem with carrying open is someone wanting to take your weapon away from you,' said Sergeant Arb Nordgren of campus police. 'It's the biggest concern for a police officer.'" Just a little bit of awareness and the tiniest bit of retention technique will prevent a gun-grab. And a criminal doesn't want to grab your gun. As an armed citizen, you're a hardened target. He'll pick a softer target. The reason cops have to worry about gun grabs is that they will be grappling with criminals who've already been caught. This not only puts the gun in a more grabbable position, but it also means that there is no moving on to another target and there is less to lose.

"The requirements of being allowed to conceal carry are much more stringent than open carry. To receive a concealed weapons permit you must be 21, have a valid driver's license, be fingerprinted, have an extensive FBI background check conducted by the Bureau of Criminal Identification and pass a written and shooting range test." So jumping through hoops is a good thing? It isn't wrong to want a means of defending yourself, even if you haven't spent the time and money to jump through the hoops.

"The BCI reports that only about 2 percent of permits are revoked each year. This helps guarantee that people who obtain and keep CWPs are mostly law-abiding citizens who, unlike open carry individuals, have proven their worthiness to carry concealed guns." I'm not willing to "prove I'm worthy" to exercise a God-given right to self-defense. And how many OCers are arrested each year for various crimes? I'm willing to bet that you can't cite any statistics on that one. Your logic is extremely flawed.

"Most people don't like guns." Funny, then, the number of gun owners out there. And why is popularity a proper metric to use. If I told you that most people don't like dissent, would you advocate a law saying that you cannot publicly announce dissent with anything? Of course not. You'd realize that people don't have a right to be exposed to only that which they find comfortable.

"It's wasted energy to attempt to change their minds. Trying to force acceptance by openly carrying will not change their opinions. It will only create a hostile environment and increase their efforts to eliminate guns on campus." Actually, the best therapy is exposure. If a child is afraid of dogs, you have the child spend time with a friendly dog. If a person fear guns, then, what better therapy than exposure to peaceably carried firearms. In my personal experience carrying openly, I've changed far more minds than I've hardened (which isn't to say that no one will steel themselves against believing that guns aren't necessarily evil--some people have made up their minds and will not be changed). People fear the unknown. If they see that reasonable people carry guns without killing people, they will realize that guns don't cause violence.

"When you conceal carry, nobody is the wiser. People who are anti-gun don't have to get nervous, and permit holders still have their weapons with them on campus." You miss the opportunity to change minds and you don't have that visible warning to would-be predators. And, most important of all, you have made a concession, which leads toward other concessions. If you show that you won't fight for this right, they'll find another one to pick at. Maybe it's "assault weapons," or maybe it's standard-capacity magazines, or it might even be concealed carry. People who are against guns do not come to accept them because those who conceal them are willing to bend to the will of those who won't carry.

"Concealed carry is a perfect scenario and something many other states can only dream about." Actually, most states have concealed carry laws, and many have open carry as well. As far as perfect, the only scenario I can think of that'd be perfect would be the ability to carry whatever I choose, however I choose, wherever I choose, without having to bend to the will of those who disagree with me. The Second Amendment would be as thoroughly revered as the First. The perfect scenario is one where each person is free.

"Let's just allow open carry to rest in peace." Well, if you mean the gun resting peacefully on my hip, then that's generally what'll be happening when I OC. But you mean as in dead, gone, and forgotten, I'll continue to disagree with ANY limitation on ANY of my inalienable rights.

Every time I hear someone tell me what's enough for me, I cringe, whether they say I should be content with hunting rifles, concealing my sidearm, or being searched without a warrant. Every "reasonable" restriction is, at its heart, still the application of force to produce a set of behaviors someone else chooses. It is wrong to initiate force, whether against a common behavior or a rare, unpopular one.


Hammer said...

The gun boards I used to frequent were full of defeatist cowardly garbage of this sort.

Hell, 50% of gun owners support gun control even thought they know it doesn't work. they are just scared to death of handguns.

theotherryan said...

Good points. When we only play defense we are destined to loose eventually. It is only by going on the offense that ground will ultimately be won.