“House Republican leaders want to lift a ban on guns and other dangerous weapons in the New Hampshire Statehouse complex put in place last year by Democrat,” boston.com reports. After that killer opening (so to speak), reporter Norma Love chronicles the legislative wrangling between the gun rights right and the all-guns-left-behind left. Which is to say the article devolves into the kind of deadly dull journalism charting the changes at your School Board (aside from the Florida shoot-out). Mercifully, Love ends her piece by presenting the pros and cons of the matter, giving the prize position to . . .
Gun rights activists demonstrated outside the Statehouse in protest. Ban opponents said they should be allowed to carry guns as a safety measure.
Ban supporters said people who feel they need to bring guns to the Statehouse can give their weapons to security officers to hold until they leave the buildings. They said visitors include school children who should not be exposed to guns in the Statehouse.
It would have been nice if Love had showed a bit more love to the groups on both sides of the issue, citing them by name. Whenever this kind of easily-added info is missing from a news report, I immediately wonder if the writer has a Doofemschmirz BS-i-nator stashed in his or her desk drawer (right next to the Percs). In any case, Love’s glib summation of the pro-position misses an important, controversial and unspoken rationale for State House carry: intimidation.
There I said it. You can almost hear gun control advocates tapping out their outrage. The idea of well-armed members of the American populace flooding the halls of power, intimidating democratically-elected representatives through a display of arms, is an anti-gunner’s Nightmare on Capitol Street. Right wing gunloons cruising the halls of power with death-dealing firepower? Why fascism would be just a trigger pull away! Hell, even the mere presence of guns would stifle democracy.
Unspoken: we’d be out-gunned! The right wing gunloons have guns. All we have is our superior intellect. Oh, and think of the children! Quick aside. . . .
Personally, I think children should be kept away from the legislature until they’re 16, to protect them from the possibility of complete disillusionment with our political system. But the anti’s argument is the usual emotional trump card: allowing guns at the State House exposes visiting school kids to the risk of being gunned down by gunloons. ‘Cause they’re safe or at least safer now, presumably.
Gun control advocates were playing up this “gun clingers are proto-killers and domestic terrorists” angle at the beginning of the summer, portraying the Taxed Enough Already Now Give Us Back Our Constitution You Corrupt, Lying, Fascist Bastards Party as a fount of anti-democratic ballistic badness. To be fair, Tea Partiers certainly flirted with the Founding Fathers’ pro-gun revolutionary rhetoric. But nothing came of it, save the now-forgotten Hutaree militia scare.
Speaking of which, the mainstream media played along with the right wing kooks and mad militia meme for a while—until it became evident that many of the bloody examples provided by the antis (as proof that guns are the gateway to fascism) leaned to the left. But the belief that guns are a bulwark against tyranny isn’t gone. Far from it. And the effort to allow guns in the Live Free of Die state house represents its ongoing resurgence.
Truth be told, I like the idea of nervous politicians. For decades, lawmakers across this great land have been increasing the size of government, spending taxpayers’ money like drunken sailors, knowing they could do so without any personal repercussions (other than additional wealth and power). If pols were anxious about armed citizens in the peanut gallery, perhaps they’d think twice about raping them. Or, better yet, maybe they’d carry a weapon themselves; developing a new, more intimate appreciation for gun rights.
Then again, maybe not. Politicians are a highly evolved species, like crocodiles, only smilier. They’re just as likely to risk their life for power as your average Mob Boss—if that’s a distinction worth making. So, alternatively, the gun rights groups are right: allowing guns in the New Hampshire State House complex is a matter of safety.
So-called gun-free zones are nothing more than target rich environments. We must protect our pols from gunloons on eiher side of the aisle, lest we lose the expertise, wisdom, self-less dedication, honesty and integrity of even a single representative of the people. If armed Americans are allowed into all of this country’s state houses, they will be able to protect themselves, fellow citizens, children (!) and their beloved reps from harm.
Yeah, I’ll go with that.