“[Wisconsin] Republicans are considering two versions of the concealed carry law,” columnist Eugene Kane writes for jsonline.com, “which I would label thusly: There’s the ‘sane’ bill and the ‘insane’ bill. The sane version – which I oppose – would allow gun owners to apply for permits and receive required training to carry concealed weapons in most public areas but with some restrictions. The insane version – which I vehemently oppose – would allow gun owners to carry concealed weapons in public without any permit or training required.” So why is the second version bonkers? Kane reckons it’s so obvious he doesn’t really need to explain his position . . .
His dietribe [sic] starts with a restaurant shooting that has nothing whatsoever to do with legal concealed carry. It’s an excellent indication that the writer relies on rational thought to oppose permitless or Constitutional Carry like Lindsay Lohan relies on the Mormon Church to stay sober. In terms of explaining the “lunacy” of the “buy a gun stick it in a holster” concept, this is about as good as it gets:
Supporters of the latter, the so-called constitutional carry, don’t think that government can give permission for something they believe is guaranteed under the right to bear arms.
You can argue with these people until you’re blue in the face that it’s not 1776 anymore, but that won’t make them budge from their position.
So I guess Constitutional rights went out of style sometime around the Bush Administration. Which is a fact I can’t deny (e.g., the Patriot Act). Anyway, that’s besides the point. Well, not the main point. Not for me. In this article.
Kane is depending on the prima facie case for permitting and training. Training people how to use handguns will stop them from misusing them—for their own good. Train ’em up and they’re less likely to shoot friendlies and/or themselves. To which I say, where’s the evidence?
In his book More Guns, Lots of Indigestible Statistics (or something like that), author John Lott concludes that pre-CCW training doesn’t do much in terms of protecting gun owners from their own stupidity or the public from stupid (though legal) gun owners.
Proposals to force Wisconsinites’ concealed carry weapons holders to take training ignores the data. They’re based entirely on conjecture (a.k.a, “common sense”). Just like Massachusetts’ high-capacity magazine ban. And we all know effective that’s been at stopping gun crime.
But WTH. Let’s assume the pro-training side is right—despite the fact that there’s absolutely no sane reason to do so (aside from making Constitutional rights more palatable to those who don’t get it, adding a bit of security theater to the debate and enriching firearms trainers). But let’s do it. Let’s fall in love with training.
Now let’s fall out of love. Or at the very least, consider three non-public safety reasons why Constitutional Carry is not nutso.
1. Constitutional Carry arms the populace
Gun control advocates have an extremely limited appreciation of personal liberty (if it’s even on their radar). But they’re not stupid. They know that the more barriers government places in the way of CCW permits, the less CCW permits the government will issue. More laws, less guns.
Chicago’s post-McDonald decision laws requiring training for applicants who want to own a gun in their home—whilst banning gun ranges within city limits—is only the most obvious form of de facto gun control. Requiring training in the first place is the most insidious.
Make no mistake: requiring training is a form of taxation designed to inhibit CCW permits. Poll tax anyone? No? So why is it OK to tax a law-abiding American for placing a gun in a holster? (Lest we forget, Uncle Sam or his State cousins have already taken their pound of flesh for the gun, holster and ammo.) Answer: it isn’t.
Be that as it is, requiring training removes the option to carry a concealed carry weapon for a large chunk of the population. Not so ironically, not so unintentionally, that wedge represents the poorest segment of our citizenry. It’s not just the right-wing nutcases who don’t want to register their CCW with the government. People living in neighborhoods where the police are not their friend feel the same way.
Of course, it’s exactly this part of society gun control advocates want to inhibit from gun ownership and concealed carry. Gun grabbing elitists think poor people are too stupid and emotionally out-of-control to own or carry a firearms. It’s OK for the smart folks (which includes Donald Trump for some reason), but not for “the folks.” Hence their opposition to Constitutional Carry.
Reverse that misguided paternalism and you have a sensible argument for Constitutional Carry.
2. Constitutional Carry simplifies policing
It pisses me off no end that any police department would oppose concealed carry. In the best of all possible democracies, the po-po would view armed law-abiding citizens as their allies in the war against crime. You know; ’cause an armed citizen is not a criminal. Pays their salaries. That sort of thing. Anyway, Constitutional Carry would make the police’s job easier.
In states where no CCW permit is needed (Vermont, Alaska, Wyoming, Arizona), cops don’t have to antagonize legal gun owners and endanger their own lives by asking the person carrying a concealed weapon to prove they have a permit. If they’re not a criminal, the gun’s legal. End of story. Less time, less hassle, less paperwork, less chance of a misunderstanding, less stress, less cost to the taxpayer.
Constitutional Carry also improves the citizens’ relationship with the police. In states where getting a concealed carry permit is only slightly less difficult than scoring a date with Nozomi Sasaki, thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens carry a gun for protection illegally. How cooperative must they be when the police want to ask them a few questions?
Generally speaking, by making it easy to carry a gun, Constitutional Carry restores respect. By the police for the citizenry.
OMG! With Constitutional Carry, the cops can’t talk to someone without thinking he might have a gun. Well, he might have one now. In all the large cities where the people can’t carry a gun legally, police have been accused of systemic corruption and brutality (e.g. LA, Chicago, Philadelphia). Coincidence? Maybe. I’ll simply say that anything that increases police politesse is a good thing.
3. Constitutional Carry helps the economy
The firearms industry is a great business. The margins aren’t huge, but it’s steady and ongoing and there’s lots of brand loyalty. What? Gun dealers, gunmakers and their camp followers (ammo, targets, cleaning supplies, etc.) don’t deserve to see their business prosper? Tell that to notorious anti-gunner Senator Charles Schumer, who’s busy pimping Remington’s bid for the new U.S. Army rifle.
Wherever it appears, Constitutional Carry ushers-in a surge in gun and gun gear sales. In a down economy, the gun biz has been growing steadily. And it’s an American business, with plenty of made-in-America jobs. Why not get the government out of the way of what the market wants and let the market have what it wants once the government gets out of the way?
Seriously. I’d like to hear the arguments against Constitutional Carry, or for Constitutional Carry with training, that don’t use the words “driver’s training” and instead rely on statistical data. At the moment, the silence is deafening.