Who owns the phrase “common sense” when applied to firearms-related legislation, or lack thereof? The gun control movement uses the term to convince firearms-ignorant folks to mindlessly support anti-gun legislation that looks and feels right, regardless of the facts. Gun rights advocates use the term to tweak gun control advocates, and repel the antis’ emotional “arguments” with selfishly practical philosophy. John Lott’s mantra “more gun less crime” is a perfect example of this anti-anti-gun common sense. So when Wisconsin talk show host Jeff Wagner deployed the CS gas, it was hard to tell which way he was gonna go. For a while . . .
Unfortunately, a small – but vocal – segment of the gun lobby is trying to get the Legislature to go beyond traditional concealed carry legislation. The so called “constitutional carry”movement claims that the government has no business regulating the possession of handguns and that people should be allowed to carry concealed weapons without any permits, any training or any government oversight. Alaska, Wyoming, Vermont and Arizona are the only States that allow possession of concealed weapons without permits.
First, “constitutional carry” is a misnomer. The 2nd Amendment is not absolute. That’s why felons and the mentally ill can’t legally own firearms. It’s also why, as a general rule, private citizens can’t own machine guns or bazookas or silencers. There simply is no “constitutional right” to carry a concealed firearm under any and all circumstances.
Second, it strikes me as being absurd to legally allow someone to carry a concealed weapon without some basic assurance that they know how to use it. After all, you wouldn’t take someone who has never driven a car and send them out on the Interstate at rush hour! Why would let someone legally stick a Saturday Night Special in their pocket without some basic assurance that they know one end from the other?
Wow. Talk about torn between two lovers, speaking like a fool. Alternatively, now I know why Ted Nugent fans are OK with him telling his critics to suck on his machine gun. I mean, if we’re going to drive down the road of hyperbole, let’s pedal-to-the-metal guys. Using a gun (especially a revolver) is eight thousand billion times easier than operating a car. And a LOT safer.
AND studies have shown that driver training does sweet FA to decrease accident statistics. I’m sure similar studies with firearms training would yield similar non-results. Hey! Why doesn’t someone actually measure the difference? Or should we just rely on common sense and force millions of people to jump over a useless—at least in the practical sense—hurdle?
Anyway, it seems that gun control advocates don’t have a lock on arrogant elitism.
A lot of the same folks who are pushing “Constitutional carry” are also pushing the “open carry” concept. These are the people who, seizing on some language in a recent State Supreme Court opinion, have taken to wearing sidearms in public as an expression of their “rights”.
It seems to me that if you have to wear a pistol while you’re cutting your lawn, you need to move to a better neighborhood. If you need to carry a gun into a coffee shop to get the attention of the waitress, you should tip better.
And if “open carry” adherents think pulling stunts like this helps win the general public to their cause, they’re dead wrong.
Walking around the streets with a gun on your hip is to the pro-gun movement what those folks who hang out on street corners and waive photos of aborted fetuses at passing cars are to the pro-life movement.
Unfortunately, the more mainstream elements of the pro-gun lobby have done little to rein in those pushing these more extreme ideas. This isn’t surprising because most special interest groups get a ton of support from their more zealous and ideologically pure members. Still, if we want to get meaningful firearms legislation passed anytime soon, it’s time for the grown-ups to come to the table.
And it’s time for OFWG media mavens to piss off. Present company excluded, of course.