The Spartanburg, South Carolina Herald-Journal has published an editorial explaining why they believe that allowing people to exercise their natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil and Constitutional right to own and carry a firearm of their choice is a bad idea. Let’s take a closer look at some of their arguments, shall we? . . .
The Herald Journal editorial board (hereinafter referred to as H-Jeb) start out well enough (if we ignore their falling prey to the unfortunately common fallacy that the Bill of Rights grants rights as opposed to merely protecting them):
It’s called the Constitutional carry bill, and the philosophical logic behind the bill is sound. The Second Amendment to the Constitution gives American citizens the right to carry arms, and you shouldn’t need a permit to exercise your rights.
Having acknowledged that individuals have this fundamental right, however, they then start to wet themselves at the thought of people actually exercising the right:
But the practical dangers of the bill outweigh the reasonable philosophy behind it. Carrying a concealed firearm is a tremendous responsibility. Those who want to do so should be willing to receive the training necessary to make sure they carry their weapons safely and in adherence to the many rules about where and when they may carry them.
It may surprise some of you who have come to know me through my writing, but I completely agree with H-Jeb. Carrying a weapon (or two or three) is a tremendous responsibility. Those of us who choose to take responsibility for our safety and that of our loved ones by carrying should not only get training in how to carry safely and legally, but should also train regularly on how to properly use their weapons.
Where I differ with H-Jeb is that I believe most adults are, well, adults. That is they are people who can be trusted to act responsibly without threats or coercion, and that those who choose to carry weapons be smart enough to learn how, when and where to use (or not use) them. H-Jeb has a slightly different outlook on the lumpenproletariat:
Under Bright’s proposal, anyone who is legally allowed to own a gun in the state of South Carolina would be able to carry that weapon either concealed or openly.
Guys, you’re saying that like it is a bad thing. It isn’t. Out of all the studies (and there have been dozens) which looked at loosening gun laws only one showed any increase in crime, and that was a temporary increase in aggravated assaults. Besides, the freedom to own and carry the weapon of your choice is a natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil and Constitutional right — subject neither to the democratic process nor to arguments grounded in social utility. But H-Jeb has more specific concerns:
That would include anyone who just bought a gun and has had no training in safe handling of the weapon. It would include people who have no idea that it’s illegal to carry a weapon into a hospital, a school, a courthouse or most churches.
First things first: I do not believe that laws prohibiting carry in schools, hospitals or churches are wise, effective or Constitutional. Setting that aside, though, so what if some people are unaware of the law and carry into a temple, hospital or school? The only person who would be hurt in that case is the ignoramus themselves (and only then if they get caught).
As for H-Jeb’s fear that people who don’t know which end the bullet comes out of will buy and carry a weapon, I would ask them this: Would you buy a gun with no knowledge whatsoever of how it worked and how to carry it safely? If the answer is “yes” then I guess it is for the best that you never purchase a gun. But if the answer is “no” then how dare you assume that you are more responsible than I?!? I know and know of a lot of people who own and carry guns, and out of those hundreds of people I only know one who did not undergo any sort of safety training before buying her gun and getting her permit, and that one was an anti named Heidi Yewman who wanted to “prove” how unsafe permit-holders were by avoiding any opportunity (and she was offered many) to learn gun safety.
Finally H-Jeb brings up their ultimate objection:
In addition, a number of lesser crimes don’t limit an individual’s ability to own a gun, but they do prohibit someone convicted of those offenses from obtaining a concealed weapon permit. If Bright’s bill were passed, people who break those laws would be legally able to carry weapons.
The only problem is, as far as I can tell from an intensive perusal of the relevant statutes, blogs and discussion threads, H-Jeb is simply flat out wrong (another case for Mandatory Factual Safety Education legislation). The statutes, SC SLED site and application all state that if you can’t possess a firearm under federal or state law you can’t get a permit. In other words, people who break “those laws” would not be able to legally carry a weapon. The only possible exception I can find is a footnote from a SC CWP class website which states:
Note: Driving record – A minor traffic violation will not result in denial of a permit. However, six multiple traffic violations within a five year period can be used as a basis for denial.
So what it boils down to is that H-Jeb believes that someone’s natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil and Constitutional rights should be shredded for . . . speeding tickets?
 And maybe you should avoid having children for that matter, because if you are so irresponsible that you won’t learn gun safety before you buy a gun then you are also irresponsible enough to leave those guns plus knives, poisons, bare electrical wires and pots of boiling water lying around you house where kids can get into them.
 Again, I will not go into the question of whether such restrictions are good, because they aren’t. As National Gun Rights Examiner and Fast & Furious illuminator David Codrea puts it anyone who can’t be trusted with a firearm can’t be trusted without a custodian.