I don’t enjoy fisking Mike “The Gun Guy” Weisser’s HuffPo anti-gun agitprop. Much. For one thing, the anti-gun gun dealer was civil to me on the phone when I misrepresented some of his writing (quickly and apologetically corrected). For another, he’s such an easy target. And getting easier. With each huffingtonpost.com rant, Mike puts more and more distance between himself and what most people easily identify as reality. Take this assertion in his most recent diatribe New Kansas Gun Law Isn’t Constitutional Carry, It’s Crazy Carry . . .
I happen to live in a state in which the license to own and purchase a gun is also the same license that allows you to carry a handgun concealed. There are no special requirements for CCW in my state and everyone who applies for a gun license must take a mandatory safety course which, frankly, usually consists of an afternoon snooze. Since my state actually has a licensing process, it doesn’t qualify as a “constitutional carry” state, but the practical effect is about the same.
Wow. A state with a mandatory firearm licensing system that requires both personal registration and a safety course for concealed carry is nowhere near the same as a state with Constitutional Carry. Practically speaking, any action that requires government permission (e.g. driving on public roads) is a “privilege.” Not a right.
By prohibiting infringement on keeping and bearing arms, the United States Constitution recognizes keeping and bearing arms as a right. (Ipso facto.) Constitutional Carry states are constitutional because they respect this prohibition. They do not erect barriers to the exercise of Americans’ natural and civil gun rights.
Along with the fact that most states grant CCW with minimal or no requirement for actually shooting a gun, most states define CCW licensing criteria only in legal terms. In other words, if you don’t fall into one of those ‘prohibited’ categories (felon, fugitive, dishonorable discharge, etc.), you can be legally blind or completely lack all muscle coordination and still be allowed to walk around with a gun. We require candidates for the police academy to pass a battery of physical tests before we let them, as police officers, carry guns, but we seem unwilling to exercise the same degree of caution or common sense when it comes to whether John or Jane Q. Public should be allowed to go around armed.
Tell that to the residents of New Jersey. Or Hawaii. Connecticut. Maryland. Los Angeles. San Francisco, New York City. Or any of the other parts of the United States where government regulation is a de facto ban on concealed carry. Or D.C., where onerous regulations mean just over two dozen residents are “allowed” to carry a firearm in public.
Mike knows this just as well as you or I. Yet he covers this inconvenient truth by claiming that “most states” make it easy for residents to get permission to exercise what should be their right to keep and bear arms.
And then, of course, “The Gun Guy” holds up armed police firearms training as an exemplar of the importance of “caution” and “common sense” – just days after a new report on the police response to the Boston Marathon bombing highlights the fallacy of that assertion. Again. Still.
. . . giving every Tom, Dick, Harry and Francine the ability to carry such lethality around without the slightest proof that they have the mental and physical capacity to keep that lethality under control isn’t to my mind, constitutional carry. It’s crazy carry.
Proof is there, should Weisser want it. In Vermont, Alaska, Arizona, Wyoming and now Kansas, every Tom, Dick, Harry and Francine (nice non-inclusionary names all) can carry a firearm without the government’s specific pre-authorization. While there are firearms-related crimes, they are not epidemic. Nor endemic.
But Weisser doesn’t want proof that Constitutional Carry is no threat to public order. Or, indeed, that it’s quite the opposite. He wants his readers to switch off their analytical minds and [continue to] believe that “untrained” Americans exercising their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep arms without government supervision are a menace to society.
In truth, those who undermine, not to say infringe upon our gun rights are the real menace to society. Men like Mike “The Gun Guy” Weisser should know better. In fact, they do. And that’s the scariest “fact” of all.