Our good friends at thetrace.org had a chin wag with South Carolina State Senator Larry Martin. Despite Senator Martin’s opposition to “closing the background check loophole,” the relentless anti-gun rights site — owned by Everytown for Gun Safety supremo Michael Bloomberg — reckoned Senator Martin was pro-gun control enough to air his views. In this they’re not wrong. Aside from his support of “gun-free” zones, Senator Martin has been instrumental in preventing The Palmetto State from enacting permitless of Constitutional carry. Here’s his reasoning . . .
First, I believe that the training component, which is required when you obtain a concealed carry permit, is essential. Training teaches the difference between brandishing a weapon and pulling it out in self-defense. If you’re going to have folks walking around in the kind of environment we have today, you need that training.
There is no evidence to suggest that firearms training — of which I heartily approved on a voluntary basis — makes armed citizens safer, either from bad guys or themselves. It is also unconstitutional, being a government mandated and controlled infringement on the Second Amendment-protected right to keep and bear arms.
I’m not sure what Senator Martin means by the “environment we have today.” Is it less safe than before or more? Quite what difference that makes when an innocent citizen is confronted by an imminent, credible threat of death of grievous bodily harm is anyone’s guess.
Second, criminals know about the enhanced penalties that come with carrying a weapon, and they know they’ll get more time in jail if they’re caught carrying. Permitless carry, however, tacitly encourages the criminal element to disregard the obvious. And that is: don’t carry a gun.
Huh? If a criminal (i.e., a prohibited person) is openly carrying a firearm they are advertising the fact. Lest we forget, early gun control laws allowed open carry but banned concealed carry. Concealed carry was considered favorable to “sneaky” criminals. In short, Senator Martin has it exactly backwards.
It’s also called “constitutional carry,” which implies permitless carry is a right. I don’t get that. Justice Antonin Scalia made clear that the Second Amendment does not guarantee the right to carry whatever, whenever, wherever. This whole argument has never been made before. If it was an inherent constitutional right, it would have come up before 2010.
The Supreme Court’s 1848 Dred Scott decision made clear that Mr. Scott and any other person of African ancestry couldn’t claim American citizenship. Switching that around, just because it took the Court decades to acknowledge individual gun rights doesn’t make those rights any less inviolate. Not to mention the fact that the Second Amendment doesn’t say anything about what, when and where a citizen may exercise their right to keep and bear arms.
If you look at how constitutional carry has evolved over the last six to eight years, and I’ll just be blunt about it, I think the election of President Barack Obama contributed to the frenzy. These constitutional carry organizations have rallied behind the battle cry that he’s coming for your guns. A lot of folks take the position that, “Hey, that’s okay, but I’m going to be wearing one when he does.”
Frankly, it’s a political statement. That’s what it is. And I think history will prove me right.
Wait. What? Constitutional Carry advocates want to exercise their right to bear arms openly just to give the President of the United States the middle finger? I don’t think so. And if Constitutional Carry is a political statement like, say, a black woman siting on the part of a bus reserved for white people, how does that delegitimize the practice?
I don’t think it’s very difficult to be a Republican in my situation, though I’ve gotten some opposition. There’s a Facebook page called “Fire Larry Martin.”
Let’s hope this statist South Carolinian gets his walking papers in the next election. Unless it’s in favor of an anti-gun rights Democrat (i.e., any Democrat). Yes, well, there is that.