OK, are you gritting your teeth at the spectacle of Governor Moonbeam outlawing open carry in California? Not to mention the gloat-a-thon under way by those on the other side. Be not dismayed, Armed Intelligentsia faithful. Tis but a bump on the road to the normalization of gun ownership across this great land of ours. In other words, yeah, the gun grabbers may have won a minor skirmish in the formerly Golden State, but the great tide of history and increased freedom runs very much against them. Take a look at that colorful chart, above. No, that’s not the Senegalese flag blowing in the wind. That’s a vivid graphical depiction of the advance of second amendment rights from the mid-1980s through today…
John Richardson at onlygunsandmoney.blogspot.com provides some analysis backing up what gun rights supporters have known for years. But it sure makes a more powerful impression to see it visually, no? He points out that:
1) In the early 1980s 90% of Americans lived in states that actively suppressed self-defense rights by severely limiting concealed carry of firearms by citizens.
2) By 2010, 2/3’s of Americans lived in states where law abiding citizens could conceal carry if they met minimal standards, and in some states (4 by 2011) needed NO state permission at all to concealed carry. A total of 41 states are now shall-issue or have unrestricted concealed carry status.
3) Few states moved from no issue to may issue. Rather when states made policy changes, they made the jump from no-issue to shall-issue all at once (again, with a couple of exceptions).
4) 30% of the citizens in the US STILL live under state governments that are hostile to the interests of their citizens in self-defense as measured by access to shall-issue (or unrestricted) concealed carry.
5) We’re down to the hard cases now – states where politicians are deeply invested in denying armed self-defense to otherwise law abiding citizens. California, Illinois and New York are where the population numbers are in terms of resistance to 2nd Amendment rights (and yes, there are a few others like New Jersey, Massachusetts, Hawaii, etc.).
California, as we’ve all known, is firmly in the ‘hard case’ camp and that’s nothing new. It’s been that way for decades and isn’t likely to change any time soon. The new law will have mean little practical change for the vast majority of the state’s gun owners.
The tireless work of people like Alan Gura, the Second Amendment Foundation, the NRA-ILA among others, not to mention the desire of free people to fully exercise their constitutionally guaranteed rights means it’s only a matter of time until even those in places like California can enjoy the benefits of all of their enumerated rights. Until then, the residents of New York, Illinois, California and a few others still have the option of voting with their feet.