Those of us who’ve been paying attention since Florida liberalized its gun laws – a move that signaled an end to gun control regimes throughout the nation – have heard it all before. Restore Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutional right to keep and bear arms [paraphrasing] and the streets will run red with the blood of innocents! And every time it happens, nothing happens. We recently reported on the non-events not happening in Mississippi since that The Hospitality State removed legal restrictions on open carry – despite the antis’ dire predictions of ballistic mayhem. And now that Missouri has over-ridden the Governor’s veto to deep-six its unconstitutional gun control laws, Vice News is predicting bad, bad things. In Ferguson . . .
On Thursday, Missouri lawmakers addressed this concern by overriding an earlier veto from Governor Jay Nixon and voting into place a law that massively expands gun rights in the state: it lowers the legal age to obtain a concealed weapons permit from 21 to 19, allows residents with such a permit to openly carry guns, and teachers to bring them to school. The new open carry policy will apply even in cities and towns that have laws against it.
Technically, that means that when the new gun regulations take effect next month, anyone with a concealed weapons permit could legally show up at the next Missouri protest with a gun displayed on their hip.
“The last thing we need is more guns, especially for those of us out there who struggle every day to make our community safe in neighborhoods where there’s so much gun violence,” Antonio French, a city alderman and community leader who has been a regular presence at the Ferguson protests, told VICE News. “It really seems like the state legislature is working against us, not with us.”
Wait. What? You’d think that more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens – even ones on display! – would do a great deal to make “gun violence”-plagued communities safer. But that’s you. Someone who understands the whole good guy with a gun thing. And you, yes you, might even wonder if armed, peacefully assembling citizens would help stay the hand of let’s-call-them-over-zealous police. Apparently not.
“Police have already been very frustrated,” [Ferguson alderman French] said. “Under current Missouri law, you can drive around with guns. So they pull over cars with young people, and frequently they do have guns, which is completely legal under Missouri law, which makes these encounters even more tense and potentially dangerous for both parties. It works to make the relationship between police and the community even more volatile.”
So if you prevent Americans from exercising their gun rights, it improves their relationship with police. I don’t think so. At least not how I think of “improvement.” Strangely, Speri doesn’t come right out and say what she clearly wants to say: openly armed protestors will trigger a shootout with armed police when the Michael Brown case explodes. A blood bath.
Instead, Speri offers the video above and disguises her fear with ominous connect-the-dots pronouncements like “To those favoring more gun control rather than more access to guns, the combination of looser policies and heightened tensions seems an obvious recipe for disaster.” And “Here’s the thing with guns though: if you have a gun, you’re more likely to use it – and if you’re scared and have a gun, you’re that much more likely to use it.”
Of course, the same could be said for the police facing the protestors, no? Anyway, Speri ends the article by changing the subject, highlighting business owners tooling up for trouble. And what’s the problem with that? Why, nothing of course. Just as there’s nothing wrong with firearms freedom, save the problems created by those who misuse it – or curtail it.