Keeping and bearing arms is a natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right. If Americans don’t need a license to exercise their right to free speech why do they need one for keeping and bearing arms? Because guns! Guns are lethal! The antis assert that your average citizen can’t be trusted with lethal force. Not without vetting. Training. Supervision. Government vetting, training and supervision. Oh, and licensing. After all that, then citizens can keep and bear arms. Maybe. This is the “acceptable” face of American gun rights. And it’s wrong . . .
The men who framed the Second Amendment didn’t figure Congress, the President, the States and/or the courts would interpret the phrase “shall not be infringed” as “void where prohibited by law.” Or “except for reasonable regulations.” Or “depending on the weapon type.” Or anything. America’s Founding Fathers didn’t want the government to have anything to do with keeping and bearing arms. Period.
Accepting the Second Amendment as writ is not an extremist point-of-view. It is not an anachronistic point-0f-view. It’s simple common sense. Once the government — any government — infringes on its citizens’ right to keep and bear arms bad things happen. Criminals prey on the weak and defenseless. Eventually and inevitably, the government exercises its natural tendency towards tyranny. Liberty is lost. Lives are lost, often on an epic scale.
I have one word for disbelievers: Mexico. But how about we look closer to home? One of the victims of the recent shooting at Florida State’s Strozier Library had a concealed carry permit. But not a gun. His gun rights had been infringed. The lawful gun owner acquiesced to the state-run school’s prohibition against campus carry and paid the price. As did three of his fellow students.
Ah, the antis retort, who says that he could have done anything about the assault if he had been carrying? He’s not trained! OK, he did receive some training to get his carry permit. But not enough training. He wasn’t trained to police standards. So his gun rights aren’t acceptable. At least not on campus. Why not there? It’s a college library! Think of the children!
You see how that works? Even in “the Gunshine State” the government can render the concealed carry training requirement meaningless with the stroke of a pen. In fact, Florida’s government-mandated training is meaningless; the average gun owner can defend themselves well enough without formal training. The training caveat is simply a way to make bearing arms palatable to gun muggles and poke the government’s proverbial nose under the metaphorical tent.
Yes, there is that. Once you “allow” the government to set standards for licensing – wait. Licensing? Why should gun owners be licensed? There’s no study of any kind indicating that government licensing for carrying a firearm – open or concealed – reduces the number of negligent discharges or lowers incidents of criminal firearms use. In states that don’t require a license to keep and bear arms – Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Oklahoma (residents), Vermont and Wyoming (residents) – blood does not run in the streets.
And yet Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and its anti-gun ilk constantly rail against states that “allow” citizens to carry a firearm “without background checks or training.” They consider Americans exercising their Constitutionally protected right to bear arms [with and] without government supervision a danger. Fair enough. Constitutional carry is a threat to gun control. It tells the government and its enablers “we don’t need you, we don’t want you and we will not have you infringing on our gun rights.”
So why will Texas (of all places) move from no open carry to permitted open carry, rather making the leap all the way to Constitutional carry? Because the government doesn’t want to surrender any more control over gun rights than it has to. That and the fact that the average Texan doesn’t see the state government as a potentially malevolent force. That’s a mistake, of course. One that I hope Texans don’t learn through experience.
Thankfully, Lone Star Staters will learn that open carry doesn’t kill kids (as the malevolent Moms suggest). When open carry becomes legal, nothing will change. Except the culture. And maybe the crime rate (via OC deterrence). One more (big) state will take one more step towards the firearms freedom envisioned and protected by the United States Constitution. And one step farther away from the childish, deeply ironic notion that we need government supervision to be free.