Given that it's a rather slow news day with the Euro slowly slipping into the abyss as the ECB will now accept used dog food as collateral, I find time to take on Nancy Dewolf Smith who opined in the WSJ this last Friday:
Like a fly on a birthday cake, the subject of open carry—legally wearing a gun in public—keeps landing in the news and nobody can swat it down. Those who would like to be rid of it range from some of the most ardent gun-controllers to some of the fiercest believers in the Second Amendment right to bear arms. Many of the latter live in the 43 states where it already is legal to openly wear a handgun (although rules vary about whether it can be loaded, etc.). That the majority of people who could walk around outfitted for the OK Corral choose not to do so ought to be a hint that the minority who are most eager to force open carry on the rest of us might belong in a special category of bozos.
The "most ardent" supporters of the 2nd Amendment are in support of getting rid of open carry? Says who Nancy - and if so, why is it legal in 43 states in one form or another?
Consider the case of James Goldberg, who walked up to the counter of a Glastonbury, Conn. Chili's restaurant in 2007 costumed in camouflage and wearing a pistol. Police were called and Mr. Goldberg was arrested, only to be cleared after it was determined that since he had a permit for the weapon he was not breaking a law.
Yes, let's consider Mr. Goldberg. He broke no law and thus was falsely arrested. In a nation of laws one would call the imprisonment of a person without valid cause kidnapping, no matter how brief said imprisonment might be, and the so-called "law enforcement officers" would be facing a sentence of 20-to-life, not to mention being permanently ineligible to own firearms. This, of course, would make them ineligible to be a police officer.
That is, to question Mr. Goldberg as to the lawful nature of his exercise of a 2nd Amendment right seems perfectly appropriate. But arresting him without probable cause to believe he had committed a criminal offense is legally equivalent to kidnapping.
Nancy seems to have no problem with this, so long as the person doing the kidnapping is a peace officer.
Equally unimpressive were the armed types who gathered in a Virginia Park this month to demonstrate support for open carry and their opposition to government in general and the Obama administration in particular. Like the characters who now make a practice of wearing handguns into Starbucks and other places of business, such demonstrators may yet turn out to be a godsend for the antigun crowd.
I wrote on this protest, incidentally, having spoken by email with one of the organizers. There was nothing "anti-Obama" about its intent.
Said demonstration was simply a proper and lawful exercise of Constitutional Rights.
Nancy would seem to be acquainted with the general principle of these rights, given that she has the right to spout off absolute nonsense about firearms in general and the lawful keeping and bearing of them in particular.
But like so many on the left, Nancy only believes in Constitutional Rights when she is the one exercising them. When someone else whom she disagrees with wants to exercise them, that very same Constitution and those very same words on the page suddenly disappear and the paper upon which they were written is to be used in the commode.
Speaking of serious shooters, I don't know a soul among gun owners who is itching to prance around showing everybody what is in their holster. Most of the time, citizens who carry weapons in public places are doing it for protection, and that means concealment. They don't want their handgun easily grabbed by some idiot in a checkout line, and they don't want a potential aggressor to know what they have on them or where it is. If flashing an armory were anything but a stunt, our air marshals would be strapped like Pancho Villa.
Have you seen a cop walking around your leftie havens in NYC lately?
Was his or her firearm concealed, or was it carried openly?
Let me guess - their openly-carried firearm is neither a stunt or intended to intimidate, but rather is intended only for lawful use.
Hmmmm.... why do I smell a double-standard here?
Let me make a few things clear to you and ask a question or two besides Nancy, since you seem to have a problem with reality - and The Constitution:
One does not ask permission to exercise a right, nor does one need to buy a license to do so. Would you accept a full background investigation, fingerprinting, and payment of a license fee before you can publish anything in The Press - or merely speak where anyone other than you can hear your words? Why not Nancy? You seem to think that standard is just fine when it comes to the keeping and most particularly the bearing of arms! Yet both rights are numbers 1 and 2 in the Bill of Rights.
Have you ever been to a range? I ask in all sobriety, because I have never seen any place in society where people are nicer - that is, more polite. Of course at a gun range everyone is armed, since the entire point of being there is to practice and maintain one's skill in the use of firearms. There are many who have said "an armed society is a polite society" and one need only step foot on a gun range for a few minutes to notice the marked difference in attitudes compared to, for instance, your local grocery store.
Firearms are not scary. They are tools and have both lawful and unlawful uses. Likewise the 5-gallon can of gasoline in your garage can be used lawfully to mow your lawn, and unlawfully to light your neighbor's house on fire. Yet I do not need a license to purchase 5 gallons of gasoline to go in that can - I only need the $15 or so necessary to pay for my purchase. The keeping and bearing of gasoline is not a Constitutional Right. The keeping and bearing of firearms is.
The police cannot be everywhere, and in the 2, 3, 5 or 20 minutes it takes for a police officer to arrive should you be assaulted your assailant can easily rape, rob or murder you - or all three, for that matter. A firearm is, as Samuel Colt said, the "great equalizer." In an unarmed assault a 220lb 6'2 man is going to do whatever he wants to a 90lb 4'10 woman. A pistol makes the woman the precise equal of that man in terms of her ability to defend against that assault. Seeing as you're a woman I would expect you would be very interested in yourself (and your daughter(s), if you have any) being able to defend against that possible assault, should the need arise.
Guns don't work the way you see them on the Idiot Box (that's "TV" for the lefties.) Specifically, when one is shot they do not go flying backward through plate-glass windows and firearms do not fire bullets that have homing devices causing them to automatically strike and kill any human within 300'. In fact an awfully large percentage of the time goons who are unskilled at arms (the majority of goons never go to the range, being criminals and all) miss with every shot they fire. A prime example can be seen in a Youtube video in a Toledo Bar where a couple of goons emptied their weapons and yet shot nobody. You would think from the (intentionally) inaccurate view put forward in the media that everyone in that bar would be dead. You'd be wrong.
Openly-carried firearms convey a high degree of deterrence against crime that anyone in the vicinity might otherwise think about committing. How many times does a mugger, purse snatcher, or rapist commit an offense within eyesight of a police offer with a publicly-displayed firearm on his hip? Essentially never! Have you ever wondered why?
It would be nice if there were no firearms in the hands of criminals. If that was the case then nobody would need to carry a weapon in public, and the "bearing" of arms could be relegated to the first purpose that The Founders envisioned for the 2nd Amendment - a day that all sane Americans, myself included, pray nightly never comes. What day is that, Nancy and other lefties might ask? The day a latter-day Hitler decides to try to gas all the lefties might fit into the criteria of founder's intent, as one of the more-obvious examples (Yes, Nancy, some Americans, myself included, would attempt to prevent even you from suffering such a fate if it became necessary, God forbid.)
But we don't live in such a world. Specifically, we live in a world where history has shown over more than twenty years of ever-tighter gun laws in certain jurisdictions, including Chicago, NY City and Washington DC, that the bad guys don't give a damn about the law. After all, that's what criminals do - they ignore the law. They thus will procure firearms through whatever means they find necessary, including by importing them across a southern border those very same lefties refuse to secure and make damn sure remains closed!
It is my considered opinion that everyone should be able to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights without interference, licensure or prior restraint. That is, if I wish to carry a pistol for lawful self-defensive purposes in public there should be no restraint on my doing so. I should neither have to declare to the government that I intend to do so, or that I am doing so, as that redefines said right as a privilege, and our Constitution says this is not a privilege - it is a Constitutional Right.
I fully support and believe in laws such as Florida's 10/20/Life, as they bear on conduct. That is, if you use a firearm in the commission of a crime, you get 10 years. Discharge one, 20 years. Shoot someone, 25 to life. No ifs, ands or buts, and you serve every single day of that sentence, as you should.
Now cut the crap and for those law-abiding citizens who wish to carry firearms, either concealed or in the open, leave them alone. Laws requiring one to register with the government to singly and peaceably exercise a constitutionally-protected right are in and of themselves unconstitutional.
If and when someone commits a criminal offense with a firearm, lock 'em up immediately and for a long enough period of time that they won't be doing that again.
But until an offense is committed, let those who are not as physically able lawfully defend themselves against the predators that, to a large degree, lefty liberal policies have both created in the first place and provided the means to acquire their own weapons, which they then use to commit violent felonies upon the public at large!
In the left's utopia nobody should have a reason to own firearms because there would be no bad guys who have and use them against the law-abiding citizens of the world. In their fantasy-laced minds Adolph Hitler, Pol Pot and dozens of other dictators and criminal thugs did not wind up in positions of political power where they murdered their (first rendered defenseless through disarmament) citizens. These visions of utopia make for great children's stories and hopes for the future, but they do not reflect the reality of our world and never have - not now and not ever through human history, and as such one must be careful to accept the prescriptions of people who have for decades put forward their beliefs and expectations that have been proved to be akin to drug-induced illusions.
This much I'm sure of - should Nancy be beset upon by a rapist or mugger in an alley one fine spring evening, she won't be refusing the help of an armed passerby who can stop the rape or beating that she is about to suffer.
If I'm wrong, I'm sure Nancy would not object to a little First Amendment exercise outside her home in the form of a sign posted by her neighbors similar to this (click for a larger copy):