By Christopher Cudworth
I saw another sign banning Concealed Carry the other day. It was posted on some street barriers in anticipation of Cruise Night at a nearby town. You know the sign: A picture of a handgun with a red circle and a slash through it.
Right now it is legal for some organizations to post one of those signs. If you run a church or conduct a community event where weapons might not be welcome, you can request or demand the right to ban weapons on the site.
This must rankle all those people who think Concealed Carry is the answer to all our social problems. After all, the laws passed in all 50 states are supposed to guarantee the legal right to pack heat, right? What’s the real point of banning guns anywhere? If you can’t take your handgun into church and someone decides to shoot the place up, how are you going to defend yourself?
That’s the premise of Concealed Carry. The idea that other people might be legally carrying weapons is supposed to be a deterrent to criminals who might otherwise choose to pull guns and open fire.
Only deterrence is just an imagined protection. There’s no real proof that the idea of other people carrying guns is any real deterrent to people angry enough or bored enough or frustrated enough to pull out guns and start shooting at people in public places.
The supposed logic of so-called Concealed Carry doesn’t bear out at any level. Let’s face it: the only real deterrent to anyone about to shoot up society is another person with a weapon openly displayed and aimed at their head.
So thinking it all through, it’s actually Open Carry the gun lobby is really after. Concealed Carry was just a stepping stone Open Carry becoming the norm in society. We’ve already seen gun-obsessed people strolling through towns and cities with rifles over their shoulders, daring anyone to protest their presence.
Fantasies and Delusions
Open Carry is what they really want. It’s time to force the gun lobby to admit it. Concealed Carry is no real deterrent to illegal use of weapons. Only Open Carry can do that. Otherwise the shooter figures they can outdraw anyone in a gunfight. That’s what the Hollywood movies and all those hardass gun instructors like to teach. Shoot first and best and you survive.
It’s all based on fantasies and delusions. Everyone figures they’re a faster gun and better aim than everyone else. It’s like the opposite of winning the lottery. With Concealed Carry, the odds of being shot are growing bigger every day. It’s a fascinating phenomenon, and the fact that more civilian Americans have died from gun violence than all the American soldiers that have died in foreign wars is no deterrent to the gun lobby. They just want more, more, more.
Stand Your Ground Foolishness
Along with Concealed Carry, the worst news for people who appreciate freedom from violence has been the invention of the Stand Your Ground laws. Such laws were supposedly created to give people protection with the right to “defend” themselves in situations where they feel threatened. But guess what? Stand Your Ground laws are proving to be a bad, bad idea. Studies by the American Bar Association have shown that Stand Your Ground laws actually result in an increase in homicides rather than a decrease in gun violence. The American Bar Association report recommends the laws be revised or in some case repealed as a result.
An article about the report in the Lansing (MI) News states the following: “The task force also suggests that the laws (SYG) only apply if the aggressor shows a weapon before deadly force is used, and recommends that judges give juries more detailed instructions on when a “stand your ground” claim can be used.”
Now a normal person would read that paragraph and say “Good, they’re going to roll back the Stand Your Ground laws because it promotes gunfights.”
But a gun advocate will likely look at that statement and determine that the better solution is to remove all need to conceal weapons. Let Open Carry be the rule of the day and criminals will really be deterred from attacking.
Except continuing escalation in the militarization of society is turning the process of enforcing the law from a police action to a military strike against those trying to outgun them.
The comments on the Lansing News website led off with this insightful screed (sic):
10 thoughts on “It’s actually Open Carry they’re really after”
This post is entirely wrong, misguided and ignorant. I love your writing brother, but you are entirely missing the reality of firearms.
First, the proof that concealed carry deters crime is voluminous. So much so that law enforcement commonly refer to pistol-free zones as “criminal enterprise zones”. My eyes glazed shortly after that. Secondly, and most importantly, only an owner of private property can ASK that no firearms be brought onto their property – then they have to catch you in possession and ask you to leave. If you refuse, then (and ONLY then) the police can be called and you will be escorted from the property for TRESPASSING. See, you can’t decide laws don’t apply on your property.
Keep coming back brother.
There’s just one problem with the seeming logic of the comment above. You mention that the research on concealed carry as a deterrent is voluminous. And my answer to you is this simple: Compared to what? See, if you conduct an experiment or research in an environment where the control is already set so high that normalcy, such as more Americans being killed on the streets, in homes and in public places than just about anywhere in the world, then your Control Sample is obviously going to show up as something better if you throw an aggressive factor in there. But that’s because there are so many weapons available. In countries where gun control has been implemented successfully, gun crime drops precipitously, not just a little. So what you’re asking me to believe is that America has automatically (no pun intended) got it right when we lower gun crime a little by flooding the fields and cities with even more guns, and hidden ones to boot. What you’re actually documenting is that violence is an accepted norm here. Because of an extremely liberal (ha ha, it’s true…) interpretation of the Second Amendment. And what you say about Concealed Carry and its enforcement and all that is an even more exaggerated case of bending common sense to fit the law. It’s pathetic what you just wrote, that a private property owner has to CATCH someone trespassing on their property against their wishes with a gun. How in the world can you state that “see, you can’t decide laws don’t apply on your property.” It’s the other way around. Someone can pull a gun and fire at someone they think is a threat on your property and you can’t do anything about it. But I can hear your response already. “Well, you should get a gun too.” Don’t you see how this circular logic you spit out is not in good conscience. It certainly doesn’t abide by any Christian principles I’ve ever heard. And I don’t buy it. Not for one minute. This post is not entirely misguided, wrong and ignorant. Only according to the vision of law advocated by the very manipulative NRA and its puppet politicians. The fact that people embrace this aggressive logic is a sad commentary on civilization. A very sad one indeed. I believe in the right to own guns. But I don’t believe in the continual effort to militarize society as is happening today. You’ve proven it with your own commentary about law enforcement.
Oh, by the way, that first pistol you have up there is a Smith & Wesson M&P… I have two. Nice pistols too, very accurate and exceptionally reliable.
Take a look at this: https://storify.com/AthertonKD/veterans-on-ferguson
Fortunately, even as “shitty” as it may be, it’s 100 times better than what Washington had to win our independence with – and to call this militarization is a broad over-geralization in the first place… I don’t accept the premise in the first place. Next time you find yourself in Michigan, let me know. I’ll take you to my range and show you. Rounds are on me – and you can even use one of my pistols. Afterwards we can grab some pizza and kick it around.
So why do Mike Bloomberg and Shannon Watts have multiple armed bodyguards?
Oh wait! You think only the rich and politically connected have a right to self defense!
You’re asking the wrong questions of course. Why is it they need armed bodyguards in the first place? Because multiple public figures and thousands of other Americans each year die from gun violence. Now the police have to act like an army to fight off the public. Or they imagine they do. So what is the end game in your view? A completely militarized society where it is not safe for anyone to walk around without a gun? Some vision of freedom that is. I think your question clearly illustrates the delusional notion that more guns equals more safety. Even trained gun owners lose it when faced with choices about when to use their weapons. I think this whole escalation thing is based on a brand of gutless fears disguised as machismo.
So why does a person’s right to self defense hinge on their net worth?
Now you’ve asked a really interesting question. Because while the wealthy have to hire armed bodyguards to protect themselves, it is often the poorest members of society who live in the most dangerous places in America. And the answer to both questions is simple: your net worth does affect how safe you are. Because whether you’re wealthy and have to hire a bodyguard or poor and need a weapon to protect yourself walking down the street, your net worth is an issue. Which brings us to the Middle Class, where many of the weapons in America also reside. That’s where the factor of fear enters in. What does the Middle Class have to fear? Intruders we can suppose. That’s a common excuse/reason for owning guns. There’s also fear of the government. That’s a reason many gun owners seem to express, and how so-called militias come to formation. There’s fear of other races too. One gentleman I worked for in a northern state insisted that a good reason to own guns was to fight off the blacks when they came to take his possessions and house. Finally, there are gun owners who do not profess or admit to any of these fears, who think of guns as a common sense tool for self protection in the event that some person illegally enters their property or threatens their family. So the question then is this: What does self-protection really require. A handgun? A shotgun? A semi-automatic rifle? A machine gun or AK-47? The level of so-called self-defense weapons has escalated through technology. And the very same weapons available to those who want them for common sense reasons also can be purchased by anyone for the less-justifiable reasons such as crimes, anger, social aggression, gang warfare. The Hatfield and McCoys of the world as well. And now that Pandora’s Box is open, and there are so many high-grade weapons out there the average citizen can’t even afford to keep up with what might be out there in the street. It’s a citizen’s arms race. And now the police are ramped and amped and ready to stamp. Because they don’t want to lose either. So the answer to your question “So why does a person’s right to self defense hinge on their net worth?” is essentially answerable with this response: ‘You’re only as safe as what you can afford.” But in truth, ultimately none of us can really afford to live like that. Which is the point of my original essay.
It isn’t so much the gear as it is the application….