Have we become a nation of cowards?

cowardsThe State of Missouri just loosened its gun laws making it easier and legal to carry a concealed weapon without much scrutiny. The Show Me State can obviously do what it wants, but isn’t it just a little ironic that a state with that motto is now making it easier for it citizens to conceal a weapon for whatever purpose they like? How is that not simply a relaxed license for murder?

Concealed Carry gun laws swept the nation under the guise that to carry a gun on your person at all times is the height of personal autonomy, a right guaranteed under the Second Amendment with the claim that the “right to bear arms shall not be infringed.” Taken literally, as gun proponents tend to do with the Second Amendment, that would mean that Concealed Carry is exactly that: an infringement on those rights. Forcing people to hide their weapons is a breach of the Second Amendment.

Which is why states that hate Concealed Carry have passed Open Carry laws, and why states such as Missouri are moving toward lack of regulation. A nation of selfish cowards needs to create laws that affirm their fearful neuroses.

What sane person actually believes a person needs to carry around a handgun for personal protection? What responsible person can’t manage to make a trip to the grocery store or other public places without carrying a sidearm on their hip, and out of sight?

The nation’s gun laws have been twisted by fearful zealots to affirm this sad, fearful set of beliefs. That means we all have to put up with the secretive habits of people afraid of their own shadows. The Home of the Brave has become Home of the Cowards. Because it doesn’t take bravery to carry around a gun. It takes someone perpetually afraid they’re going to die to carry around a gun. As William Shakespeare once wrote, “Cowards die many times before their deaths, the valiant never taste of death but once.” In other words, Concealed Carry laws are for all those people dying inside because they don’t have the courage to really live without deadly force at their disposal.

The reasons for these fears are manifold. Some fearful gun toters are racists. Others imagine the government is planning martial law or tyranny. Still others love the idea that a gun means power in any social circumstance. But that’s still a fearful worldview, for it is based on an implement of justice, not civility.

On one hand gun proponents cite the fact that gun crime is down in America. Yet these same people somehow cite the need to carry a weapon around as if they were part of a roaming militia needed to patrol the streets of America.

But where that dynamic creates the most havoc is in urban neighborhoods where lawlessness truly is rampant. That’s where proliferation of handguns is highest. Conveniently, these people are branded “irresponsible” gun owners to excuse the massive degree of gun violence they commit. But actually, these folks are technically obeying the letter of the law, if not the spirit. See, the definition of a threat is up to the gun user. No one else gets any say in the matter when guns are unleashed.

So the only difference between the urban gunfighters and those seeking to tote guns into a situation such as church is circumstance. When a young white man brought weapons into a black church in the South and opened fire, killing nearly a dozen people, even that small measure of perceived safety in the house of God was spattered in blood.

Some gun proponents have the gall to suggest that circumstances such as these are the fault of people sitting in church unarmed. Of course that would defies the very reason for going to church at all, which is to trust God in all things. By that literal logic, we must assume that people gunned down in church are simply the victims of God’s will.

If you don’t believe that to be the cause, then the real culprit is clear. America’s gun laws have evolved into an unholy expression of the selfish, fearful interpretation of the Second Amendment that led to Concealed Carry in the first place. Gun zealots who like to brand themselves brave defenders of social justice deceive only themselves. In fact they are the true cowards in a society that does not need their brand of gutless guile.


It’s actually Open Carry they’re really after

By Christopher Cudworth

National approval for Open Carry is next on the agenda of the American gun lobby. Wait and see.

National approval for Open Carry is next on the agenda of the American gun lobby. Wait and see.

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? 

False Premises

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.

False Logic

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. 

thSo 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): 

Taxburdened20111 hour ago

“Obviously an article written by a progressive.  The right to own weapons is guarenteed by the 2nd Amendment, quit trying to change our right to own weapons and to change the constitution to your ideolical views, just for once, will you?????  Doubt it, but I still comment on it!  Only the criminal will subvert this right by not owning a weapon legally.  Most, if not all non-criminals will own a weapon legally and registered.  We have nothing to hide, all we want is something to protect ourselves from idiots like yourself who happen to to want to take our right away Mr. Brian Smith! Is that your purpose in this article Mr. Smith???
All told, the process of the militarization of society is a self-fulfilling prophecy for people so afraid of government and society in general that they believe the government is trying to take away their guns and their rights. But when even the police feel like they have to act like an army to keep society under control, the idea of a “well-regulated militia” as proposed in the Second Amendment has been outstripped by the selfish interpretation that gun rights are absolute, literal and untouchable.
Open Carry is next
Watch and wait. It will probably be just a matter of weeks before Open Carry legislation is introduced at a national level. The timing is just about right, with November elections coming around the corner. Probably Congress will throw a bill like that into the hopper, forcing Democrats who vote against it to go on record. There’s precedent for Open Carry at the state level. Organizations such as Opencarrytexas.org are already on the case. 
It’s a sad case, mostly, with people dying every day from gun violence, and gun advocates insisting that the only way to stop gun violence is to hand out more guns and brandish them like cowboys in the streets.
It’s been said that the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Only it’s much worse than that when it comes to guns in America. The escalation of gun weaponry and accessibility of military-grade guns in the United States is not just insane, it is politically criminal and the absolute result of misinterpreting the Second Amendment to mean that “well-regulated” means no regulations at all.
If we had followed the same logic with environmental protection rivers in American would be on fire these days as they were in the 1970s. But we developed some common sense and the EPA has protected us from far worse consequences. 
So you can see the comparative paradigm at work here. We’re at a critical point in the gun debate where more powerful weapons is having a toxic effect on society and yet the gun lobby cries wolf in trying to tell us it’s not that bad, and that more guns is the price of progress in a civilized society. 
Except it’s really uncivilized, what they keep proposing. The insane logic never ends with these people. It never, ever, ends.