As we celebrate Independence Day, we need to remember among other things not to take liberties with our liberties.
Open carry – that is, carrying or wearing a visible firearm out and about in public – has become a hot topic on both sides of the gun debate. On our side, there are some who claim “a right not exercised is a right that will wither away.” In recent years, it has turned out otherwise. Ostentatious open carry led to it being banned by the state legislature in California. More recently, a series of store and restaurant chains, most recently Target, have come out and asked customers not to come there armed with firearms. These have been direct results of AR15s, AK47 clones, etc. being carried in their premises for no reason other than “because I can.”
My own position is middle of the road. I would like to see the open carry of a handgun made legal in all fifty states without a permit, with the practice prohibited to convicted felons, those adjudicated mentally ill, and the like. First, legal open carry prevents arrest of concealed carry permit holders whose gun becomes visible when the wind blows their coat open. Second, when someone becomes a stalking victim or the target of death threats overnight, they don’t have time to wait for the bureaucracy to take weeks or months to process a concealed carry permit.
However, a growing majority of gun owners – including me – are fed up with clowns who sling a rifle over one shoulder, a camcorder over the other, and go out to show off and maybe taunt a policeman or two. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these people weren’t false-flag plants from the other side. Not all of them are, though.
It’s self-delusional to think that you’ll spread a positive Second Amendment image by frightening people already made leery of armed people in public by news reports of atrocities like Sandy Hook. The gay rights movement didn’t make the strides it did by having its members have sex with each other in Starbucks, and wandering into a coffee shop or department store with a loaded military style rifle won’t make positive strides for gun owners’ civil rights. A small handful of attention whores have done huge damage to the vast majority of responsible gun owners.
Enjoy the Fourth. I intend to be setting off some fireworks myself, but on the range. Hope you get some fun time for the holiday weekend as well.
The Evil Princess and I took a pleasant spring day walk from the NRA meeting at the convention center in Indianapolis to the Veterans Park, where the Bloomberg-financed Everytown crew was holding forth. How ironic that they would speak for diminution of gun owners’ civil rights in the shadow of a monument to those who died fighting for those rights…
We couldn’t help but notice the guys straight out of central casting, burly fellas with black suits, Oakley style black glasses, and most with obligatory shaven heads. One confirmed to me that they were “private security,” and “three or four” in number. Didn’t look quite like the 300 protesters they claimed. Photos and commentary can be found at Gun Free Zone.
Reportedly, several of those folks had to be bused in, courtesy of the Bloomberg money. Meanwhile, some 18,000 women came on their own to the NRA meeting, according to the Indianapolis Star, which seems to be giving fair and balanced coverage.
The whole anti-gun group in the park wouldn’t have filled one aisle in the nine acres of gun displays at the NRA meeting. Yet they claim to represent the majority. Clearly, New York City chutzpah was imported to Hoosier country along with the New York City dollars.
NRAAM, the National Rifle Association Annual Meeting, begins this Friday and runs through the weekend in Indianapolis. Last year, a scant handful of protesters across the street from the vast convention center in Houston got about as much news time as the tens of thousands of Americans who attended the meeting of Their Organization. Don’t be surprised to see the same this year.
If you’re there, say hi. Several of us will be signing books (free while they last) at the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network booth, including Bryan Ciyou, Grant Cunningham, Gila Hayes, and Kathy Jackson. I’ll be there 2-4 PM on Friday and Saturday, and hope to meet some of y’all who read this blog.
Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg reinvents himself as the face of the “gun control” movement. Unhappy with the weak results of his Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action, he tries to create a “grassroots movement” from the top down.
Gun owners’ civil rights advocate Miguel Gonzalez is an émigré from Latin America. He has seen first-hand how registration flows into confiscation and then into tyranny, citing Cuba and Venezuela. His commentary on Bloomberg and the anti-gun movement in general can be found here: http://gunfreezone.net/wordpress/.
I’ve waited this long to comment on the latest atrocity at Fort Hood, to allow the investigation to play out. A few days prior to the incident, my friend and colleague John Farnam had pointed out that military intelligence indicated there would be a “replay of Fort Hood” very soon somewhere in America. At this point, there is no indication that he latest mad dog was a jihadist, only a man with a broken mind who had apparently put a good deal of thought into such mass murder before he carried it out…closer to the monster of Sandy Hook Elementary School than the fanatic who previously wrought havoc at Fort Hood.
In the end, the motive matters less than the act…and the failure to interdict it in a timely fashion. The same John Farnam, a combat Marine in the Vietnam era and a lawman later, noted after the last rampage that on the rare occasions when gunmen do the same in a domestic law enforcement environment – that is, open fire in a police station – they at most get off a few shots and inflict a few wounds before the intended victims react, draw their own ever-present service pistols from their holsters, and shoot the gunman down like the mad dog he has obviously become.
Large institutions steeped in tradition are slow to change their paradigms, and the American military fits that description in this respect.
But it has now been 20 years since the mass murder at Fairchild AFB, five since the jihadist rampage at Fort Hood (“workplace violence,” my ass), and days since the latest horror on the same killing ground. Each time, it ended as soon as the mass murderer came under fire. A bullet in the brain from my friend Andy Brown’s Beretta put down the rabid dog of Fairchild. A security officer’s bullet paralyzed the first Fort Hood coward into a limbo that stopped this side of his hoped-for martyrdom. When the latest killer came under fire, he shot himself dead, as so many mass-murderers have in other settings as soon as they met return fire, or knew they were about to.
Unilaterally disarming our own armed services in the face of clear and present threat is simply ludicrous. Arming the potential victims on our domestic bases will be a complicated thing. Simply recognize civilian carry permits for qualified personnel on base? Easier at Fort Hood in Texas or Fort Benning in Georgia than at the Pentagon in the District of Columbia. If nothing else, select officers and non-coms wearing service pistols on base would be a good start. There are many fine minds at the Judge Advocate General’s Office which could work that out.
Otherwise, history tells us, the second Fort Hood massacre will not be the last replay of this American Tragedy.