Another Public Shooting In America
Over the weekend there was another tragic public shooting in America, this time in New Orleans during a Mother’s Day parade. Thankfully nobody was killed when three gunmen opened fire on the crowd at the parade, although seventeen people were injured, including two children.
I could never truly imagine being someone in one of these crowds that get attacked at public events lately, but I sure wish that I was allowed to have a concealed firearm on me if I was. And I wish that other law-abiding citizens were also allowed to carry their firearms concealed (or open if they please) in public at these events, in case the rare situation happens when they get a clean shot of people who don’t care about innocent life, who decide to shoot bullets at unarmed, innocent civilians.
You see, I’m someone who doesn’t like it when criminals get to have a monopoly of force over anyone, and I want criminals to fear being shot by a random civilian with a concealed firearm whenever they want to commit a crime. This isn’t because I am sick, it is because you are sick if you don’t think so. I am not wishing for every criminal to receive gunshot wounds if they steal something, but it would be nice to live in a society where people restrain themselves from harming others physically or economically, and if they can’t restrain themselves, good people will restrain their selves. It would be nice that since laws can’t properly restrain criminals from acting, the fear of a citizen stepping up to the plate for society would stop them from doing so.
What Should We Do?
Well, more gun control legislation isn’t the answer, and if you want to begin understanding that, see how the Department of Justice found that America’s previous Assault Weapons Ban had no discernible effect on crime, for starters.
What we should try is something we haven’t tried, which naturally fits into the rapid increase in gun ownership in America, especially since we’ve had nearly 50,000 gun background checks a day since Obama took office. I am not joking, 46,000 and change according to data released by the FBI.
Back to the point, we need to try allowing our gun owners to open carry at public events. I feel the need to do a quick review of gun ownership statistics, so:
More Gun Ownership Leads To More Crime And Suicides
Not. A May 14 2013 Forbes article best summarizes the current state of relevant gun-statistics, based on studies from the United States Department of Justice and the Pew Research Center (that draws data from the Center for Disease Control and the USDOJ):
- More people are buying firearms, while firearm-related homicides and suicides are steadily diminishing;
- U.S. gun-related homicides dropped 39 percent over the course of 18 years, from 18,253 during 1993, to 11,101 in 2011;
- During the same period, non-fatal firearm crimes decreased even more, a whopping 69 percent;
- Firearm homicides declined from 1993 to 1999, rose through 2006, and then declined again through 2011;
- Non-fatal firearm violence declined from 1993 through 2004, then fluctuated in the mid-to-late 2000s;
- Only two percent of prison inmates who owned a gun at the time of their offense bought it at either a gun show or flea market. About 10 percent said they purchased their gun from a retail shop or pawnshop, 37 percent obtained it from family or friends, and another 40 percent obtained it from an illegal source;
- Between 1993 and 2011, guns were used in less than 10 percent of all non-fatal violent crimes;
- Males, blacks, and persons aged 18-24 had the highest firearm homicide rates; and
- 49 percent decline in the homicide rate, and a 75 percent decline of non-fatal violent crime victimization.
TLDR is gun ownership is up, gun crimes and suicides are down. Now that we have that out of the way…
Let Us Open/Concealed Carry In Every State
The text of the Second Amendment is very clear, that the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. United States Supreme Court case D.C. v. Heller holds that the 2A guarantees an individual’s right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for “traditionally lawful purposes,” such as self-defense within and without the home (my emphasis added, as that has been a traditional purpose of carrying firearms) (it’s also why police carry firearms, to defend themselves outside the home) (that’s what the “bear” in “keep and bear arms” is).
Also, you should know that all able-bodied 17-45 year old male U.S. citizens are part of the unorganized militia under 10 U.S.C. 311(b)(2), which defeats another reason why common citizens are allowed military arms (aside from the fact that we the people allow the military to have arms).
While the Supreme Court has not exactly pronounced that the 2nd Amendment extends outside the home, it certainly rejects cases that have outright stated such, such as Shepard v. Madigan filed in United States District Court in Illinois in May 2011 that noted:
…the text and history of the Second Amendment guarantee individuals the right to carry firearms outside the home for self-defense and other lawful purposes.
What a beautiful sight that is to see, a court actually upholding the spirit of the 2A.
If people would understand that criminals are going to violate concealed carry laws all the time, especially in gun-free zones, it would be nice if we could all agree that states like Utah have it right with a simple one-page application requiring you to take training and not be a criminal, versus the multi-page California application that makes you beg the State to accept that your life is as worth protecting with a concealed firearm as a criminal’s, and try to get some form of Federal concealed carry legislation or caselaw precedence established.
I’m not editorializing about California, by the way, you literally have to tell them your life is in danger from an explicit threat, or you have to list the valuable items that you transport and need a gun for (i.e. valuables, through applications, can be worth protecting more than the common person is naturally allowed to protect themselves).
If we could get the average
person low information voter to be comfortable around the sight of civilian firearms, we could then try to pass national open carry, similar to how Oklahoma allows their licensed concealed carry holders to open carry if they please. The disadvantage to open carry is the possibility that someone will grab your firearm (at their own risk), or that a criminal can mark you out, however, the advantage is that the criminal will likely not risk being shot or trying to go into an area where people are visibly armed. And I like the idea of criminals not trying to commit crimes.
My point being, do you think that gunmen would rather pull up and shoot a crowd of visibly unarmed people, or visibly armed people? I want American gun culture to get even more mainstream so that I am not the only one calling for this. I think it’s time that citizens be allowed to take walks with their guns again, as suggested by Thomas Jefferson:
A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercise, I advise the gun. While this gives a moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks.