American Culture

“Open carry” could be the best friend gun control ever had

Far from reassuring the public, open carry ― the right to carry unconcealed weapons ― just might scare Americans more than crime itself.

Image Wikimedia Commons

Image Wikimedia Commons

As you’ve no doubt heard, the latest preoccupation of gun rights advocates is “open carry.” That’s right: just like the Old West (or current Afghanistan or other dys- and barely functional states). At Salon, Matt Valentine writes:

In Texas, Florida, South Carolina, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere, gun rights activists have been staging protests, demanding broader liberty to display their guns in public rather than keep them concealed under clothing. Major candidates in statewide elections have voiced support for open carry, asserting that the conspicuous display of firepower will deter crime.

… In an online list of goals, the open carry activists at Come and Take It America say they want “to condition Americans to feel safe around those of us that carry [guns].”

As with all weapons, half their value is defense, the other deterrence. Concealed weapons, as well as weapons in the home, are of no value as deterrents because, in order to keep criminals at bay, deterrence depends on advertising what’s on your person and, at home, the existence and size of your arsenal. But, Valentine explains:

For decades, though, social scientists have studied the way people behave around guns, and they’ve found that all of us — not just criminals — will be affected by seeing guns in our everyday environment.

… Even when you’re not holding a gun, you can be psychologically affected by seeing one. Since 1967, researchers have been observing the “weapons effect,” a phenomenon in which the mere presence of a weapon can stimulate aggressive behavior.

As in “draw, pardner.” Yes, open carry, if implemented, would no doubt result in more gun violence. What gun “right” doesn’t? But let’s go ahead and let them open-carry to their hearts’ content. Say what? Valentine writes about a gun-control meeting in Arlington, Texas picketed by men openly carrying rifles.

“Their perception of what they’re doing is so different than the majority of people watching them,” says [one of the activists]. “They think they’re just showing up saying, ‘see, we’re a bunch of nice guys who just happen to be carrying around semiautomatic rifles.’ Whereas for people who are out and about in a suburban area, it’s terrifying — especially considering the climate.”

See what’s happening here? Most Americans are shocked and saddened by mass shootings, especially Newtown since the victims were children and educators. Many, however, sense the lack of logic implicit in disarming while criminals and the mentally ill are stockpiling arms. Much as others would like to see background checks extended and magazine sizes limited, they soon lose sight of Newtown and gun control as they’re once again swallowed up by the activities of daily life and the pressures of making ends meet.

But the sight of citizens walking around with rifles in hand or their handguns showing is almost certain to trigger our national PTSD about massacres, such as Newtown, and push gun control to the forefront of our consciousness. The knowledge that those publicly packing are licensed won’t keep mothers from doing a modern version of hiding their children in their skirts and hustling off. It won’t be long before they’re putting their heads together with friends and activists about the best way to restore civil society.

Open-carry advocates think they’re advertising the presence of their arms and deterring crime. In fact, they’re making themselves the best advertisement for gun control.

97 replies »

  1. I agree with you here Russ that open carry in populous areas is insane. My problem with the whole idea is _no_ licensing _no_ scrutiny and _no_ training is required. While a firm advocate of 2nd amendment rights, I am also adamant about 2nd amendment responsibilities and this opens up a whole can of worms regarding the safe and responsible handling and storage of firearms.

    A rifle racked in the back window of a pickup truck in the boonies is one thing. Guys walking around in the city shouldering AR’s is quite another. Scaring people and acting like Jethro’s with firearms is absolutely a good way to turn public opinion against gun ownership.

    That said, Colorado is an open carry state but I’d be a dumbass of the first order to try walking around in Denver or the suburbs wearing an exposed pistol. Law or no law, I’d be hassled by the first cop that saw me and rightly so. You’ll see group demonstrations with a lot of open carry, but not individuals, not around here anyway.

    • When I was growing up around Denver it was common to see occupied gun racks in my high school parking lot. This was not seen as a problem. How far we have fallen…I currently live near Salt Lake City, and open carry is no big deal. Local cops say about 40% of the adult population around here is carrying (open and concealed), and the occurrence of shootings is pretty rare, at least among the general public. (Officer involved ones are another matter…) I personally favor concealed, but openly carried arms are faster to employ, and so long as open carriers don’t start making actual trouble, I expect folks will continue to get used to it, until it is once again no big deal. Given current trends as our culture implodes, armed citizens (open or concealed) are a good thing, as it affords more opportunities for the good folks to stop the bad actors. That said, I hope never to need to go there, but would rather be prepared than not…

  2. “Yes, open carry, if implemented, would no doubt result in more gun violence.”

    I am largely a proponent of concealed carry and have a permit to do so. However I do not accept your claim that it would “no doubt result …” because we really don’t know what would happen. A lot of people said similar things about concealed carry too, but their predictions turned out to be totally false.

    We don’t know exactly how it would work out. I am not going to spend my time and effort supporting open carry, but I am not going to make polemical statements about what “no doubt [will] result” because none of know exactly how it would work out. There are certainly places where open carry should be both totally legal and appropriate, e.g., outside city limits on private and public property.

    “What gun “right” doesn’t?”

    In fact know from the research of Kleck and Gertz (and about a dozen other studies) that guns are used a lot for self defense and to prevent violence.

    Overall I think you are making hysterical and polemical statements based on very little objective evidence.



      • “Kleck and Gertz? Dear lord”

        Same your hysterics (“Dear lord[!]”) for someone else.

        I have read their paper from beginning to end, and and aware of other research on self defense use.


    • Actual statistics on gun violence in open carry states are pretty much the same as in non open carry states. Seems like a non-issue to me…

      • “Excellent. Would you share some of them? I have seen anything remotely like reliable evidence demonstrating the point.”

        I see – you made your snarky comments about Kleck and “definitive research” without having even read the paper by Kleck and Gertz and most likely in total ignorance of their research? So did you get your opinion on the value of their research from reading some anti-gun screed claiming it was defective? Go read instead of demonstrating your ignorance:

        Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology (Northwestern)
Guns and Violence Symposium,
vol. 86, no. 1, 1995: 150.

        Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz


        • lwk: We’re trying to have a productive discussion about a controversial issue here and your insistence on introducing acrimony into it isn’t helpful.

          I have read the study, but there is no point reading any further than the methodology. Once you understand how they arrived at their results it doesn’t matter what those results are, one way or another. The fact that you’re willing to hang your hat on it tells me that you aren’t versed in quantitative research method – in truth, very few people are, and as a result the public at large routinely fails to understand reporting on science and research. (That reporting is also usually quite bad since journalism schools don’t do a very good job teaching their students how to parse the claims of researchers.) Trust me, had this study been submitted in the first semester quant class in my PhD program they’d have been laughed out of the building.

          All surveys are suspect, and some more than others. Their own prologue to the method section makes clear how sensitive they are to this, and in the end what they have done is fail to understand that a more thorough flawed instrument is still useless. Even if this theirs is a far better survey than the others they discuss, it is still a survey and questions arise at several points along the way. Now granted, there are a number of “social scientists” who employ these kinds of methods and way too many people in quant-obsessed programs around the world have agreed to pretend that they’re valid, but anyone who understands the limitations of quant research is going to place about as much faith in their methodology as you would a Ouija board.

          What I’m asking for isn’t snarky in the least. I’m asking if there’s a real study on the subject that demonstrates results in the same direction. By “real study” I mean something a few notches higher up the rigor scale than suspect self-report surveys.

        • Samuel Smith wrote:

          “All surveys are suspect,…”

          How do you propose to find out information that cannot be gotten any other way? Some research cannot be conducted otherwise. If you read carefully you will see that Kleck designed it so that it would be very difficult for a person to claim a fictitious self defensive use that was credible to his interviewers. They would have to anticipate and come up with fabrications to – if memory serves – over a dozen questions they could not anticipate to deceive them. It was well designed to weed out spurious fabrications.

          Previous research almost completely ignored the idea that many self defensive use of firearms are neither reported or come to the attention of authorities. You can’t count the number of legally reported justified homicides to come up with a true number. Most uses involve brandishing without a gun ever being fired. Many cases are simply never reported. One major insight of Kleck and Gertz’s research was in fact the large number of unreported uses.

          So if you are saying that valid scientific research cannot be done by surveys then I think you are simply wrong. One may prefer more controlled methods for research, and one should use them where it is possible, but some things cannot be found out otherwise. What could be done, and Kleck as suggested this, is to use his research to design even better and larger studies in the future that are even more sophisticated in weeding out exaggeration, fabrication, and to more accurately gauge how serious the threat was that the person reported.

          Here is a quote from Wikipedia:

          “Criminologist Marvin Wolfgang, who described himself “as strong a gun-control advocate as can be found among the criminologists in this country” and whose opinion of guns was “I would eliminate all guns from the civilian population and maybe even from the police. I hate guns–ugly, nasty instruments designed to kill people” defended Kleck’s methodology, saying “What troubles me is the article by Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz. The reason I am troubled is that they have provided an almost clear-cut case of methodologically sound research in support of something I have theoretically opposed for years, namely, the use of a gun in defense against a criminal perpetrator”. He went on to say that the NCVS survey did not contradict the Kleck study and that “I do not like their conclusions that having a gun can be useful, but I cannot fault their methodology. They have tried earnestly to meet all objections in advance and have done exceedingly well.” [21][22]”

          Dr. Gary Kleck is a well respected academic who has done ground breaking research.

          One more Wikipedia quote on the impact of Dr. Kleck’s work (same url):

          “In 1993, Kleck won the Michael J. Hindelang Award from the American Society of Criminology for his book Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America (Aldine de Gruyter, 1991).[23] He has testified before Congress and state legislatures on gun control proposals. His research was cited in the Supreme Court’s landmark District of Columbia v. Heller decision, which struck down the D.C. handgun ban and held that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms.[24]”

          One last quote from your post:

          “I’m asking if there’s a real study on the subject that demonstrates results in the same direction.”

          Ok, so how do you propose to do a “real study” to determine the actual use of firearms for self defense in the U.S. where many of those uses are never reported? Exactly how are you going to do that?

          So for example, you are a little old lady in Chicago and have a revolver your late husband left you. Some night a guy breaks in your house and you scare him off with that gun. Do you report that to the police? Maybe not if you know the police in Chicago will then arrest you for having that gun.

          Let’s say your are a wife getting a divorce from a violent husband and keep a handgun in your car because you know he is trying to hunt you down and kill you and the police aren’t doing much to protect you. Let’s say you live in NYC. So one night you have to threaten him with that gun to save your life, but never fire it. Going to call the police and report that? Maybe not.

          So if you know so much about research, tell us how you would come up with a real research plan to answer the question of how many people do things like that without using a survey? A study that DOES NOT ignore these many unreported uses.

          Go ahed, tell us.



        • Go ahed, tell us.

          Again, less attitude would be welcomed.

          You have a lot to say here that is really beside the point or that we can’t do a lot with. I have no doubt that a lot of people out there, including the ones you note, are impressed with the methodology of this study. As I suggest in my previous comment, there are a LOT of people – people with advanced degrees and tenure, even – who are obsessed with quantitative methodology. This has been a dominant theme of American social research since WW2, actually, and we are not the better for it. There are things quant can tell us. There are things surveys can tell us. But when you misapply method, when you pretend that it is accomplishing something it isn’t, you can rapidly lead yourself into foolishness. Academic researchers are not immune to ideology, and few things are more powerful these days than the ideology of scientism in social research.

          This whole exchange has me thinking. I’ve been meaning to do a post or two on the problems with quant (btw, I am, if it matters, a published social researcher who has done quant – this is a small part of what I’ve done at best, but I want to stress that I’m coming from a place of some experience). Instead of dealing with all this here in the comment thread, I’m going to pull it out and do a couple of posts that deal with the subject more generally. So I’ll address the bulk of this there.

          One important note, though. You say this, and it’s troubling: How do you propose to find out information that cannot be gotten any other way? What you’re saying here is that if we can’t find out something we want to know using a reliable method, we have no choice but to resort to unreliable method. The way you frame this is a great example of where begging the question comes from, because it implies that once we have used these unreliable methods, we will have found out what we wanted to know.

          This is patently and dangerously wrong. What we have then accomplished is to assert falsehood as knowledge. This is a faux-scientific manifestation of faith over rigor. The answer is that if you can’t find out what you want to know any other way, you either a) accept that, given current modes of research, you do not have the tools necessary to answer the question, or preferably b) you keep working on refining your tools until they can address the issue. Under NO circumstances is it acceptable to pretend that bad methods are good ones.

          This question of yours, more than anything, illustrates the slothfulness with which too many among us go about understanding the world we live in.

          All this said, I have no doubt that the study under discussion here is a pretty good survey. They appear to have aggressively set about addressing weaknesses in previous surveys and if you’re going to argue that this is as good as a survey gets, I won’t argue the point.

          However, what I think I’m going to do is a two-part series, with part two being an explicit examination of this survey as an example of why surveys are next to useless for this kind of question.

      • Open Carry, which was legal, was used successfully in Ohio to push for a concealed carry law. While open carry has its’ place, I prefer to carry concealed. If I am the lone open carrier in a high crime area, I may be targeted because I am carrying. This may be to steal it, to eliminate me quickly as a potential threat or both.

    • Samuel Smith wrote:

      “All this said, I have no doubt that the study under discussion here is a pretty good survey. They appear to have aggressively set about addressing weaknesses in previous surveys and if you’re going to argue that this is as good as a survey gets, I won’t argue the point.”

      Presume “the study under discussion here” is Kleck and Gertz. So after all this you admit that it was “a pretty good survey”?

      “However, what I think I’m going to do is a two-part series, with part two being an explicit examination of this survey as an example of why surveys are next to useless for this kind of question.”

      That should be interesting. Not sure what the criteria is for “this kind of question.”

      The fact is we use lots of survey data and it is often quite accurate. In the past, for example, Rasmussen and Gallup have a pretty good record for predicting election trends and results. That is the kind of question that can’t be answered any other way. The election is a future event. It would seem to me that the science of surveying is an iterative one. You ask the questions, analyze the results and possible faults in methodology, and you do it again and again until you are reasonably satisfied you have eliminated all the flaws you can. Dr. Kleck has suggested that many times. He doesn’t claim his research is the final word. He simply debunks some people who’s criticisms are largely bunk themselves.

      “You say this, and it’s troubling: How do you propose to find out information that cannot be gotten any other way?”

      Again, I offered you an opportunity to tell me how you could find out this kind of information without doing a survey. If there is no official record, and many people are loathe to divulge information to the authorities for various reasons, just how do you find out?

      I say that you can’t find out this information in its totality without a survey because I myself have not been able to imagine any methodology to do so. As Kleck pointed out many otherwise law abiding people may end up defending themselves in situations where they are technically violating the law by even being in possession of a firearm (been there, done that myself decades ago before legal concealed carry was common). In some sub-cultures in America people do not voluntarily talk to the police or government agents if they can possible avoid it, even to report criminal predation.

      But again I am open to hearing your suggestions of how to find out this data, not ignoring non-reported instances, without a survey. I find it troubling, to paraphrase you, that you criticize me for making that assertion (“no other way to find out”) without even suggesting a plausible method that shows I am wrong.



      • So after all this you admit that it was “a pretty good survey”?

        I never said it wasn’t a good survey. I said that surveys are generally of no use and that this one fails to demonstrate the thing it pretends to demonstrate.

        That should be interesting. Not sure what the criteria is for “this kind of question.”

        As I said, surveys can tell us certain kinds of things. They can be useful for opinion research (limited in key ways, but still of some value). In this case, though, what is being measured isn’t opinion and the survey instrument is ill-suited in the extreme.

        The fact is we use lots of survey data and it is often quite accurate. In the past, for example, Rasmussen and Gallup have a pretty good record for predicting election trends and results.

        They have a record of missing, too. With Nate Silver you’re finally seeing some reliable results on the front that opinioneers have traditionally worked, and it’s because his models employ hard data instead of relying on suspect self-reports and the inherent flaws of surveying.

        That is the kind of question that can’t be answered any other way. The election is a future event. It would seem to me that the science of surveying is an iterative one.

        Again, look at Silver. Surveys are a piece of the puzzle, as I understand his methodology, but it’s the application of Big Data that allows a degree of precision never before seen in election prediction.

        Again, I offered you an opportunity to tell me how you could find out this kind of information without doing a survey. If there is no official record, and many people are loathe to divulge information to the authorities for various reasons, just how do you find out?

        And I answered that question. It isn’t my job to design a study on the subject, and I freely admit that there may not at present be an instrument sufficient to provide the kinds of answers we want. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT IT’S OKAY TO PRETEND THAT TOOLS THAT GIVE US BAD ANSWERS ARE SOMEHOW EFFECTIVE. There are a lot of questions in the universe that we cannot at present answer. We approach this by improving our methods, even if it takes a long time, and not by more or less making things up.

        I can’t promise that the series I’m mapping out will satisfy you. In fact, it probably won’t, since your goal is to demonstrate a point for advocacy purposes and mine is to insist that we go about answering questions in ways that give us reliable answers, whatever those answers may be.

        And I will stress again that I am no anti-gun. I’m a lifelong gun owner and in my New Constitution project I made express allowances for gun ownership. I also do not dismiss the idea that open carry or concealed carry or other modes of ownership might not have an effect on deterring crime. I’m saying that the claims before us that it does deter crime result from unreliable research, meaning that we can believe whatever we like, but we have no proof.

        I hope to get this stuff written soonish, although it being the holiday I wouldn’t expect it right away. In the meantime, best wishes to you and yours.

  3. The people who are “scared” by open carry are folks who don’t support gun rights generally. To them, owning a gun is a peripheral, volitionary matter, and not a fundamental right.

    Therefore, the bent of this article is shooting blanks.

    • I’m sorry, but you’re badly mistaken. I grew up with guns, I own guns, and am pro-Second Amendment. I’m not scared because I don’t support gun rights. I’m scared because I know from lots of first-hand experience what a goodly number of “pro-rights” folks are like and I don’t want to get taken out by some goddamned idiot while I’m trying to drink a cup of coffee in peace.

    • Samuel Smith writes:

      “As I said, surveys can tell us certain kinds of things. They can be useful for opinion research …”

      A political survey attempts to determine how people will act in the future and to predict a future outcome. Some of these have shown remarkable accuracy therefore validating the claim that well designed and weighted surveys can indeed give us more than just opinions. They can tell us the probability of a future outcome.


      I would question your ability to absolutely label their results as “BAD ANSWERS” and have not seen you do that so far. They may not have the precision of laboratory results, but that doesn’t mean they don’t tell us something important.

      They found approximately 2,500,000 self defenese uses of a firearm in the U.S. per year. If one is concerned in an absolutely correct answer, perhaps it was 2,500,001 instead, then of course by that standard it is a “bad answer.”

      However if their answer is off by a half million too high then it is still giving us useful info in regards to what we knew previously. The NCVS (National Criminal Victimization Survey) was in the 100K range per year.

      Regardless of whether the absolute numbers are correct, this new information gives us some useful (therefore not “bad”) answers that indicate previous knowledge was way off in terms of defensive use of guns. In fact Kleck went to great pains to show how the NCVS gave highly inaccurate answers on this question.

      So for you to say they gave us “bad answers” is far too superficial in my view. All knowledge is relative. Some is very certain, for example, tkhe law of gravity. Other, like how many times Americans use a gun in self defense is far less certain.

      “There are a lot of questions in the universe that we cannot at present answer. We approach this by improving our methods, even if it takes a long time, and not by more or less making things up.”

      What did Kleck and Gertz “make up”?

      I would absolutely agree we cannot know the _exact_ number of self defense uses of a gun every year. We don’t need to know the answer to the degree of perfection. What we do need to know is at least an order of magnitude answer and it is important to have some idea what the answer may be.

      For example, if there are very few real self defense usages then those who claim that making guns very hard to own or possess have a powerful argument that their policy will not have much effect on public safety. However on the other hand if the number is far larger than previous guesses, then that is important because making guns hard to own or possess has severe implications in terms of public safety.

      So yes, I agree this kind of research cannot give the precise answers some other research can, but nevertheless we _need_ some answers to these questions and we need to gauge their reliability within some margins.

      In any case you have said nothing so far to prove to me that your claims that these are “bad answers.” I think they are just less perfecdt answers than some that science cannot provide. However as humans we need the best answers we can get, and sometimes we have to realize that some answers have a margin of error.

      “And I will stress again that I am no anti-gun.”

      I didn’t necessarily get the impression you were anti-gun in the sense of those who want to ban all guns in civilian hands. In my original reply I was somewhat ambivalent on the open carry issue. I think you claimed it was a bad idea and I replied I wasn’t nearly as convinced (although I am an advocate of concealed carry for sure).

      From Kleck and 12 or so other studies he references I think that self defense uses are a lot higher than many of the real anti-gun people will admit. You may have reasons for discounting survey research as providing no useful answers, but so far you have not convinced me.

      “I’m saying that the claims before us that it does deter crime result from unreliable research, meaning that we can believe whatever we like, but we have no proof.”

      It is certain that reality is far more complex than a simple one variable experiment. It seems all sorts of people on both sides of the argument are claiming all sorts of causation from tenous correlation.

      “… best wishes to you and yours.”

      Merry Christmas and best wishes for you and yours. I don’t see you as an enemry. Just a person who sees reality a little differently than me. 🙂



  4. Open carry, Concealed carry.. seems to be a matter of preference. much like paying your bills when you first get them or on the day they are due.
    I personally do what I refer to as a quasi-carry for my primary firearm (glock 17) and concealed for my backup (glock 19). A quasi carry is any carry that, under normal circumstanses allows for the lower part uf my holster to be visible to the casual observer.

  5. I’m entirely with Sam on this. Rights come with responsibilities. A concealed carry permit indicates the holder has passed a stringent background check and taken hopefully at least 8 hours of training. As a cop friend of mine says it’s a “good guy card”. The holder has exposed him/herself to official scrutiny and has taken the initiative to pay money for training in the safe handling and use of firearms.

    I wouldn’t want the streets to be filled with unlicensed newbies driving cars, and I certainly don’t feel comfortable in an urban environment with a bunch of yahoos of indeterminate legal status and probably no training packing loaded weapons, concealed or otherwise.

    Also, something that we as gun owners rarely take responsibility for is allowing our weapons through carelessness or lack of secure storage to fall into the hands of criminals. If open carry were the rule thousands more firearms would disappear from the legal market each year only to resurface on the criminal market.

    This is why Mr Wellen posits in this post that fringe elements pushing unlimited open carry are playing right into anti-gunners hands and I agree with him. It’s nip and tuck right now on gun rights and this sort of extremist behavior is counter-productive to the pro-gun side.

    • Again, WHY?

      I’m approving these because I want to encourage some thoughtful comment here. I don’t care that you believe X or Y. That’s ticking a box on a survey and it doesn’t inform or advance the conversation. I want to know why you think what you do. Explain your reasons so we can all be better informed.

      • I personally prefer concealed carry since it offers the most tactical advantage should I ever need to deploy a firearm defensively. It also allows me to go about my daily business without causing any undue alarm based on the local culture of the area that I live in.

        • I also prefer concealed, while recognizing advantages and disadvantages to both: Concealed= element of surprise & harder & slower to engage. Open = deterrence, ease of access, & provocation of thought among potential carriers. Also, if I couldn’t afford the cost (tax) illegally imposed on the exercise of this fundamental Natural Right, I would absolutely open carry rather than not carry at all. I am amazed that none of our liberal friends are calling out this blatant discrimination against the less affluent members of society…You pays yer money (or not) & you takes yer choice…

        • GunSafetyPro: I don’t know what neighborhood you live in, but of the people I know who could theoretically afford armed guards, none of them are pro-prohibition. I know a lot of folks who probably are all for prohibition, and among that crowd not a single one could afford an armed guard.

          From where I sit, your argument sounds like it’s pure rhetoric with zero basis in fact. If you have some evidence supporting it I’d love to see it, but if not, this kind of thing isn’t helping.

        • Okay, that’s one. One and “often” are different things. I have no doubt that there are people who fit the description, but it’s not productive to conflate “rule” with “exception” with “outlier.”

        • I can’t imagine that “our liberal friends” would favor the rich having rights and privileges denied to the poor. But it does seem that, as one works through all the issues surrounding guns in our society, that there are probably others a little higher up the list or priorities.

  6. To the commenter who related driving to “keeping and BEARING” arms is completely off. One main point is that driving is a privilege, they tell you right when you get your license, while owning and “BEARING” arms is a right. Someone doesnt need to explain their reasons to open carry to make it right. What if I don’t ever carry around town so I would see no need for a ccw but on the other hand I want to legally carry occasionally, say in the desert or on a camping trip, I would still want to reserve that right to do so. And to those that say I’m not trained well enough to carry I would just tell them to read the news all across this country almost everyday about police and sheriffs demonstrating extremely dangerous behavior, and yet I’m the one who should not be aloud to carry a gun cause I’m not a cop.

    • Conversations like this are interesting, and all the more so for a guy like me who is a critically minded gun-owning progressive. They do tend to inspire certain kinds of decontextualization and question-begging, and we find ourselves hearing assertions of rights from perspectives that are all about dogma and advocacy and not at all about a studied understanding of the history and political grounding of the right.

      All of which is to say that I, personally, am not a member of a well-regulated militia, and I understand that the folks who wrote the amendment didn’t toss that in because they felt it just needed a few more words. I addressed guns in what I think is an intelligent way in my recent New Constitution project (Amendment XI) and I’d be curious to hear what some of our absolutists think about it. After all, it seems to specifically express a modern statement of what I think the framers intended.

    • Actually, traveling in your private conveyance has been ruled by many courts to be a Right, and not subject to licensing if you are not engaged in doing so for commercial purposes. I know this is off topic, just trying to keep the record straight. (And maybe provoke folks’ curiosity a bit.)

  7. So it sounds like your problem is with the current interpretation of the 2nd amendment rather open carry?

    • Sarah: Assuming your question is for me – my problem ultimately traces back to the fact that the 2A was poorly written. I know what they meant, they knew what they meant, everyone at the time knew what it meant and within the cultural context of the era it made perfect sense.

      The thing is, the cultural context has evolved dramatically and our policy has abstracted out the “right to own a gun” part from the governing context. The policy we have now makes not a lick of sense given the world we live in. I don’t think it especially radical to argue that when the world changes, the laws need to change to adapt the core principles to the new environment. We no longer need laws governing the placement of rails to tie your horse up on Main Street. However, we DO need to make sure that cars are parked so as not to impede traffic flow.

      Our current interpretation of 2A is an insistence that I have a right to tether my donkey on the sidewalk. Well, maybe I do and maybe I don’t. The real issue is how can we best situate gun ownership with respect to the real goals of common defense and public safety.

      I do not believe that decontectualized absolutism addresses those goals productively.

  8. I think the car comment was for me and my reply would be to stick to my guns. I don’t trust wingnuts behind the wheel and I certainly don’t trust them behind the trigger either. Minimum training requirements are not unreasonable, for cars and guns. Running around yelling “Molon Labe!” and brandishing battle rifles is a perfect way to _insure_ that the authorities do eventually come and take them.

    As Sam says, what worked in an agrarian society needs tweaking as we have evolved into urban environments. Sarah you mention “current interpretation” of the 2A and that’s very germane to this discussion. If as gun owners we have zero consideration for the 50% or more of our population who are non-gun owners then we can expect like and kind when the next Supreme Court Justice(s) is appointed. And that could occur during the present administration.

    Nothing is absolute, we have changed our constitution more than once and if gun owners don’t start accepting personal responsibility for safe thoughtful use and storage of their weapons then I think it’s entirely reasonable to expect the continual curtailment of those rights at a minimum and possibly the abolishment of the right altogether.

  9. For me, the best and most current reason to maintain the radical reinterpretation of the Second Amendment handed us in DC v Heller, such that we now have a recognized individual right to keep and bear arms, is industrial climate disruption. More generally, any SHTF scenario suffices, but industrial climate disruption is first and foremost in my mind. An asteroid may hit. Yellowstone may blow. On the other hand, among other things, sea levels will rise. A 3 degree C rise in global temperatures will have an adverse effect on food crops. Fresh water shortages will be exacerbated.

    Where gun rights are concerned, concealed vs. open carry vs. gun control may make for good political theater right now, but voters, left and right (and elsewhere) alike need to stop and think what kind of security they want for their kids and grandkids if they take climate disruption seriously. How big and effective would centralized government truly need to be for it to successfully keep society glued together in the event of widespread chaos? Can we, and should we, beef it up to that size in the few decades we have remaining? Should we bet the grandkids on government’s ability to provide them sufficient security in a worst case scenario?

  10. I agree open carry is not only shedding a bad light on those of us who are pro 2nd amendment, but it is dangerous for the person carrying openly. Suppose he or she is pre-occupied, say carrying a bag of groceries and then has a call on his cell. While he answers the phone, some thug comes up behind him, snatches his gun, and you’ve got a real problem. If you want to carry, KEEP IT CONCEALED! It’s best for all concerned.

  11. 1. I favor concealed carry because I believe it tends to dissuade criminals. If you don’t know who is armed and who isn’t, then no one has to be. Criminals have to “guess” whether a potential victime is armed or not. With open carry, any criminal knows exactly what he is dealing with and how to handle it.
    2. The arguments over “Constituional rights” is ridiculous. The US Constitution does not give any citizen the right ot do anything. We are born with the right to do whatever we want. Governments can only take away those rights through legislation. The US Constitution was written to define the powers of the Federal Government. The Bill of Rights was a mistaken idea attached to the Constitution to insure that the federal Government would not be able to pass laws that took away certain rights. Unfortunately, that move has become interpreted as a list of the only rights we have and that all others are up for grabs. A great example is driving an automobile. It was a right, but became a privilege through legislation because we allowed it.

  12. Arizona has open carry and conceal without permit. Why mention it? Because no city in AZ made the top 10 most violent cities in the USA according to the FBI’s 2012 report. Nor were they in the top 20. But you can find anti-gun utopias like NY, IL, NJ, DC, etc, etc.

    So let’s be clear: It’s your *opinion* that “…open carry, if implemented, would no doubt result in more gun violence.” …An opinion not at all rooted in fact.

  13. I just don’t understand what makes everyday regular people virtually idiots, why an average American citizen is so incompetent as to lose their weapon the instant they start to do anything. Open carry happens all over the country everyday. I am 100% sure if open carry advocates were losing their weapons as often as some people seem to think they do, I would be seeing it ALL over the mainstream networks to further push “gun safety”. And I LOVE hearing how some people seem to magically know exactly what the founders meant. Your right the constitution has changed over time, and at this time it states that I have an individual right to own firearms. I could find someone just as sure on the other end stating that the 2nd amendment is not about the governments right to have an army, but an individual right to self defense. I did not comment to have an argument about the 2nd amendments meaning, current or past, just to state my reasons for allowing some sort of open carry in specific circumstances. We live in a post Heller country where my individual right to own firearms IS protected under the Bill of Rights, and I mean how much sense does it make to say that the Bill of Rights protects an INDIVIDUALS rights, but not for the 2nd amendment. Last time I checked, “the people” are not “the government”.

    • I did not comment to have an argument about the 2nd amendments meaning, current or past, just to state my reasons for allowing some sort of open carry in specific circumstances.

      Ummm. You asked a question. I answered it. Am I missing something?

        • I’m not sure what you want. You asked a question and I answered in it good faith. Your response seemed a little hostile to certain ideas, including that one could understand what the framers intended. Well, I have a phd and I have read, in some depth, what they and other historical figures had to say and I’ve read some history beyond that. In some cases its not all that hard to grasp how cultural context drove policy. But I saw no point in arguing about it. I just wanted to note that I was answering your question and didn’t understand why you were challenging me for doing so.

    • “I am 100% sure if open carry advocates were losing their weapons as often as some people seem to think they do, I would be seeing it ALL over the mainstream networks…”

      Open carry, even where legal, is not practiced a lot today, at least that is my experience. It is however becoming an issue as advocates push for it. I can absolutely understand their motives. They want to say in a very real way they are not inferior citizens to armed police, for example, imagine in Japan where armed Samurai could make peasants bow before them and execute them if they pissed them off. It is I think in large part a demand for respect.

      There is an issue though with weapon retention. We know this because a fair number of police who are killed each year are killed with their own gun. If you have looked very carefully at the holsters that police tend to use over the years (decades really) you will see a very strong trend towards those that have some features to prevent other people than the police person from removing the gun from the holster.

      Firearms retention is a _very_ big issue for uniformed police who carry their handgun openly. If a lot of civilians do start carrying openly in cities where bad guys are more likely to be about, it would be an issue sooner or later. It is beyond certain that some yahoos would have their gun taken away from them by bad guys.

      “And I LOVE hearing how some people seem to magically know exactly what the founders meant.”

      Well, you can get some pretty good idea by reading the Federalist Papers where they argued for the adoption of the Constitution. It was in Federalist #46 where Madison gave the scenario of a Federal government gone awry and intending to institute tyranny using the Federal Army. His claim was that private citizens in state militias, even though less well equipped and armed, could defeat the Federal Army by their sheer numerical advantage. The Founders via Madison were unambiguous that the intent of armed citizens in state militias was to provide a means to literally take down the Federal government by force if necessary.

      So yes, it is possible to know something about what the Founders thought about the 2nd Amendment other than just reading the bare words of the amendment itself. I have a number of articles on my blog that discuss this.

      “We live in a post Heller country where my individual right to own firearms IS protected under the Bill of Rights”

      Unfortunately it might take only the change of one Supreme Court justice to completely change the landscape and obliterate Heller. One thing you need to understand is that no victory is absolute or permanent unless you are continually willing to fight for it. The late great Ronald Reagan said it better than most:

      “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. — Ronald Reagan”



      • very true the heller decision was a 5 to 4 vote for the individual right to firearms. should obama or the next Democratic president install a supreme court justice that right could be lost. i will not let this government take my guns. it is my inalienable right to self protection. the police have no responsibility to protect any individual only society as a whole. the only person responsible for your protection is you! the courts have already rule that way.

        • the police have no responsibility to protect any individual only society as a whole.

          I don’t understand how this works. If I’m being robbed at gunpoint the police have no responsibility to intervene unless by some odd calculus doing so is deemed to protect “society as a whole”?

        • they have no responsibility to protect you and you can not sue them if they fail in that task. if they screw up in their job you can sue them, but if they fail to protect you it is not their problem it is yours according to the justice system. maybe they can help you it is not their job to make sure you are protected. check it out. that is the reality of the system. if you want to take the chance that they will be able to protect you that is your decision. in a free society we all live with our decisions good, bad, right, or wrong. think about it, how many lawsuits there would be if they did have that responsibility. it is an impossible task that is why it is your responsibility.

        • Re: whether or not the police have a responsibility to protect: here’s news of a 2005 SCOTUS decision ( and a wiki article re: a different case, Warren v DC ( There’s plenty more out there. Naturally, the first decision rankles me because the Colorado law was expressly worded to make arrest (good ol’ “serve and protect) mandatory in the circumstances and even then SCOTUS came down on the wrong side. Worse, Scalia acknowledges police “discretion.”

          Between “discretion” and SCOTUS, that duty to “serve and protect” is largely a holdover myth from the days of Adam-12, I think. Now, if you’re a business owner with a big plate glass window, you might rest better assured that the police will certainly be on hand to serve and protect your interests against a bunch of peaceful protesters marching by. YMMV. Such is American justice.

          This is just the way it is during these “best of times.” Generally, the cops are there to sweep up the broken pieces after the worst has happened and maybe catch the perp later. Maybe, luck and discretion permitting, they will be there during the commission of a crime and attempt to stop it (maybe even successfully, and without shooting any bystanders), but clearly “during” doesn’t include “during the time a court order is in force” or “during abduction.”

          I’d far rather stake my personal security on my own abilities and hope for police support than be forced to depend entirely upon a government function that simply might not even exist. Even when it exists on paper, good luck with that. The powers that be might sort it out later, after the fact, when the goods are gone and the loved ones are dead. Then again, maybe they wont.

        • the level of firearms accidents has gone down the last 20 years and the amount of guns has gone up tremendously. anyone that would take a gun and try to use it with out training is an idiot. there will always be idiots and crazy people. the system has to weed them out, but to put more restrictions on the general public will put more danger in the general public also the general public will be the ones to stop the idiots and crazy’s if you give them a chance. there will always be exceptions but to punish the general public to fix the problem will not make it better but worse. the law enforcement has no responsibility to protect the individual the court system has ruled, there is only one person responsible to protect you and that is you. should you want to rely on the government for protection that is your business. everyone should be free to make their own decisions right or wrong that is what freedom is all about.. the police make good after the fact in most cases janitors to clean up the mess and see if they can prevent future messes. mandatory training can get some people killed that do not need it and can can not get a firearm to protect themselves fast enough to save there lives. idiots can not be eliminated even with training it goes against their nature.
          happy and safe holidays to all!

        • Samuel Smith wrote:

          “I don’t understand how this works. If I’m being robbed at gunpoint the police have no responsibility to intervene unless by some odd calculus doing so is deemed to protect “society as a whole”?”

          It seems that some people, particularly those who are most strident in calling for disarming society as a whole, believe that they have a legal or Constitutional right to police protection. They believe they can call in an order of “police” like they were calling for a pizza and it by law must show up to protect them. They might say things like, “Why do you need a gun for protection when you can simply call the police?”

          It is often a shock to their thinking when they learn that if they call the police because, for example, they have an intruder in their house, they have no right to expect the police to promptly show up and protect them. Not only do they not have that a a right, they cannot even sue the police (successfully based on case law) if they are negligent in not showing up to protect them – perhaps there was a special on fresh donuts and they stopped to get some because it was such a good deal (facetious yes, but still factual) and you get killed by the intruder before they arrive. You still can’t sue the police successfully for failing to protect you.

          Police protection is a service to the community as a whole and not an individual right (which I think is actually the correct doctrine). We can’t afford, and I certainly don’t think we actually want, a police force powerful enough to provide that service as a right – at least not as long as we have a 3rd Amendment. 🙂

          Have you ever read “A Nation Of Cowards” by Jeffrey Snyder? If not, you ought to – copy here:



  14. While open carry may have an impact on someone who is contemplating a crime, once the open carry “threat” is eliminated (look at it from the perps point of view) they can then proceed. If the perp successfully dispatches the threat they in all likelihood gain access to another firearm.
    I prefer to have some element of surprise and not give away any tactical advantage that concealed carry offers.

  15. If the 2nd amendment is a “right”, there should be no restrictions. Else it becomes a privilege from the state. I am not sure I would do open carry if I was able, but that is beside the point. In fact, there should be no license requirement period.

    • Sean, every right is subject to reasonable restrictions. Our right to assemble is limited for safety reasons and permits are occasionally required in order to keep groups from trying to use the same space at the same time for different purposes. Our right to free speech is limited in cases of libel and copyright infringement. Our right to free exercise of religion is actively opposed in cases where someone’s religion believes in child brides or incest. The right to own and carry firearms is limited too – average citizens aren’t allowed to own all kinds of things that might qualify as “arms” without expensive licenses already (grenades, rocket launchers, machine guns).

      The right to bear arms was written into the Bill of Rights by human beings. Human beings could change it or eliminate it entirely if they chose to do so.

  16. (The author of the piece finally chiming in.) It’s only recently that I’ve begun to explore gun rights v gun control. (See my piece to which I linked below.) I’ve learned a great deal, but gaps remain in my knowledge. For example, I had absolutely no idea that open-carry existed in parts of the country. Much as I’m receptive to the reality that citizens want guns, in part, because police are seldom able to arrive in time to stop a crime, as a wimpy, effete East Coaster, I can hardly believe guns are carried openly. Also, I was mostly thinking about how residents of, say, the metropolitan area of New York City would react to the sight of individuals carrying rifles and wearing handguns.

    “Nuclear Weapons and Guns: Comrades in Arms”

    • “I had absolutely no idea that open-carry existed in parts of the country.”

      I have lived long enough that I remember when open carry was legal in much of California. Used to go to the gun range with my Ruger 45 Blackhawk with a 7.5 ” barrel strapped on openly riding the bus. If I remember right somewhere in the 60s or 70s a lot of people got all bent out of shape because the Black Panthers were insisting on their right to open carry then and the right to protect themselves. That may have had something to do with open carry being outlawed in California. There has been a lot of racism in the past about carrying or owning guns, either openly or concealed.

      Despite what many people think, open carry of a handgun in Texas has been highly regulated since somewhere in the late 19th century (unless you were “traveling” loosely defined as traveling between counties). So actually in 1960 it was legal in California and illegal in Texas.

      “I can hardly believe guns are carried openly. ”

      Long guns (vs. handguns) can be carried legally in Texas. Some folks recently showed up at the state capitol with AR-15s and the like to demonstrate that (and get on the evening news).

      “I was mostly thinking about how residents of, say, the metropolitan area of New York City would react to the sight of individuals carrying rifles and wearing handguns.”

      Took a while for people to get used to blacks riding in the front of the bus a while back too (and I remember that, and signs saying “Whites Only,” and didn’t learn it from a history book or TV documentary).



      • Took a while for people to get used to blacks riding in the front of the bus a while back too (and I remember that, and signs saying “Whites Only,” and didn’t learn it from a history book or TV documentary).

        Do you really want to compare the right to own or open carry a firearm to the right to be treated as a human being and considered equal to anyone else in the eyes of the law?

        • I’ll bite, Brian 🙂 lwk’s messaging suffers from the same tone-deafnessness Russ’ article highlights, which is a pity. Should gun advocates overestimate their political power, the theatrics and unfortunately framed comparisons (apt or otherwise) serve only to feed the opposition.

          That said, I do see the right to keep and bear arms (as currently understood thanks to DC v Heller) as a civil right, and I get how advocates see any attempt to dilute that right as an attack on their civil rights. The message, as I see it, is that when a civil right is finally acknowledged, some folks aren’t going to like it and they just need to suck it up. They’ll get used to the new lay of the land eventually, or not, but they’ll just have to deal with it either way. That applies to a bigot in a previously “whites only” diner as much as it does to a gun control advocate who ends up on the losing side of the legal argument (should that be the case).

          It’s sad that gun rights advocates lack the rhetorical punch needed to carry the civil rights argument without unfortunate comparisons to other social justice travesties in which the right wing have been stereotypically complicit. I’d like to think that both sides would eventually embrace a “good for the goose/good for the gander” approach where gun rights advocates would be as militant for race/gender/poverty social justice issues and vice versa, but climate disruption fallout will catch up to us first, I fear.

        • Frank – There’s a fundamental difference between a “human” right and a “civil” right. A human right is one that humanity in general, regardless of culture, could agree upon. I’m talking stuff that’s at the bottom of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – food, shelter, that sort of thing. In the US, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” would be things that we consider basic human rights, along with equality before the law.

          Civil rights are those believed important enough to a people that they demand their government grant them. Fundamentally, civil rights are less important and more easily changed than human rights are.

          The bulk of the Bill of Rights are civil rights, and as such they can be, and perhaps in some cases should be, limited. Human rights are things that should almost never be limited because they are essentially universal and fundamental to human nature.

          The right to bear arms is a civil right. But the right to equal treatment under the law, the right to have a say in government, the right to freedom and the pursuit of happiness, these are human rights. Yes, governments may curtail them from time to time, but such governments are rightly criticized when they do so.

          lwk and Art appear to me to be equating the two, whether by ignorance or intent – I can’t tell which.

        • SORRY BUT I DISAGREE THAT THE RIGHT TO ARMS IS A CIVIL RIGHT. it is hard to have life liberty and the pursuit of happiness if you are dead. the right to self protection is an inalienable right and goes back a long time. maybe first put down in print with the magna carta. i am an old man and my memory is fading so please excuse my ignorance if i forget or get the wrong names. that right did mean swords and other things in the past, but today it means firearms. most females, old people, smaller then normal, handicapped or any other thing that makes defending them selves against a person trying to do them harm at a disadvantage, it is an equalizer. i probably do not need it as much as some people, but will not give up my right. civil rights were need to help people get the same treatment as the majority. blacks use to be denied weapons (guns) because they were not citizen. it is always the majority that causes some of the most terrible acts in our society. someone that does not live like they are sure you should. this country has evolved in to guilty until you prove your self innocent.they believe because they are the majority they have the right to make laws that force, deny or punish they were not people, the same with indians. this country has a terrible track record, why would you trust it. they put soldiers in trenches to see what would happen to them with an atomic blast, i was a down winder, why should i trust the government? this is not the free america i was taught in school, and part of the problem is the education system brain washing most of the students into believing what they want them to. stifling creativity. sorry i believe there needs to be a complete overhaul of the system, mostly the government, when ever you hear a war against.——, it is only to get your patriotic feelings going to allow them to take away another freedom from you. we blindly sit back and allow it to happen. guns are needed to put the government in place when things get bad enough that the brain washing will not work any more. the government is like some crazy person right now believing they can live on credit forever and ever as the story books go, but do not worry the nsa will protect you they have stock piled enough guns and ammo. they will keep things in order while you are starving to death. sorry just the rantings of an old ignorant guy. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO PROTECT YOURSELF WITH A WEAPON OF YOUR CHOICE, THIS RIGHT CAN NOT BE LEGISLATED AWAY NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE THINKS. I PERSONALLY WILL NOT ALLOW IT TO HAPPEN TO ME. i believe there are a lot of people that think the same way, brain washing does not work on everyone. when are we going to learn from history prohibition does not work. the results are worse then what they tried to stop. if i want to go out and shot heroin that is my business and not societies. our jails are full of heroin addicts doing heroin while there in jail learning how to be better criminals. i know i will never see it, but i hope the US pulls it’s head out from it’s ass so it can see what is going on. i at least have one eye pulled out and i am working to get the rest out. wish me good luck.

        • Art – I’m trying to parse the essential principles which underlie your point here. As I understand it, we have an inalienable right to that which is required to live. Or stay alive.

          Fine. From this, then, I’d assume that you also would argue that things like food, shelter and basic health care are inalienable rights?

        • ps open carry in israel open carry has not created more crime and has probably save a lot of problems. people should get use to seeing guns. they were when i was young. that is part of the brain washing.

        • i do not believe they are that much different. in Switzerland every home has an automatic weapon, they have no standing army, and not even hitler challenged them in world war 2 because of that reason. the opinion on gun control is changing and we are gaining ground not losing it. i would not open carry because i want it to be a surprise. but i know the people coming into my shop open carrying are not the ones that will harm me. criminals do not want attention. the more people with guns the safer i feel. statistics have proven that. high rates of crime are in the states that control guns the most why is that?

        • Citations please. When I last looked at the data and ran the statistics myself, the correlation was negligible, and there was no way to prove causation.

          Also, I’d love to read your answer to Sam’s question about food, shelter, etc.

        • You’re right, it’s not comparable. Population, population density, gun ownership, ethnic diversity, and so on are all so wildly different that drawing direct comparisons is an exercise in futility.

        • Art, you’ve just made two very interesting points.

          First, you write that “the right to self protection is an inalienable right,” or in my terms a human right. I agree completely. However, there is a difference between the right to act in your self-defense and the right to own a particular means to that act (a firearm). I live close to cities where bows and/or long bladed weapons are banned, yet both could be just as effective (arguably more so) as a firearm for self-defense. But because they’re not “arms” under the presently in-vogue definition of the 2nd Amendment, they may be legally restricted in ways that firearms may not be at present.

          Second, you write that “you have the right to protect yourself with a weapon of your choice.” As I pointed out above, this is not the case even with personal weapons. But even more, you don’t actually want this to be the case. What’s to prevent someone from deciding that he wants to protect himself with a minigun? That’s a firearm, isn’t it? How about hand grenades, are those “arms?” Or maybe a LAW (light anti-armor weapon) rocket? Or an Abrams tank? Where does it end?

          I don’t have to ramp it up into military hardware either – how about someone who wants to defend himself with a dart gun loaded with bleach or drain cleaner? Or a fully automatic paintball gun packed with acid-filled paintballs? Are those acceptable weapons to choose too?

          There are lots of ways to self-protect, Art, and not all of them require weaponry or violence. Security systems, gated communities or apartment buildings with security, and so on. But perhaps the best way is to not be where the violence is to start with. That may be situational awareness and making sure you don’t go into the bad parts of town after dark, but it may require moving from somewhere that’s dangerous to somewhere that’s safe.

        • ok, here we go again. you should make and obviously have, you own decisions about what is right. i live in the city and in a neighbor hood that is very bad. so i live in a urban setting. everyone that has had gun training should know that you have to take into consideration what is behind your target. there will always be people that screw up. but to punish the whole population for it is not right.

          a person with a knife that knows what he is doing will probably kill you if he is within 20 feet unless you shoot the brain, even if he is mortally wounded. knives should not be outlawed, and if they are legally does that mean just on the streets because everyone has them at home. i do not live in a backward state which you obviously do. your right to self protection by almost whatever means you want is your decision not the law makers.

          mini gun does not mean anything to me but if you mean machine gun yes you can and it is legal now. i believe they are too controlled by the government as a result of prohibition. back to the same statement prohibition does more harm then good. it would be hard to carry a tank and they are probably legal with the right paper work. explosive in the city should be used under very strict guide lines, going back to know what is behind the target. yes i believe you should be allowed to own explosives to use under the right conditions, like removing tree trunks. or in certain vol ital situations. rockets for self defense does not make sense, are you going to carry it concealed. the laws need to be reduced not expanded.

          i suppose if you want to try some of the methods you suggest, i would give you the ok to have your self killed in the process. there is no making laws for the stupid they will do something that someone will want to out law next. outlaws do not follow laws that is why the name is outlaws. should you be allowed a fully automatic weapon, YES. it is none of the governments business until someone hurts someone else. trying to stop people from hurting other people is like trying to stop the tide. do not punish all the people for the few crazies, there will always be those types and the laws will not mean much to them. that is why there is a black market to fill the needs of those that want.

          i guess you have money and for those that do not that is their problem. yes i live in a bad place, i can not afford security guards, and i am very aware of my surroundings because of it. i guess what you are saying is if you do not have money, you are not in-titled to protect yourself. this is where we really part company. the poor need more protection not less then the rich. are you going to foot the billed for all those folks or just say tough luck. it is easy for politicians to make it illegal to protect your self when you have body guards. some of us are our own body guards. my guess is your a democrat or at least believe that getting rid of guns will solve something. what it will do is put more money into the cartels pocket. yes i believe in protecting myself, and maybe someone else if the need arises. mass murders choose places where guns are not allowed for a reason, they might encounter resistance.

          all i can say is it would be nice living in a safe place and only going out in the day light. some people live in a fantasy world and i am glad for them. the rest of us will continue the good fight, and try to be as safe as possible. it would be nice to have lots of money, but that is not going to happen. i have a lot of education and i work hard for a living for little pay. i am not bitching just trying to exist and will not give up my protection to an up scaled janitor. i know how that will end. i have been threaten with death by 5 or 6 different gangs. to different times have people ended up dead on my street since i have lived here and i try to make it better not run a way even if i had a chance. do not try to limit someones ability to protect themselves until you have lives in their shoes which obviously you have not. the poor need it the most and they are the ones that will be hurt the most with more restrictions. HAPPY NEW YEAR.

        • what question is that. i guess i am a little confessed like i said i am old. refresh my memory. i was not trying to not answer any question i have gotten. i do believe there are too many laws and government should be reduced. this will happen because no one can live on credit forever not even the US. they can control the money to make it worthless, to help pay the debts at the poor’s expense and to make borrowing less expensive, but when the SHTF it is going to be very very bad. i am going to protect my self no matter what the government says. heck it would be a blessing to go to jail, get 3 squares a day and have a great jim to work out in. also free medical. let me know what question i skipped and i will try my best to answer it. i do get carried away sometimes i probably over looked it. I WISH YOU THE BEST.

        • I’m trying to parse the essential principles which underlie your point here. As I understand it, we have an inalienable right to that which is required to live. Or stay alive.

          Fine. From this, then, I’d assume that you also would argue that things like food, shelter and basic health care are inalienable rights?

        • yes i agree you have the right to have those things, but that does not mean they have to give them to you they just can not legislate them away from you. you have to work to get them including what ever you try to protect yourself with. i hope this helps.

        • Not really. You’re saying that nobody has the right to take something from you. Okay. Now, it’s your problem if you don’t have it – if you’re starving, you have a right to the bread crumb you found in the dumpster.

          That is a perverse view of the word “freedom.” Having the right to something isn’t the same as having the right not to be deprived of existing property. The former is positive liberty. The latter is fuck you Darwinism.

          This is why people are frequently critical of the gun rights crowd. They very often say, whether they intend to or not, that they have the right to a gun but you don’t have the right not to starve.

          As I say, perverse….

        • I AM NOT RELIGIOUS AND I BELIEVE IN DARWINISM. you can not legislate away food air water and a lot of other things. freedom does not mean you have to be supplied with all those things. you have to work for it. pursuit of happiness does not mean given to you pursuit is not necessarily easy and it does not mean you will obtain it, it is work. i believe some people need help and i am for it, even though there will be abuses just like it used to be innocent until proven guilty, not like now when guilty until you prove your self innocent. you have THE RIGHT TO A GUN BUT IT WILL NOT BE GIVEN TO YOU. the gun helps preserve your life from anyone including the government should the need rise. with out those other things you mentioned you could not have life. you can not legislate life away except under the strictest of circumstances through the justice system for a good reason. the government has lost sight of that principle also. you have the right not to buy a gun also. if you are trying to say people have the right to have food and it has to be given to them i disagree. i guess i am unsure of what you are trying to say. if you want to be your bothers keeper i say go for it. i am responsible for myself and legally no one else is. i do not want anyone taking away my right to protect myself which to me is a gun. just like the prohibition of drugs that certainly solved the problem there are none now. same would happen if they tried to take away guns. you would be able to buy them on the corner with your heroin just like they do now. i am kind of ignorant so please help me understand your logic because it does not make sense to me. please explain in more detail because i am lost. FREEDOM OF CHOICE, NOT TO BE TOLD WHAT TO DO ALL MY LIFE. i would not have left home if i wanted the government, that can not run its own life, to tell me what i can and can not do. freedom to decide.

        • But Art, government policy significantly restrains your ability to do a lot of things in ways we’re conditioned not to think about. When you have tax structures that allow billionaires to pay minimal taxes and wealthy corporations none at all, your ability to secure a basic middle class existence is dramatically hindered. Your right to basic health is significantly restricted by govt policies that insist private insurer profits not be challenged by public health insurance. And on and on.

          We simply must think deeper and more critically about the principles underlying not just one right, but all of them. The system must be consistent and coherent, and ours isn’t. Gun owners, all too often, devolve into a paranoid siege mentality that results in the archetypal one-issue voter. I know gun folks who are proud of this label, in fact. This kind of myopia keeps us from considering our relationship to governance in context, and this is bad. Always, always bad.

          If you haven’t seen my New Constitution series, I really encourage you to have a look. It represents an attempt to codify a couple decades of intense thinking on this subject, and if you consider it closely it should be obvious that no one right is take in a vacuum. Guns, speech, subsistence, and a lot more are dealt with as the intertwined expressions of liberty that they ought to be.

        • yes i am a second amendment voter, because i believe it is a check on our government. the first thing a government does to have their way with the population is remove the guns. this is to restrict and control them with less or little resistance. i am not a fan of either party, and government is a government of deep pockets. politicians that are not rich before entering the game soon become rich. therefore we have to group all politicians with the rich and yes government should control and tax them a lot more because of the absurd distribution of wealth. it will nevrer happen because they are part of the problem. government are worst run and most inefficient ways to run a business. when they first started talking about obama care my insurance went up from 700 a month to 900. they raised it again latter and then when it passed it went up to 1200 a month. from 700 to over 1200 in less then a year. i had good insurance but it was costing me a lot . in the end i had to drop it because i could not afford for the last 6 months before i turned 65 i had to hope nothing would come up. i was lucky and i made it. my insurance now is not free and it is had to pay but it only runs me around 3 or 400 a month. assuming they do not raise it or limit it which ever ones talk about the bady boomers breaking the bank (they just do not tell you they used their social security to balance the budget for many years. they finally made a law that they could not use that money but the damage was already done. now they do not have enough money to cover us, so maybe they will have to reduce our entitlements. what a surprise. with the rich controling government how are you going to control what they are doing.when i tried to get insurance using obama care it was as much as my blue cross this care deal has made it worse not better and i bet it will cost more then when it was private. government is very very inefficient. most politicians are not trust worthy.. the record of treating its own people is horrible, i got cancer and i blame it on nuclear testing. but to lose a s few good people for the safety of the nation is all right . i am part of the down winders also. how they can entice people to join the service while putting soldiers in trenches and detonating a-bombs to get scientific information for the good of the country. there was a rancher that had a heard of sheep killed close to me 30 or 40 years ago. the owner claimed it came from the government but they denied it and won the case. 30 or 40 years later they confirmed what had happen. the good of the people is more important then the good of the country. this country has a terrible record of treating its own people right from the start and it appears to get a lot worse with this new invasion of privacy. yet everyone continues knowing that the government is protecting them. we need to reduce government. sorry i am beginning to fall a sleep. i will try to stay coherent and finish the best i can. they make it against the law to kill your self. hell if the cancer comes back when it starts to become painful i will take matters into my own hand it is none of their business after the fact let them throw me in jail i won’t care.yes guns are entwined with everything and are actually prevents and helpers in making sure bad things do not happen. get out of the wars, reduce government spending abroad, get business men in there to make the government more efficient. made drugs legal and tax, but reasonably we could reduce our taxes and if we are careful one day be able to afford health care by limiting cost and payments.guns are for checks and balances they are very very important and i will not give them up. they protect the other liberties. they insure my responsibility to try and protect my self and others. you try and get rid of them and the black market will supply them to a population that of criminals leave the population at risk and also giving us more crime. government have always be wasteful and i believe in the end it will cost much more. we will be extra for the inefficient cost more and less care. i believe you are a democrat and would like guns eliminated or at least very restricted until you can make them illegal. the only problem is you can not get rid of themwhat makes you think that for the first time they can get ridof anything they try to. it just makes the wrong people rich. incentive or lack of it is what makes social or communism not work. that is why capitalism does. you have to put controls on them or they will do bad things and get a way with it. once you try to take the second amendment and succeed the rest of those rights will be on a slippery slope. there will always be bad people that claim religion should not be free or there is only one that needs protection. same with the freedom of speech. we should not talk about our government in a bad light and if you do you will be punished.yes i believe the second amendment supports the small, minority , handicap, and many others including me. women need them and are the fastest growing population in the gun arena. Switzerland, Israel all have more guns and less crime john lotts book more guns less crime gave the statistics to prove it proving that while the gun population has increased tremendously it has gone done in the us with the exception of states that have the most restriction or control. with all these nasty guns be bought in record amounts crime has gone down. guns are only a tool even if you get rid of them which you can not, history has proven that, it would not stop the violence. that is why we need our own self protection, the poiice will not be there on time. getting rid of movies and tv shows would help, but that is freedom of speech and i will defend that also. the gun is only a tool to exercise my right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. more freedoms not less if i want to shoot heroin it is my right, if i want to marry the same sex it is my right. the government should not be taking away my right. as far as restricting the kind of weapons you can get i think there should be very few. how knows when you might need something bigger to handle 2 or 3 car fulls of gun shoo.ting gangs. will there be misuses of them yes that is what the judicial system is designed to take care of. we can come closer to a utopia but we will never get there and while trying we will come up with something worse, i am dozing off i have to go to bed.

          .. .

        • you have the choice. if you want to kill yourself that is your business if you want to starve yourself that is your business. if your do not want a gun that is your business. it is all about choice. i hope i have made myself clear right or wrong. you live with your decisions not someone else-es.

        • Art, I’m guessing that nobody is starving because it’s their choice. Nobody is dying because they choose not to get healthcare. Okay, nobody who isn’t a religious nut, anyway. They’re doing so because the system is rigged against them.

          This is a result of oligarchy. It’s because government is captive to neo-feudal corporate interests. The oligarchy will defend your gun rights so long as doing so suits their purpose, and not a second longer.

          In other words, you probably see certain segments of the society as being on your side when they really, really aren’t.

        • Well, Art, I’ll give you points for being consistent and not being a hypocrite. Lots of people who are as pro-gun as you are perfectly happy to say that other weapons should be illegal since they’re not firearms.

          That said, from what I’ve been told, fully automatic weapons are illegal without a permit, and the permits are both expensive and tightly regulated. A minigun is a six-barreled machine gun with a fire rate of between 2000 and 6000 rounds per minute. It can cut down trees.

          There are reasonable restrictions to every right, and you’ve indicated that you agree with some of those restrictions. But those restrictions – permits to legally own heavy weaponry, losing the right to own firearms after commission of a felony, not being allowed to own rocket launchers – suggest to me that the issue is that you feel you need a firearm to protect yourself, and that no other self-defense option will work for you. To me, it seems like you’re calling firearm ownership an inalienable right because that’s the only means you feel you have by which to exercise what is an actual human right – self-defense.

          Believe it or not, I’m mostly OK with you owning a firearm for self-defense. If you are too infirm to defend yourself some other way and too poor to afford to move somewhere safer, then a firearm may well be your best option. But just because something is your best option doesn’t make that option an inalienable human right.

          Our culture is steeped in violence, Art, and I’ve slowly come to the realization that part of the reason is that we glorify firearms. The very 2nd Amendment that you cling to for your own self-protection is part of the reason you need to protect yourself from gangs in the first place. Adding more guns isn’t going to help us dial down the violence. For that we need to change our culture, and part of that change will almost certainly be removing the 2nd Amendment from the tallest pedestal upon which it presently rests and placing it back in with all the other civil rights like freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly.

          One final point for now – when you look internationally at gun violence, a couple of correlations become clear. First, there is essentially no correlation whatsoever between gun ownership, gun homicides, and poverty. Second, there is a very low negative correlation (r2 = 0.01) between the number of firearms and the number of gun homicides. And third, the more guns there are in a country, the greater its overall homicide rate. Essentially, countries that have a lot of guns around have a lot of violence in general, but the amount of gun violence is ever so slightly less.

        • ps i believe there are bad people in this world but i also believe most of them are good and not the problem. that is why concealed carry works and has worked . it has not left any room for the anti crowd to say see i told you the streets were going to run red with blood because of this, in fact the opposite happen to there disappointment. the population is trust worthy until you give them a good reason not to be. an armed society is a polite society. tell me why i should trust the government with a terrible track record especially since the nsa recently bought a lot of guns and a billon rounds of ammo. i wonder what they are going to do with then? take over mexico? things are getting scarier every day and yes i want to protect me and mine plus anyone around i can help. during bad riots like let say in california the police would not even go in to the riots the people had to fend for themselves. even if they say they will protect me i know they will not, and when they do the rich get it first. we all know the way it works. i have no problems with die i just want it on my terms!

          On Sat, Dec 28, 2013 at 10:48 PM, Scholars and Rogues | Progressive Culture wrote:

          > Brian Angliss commented: “Well, Art, I’ll give you points for being > consistent and not being a hypocrite. Lots of people who are as pro-gun as > you are perfectly happy to say that other weapons should be illegal since > they’re not firearms. That said, from what I’ve been told, ful” >

        • when to Constitution was written blacks were not considered citizens. allowing minorities the right helps protect them from the majority. when i was young i use to strap on a pistol when i was going out of town to shoot and would stop at the 7-11 on the way out. there was not a problem then, and the media has made it a problem now. i would rather have the surprise by not open carrying, but it is an individual right to choose. it is an inalienable right and no matter what the government does they will have to take mine by force. i believe a lot of preople feel the same way. the second amendment was written to recognize the right to self protection not to give the right to us. that right can not be taken away no matter what the government does.

        • yes it protects the minority from the majority. there are times that right has to be taken away, but we have already gone to far in that direction. in other words you can make a law that a moving violation will result in the loose of the right to own a gun. that could be used to disarm the population. there are already to many laws taking gun rights away. there should be more laws giving them back after they have been lost. in other words you should be allowed to earn that right back. suppose your now ex wife claimed you had assaulted her when you did not, or maybe it was a very minor assault. you should be allowed to get that right back. there has to be some control, but we have already gone to far with it now. very few things are yes or no or black and white. it is usually somewhere in between. when you are being harmed or killed equal protection under the law does not mean much. that is why we have the right to protect ourselves because because no one else has that responsibility. taking that right away can have serious consequences!

  17. Open carry is already legal in 44 or 45 states, depending on how you count them. In a number of states, where you have to be licensed to carry, there is no legal distinction between open carry and concealed carry (Minnesota is an example). In about half the states, no license is required for open carry, including 4, (or 5 if you include Arkansas) that do not require a license for concealed carry. So open carry exists in most places already, without any problems. Not surprisingly, criminals, or those with criminal intent, almost never openly carry, because they do not want to draw attention to themselves.

  18. in the revolutionary days there was no standing army, until Washington assembled one. find any old dictionary, newer ones have changed the definition of militia. the old dictionary’s say the militia is made up of every able bodied man in the community. at the sound of an alarm they were to assemble with the best weapon they could afford to protect the community. today we would include ladies also. it has always been an individual right. times have changed instead of having to protect yourself from wild animals, which we managed to kill most of them, it is wild people. prohibition of anything causes more problems then solutions. trying to tax cigarettes out of existence is just cloaked prohibition. government should be reduced an freedom given back to the individual, to live with the mistakes he makes. making laws against narcotics did not help it only hurt society in many ways. trying to make guns illegal would result in something even worse. arguments against open carry is the same. people have the right to arms taken away from them for any small infraction. those open carrying in my state, if they were a problem would lose that right, and it would be plastered all over the majority of the anti gun media. i would not open carry because i would lose the ability to surprise an aggressor. i have had people come into my shop open carrying and had no problems. if someone was there to do me harm you would only see it at the time he is doing his bad deed. criminals do not want to bring attention to themselves, until they are in the process of breaking the law. less government restrictions more freedom. most of the laws come from religion and people trying to make people live their righteous way. forcing people to believe your way and punishing them when they do not do it is morally wrong. if mr. Lott’s book more guns less crime had bad statistics in it, the anti gun crowd would have shown the error in his ways. there will always be exceptions to the rule, but to take rights away because there are a few crazy people out there only hurts the population as a whole. where my nose starts and your fist meets it is when the court system can take over. to allow the courts to judge victim-less crimes and sentence people for their own actions is not moral. to take away citizens rights to protect them, when in reality it does the opposite is insane and only the mass media could brain wash the weak minded into believing it, over many years, which is what they are trying to do. before hitler took power they made gun registration in germany mandatory. stating it would never be used to take guns, which hitler did from the Jewish population before the extermination started. the form you sign when you buy a gun was translated from that german gun registration document. that form stays with the shop you bought the gun from. should that get into the hands of someone like hitler in the future it would be a good start at gun confiscation. i will not join a mass registration system even at the expense of jail, because i know in my heart what would happen eventually. there is only one reason for registration nationally.

  19. Very interesting the spectrum of thoughts in this conversation and I applaud the overall civility. While I agree that we should absolutely not allow national (or local) firearms registration lists I would still like to see a training component such as that required in most states for concealed carry to be built into the process of exercising one’s right to own and use firearms.

    I know that rankles some but people can be dumbasses and as we pack ourselves tighter and tighter into urban areas the amount of damage that can be done by a fool with a gun increases exponentially. There is no such thing as an accidental shooting, when a gun goes off unintentionally it’s negligence pure and simple. I equate that primarily to a lack of prior proper training.

    Gun death rates are already low and sinking further once suicides and gang on gang murders are subtracted. With a little firearms safety and function training for every citizen that number could be reduced to almost nil.

    • “I would still like to see a training component such as that required in most states …”

      Theoretically the states could invoke their right which is referenced in the 2nd Amendment to regulate the “militia” to make some firearms training, with a large does of safety instruction and lectures on personal responsibility, a _required_ component for getting a high school degree. I do think we should put firearms, and especially responsible firearms training back into our schools.

      Merry Christmas to everyone! 🙂



  20. Even I, in my deepest trolling moments, gave up trying to argue with gun rights nuts. For every sane one, there are a dozen for whom logic is a Mobius Strip. I’ll never forget the post I did arguing for less gun control where I got inundated with comments because I didn’t agree with them in the right way because I based my argument on pragmatism rather than a misinterpretation of the Constitution. (And by the way, the Constitution is a wonderful document, but it’s not always right. Think about slavery and women’s rights.)

    By the way, did anyone notice that Tebow finally got a job–and it ain’t as a football player? But in the greatest of ironies, those idiots in Cleveland want to hire Skippy McDaniels as coach. Johnny Manzeil anyone? From Christ to anti-Christ, the search for the new Fran Tarkenton continues.

    • i personally believe that most people can be trusted, including gun nuts as you call them. as per the bell curve there will always be those in the bottom of the bell. the amount there is minor compared to the population as a whole. i believe most of the nuts do not misrepresent the constitution but whomever you are and i am sure you are smarter then the majority of the supreme court and have a better knowledge of history. because of the way indians, blacks, ladies were treated or the japanese during world war two, it does not take away any of the thoughts in the constitution. those people need guns more then anyone to protect themselves from the majority. mistakes are made and hopefully something better comes out of it, but prohibition has always caused more problems then it tried to solve. put lots money into the worst peoples pockets, created crime, and did not solve anything just made it worse. it is a well thought out document. it could not be written better today. i know you think you can trust the government what has it ever done do the citizens of this country. it always puts them first, yea sure. it is hard to argue with some people otherwise.

  21. One recurring theme here is SHTF scenarios and while as an ex-Marine and Boy Scout I firmly believe in being OVER prepared, the basic truth is the S rarely HTF. We can not live our lives based on worst case scenarios, not and remain sane anyway.

    Sure the oceans could suddenly rise and cannibals start running wild in the streets while our government gathers us all in FEMA camps for ultimate disposal. Fires, floods, famine, pestilence…Anything can happen, that’s what makes life so fucking exciting. But let’s be honest, it doesn’t happen very often, not to us here, now, in this place in time.

    So in the interim while we wait for the brain eating zombies or whatever SHTF scenario you prefer, we need a little god damn common sense in the way we treat firearms and which fellow citizens we entrust with them. I get what you’re saying Art but I suspect you would also admit that people can be lazy, and ignorant,, and more than a few booze and dope and for whatever reason are too incompetent or untrustworthy to be fiddle farting around with loaded guns.

    That’s why I firmly believe as a NRA Endowment member, concealed carry permit holder, and occasional competitive shooter that a prerequisite to exercising our 2nd Amendment rights should be basic training in the safe and proper handling of firearms and also the legalities of using one for the defense of self and others. That way we can be an armed polite society with stiff penalties for misuse of weapons, and if and when the S does finally HTF, we’ll hit our targets and not each other.

    And to friend OW, yes little Timmy finally got a job just as that ass Shanahan lost his. I think Sam still wears his Tebow jersey as a night shirt???

    • no matter what we do we will probably never be hit by lightning. in a thunderstorm we can stand up in a boat in the middle of a lake or find shelter under the tallest tree on top of a mountain and still be all right. i would never carry openly, but i believe in the right to make your own decision, right or wrong we live with our mistakes. should we hurt someone else the government will step in and usually justice will be served. nothing in this world is perfect. there are people out there that should not have guns, and there are more then enough laws to keep the guns from those people. in fact i believe to many. some people loose their rights that should have them or should have them reinstated. i believe most people are good, upstanding people. to punish the majority for the faults of a few is just not right and dangerous. to not allow someone a weapon for a waiting period or mandatory instruction, while in the mean time they are killed is criminal in it’s self. it would be crazy for someone to buy a gun that has no idea what it is all about, i agree. to make guns hard to get for the poor, who need them the most is also crazy. the justice system weeds out the criminals and crazies. let it happen. some people are denied the right to arms that should not be. there should be ways to gain that right back.. i am glad it is easier to obtain a cwp then when i got it. when i went to get mine it was before the shall issue laws and it was a lot harder. i had been threatened by my first gang bangers and i wanted cwp fast, but had to go through even being recommended by some high government official and take the class. i had to go shot to prove i could handle a gun before i got the permit. i did not do it because i told the instructor i was shooting one day a week for 4 to 6 hours. he let me slide. i am glad i did not end up dead before i got mine. what ever happens i want to be prepared. if you believe it will never happen do not carry there is no need. i hope i will never need to use my weapon but i want it just in case. i would be more comfortable with out it that is for sure. i do not trust the government, the police are not going to be there to protect you, and bad things can happen even though it is rare. i was taught from my father how to handle guns and he did not like hand guns. he did not live in a bad place, i do. to restrict someone who does not need the training at the expense of their life is not constitutional., right, criminal, or what ever you want to call it. people taking a gun with no idea what is happening and hurting someone else is like shtf scenario. the justice system will take care of them, just like they do with mass murderers. that scenario has been decreasing as guns have been increasing. mass murders happens in gun free zones now. why is that? most people are basically good and can handle themselves. we live in a society that has turned what i learned in school around. we will bust down peoples doors to try to catch drug dealers at the cost of innocent life’s. a few good people lost for the greater good? we will send soldiers into trenches and detonate atomic booms, for the good of the country. there will be down winders for the good of the country. you are guilty until you prove your self innocent (WE WILL LISTEN TO YOUR EMAIL AND PHONE CALLS, if you are not doing anything wrong you should not care). when will we wake up and put the government in it’s place. yes there will be mistakes, there will be problems, there are bad and crazy people out there. do not punish the population as a whole for it. give us back our freedoms, allow us to make mistakes that is how we learn. power corrupts and total power corrupts totally. GIVE US BACK OUR FREEDOM. THEY MAKE ALL SORTS OF LAWS. it is against the law in most places to kill your self, hell we can throw the body in jail. i have the right to choose not you, not religion, and certainly not the government. i will give you and everyone else the same right and everyone esle the right to choose. live with your mistakes. if i want to shoot up heroin it is my right if i am not hurting anyone else. reduce the size and scope of the government. a lot of it is not needed. i am not going to give you my qualifications i do not need to, my rights are my rights. taking rights away has done nothing but enriched the worst people in the world, cost us a lot of money and created crime. we should learn for history, not keep beating our heads against the wall. most politicians become wealthy in office through deep pockets and use their religion to make laws that should not be there, reducing our rights. the government will never be able to protect everyone. the police will certainly probably not be there to protect you unless you are really lucky and it is not their responsibility. i will stop the ranting of a gun nut now. sorry for all the wind. have a safe and happy new year!!

    • yes i am sure that is what you would like. i live in a state where it is legal to carry openly and has always been. it never has seemed to cause a problem. when concealed carry first started to take hold the anti gun crowd said it would be like the old west with gun fights in the streets. IT DID NOT HAPPEN. i am sure if they made guns illegal it would be very similar to drugs. we have certainly taken drugs off the streets. we would have to give the nsa more power and money to help enforce the law. it would make honest hard working americans criminals, because like me they would not surrender their guns. it would cause one of the worst problems this country has ever faced. it won’t be long before we go through a situation worse then the great depression mark my words. through government interference they have postponed that from happening, made sure they could borrow money at extremely low rates and destroyed the value of the money so what they owe will become worthless, hurting only the fiscally prudent households. they have successfully made sure that the us dollar will not be the world currency. yes i want to protect myself, you do not have to. we all know the police will be there to save you. some of us are willing to stand up for our rights. some try to take them away and do it with anonymous names to make it harder to track them. in the end it is hard to be anonymous the nsa will find you. snowden shoud be given a medal not put in jail. boy that is freedom of speech. trust the government all you want what have they ever done wrong. why would we need a bill of rights the government is perfect and will never harm it’s own citizens. less government more freedom. the right to make mistakes.