In 1791 the first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States, known as the Bill of Rights was adopted. There were several versions of the second amendment, but the version that was finally adopted said, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
If we look at this in the context of events of the day, we will realize that those rights had, in fact, been infringed by the previous governing entity – England. It is not remarkable that this was considered the second most important right, following closely behind the right that included talking about it.
It also may be of interest to consider the “arms” to which this right referred. Fire arms in 1791 would be made by a gunsmith, have rudimentary rifling, be single shot weapons, be loaded through the muzzle, and fire by means of a flintlock. A far cry from an AK-47.
If you are getting the impression this post is about abolishing the right to bear arms, you are mistaken. The fact is my wife and I both own hand guns and are licensed in the State of Texas to carry those weapons in a concealed fashion. As a young lad (junior high school age) I owned a 410 shotgun, and shot jackrabbits.
All fifty states have some variation of a concealed handgun carry law. As would be expected, there is a uniqueness in each state, but most include some sort of background check and training. 11 states permit open carry, and 13 other states permit open carry with certain restrictions. Which brings me to the actual concern I have about the right to “bare” arms.
It may surprise you, as it does me, to know that Texas has yet to pass a law allowing persons to carry handguns openly. Be not dismayed, there is a bill being bounced around in Austin that would put us in the category of “open carry,” when it passes. Knowing our legislative record, that could take a while.
Oklahoma has an open carry law, and I was subjected to the reality of that law at an art show there last year. A young man, who from all appearances was a person I would not even trust to carry my groceries to my car, was “packin’ heat” on his hip. I tell you folks, it was scary. You know the guy. (I think his gun belt was the only thing holding up his pants.)
Even criminals, as stupid as they are, are smart enough not to carry their weapons where anyone can spot them.
My first opinion about open carry is that anyone who thinks it looks tough and/or cool to strap a handgun to their hip and walk around in public, should not even be allowed to carry a handgun at all. Secondly, even if Texas passes the law allowing me to carry my handgun in plain sight in public, I will respectfully decline.
What is my reason? If I am in a public location, with my gun strapped to my hip, and some deranged individual has a notion to use a weapon with criminal intent, who is the first person he/she is going to shoot? Answer:ME! Because I am an immediate threat to him/her.
I just don’t want to die that way.
Great post, Troy. I pretty much agree with everything you wrote. In fact, just over two years ago, shortly after the school shootings in Newtown, CT., I wrote this post comparing the firepower of a Revolutionary War-era musket with that of a modern, semiautomatic assault rifle. I even wrote out the steps required to load and fire just one round.
And yes, open carry laws — I just don’t get it. Why is it necessary?
Thanks. I liked your post regarding Revolutionary firepower as well. Thanks for the comment.
I, too, have a handgun. I was trained in the military and actually shot in military competition. Unfortunately, statistics indicate that most people with handguns are not trained to use them and in an emergency situation would do more harm then good. One might expect gun toting individuals to use common sense. But then, statistics also show that common cense is not common. Thanks for addressing a serious condition.
You are so right about common sense. It is not common. I am afraid that the training provided in many instances is not enough. As I have said before, you just can’t fix stupid. Thanks for the comment.
Fire arms in 1791 would be made by a gunsmith, have rudimentary rifling, be single shot weapons, be loaded through the muzzle, and fire by means of a flintlock. A far cry from an AK-47.
I always find it interesting people bring up this issue — usually using a computer, electricity, the internet and blog posts — a far cry from the Quill Pen and Parchments of 1794, eh?
The Founding Fathers preserved the right to keep and bear arms; they could have easily preserved the right to keep and bear flintlocks; but they know technology would advance. Does it make sense to say “hey your computer isn’t protected from unreasonable search’ because the 4th Amendment only protects “papers”?
. Be not dismayed, there is a bill being bounced around in Austin that would put us in the category of “open carry,” when it passes. Knowing our legislative record, that could take a while.
I and many other experts on the subject expect Open Carry — and possibly Campus Carry — to be approved this legislative session with a possible September roll out of the new law. January at the latest. Of course, the antis will try to keep it tied up in courts with Temporary Restraining Orders but I doubt they will be successful. Especially given that 44 other states have Open Carry.
If I am in a public location, with my gun strapped to my hip, and some deranged individual has a notion to use a weapon with criminal intent, who is the first person he/she is going to shoot? Answer:ME! Because I am an immediate threat to him/her.
And given that 44 other states have Open Carry — 5 of them permit-less Open Carry (Kansas will be #6) — surely there is a huge pool of information showing where this has been a problem, right?
Well, except it hasn’t.
I accept your reasoning and support your decision not to open carry. Your choice. But I don’t agree that the criminals will be trying to take out armed people; especially when all the research on the subject shows that most criminals want easy victims.
For your scenario to happen, it would be an improbable amount of odds going against you; wouldn’t you agree?
That you would be in the spot a spree killer chooses, on the day and time of his attack and not only be there, but spotted by that person before you see him.
Personally as someone suffering from Asthma, I will occasionally take advantage of the right to Open Carry — it makes it less of a burden to wear a cover garment when the temps top 100+.
Your points are well taken. Thanks for dropping by.
My thoughts on the subject has been. .What if a deranged individual saw the gun and wrangled it away so they could go on a crime spree?
And with knives sold openly in stores, fertilizer and diesel fuel readily available in any city, gasoline on every other corner; how likely is it that a deranged individual will wait until (s)he sees a gun owner Openly Carrying a firearm to act?
That is where situational awareness comes in — you keep people like that away from you if you can. But what at the odds of it happening?
I agree with your viewpoint. A criminal will be a criminal no matter what. I personally would prefer to conceal a weapon.
That could also happen. Thanks for commenting.
If i saw people carrying gasoline around, I would be a little more hesitant about lighting a match. Open carry isn’t a bad idea. The ONLY reason i don’t is because most people are very uncomfortable when they notice you are carrying.
I fail to see the connection between gasoline and guns, but thanks for the comment.