As we go about our daily business, we must all at one time or another have dreamed of yanking out the old equalizer and giving people what they are asking for.
Perhaps drivers would quit going 40 mph in the outside lane of the interstate, or shoppers would no longer take a week’s worth of groceries into the express lane, for instance, if we took a few of them out.
No, of course I am not serious, because you have to wonder whether we still live in a free country these days. There’s always some namby-pamby law calculated to cramp the style of red-blooded Americans.
That’s why I am not the guy to teach the masses some manners. You need a permit to carry a concealed handgun, and I don’t have one. I refuse to apply, because it means taking classes where you learn how to avoid shooting yourself or others accidentally, and that, in my opinion, is bureaucracy gone mad.
Luckily, there are legislators who agree that I should not be prevented from barging through the Bourbon Street crowds on a Saturday night with a revolver in my waistband, say, just because I have no clue how to use one. The premise of the permit law is that something might otherwise go wrong, but it must have been passed by a bunch of worrywarts. Let’s hope the current crop in Baton Rouge is made of sterner stuff and passes the bill that seeks to amend the constitution by doing away with any requirement for a permit to carry a concealed handgun.
This builds on the amendment passed two years ago that made the right to bear arms “fundamental” and subjected any regulation of it to “strict scrutiny.” If the new amendment passes, and the likes of yours truly are allowed to carry a concealed handgun, we will be close to that happy day when the Second Amendment becomes the only one to enshrine a right that is absolute.
Louisiana has every claim to be leading the way in that noble cause, for our citizens shoot each other at a rate unmatched anywhere, even in this trigger-happy nation, but we cannot rest on our laurels. There are still way too many of us unprepared to open fire at a moment’s notice.
Frankly, I do feel a bit guilty not to be doing my share. It is perfectly obvious that, if everyone else also refused to get a concealed-carry permit, President Barack Obama would immediately suspend the constitution and subject us all to tyranny. Some of those fancy pants who have traveled abroad claim that not all countries with gun control are dictatorships, but they can’t fool us true patriots.
That’s why the gun lobby is pushing for state laws to do away with concealed-carry permits. Rep. Barry Ivey, R-Baton Rouge, has authored the bill to do the job in Louisiana.
If it passes, I’ll be looking for a weapon suitable for any social occasion.
I won’t be the only one, of course, because this legislation could provide as big a boost for gun sales as one of those school massacres that always lead Obama to propose, say, comprehensive background checks. Since such measures would clearly be only the first step toward confiscating all guns from law-abiding citizens, panic naturally ensues.
The sole purpose of the NRA, of course, is to defend our constitutional rights and warn us of each Obama threat. We are fortunate that the gun manufacturers who largely finance NRA operations always stand ready to fill our orders.
I’ll be in line if our Second Amendment rights are restored through the Ivey bill. Laws that say convicted felons and under 17-year-olds cannot carry guns would stand, but all the other burdensome restrictions would be gone. Right now, to get a permit you have to be 21 and prove you have completed an official training course. Among other petty rules, permits are not supposed to be issued to drunkards or illegal drug users. This rank discrimination against youngsters and impaired citizens must stop.
Let me make it clear: I was only joking about how to deal with the irritating characters you meet every day. If I ever did shoot one, it wouldn’t be on purpose, but there’s no saying it couldn’t happen.
James Gill’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.