There’s been far too much bad news to cover lately, so let’s look at some positive developments to lighten the mood. One of these comes out of South Carolina, where the state legislature just passed a constitutional carry bill. Under these rules, anyone who is legally entitled to own a firearm can carry it in public, which falls in line with that whole keep and bear arms thing that Democrats hate to talk about. Hopes are not high for passage in the state senate, but the bill is still causing a considerable uproar. (WSPA)
The South Carolina House passed a bill Wednesday to allow anyone who can legally buy a gun to carry it without any kind of permit. It’s called Constitutional carry or permitless carry.
Rep. Mike Pitts, R-Laurens, sponsored the bill and told the House there’s no legal reason for the state to require a concealed weapons permit. “This is not a privilege like your driver’s license, granted by the bureaucracy of the state, it is a right guaranteed in your Bill of Rights in the Constitution of the United States,” he said. “By definition of the Constitution, the 2nd Amendment right, held up by two Supreme Court decisions, gives you the ability to keep and bear arms without being permitted by the government.”
In a simpler and more honest world, the explanation offered by Mike Pitts would be all that needs to be said. We’re not talking about a privilege which is granted to you as some sort of gift by the government and can just as easily be taken away. It’s a fundamental right which was built into the Constitution and it can only be removed in extreme situations where you have proven that you are too dangerous and/or unstable to be trusted with the right. That doesn’t stop opponents from attempting to make arguments to the contrary. Check out how it’s framed in the local press. (Emphasis added)
Opponents said the bill would make the state more dangerous because people with no training could be carrying guns around. They might not have any knowledge of where it’s legal and illegal to bring a concealed weapon or under what circumstances it would be legal to fire the gun. Under the bill, someone could carry a gun concealed or openly.
All of the hypothetical concerns being raised here are valid, so let’s get that out of the way up front. All the states should be making sure that education and training for gun safety are available to all their citizens for a reasonable price (if not for free). But we should also remember that liberals continually try to treat firearms as if they are some mythical totem which is somehow different from every other potentially dangerous tool crafted by the hand of man. Frankly, I don’t think you should be using a chainsaw in your back yard until you’ve had at least some level of training on how to employ one safely and effectively. But the responsibility for that falls on you. And if you wind up injuring yourself or others or causing property damage when you drop a tree on your neighbor’s house, you’re the one stuck paying the price.
The “opponents” of the bill go on to argue that people might not know where it’s legal or illegal to bring your firearm, or when and where it’s legal to discharge it. There’s a golden oldie in law enforcement which immediately comes to mind here: ignorance of the law is no excuse. Yes, the state needs to make sure that this information if publicly available and firearms dealers have an ethical (if not legal) obligation to provide all of these rules to new purchasers. But in the end, you are responsible for your own actions. You may choose to drink alcohol after you turn 21, but it’s nobody else’s responsibility to stop you from getting behind the wheel of your car or carrying an open beer into a school, church or courtroom. If you can’t be bothered to learn the rules you will be penalized for violating them. And these are all situations where you might hurt someone else, not just yourself. The same goes for safely and responsibly carrying a firearm.
We are hopefully at the point where at least most of us accept the idea of personal responsibility for our own actions and the limited ability of (or need for) the government to save us from ourselves. But too many people involved in the Second Amendment debate seem to have a blind spot when it comes to guns. It’s the government’s job to protect your rights as described in the Constitution. It’s your job to ensure that you exercise those rights safely and to be prepared to face the consequences if you don’t. Big Brother can’t do it all for you.