I’m all for individual liberty but…
I love it when a self-proclaimed freedom-lover makes a statement like that. I love it because it immediately tells me that they in fact are not someone who loves freedom; they just love the idea of THEIR freedom and that of like-minded folks.
Sadly, we are seeing lots of people who have taken a few minutes to acquire a Gadsden Flag sticker and stick it to their car, but have not taken even a minute to understand what the phrase, “Don’t Tread On Me” really means.
This morning I came across an OP ED by Nolan Finley of the Detroit News titled, “Open Carriers Hurt the Second Amendment” where Mr. Finley, like so many other ‘ardent supporters of other people’s rights’ proceeds to lump all law-abiding citizens who open carry firearms under the banner of provocative open carry activists hellbent on ramming their beliefs down the throat of society.
Finley makes his argument like so many of those that would have you disarmed: the mere ability to see a gun makes people scared. “Guns make a lot of people uncomfortable,” he writes, stating that local and state level powers-that-be are working to limit the areas where guns can be openly displayed (not carried, just displayed, because as long as a gun is covered by 2mm of fabric, the sheep can sleep soundly).
Finley continues with a statement of absolute truth, “and when people get uncomfortable, they push for laws to restore their comfort level.” Sadly he makes no mention that regardless of fear, no person or group of people has the authority to deny ANY American of their protected and guaranteed rights, even though we have far too many examples of our 2A rights whittled away by knee-jerk legislation rammed through by politicians pandering to the ignorant and emotionally driven masses.
There are far too many of our oath-taking “representatives” out there promising us the best bite out of a shit sandwich when we should be demanding the original menu.
The article reads like the nonsense we have come to expect from asinine groups like “Everytown For Gun Safety” or “Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America” who avoid facts and work to scare their readers into adopting their agenda.
The author predictably uses an example of an armed Michigan father who chose to exercise his rights to self-defense while attending a child’s concert (and made out to be a criminal by carrying a firearm the only legal way he could) only to follow up with names like “Sandy Hook” and “Columbine.”
No mention is made that the father did not break the law or that it was others acting under immature reaction to the sight of a firearm who caused a panic. The article makes no mention that the schools used as examples were not besieged by rabid open carriers, but by murderous criminals acting on months of planning. And of course, there is no mention of the facts that numerous potential mass shootings at schools and other large venues around this country have been thwarted by good people with concealed and you guessed it…openly carried firearms.
So let me get this straight:
He supports the 2nd Amendment ALMOST as much as the first BUT if you aren’t open carrying the gun in a field bird-hunting or at the shooting range, you’re wrong.
He lives in a country founded by men with guns, who used those guns to defend the 1st Amendment and all other rights every American is guaranteed BUT now that the pesky founding is over, keeping people scared of the sight of guns from being afraid is how we should now make policy.
He supports Michigan residents carrying firearms under clothing BUT he does not support Michigan residents who carry a firearm on top of clothing.
He believes that because some people are afraid of others lawfully exercising their rights that those rights should be infringed upon.
He believes that if Americans rights are infringed upon due to the exercising of said rights, that it is the exerciser, not the rights violator who is at fault.
I can just feel the freedom oozing from it now…
The anxiety caused by guns in full public view is most often misplaced. But still, what’s the point? Michigan makes it fairly easy for anyone who wants a concealed weapon permit to get one. That covers the personal protection bases.
Lots of people like Mr. Finley have a difficult time seeing life from vantage points outside their own life. The “fairly easy” process that Michigan has for getting a concealed carry permit costs upwards of $200 when it is all said and done, and does not allow a resident to exercise their 2A rights everywhere in the state under the veil of a shirt.
Are there not Michigan residents who make choices every day on how to stretch a few dollars? Does everyone have the budget for ‘nice’ clothing? Could a family not have the budget to spend the time and money on the bureaucratic paperwork needed to “legally” cover a Constitutionally guaranteed right with a few threads of cloth? Are there training issues that arise when you cover a firearm with clothing and try to get it into action in time to save life? Does training cost time and money?
Abso-friggin-lutely. We the people need to get over ourselves, and spend more time watching our muzzle AND our paintbrush.
Just because something seems simple, cheap, or easy to us is not that way for everyone else. Just because we see it one way does not eliminate all other viewpoints. Because something is foreign or outrageous to us does not give us case to call for its removal.
I was happy to see that just after the first half of the article where Mr. Finley incorrectly refers to handgun magazines as “clips” just like so many others ignorant of simple firearm related terminology, he actually stumbles on the true concern all freedom loving Americans should have.
That means as firearms enthusiasts we must take every precaution to exercise our rights responsibly.
(As an aside, I would challenge Mr. Finley to toss out his descriptor as “Firearms Enthusiast” and change it to “Freedom Enthusiast” or “American.”)
Responsibility. To live truly as free men and women, we must welcome the dangerous nature of freedom and emulate the very definition of responsibility when it comes to our actions and how we hold our countrymen accountable. I would argue that most gun owners who read this cannot at this very moment recite the 4 Life Safety Rules of Firearms Handling. Just as most drivers would fail a written test on applicable motor vehicle law. But as it is a right to bear arms, we must give each and every American the chance to tackle the difficult task of being and acting as a responsible member of society and be steadfast in holding them accountable should their irresponsible actions pose a threat to the citizenry of this great nation. The challenge for all of us is to not dare restrict another’s rights based on the failure of his neighbor to be a responsible person.
To be a responsible citizen who supports freedom means having to support the rights and the exercising of those rights by all Americans especially when the legally protected action offends us.
Should the exercising of individual rights offend you, I highly recommend that you stray from public places. Should you attempt to exercise your rights on private property and find the host or owner upset and/or unwilling to support you, hold yourself responsible when you are asked never to return. Support those who choose to exercise their rights, support those that choose not to. Give no ground to those who would try and take ANY right from you or your neighbor.
Does it take dedication to be a responsible armed citizen? Are there cons to carrying a firearm openly? Most certainly. Offending the delicate flowers of society should not be one of them.
Make no mistake; there are a lot of idiots out there with guns. There are even more idiots out there with cars, boats, baseball bats, keyboards, and the like. We cannot pick and choose what rights others get to have or exercise based on our feelings but can certainly hold them accountable for when their actions deprive others of rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Should an individual, group or government act criminally with the assistance of a gun, responsible people must be allowed to see that such behavior is also corrected by a firearm regardless of the way it is carried.