I have spent the better part of the last five months sitting in my gun shop, selling as many guns as I can get my hands on to well-intentioned guys and even a few gals who really believe their 2nd Amendment “rights” are under attack. And every day I get an email from Chris Cox or Wayne LaPierre telling me that they’re doing their level best to keep my guns from being taken away. Chris and Wayne are going to stand and fight and if I don’t stand with them, those hard-fought freedoms will slowly but surely be taken away!
Except the truth is that there’s never been a time when American gun rights were more secure. Know why? Because in most parts of the country there aren’t any laws covering the way people use guns at all. Let me give you just a few examples.
Everyone agrees that guns should be kept locked up. The NRA says so, the American Academy of Pediatrics says so, everyone says so. There are currently 39 states that have no laws requiring gun locks of any kind, and only one state, Massachusetts, requires locks on all guns. Is it any wonder that two children under five years of age were accidentally shot in Kentucky in the last several weeks?
The good news is that if you live in one of those 39 states and happen to leave a loaded gun around which someone picks up and uses to shoot someone else, it will be ruled an “accident” and the gun will then be returned to you. After all, why should you be charged with aiding a homicide when it wasn’t your finger that pulled the trigger of your gun?
Or take the issue of alcohol and guns. NRA-certified trainers like myself are told to make it clear that we will not tolerate alcoholic beverages in or near our training sessions, nor will we allow anyone to touch a gun who appears to be under the influence. There are currently 39 states that allow people to bring guns into establishments that serve liquor. Oops! The North Carolina House just voted to permit bars and restaurants to serve alcohol to gun-toting customers, the bill’s sponsors saying that they felt that the measure was a proper “expansion” of Second Amendment “rights.”
The North Carolina bill also removes sporting arenas from the list of places where it used to be prohibited to bring a gun. This makes North Carolina the 42nd state to allow fans at baseball, football and basketball games to stick their Glock or Ruger pistols into their waistbands before ending the tailgate party and heading into the stadium. Of course thanks to the defense of their 2nd Amendment “rights” those pistol-packin’ fans in North Carolina can now also sit there and guzzle down a few beers while cheering the Tar Heels home.
Remember all the old Western movies where the cowboys had to check their guns before they came into town? I didn’t notice Gary Cooper or John Wayne worrying much about the 2nd Amendment when they strode into the saloon and told Jack Palance to “nice and easy” take off his guns. I’d like to believe that we are all responsible enough to know where and when we should carry a gun. And my organization, Evolve, has no issue with anyone, gun owner or not, who believes as we do that gun responsibility should be shared by all. But let’s not kid ourselves. Every day we hear about some kid getting shot or wounded because someone else didn’t behave responsibly with a gun. That’s got nothing to do with attacking the 2nd Amendment. It has everything to do with demanding sensible laws that embody common sense.