Arizona’s Gov. Jan Brewer just signed a new bill that eliminates the requirement for a concealed-carry weapons permit, joining Vermont and Alaska in that regard. The only time an Arizonan would need a permit is if he wants to carry a gun into a restaurant or bar. Well, that’s nice. In any other place in the state, he can carry a concealed weapon anywhere on his person, or wear it in a holster at his waist, or carry it in his teeth. Other elements of this bill: no need for a background-check to buy a gun, no requirement for classes in the safe handling of weapons or training on a range. You know, this bill should make me feel safer when I’m out on the town or shopping in a store. I mean, a killer or armed robber or a hoodlum who thinks he’s been dissed would think twice about whipping out a gun and aiming it at me if he thought he might be outgunned by twenty or thirty gun-toting spectators. And if he did, well, too bad about any collateral damage to folks in the area. That’s just the necessary result of protecting our Second Amendment rights.
It’s always seemed to me that the Second Amendment is sorely outdated, being written into our Constitution at a time when our citizens had a greater need for self-protection than now. “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.” I’m pretty sure our founding fathers meant “militia” to be a citizen army to protect us from invaders.
All right, the NRA people are correct in wanting to retain the right to purchase handguns, to use them in hunting or for shooting on a range. But why in the world do they think they need to carry guns around everywhere they go? Are they just itching for a High Noon quick-draw shootout on Main Street? NRA members invariably say, “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” Yes, people with guns kill people. If guns were not so readily available, murder, especially murder in the heat of passion, would drop dramatically. It’s more difficult to kill someone in anger if you use a knife or your hands. A gun can be used without thought, from a distance or up close. All it takes is using a finger to discharge a handgun, no matter the difference in strength or size of shooter and victim. A knife requires strength to be lethal, as does a baseball bat or a fireplace poker or a concrete block.
Thanks, Jan Brewer. You and Sarah Palin can serve in a “militia” that we send to the Arizona/Mexico border.