Last March I had an extensive blog discussion with several gun owners who thought there was nothing wrong with carrying guns in public openly.
In light of Rep. Giffords in Arizona getting shot by someone carrying a gun in public — not to mention 6 others killed — I think the question is still valid. Someone had to see that guy before he started shooting. By current thinking, that someone had to assume he was a nice safe reasonable person.
But why? I asked in that blog (click) how someone like me could know — and I mean KNOW — that a person carrying a gun is safe. Several people argued that I should wait until the person with the gun did something dangerous. At least one said the person with the gun could be presumed safe because the vast majority of people with guns are responsible people.
But what about the exceptions? I asked. And how do I know? For sure?
I won’t get into questions of whether the Tea Party’s screaming about 2nd Amendment Solutions (by a Nevada senatorial candidate no less) are applicable here. But in an era when a lot of people claim common sense says we should be identifying terrorists at airports by assuming muslims and people with dark skin are more dangerous, why should we not assume that someone carrying a gun plans to use it?
Yeah, sure, you’re a God-fearing American who only wants to defend himself. But I’m a God-fearing American who wants to live in peace and not have to worry that the guy wearing a side-arm and the shirt with all the flags all over it is some ultra-right-wing nut who’s decided that liberals are a disease and he’s a doctor. So I should get a gun too?
Check your guns at edge of town, is my idea. Leave it home locked up. It worked in the Wild West, it should work here too.
As Wallace Stegner observed, America has this myth about the rugged individual armed with a Colt 45 taming the West, but the West was really tamed when that last rugged individual was hung at the other end of a rope held by a whole lot of cooperators.