Right To Carry

It seems ironic to me that in an age where there is increased pressure to allow both open and concealed carry, there is also an equivalent increase in the amount of people being killed while holding toy guns. I’m sure that everyone reading this piece remembers the iconic “You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out” quote from the move “A Christmas Story”, ¬†where there are numerous scenes showing just how “American” it was to play Cowboys and Indians, running around with toy guns. Somehow, now, in an age where we have segments of society fighting harder every year for their right to carry actual and loaded guns on their persons, it is also commonplace to assume that our children are wrong for playing the same childhood games that we, and our parents before us played at their age. We cannot have it both ways. If it is unreasonable for children to play with guns, and if doing so is somehow a sufficient reason for the police to kill them simply for having those toy guns, then it should be equivalently unreasonable for anyone not actively engaged in a law enforcement activity to keep and bear arms. If it is the inalienable right of every red-blooded American to keep and bear arms, then all citizens should be given the benefit of doubt that they are either wielding a legally obtained weapon, or a facsimile. Giving a 12 year old child 2 seconds to explain themselves is an insanely insufficient amount of time for them to do so. I would challenge any adult here to have a random voice at a random time to scream at them “Show Me You Hands, Show Me Your Hands, Show Me Your Hands”, and within the 2 seconds it takes for them to yell that to clearly assess the direction of the noise, the target of their attention, (You), and manage to both raise your hands slowly enough to not be making a sudden movement, and quickly enough to not be unresponsive to their orders, all while not flinching, being startled, or moving your head in a threatening manner. Two Seconds…

We cannot have it both ways. Either unassailable gun rights, and the assumption of innocence that comes with it, or the right to aggressively target anyone with a gun in public, and the necessary abridgement of gun rights that comes with that.

If we were to move to the direction of removing guns from the hands of the criminals, potential criminals, children, and innocent citizens, then we would actually be in the place that some police officers seem to think we are as it is, that ‘only criminals have guns’, that ‘if you’re not doing anything wrong, why do you need that gun’. Once we reach that place, the assumption will be true, only criminals will have guns. If a officer sees a gun, an actual gun, not a wallet of course, then s/he would have the publicly-sanctioned right to open fire. If we are not willing to go to that place, then we need greater controls on when police start shooting. They should be forced to always assume first that regardless of the race, or perceived social status of the individual that they may be in full compliance of their right to carry.

If we do not want to approach the gun-control avenue, then I would sugggest that we should drive that every citizen of America, no matter their race, creed, or socioeconomic status, who is able to do so, go out and get licensed to carry a firearm, get licensed to conceal-carry where your minicipalities allow it. Having the right does not mean that you actually ever have to actually DO so, you likely don’t even have to purchase a weapon at all, just obtain the right to do so. In any muniicipality where the over-riding majority of the citizens are registered on paper as having the right to carry, the authorities will have no choice to assume that the citizen they are approaching is legally carrying.

The Big Wheel of American Justice

americanjustice

So.. I have read through most of the witness statements to the Grand Jury in Ferguson, you can read the docs here
and I have a single takeaway. In a few salient points, almost all of the witnesses agree. There was an altercation between Mr. Brown and Mr Wilson. it appears that Mr brown was not actually in the vehicle, but that he pushed the door closed and reached into the vehicle. There is some speculation that Officer Wilson was reaching for his service weapon and Mr Brown was attempting to prevent him from doing so. All of the witnesses agree that a confrontation took place through the vehicle window. and that a gunshot was fired in the vehicle. All of the witnesses agree that Mr Brown at that point ran away from the vehicle to some indeterminate point away from the vehicle. here, there is a bit of a divergence in the statements, with several saying that additional shots were fired by Mr Wilson at that point at the fleeing Mr Brown, others saying only that Mr Wilson made verbal commands to him. Most all agree that My Brown stopped running, turned around, raised his hands and looked at his side as if he had been shot. the majority state that Mr Brown raised his hands up to at least shoulder level, with his palms facing Mr Wilson. Some state that Mr brown started walking back towards Mt Wilson, but not at a fast pace, one witness states that Mr brown took one single step towards Mr Wilson with his foot simply touching the pavement before Mr Wilson resumed shooting and eventually firing the killing round. All agree that Mr Brown was hunching over as if absorbing the pain of being shot, and not, as Mr Wilson explains, “hulking up” using what are in effect small discrepancies in observation as excuses to disregard wholesale a unified overall story is a terrible injustice. To not understand why the residents of Ferguson feel so powerless and react so violently is an injustice even greater.