Saturday, November 3, 2012

What's Worse

What's worse than someone openly carrying a gun in public where there are many people, including families with children and even babies, like say during the Thanksgiving Day parade or Christmas shopping? How about a drunk with a gun.

The states that have passed laws allowing the open carry of firearms, including the state where I live, gave businesses the right to ban guns, except concealed with a permit, but few have opted to implement this policy in the conflict between people's right to carry and the customers' right to safety and security from people with guns.

In almost every case, the businesses allow out of fear than out of choice. They fear being ostracised by the gun lobby. Almost all states, however, ban people who are intoxicated from carrying a gun into  restaurants, bars or taverns and some ban all guns in those businesses.

But the owners of those businesses have expressed concerns with the obvious question, "Who's going to tell an obviously drunk person you can't come in this bar or tavern unless you put the gun in your car."

Why do people go to bars and taverns? To get drunk. Yeah, as was noted when the law was discussed here, how are you going to tell someone in a bar or tavern is drunk enough to take away their gun when they weren't when walked into the bar or tavern. And why is that the burden of the business?

What bothers me more about the gun rights advocates on this issue is that there isn't one law enforcement department or agency and not one law enforcement union which supports the open carry law, and especially the laws around guns in bars or taverns.

Why are we endangering the public with people with guns in public places and private businesses, and why are we putting law enforcement officer under pressue to discern when one of the people draws their gun for a reason?

How is a law enforcement officer going to tell if a person with a gun is a legal gun owner or a criminal, all in a matter of a few moments when the get to any scene where people have guns? This is the argument the law enforcement folks use, it's put them in the middle they don't need to be.

And when you add an intoxicated or drugged person with a gun, it's fair to say, it's easy for things to get ugly very quickly. Is it fair to make the rest of us accountable for the rights of someone, drunk or sober, with a gun to feel safe and secure?

When you see someone openly carrying a gun, do you really trust they know when and how to use it in the event of something where they decide to withdraw and possibly use it? Do you think they have the experience and training as a law enforcement officer to judge when it's appropriate to use a gun?

A total stranger with a gun? Why is it that they get the right to "feel safe" and we don't get to "feel safe"  when they have a gun? Who's the majority and who's rights are being trammpled?

It's the rights of the minority with a gun. And the rest of us pay the price of our lost rights at the point of a gun.

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