Despite tough economic times and retailers’ bleak Christmas sales, in the days preceding the inauguration, Americans went in droves to their local gun retailers. One NRA activist, Joel Rosenberg cleverly dubbed this phenomenon the “Obama effect.” In fact, the FBI reported that the number of background checks run for prospective gun purchasers during election week skyrocketed 49% from the same week a year ago.
Well what’s changing? Honestly, no one really knows. Obama stands by his statement that he supports the Second Amendment. However, what President would really admit that they didn’t agree with the Constitution? Come on, Obama is much too smart for that. However, the answer no one has seemed ask is just how he interprets the Second Amendment.
The Second Amendment is really quite simple. It reads: “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.” Its simplicity leaves open much room to interpretation. Along with the recent national rash of gun purchases arose a western waxing of applications for concealed weapons permits. Is this really the response the Framers hoped for in drafting the Second Amendment? John Adams was quoted as saying, “Here every private person is authorized to arm himself, and on the strength of this authority, I do not deny the inhabitants had a right to arm themselves at that time, for their defense, not for offence…” So where do concealed weapons fit into this? I’d say at the funeral for a toilet.
Just last month in Utah, where concealed weapon permits had soared at the announcement of our President, a funeral was held for a Carl’s Jr. toilet destroyed by a patron. The man, who held a concealed weapon permit, had the gun “concealed” when he went to use the restroom. However, at some point his gun slipped out and blew the toilet to smithereens. Wonderful, these are just the kind of people we want wielding guns at fast food chains.
So are concealed weapon permits going too far under the Second Amendment? Undoubtedly, I would say yes. Certainly, there are certain classes of individuals who need and/or are qualified for such weapons permits. But the blanket laws allowing nearly everyone to obtain one are downright scary. Supporters of these laws in Utah cite the Trolley Square shooting where an off-duty police officer prevented the massacre from escalating when he stopped the assailant with his concealed weapon. I am glad the officer had his gun. I think the Second Amendment was drafted for precisely that purpose – to help individuals protect themselves. Nonetheless, aren’t our standards steeping a little low when we let people who can’t even keep a weapon “concealed” at a Carl’s Jr. to be permitted to carry around a weapon at all times?
I have shot a gun. I have lived in Texas. I attended a former all-male military school turned state university and yet I don’t like the concealed weapon laws. I would argue that only policemen, former and current servicemen, security officers and those in exceptionally dangerous circumstances or under the witness protection program should be permitted to carry these kinds of weapons on their person or in their cars. Why, because these toilet killers are a danger to the American citizenry and themselves.
Should we be allowed to keep guns at our private residences? Yes! That IS our right under the Second Amendment. Even the toilet shooting nincompoops should be afforded that right. But let’s not get carried away, public is a different story. Where Obama will go with gun laws, no one knows. But I think the only thing to panic about right now is just who might be in the public restroom stall next to you.