Now that NRA and other Second Amendment fetishists are openly carrying or wearing concealed weapons in states where it is allowed, public intimidation of people and groups they disagree with is becoming more common. Last week, men with assault rifles showed up at a mothers’ gun safety rally in Indianapolis, clearly intending to silence and intimidate participants. Several of the women who came to the rally were indeed intimidated, and left. Yesterday, a spokesman for the NRA brought more than 20 armed men to a briefing at the National Press Club. The only possible reason for their being there was to intimidate reporters, and they went to it with a will, forcing reporters from hallways as NRA higher-ups passed by, demanding access to reporters’ backpacks and briefcases, telling cameramen they couldn’t take photos, glaring at audience members during the spokesman’s presentation.
The armed groups I referred to above were civilians. Not law enforcement officers, deputized members of a sheriffs’ posses, prison or security guards, or citizen-soldiers in the National Guard, the kind of men and women you’d expect to be armed during the execution of their duties. No, these were your garden-variety small-dick types, wearing guns because it’s a thing now, wearing guns because they can.
And then there’s shit like this:
Now I can see offering a discount to LEOs and military members, but concealed-carry permit holders and open-carry jerks? What, like they’re some sort of well-regulated militia? Like they’re heroes? They’re not anything of the sort … they’re assholes and thugs, and that’s all they are.
This is the inevitable result of state legislatures becoming corrupted by the NRA and passing open- and concealed-carry laws. Once citizen thugs were carrying, intimidating others was the logical next step. Second Amendment remedies, amirite? The camel got its nose under the tent, and now the whole camel is inside. Did you really want to sit near a table of armed men when you take the family to Joe’s Crab Shack? Did you really want gangs of uneducated, untrained, un-background-checked thugs carrying guns at your child’s school?
It would be easy to say “you should have thought about that first,” except I think most of us did. We didn’t want … don’t want … armed thugs walking the streets and coming into our businesses, homes, and schools. But we don’t get a vote on this. Our state and national elected representatives don’t listen to us. They’re the ones who let the camel into the tent, not us. And they did it for the money the NRA and other gun lobbies funnel into their campaign coffers.
Remember when open- and concealed-carry laws were first proposed by elected state representatives working for the NRA? The promise was that private businesses, churches, and public institutions like schools and colleges would always be able to declare themselves weapons-free zones and prohibit firearms on their premises. Except that as soon as states started allowing open and concealed carry, Second Amendment activists started pressuring private businesses, churches, and public institutions to let them in … with their guns. And bit by bit, they started knocking those restrictions down. You can now carry guns in national parks. In a growing number of states, you can carry guns into bars. In some states, you can now carry guns into churches.
Educational institutions have been among the last holdouts. Most schools and college campuses are gun-free zones. I am convinced that one of the main reasons the NRA is pushing this nonsensical volunteer armed school patrol plan is to knock down these last restrictions.
And then we’ll all be living in Tombstone, Arizona … in the pre-OK Corral days, before the Earps showed up to enforce the town’s gun laws. I wonder, who will be our Wyatt Earp?
© 2013, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.