Thursday, June 11, 2015

Airport Open Carry

The chazerai surrounding the bloke who toted his AR-15 thru the Atlanta Airport lobby is actually quite enlightening. Especially if being confronted with other folks' often willful ignorance is a learning experience for you. It centers around the common (mis)understanding of rights and privileges.

In a world of blurred lines between legit information and entertainment where we're bombarded with the notion that we "have the right to cable TV" and where high school graduates cannot be expected to read the front of a ketchup bottle it should come as no surprise that some folks have no ability whatsoever to differentiate between a right and privilege. This shows up a lot.

In at least one case disingenuous misrepresentation has been purposeful. To wit, the pronouncements of Gun Sense ( representatives who have elevated a discomfort being around a visible display of weapons (when not in the hands of government agents) to a right whilst simultaneously trying to argue all constitutional rights have restrictions and the Second Amendment should not be free of the most onerous restrictions. But there is an agenda here and such deceptions and exaggerations are to be expected. They, as a small but vocal minority, would like to impose their will on a larger majority without regard for that pesky ole Constitution. Were they in the majority they would work to amend the constitution which would be the right way to do it.

More interesting are the other creepy crawlies coming out of the woodwork who somehow equate a privilege, say driving, with a Constitutional right, say "keep and bear arms." The (il)logic goes like this: "if you must have training and demonstrate proficiency to operate a car why shouldn't you have to do the same to own and carry a firearm." We'll skip the part about "not all weapons are firearms" and cut to the chase. In some states you must complete training and demonstrate proficiency to acquire a carry license. Often this is used to prevent "ordinary citizens" from obtaining a license by establishing an extremely high proficiency requirement--often significantly higher than law enforcement. Most states require a background search and fingerprinting. Not the kind of background search that will get you in the back door at the DeKalb School's palace but the FBI kind. These arguments are as easily debunked as they are silly. Since we are talking about Constitutional rights why don't we apply similar training and proficiency to other rights. How about the freedom of speech in the first amendment? Or better yet, let's tackle a sacred cow and suggest that before being allowed to vote citizens must take courses in civics and demonstrate some knowledge retention? That alone would cut the legs from under those who argue "rights be damned, guns are more dangerous than [fill in the blank]."

While it was sad and a bit silly to prance around the airport with an allegedly loaded AR-15 (did anyone actually verify there was a round in the chamber or even in the magazine?) it was indeed legal but it probably was not exactly what the Founding Fathers had in mind. The elitist minority wanting to eviscerate select portions of the Bill of Rights might want to ponder that intent in the context of Ferguson, North Charleston and a host of others before they get too carried away with their pontifications.