Thursday, October 16, 2008

Open Carry: Arrogant and Stupid, but Legal

I just posted an article lauding an ("interesting") piece by Kim du Toit, arguably one of my top five favorite bloggers.

As I continue to read, I note that The Estimable Kim acknowledges that "A Pennsylvania soccer mom who packs a pistol is getting her concealed weapon permit back."

Kim goes on to rant that, while Open Carry was legal, she was, and this is a direct quote: "A fucking idiot".

Referring to an earlier post on the same subject, Kim states: While Glocky Gladys was legally within her rights, I questioned her commonsense (and got yelled at in Comments, but I don’t care).

Here's my point:

while I admire a lot of people, I don't always agree with them. Such is the case with The Estimable Kim.

HIS issue is that "It’s people like this who really screw things up for the rest of us. Now some dickhead GFW politician is going to propose a law which makes carrying a gun (in any fashion) illegal when you’re at a youth sporting event, and we’re going to have to fight it, and blah blah blah. And all because our modern-day Annie Oakley wanted to Make A Statement. "

MY issue is: And what's so wrong with that?

The Law must be tested from time to time, so that the position of honest citizens in regards to civil rights is clearly understood by all ... the citizens, the politicians, and the police. Else what's a Heller for?

We have read about several Open Carry incidents in recent years, some of which have been resolved more felicitously in favor of citizens' right than others. Unless we continue to insist on the universal recognition of these rights, not only will police continue to enforce what they think the law should be, but other citizens will forget that they have rights which cannot be arbitrarily compromised by overzealous police.

In this case, Kim was incensed because this woman chose to Open Carry (OC) her Glock to her child's Soccer Match.

(Note that the woman had a concealed carry license, but Open Carry is also legal. The issue is that she chose to OC rather than to conceal her handgun. The question is whether that was a wise decision ... comments to Kim's original post include that "OC is annoying, arrogant, pointless, and stupid. But here in PA it’s absolutely legal, and until the law is changed what the Sheriff did was illegal.")

I can't help but wonder whether the objection from Kim is because (1) OC in this situation was, perhaps needlessly, provocative; or (2) this person chose to make a political statement in a 'family' setting'; or (3) being armed at a childrens' Soccer Match, which is a definitively non-threatening venue, is not necessary; or (4) the consequences may be an obnoxious and annoying legal fight to re-establish the Right to Keep and Bear Arms regardless of venue.

I suspect Kim's outrage is based on a combination of Reason (1) and Reason (4). There may be elements of Reason (2).

Ordinarily, I would absolutely reject Reason (3), because America is slowly learning that the places which we have traditionally considered "violence free" (such as schools, churches, courtrooms, Olympic Event venues and Shopping Malls) have, by virtue of having been declared "Gun Free Z0nes", are in fact considered "Safe, Target-Rich Environments" by deranged wanna-be domestic terrorists. I need not cite examples, you know them as well as I do.

However, on April 6, 2005, in an article titled "Kim du Toit and Massad Ayoob ... Not RKBA?", I addressed a similar evaluation by Kim, supported by Massad F. Ayoob (author of "In The Gravest Extreme: The Role of the Firearm in Personal Protection").

There I addressed Kim's assertion (original article no longer available that:
"No, as a matter of fact, you don’t have a God-given right to carry a loaded gun in shopping malls where there are kids walking around. It’s a privilege, and you need to be able show society that you know how to use it and when to use it. That you’re not going to shoot at a perpetrator and hit a kid by mistake."
My point then, and it remains, is that you DO have a "God-given right to carry a loaded gun in shopping malls".

And in fact, it is NOT a privilege; it IS a right!

Events subsequent to that date have proven that the concern that one might "... shoot at a perpetrator and hit a kid by mistake...", while justifiable, may not be the most important consideration.

Let me back up a minute to clarify.

I think that complete quote reveals Kim's lack of confidence in the judgment and expertise of the average person who might choose to carry a firearm in various public venues (shopping malls, childrens' soccer matches, churches, etc.)

That 'lack of confidence' is not entirely without justification; I know a LOT of people who should not be allowed to carry a firearm. They either are not responsible, insufficiently trained/experienced, or just plain whack-jobs.

Unfortunately, that is exactly the attitude that the people whom Kim typically individualizes as a "GFW" ("Gun Fearing Wussy").

In order to protect us from the incompetent and the whack-job, Kim seems willing to put himself in the company of exactly the sort of person who considers ALL law-abiding citizens in the same categories.

I despair at seeing this much-loved champion of the Second Amendment fall into the pit of fallacy, but the evidence is clear:

At heart, Kim is willing to espouse the GFW philosophy in situations which make him personally uncomfortable, and for the same GFW reasons.

He doesn't trust anyone with a gun as much as he trusts himself.

I would have hoped for a more measured response from this man who I so respect, but I don't see it here. And, three years ago, I didn't see it there.

I'm just a small fish in the Bloggiverse. I have 180,000 hits on this blog; Kim has had more hits than that on a single article ... several times.

So I recognize that he may consider this an attack; I've seen him counter-attack another blogger who displeased him. That only makes him human, it doesn't make him wrong.

However, in this particular attitude, Kim du Toit demonstrates a blind spot of which he is not aware.

The worst part?

It's where he says:

"... I questioned her commonsense (and got yelled at in Comments, but I don’t care). "

I would have preferred that he cared, and that he reconsidered his rigid stance.

Well [shrug], it's his blog. He can do what he wants with it. [/shrug]
UPDATE: 17-Oct-2008
I just read my MDR of Kim du Toit. I see that I'm still a registered reader. And I don't seem to be the subject of outraged reaction. It appears that there are some benefits to being a blogger with a limited daily read: I'm below the notice of the Big Bloggers.

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