Will Freedom To Carry Concealed In AZ Return State To ‘Wild West’?

An Arizona bill would eliminate the legal requirement to have a permit to carry a concealed handgun. The bill is SB1102, and you can see the marked-up proposed changes to existing law by clicking here. It’s current status is here.

Civil Liberties Examiner J.D. Tuccille already did such a good job explaining things that much of what I could say would simply be a repeat of what he has already said so well. Click here to read his commentary.

Did you? OK, welcome back. Here’s what I want to either add or reiterate, particularly in light of the absurd and insulting claim by police chief lobbyist John Thomas that “SB 1102, if enacted into law, will take Arizona back to the Wild West carry, with no consideration of officer safety.”

Wild West gun fights typically took place between openly-carrying gunslingers–and non-permitted open carry is legal in Arizona. When was the last time two opponents walked down Main Street to fast draw against each other à la High Noon?

The same hysterical and unfounded propaganda was used (and is still used by those who find the truth inconvenient) to attack “shall issue,” that is, permitted concealed carry when it was being enacted:

Anti-gun folks were horrified. Obviously concealed carry would turn Florida into another Dodge City. Blood would flow in the street. Fender-benders would turn into firefights.

The fight was tough, but the Unified Sportsmen of Florida succeeded. The dire Predictions? A year later the president of the police chiefs association, who had opposed the bill, was asked if he had kept track of all the problems the law caused. “There aren’t any,” he said.

Besides which, Minneapolis Gun Rights Examiner John Pierce brings us much needed perspective by “Dispelling the myth of ‘The Wild West’“:

The truth of the matter is that the “wild west” wasn’t wild at all … not compared to a Saturday night in Newark.

Here’s what the bill, if passed, won’t do:

It won’t authorize criminals to carry guns. “Prohibited persons” will still be legally prohibited from even touching a gun. Not that that will stop them.

It won’t legalize street duels or crimes of violence using a gun.

As criminologist Don B. Kates has documented, it won’t turn otherwise peaceable armed citizens into bloodthirsty killers:

[F]ar from being ordinary people, ‘the vast majority of persons involved in life-threatening violence have a long criminal record with many prior contacts with the justice system.’…it cannot be true that possession of firearms causes ordinary people to murder — for murderers are virtually never ordinary, but rather are extreme aberrants with life histories of crime, psychopathology and/or substance abuse.

By using the same argument that was used against permitted carry, and by ignoring the existing practice of peaceable open carry, Thomas is falling back on what should, by now, be the thoroughly discredited presumption that police are the “Only Ones” who should be armed, and he’s doing it to strangle freedom to carry, as currently enjoyed in both Alaska and Vermont, in its crib.

The truth is, the gun grabbers don’t want you to have any guns, anywhere. Why the hell do you think they fought so hard against Heller, and are doing so again in McDonald?

I’m unsympathetic to whining by well-paid lobbyists that Americans must surrender freedom because government workers demand it. If the police chiefs can’t do their job under conditions respectful of our rights, fire them and get someone who can. It’s not like any of them are actually going to be around if we ever need a gun…

And oh, look: The state-worshiping hoplophobes are at it again, with the same “Wild West” imagery, that is, the same tired old lies, the same sense of superiority over “rednecks,” that is, the same bigotry… Maybe if someone truly bad is threatening you and yours, this smug self-deemed sophisticate can come over and snark ’em away.



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