Kingsbury, NY isn’t a bustling metropolis. With just over 12,000 people, it usually skates below the national radar. Frankly, it’s too small for most of us to care about.
Frankly, it still is.
However, an editorial addressing a potential move to allow concealed carry on town property betrays a nationwide problem regarding the right to keep and bear arms. That’s the idea that someone should have to justify that right.
hy?” is the question that arises when hearing that the Kingsbury Town Board may allow people to carry concealed firearms into Town Hall and onto other town property.
Why make a change? Has any problem ever arisen in Town Hall or in a town park that could have been solved by a person with a pistol secretly tucked inside their jacket?
Good reasons were given for prohibiting firearms on town property in 2005, when the Town Board voted to ban them. (Police officers, security guards, members of the military and town employees who, as part of their job, need to carry a gun onto town property were exceptions.)
“Firearms are dangerous weapons” the 2005 law says. It mentions the danger of accidental injuries and the commission of crimes by people armed with guns.
Also mentioned is the real possibility of intimidation of town employees.
Arrayed against these very good reasons for banning guns from town property we now have … nothing. No justification has been offered for amending the 2005 law.
The problem is, the questions here are all wrong.
The right to keep and bear arms is a constitutionally-protected right, just like freedom of speech or freedom of religion. Yet none of those rights are restricted the way gun rights are.
When the law in Kingsbury was passed, they gave a ton of reasons, but no one seemed to ask if any of those threats had ever occurred. Of course, they likely haven’t. If they had, well, it wouldn’t matter if guns are banned on the property or not because things like using a gun to intimidate people is a crime in and of itself.
Now, though, the editorial asks just why should people’s rights be restored, as if someone should have to justify their rights to anyone.
In their mind, there’s no good reason to carry a gun on town property. How would they feel if someone argued there was no good reason to, say, insult the president. Would the editorial board agree with that line of reasoning? What about others who seem to think that we should have to justify our gun rights?
Remember, this isn’t just the mentality of a few small-town journalists. This is the law in places that require you to articulate why you need a concealed carry permit.
Yet that same reasoning can be used on other constitutionally-protected rights.
“Oh, but guns are dangerous,” they’ll claim. The problem is, words can be just as dangerous. The rise of the Nazi Party and the associated horrors in Germany didn’t start with guns, but with words. The rise of communism and the starvation and privation that killed millions didn’t start with guns. It started with words.
Words can be dangerous too, yet we do not restrict them in any manner close to how guns are handled.
So why should people be allowed to carry guns? Because we’re free men and women and no free man or woman should be barred from carrying arms wherever they feel they may need to. Same as how we should never be forbidden from speaking our minds.
Why should people be allowed to carry guns? That’s the wrong question.
The correct one is just why the hell should a government keep people from exercising those rights.