Critical Reaction to Texas Governor's Proposal to Eliminate Gun Free Zones in State

For some critical comments on Gov. Perry's proposal see here, here, here, and here.



Anonymous straightarrow said...

Everybody understands the multitudinous blessings of liberty. We all know that living to one's own lights is the ultimate human condition so cherished and desired by most of the world's population.

However, let's talk about the downsides of liberty. Oh, yes! Liberty has some downsides, especially when we talk about every common ordinary man being armed and walking among other men with weapons of deadly capability.

Should this be allowed? Should we honor the claim to the right to be able to protect one's self and other innocents? Should we countenance a society in which anybody and everybody might be armed with implements of fatal potential?

Those are the questions we need to answer. So here goes.

Liberty's downsides are mainly two. Only two, but they are big ones.

The first is that liberty is by definition risky. That's right, risky. For every freedom of choice, habit, or intention that one has, so have others. Others who may not be as moral or principled have as much liberty to do what they will, as do you. As most people are good and decent, the risk is not great, but it is real.

The second downside to liberty is responsibility. Uh huh! The big R. Scares the Hell out of a lot of people. There are a great many that believe they can have liberty without the responsibility to maintain it. I know that sounds unrealistic, but it is true. There are many people in our nation who would abrogate their responsibility to maintain their liberty and their security to hirelings who may or may not have their employers' best interests at heart. To the extent that they surrender their responsibility to protect themselves and their liberty, they surrender their liberty. This trade of freedom for security is a straight one for one trade until the point of "inability of the society to envision themselves as free and deserving to be so". When that point is reached the hirelings take control and liberty is outlawed. Period.

So, I have a proposal for all that would disarm the people. It is simple. Come to me. I will protect you so long as you do what I tell you to do. I will protect you at least as well as the police do (which they are not obligated to do, by the way)and I will consider it an obligation. I will treat you with more gentleness than you will find among the operatives that want you helpless. This I promise.

Anyone who does not find my proposal acceptable, yet favors citizen helplessness and disarmament, by definition are mentally defective. For what difference who be the master if one is willing to be a slave?

If one see a problem with my proposal, I submit that they should be just as wary of all others who have offered the very same thing.

If you would be free, you must accept the risks and responsibilities of liberty.

Think about it.

5/02/2007 9:58 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Let me see if I understand the reasoning of those who oppose Gov. Perry's proposal: As a concealed carry licensee, I'm a sane and rational good citizen if I'm standing on the sidewalk in front of a church, but a maniac whose just-beneath-the-surface rage is about to explode in gunfire any second when I enter the church? I'm an asset to law and order in my car in front of a school waiting to pick up my son or daughter, but inexpressably dangerous when I step through the front doors of the school? And there is something about hospitals--perhaps all those drugs--that bring out murderous impulses in people?

This is merely the newest iteration of the "it's the wild west and blood will run in the streets" rhetoric the anti-gun types so desperately trot out each and every time a state passes a concealed carry law despite the evidence that renders such rhetoric not only stupid but duplicitious.

And as to the trope that private property is sacred so businesses must be allowed to deprive citizens of any constitutional right they choose, well, that one should speak for itself. Privately owned businesses are open to the publc and rely upon free public access for their very existence. Nowhere does the Constitution express or imply that citizens shall have the right to keep and bear arms unless otherwise dictated by Bill's House of Carpet, or by the Smithville Unified School District or the Nicetown Family Hospital.

Concealed carry licensees, in every state, are uncommonly law abiding. They will remain so if the few remaining victim disarmament zones are opened to them. Only those who intend harm to the innocent will be affected, that and the coffers of the anti-gun lobby.

5/03/2007 6:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hold on there chief ;-)

The Constitution does not grant us our rights, but merely affirms them, and shields them from government suppression.

Our right to bear arms is indeed individual and inviolable, but so is my right to bar entry to my private property for whatever reason I deem appropriate.

I cannot rightfully strip you of arms, but I can say "I don't want you to bring that in here"...and you are free to choose whether you wish to voluntarily comply, or go elsewhere.

Of course, advertising your property as a "gun free zone" is something I rarely see outside of the public sector - presumably because the kind of stupidity it requires (to do such a thing) only exists where faceless bureaucrats can experiment with driveling fantasies without fear of having to personally live with the consequences. In light of the VT slaughter, I believe this immunity from consequence needs to change.

As far as public-facing businesses are concerned, they should remain at liberty to bar arms from their premises...but I think that there are far stronger economic and social reasons that would compel them to not choose this option.


5/04/2007 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Dear Anonymous:

We seem to have a variety of issues here. It is generally understood and accepted that the government, acting in the public interest, may place a wide variety of regulations on commerce, even commerce conducted (as commerce in America primarily is) on privately owned property. These regulations cover everything from where a business may be located to certain architectural features to make the premises friendly to the disabled to a wide variety of health and safety regulations. None of the benefits afforded the public through these regulations (most are laws) have anything to do with constitutional liberties, nor do the regulations secure any constitutional liberties. There is no constitutional right to a wheelchair ramp, for example. Yet, many of these regulations are quite costly for the business owner for a variety of reasons.

If we can accept the truth of this assertion, it's no stretch to suggest that in publically regulated businesses, there is no imposition on the owner if the government also requires the owner to avoid infringing on the constitutional rights of their customers. It is, in fact, one of the least intrusive costs of doing business. When I carry my concealed handgun into a store, it costs that business nothing at all. It does not impede their operations, and it is no restraint on their trade. At worst, the business owner's tender sensibilities might be bruised, but this is can hardly stand against an infringement of a right.

Landlords, for example, are not absolutely free to deny housing on whim. This is one of the costs of doing business. The hardware store may not post a "no Blacks allowed" sign in their front window. If they can't live with this, they're free not to open their doors.

When we're talking about a business such as a factory that is not open to the general public, there may be a somewhat stronger argument in favor of the owner's whims, but private whims must always give way to the public interest, particularly when the public interest is in upholding a key constitutional liberty. Thus, a reasonable conpromise might well be that no employer may regulate firearms that an employee chooses to leave locked in their vehicle in an employee parking lot. Why? Because such regulation denys that employee the right to bear arms enroute to and from work. If the right to keep and bear arms means anything, we cannot allow the right to be infringed without a compelling public need.

Certainly every private citizen has the absolute right to deny entrance to their home or similar building not open to the general public to anyone for any purpose.

Where's the actual, as opposed to psychic, harm to the business owner if he is restrained from preventing some of the most carefully vetted, most law abiding citizens in the country from carrying a concealed weapon in their store?

5/05/2007 12:46 AM  

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