Friday, February 8, 2013

Poor judgment is not an effective advertisement for increased gun ownership

The Little Johnnies of the back seat were out in force (I use the word with some care) again today.

This time they decided to bring their childishly provocative show to the State Capitol building in Salem:
Some gun-toting demonstrators have taken their protest and their weapons inside the Capitol building.

Oregon law allows people who have concealed handgun licenses to openly carry weapons inside public buildings, including the Capitol.

Among those who ventured inside from a pro-gun rally across the street was a man who would only give a first name, Warren.

"I'm supporting my fellow patriots," he said. He was carrying an AR-15 slung across his back. "It's technically loaded," he said, meaning a full magazine was in place, but no round was chambered.
Well, Warren, for starters, most patriots I know will give their full names -- especially when they're already armed. We have a different word for people who bring loaded guns to a public place but won't give their names. (And it's not "technically loaded," although that's generally on the right track.)

I'm willing to bet that I'm as much an absolutist about the First Amendment -- and I presume to think that makes me as much of a patriot -- as Warren is about the Second Amendment, but even I'm willing to accept some restrictions on free expression in this country: perjury, slander, inciting to riot, others. (Oh yeah -- and when I'm asked, I give my last name.) That's because, as much as I cherish the First Amendment, I still want this country to be livable.

How about you, Warren?

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