From the Timberjay News in Minnesota, comes this little op-ed (I don’t know how long the link will be valid – I suspect only one day) entitled: “Public’s fear the biggest issue with concealed carry law”
Why, yes indeed, that is the biggest issue. And that fear is well fed by the gun-phobic groups and by the media. But the part of the editorial that really grabbed my attention was this:
Whether they are used or not, guns are intimidating to many people – and with good reason. Police officers carry guns and most never use them. But the presence of the gun is a reminder to the public that they have the ability to use deadly force if needed – and the intimidation factor that provides gives police officers an upper hand over the rest of us.
That’s quite correct – government is essentially exercised through the threat of force against its citizenry. But it continues:
That’s acceptable when they are highly trained and their job is to enforce the law and keep the peace. But statewide polls have already demonstrated that the idea of the average Joe walking around with the same intimidating firearms isn’t appealing to most Minnesotans.
And why is that? Because most people have been taught that defending yourself isn’t your job – it’s the job of the state. You aren’t “highly trained” or qualified to do that job. Leave it to the experts. The column continues, though, with this:
Are such fears irrational? Perhaps. The data is far from clear on the point, despite the rhetoric of supporters.
The data is far from clear??? We’ve got data from 35 states dating back years that proves “such fears irrational.”
The piece concludes:
In the end, this debate isn’t really about guns—it’s about fear and public perception. And as public officials and polls around the state have been stating loudly and clearly, this new law will make more Minnesotans feel fearful, while offering an ineffective security blanket to a very small minority. Some of that fear will likely dissipate over time. Five years from now, many people will probably have forgotten about this and moved on to worry about something else. And as one letter writer pointed out, most people will stop carrying guns once the novelty wears off and they realize it’s mostly just an unnecessary burden.
But for now, it has increased the public’s fear in Minnesota, whether justified or not. Does that serve the overall public good? It’s hard to argue that it does.
If the strongest argument you can make against concealed carry is that it inspires a little temporary fear in the brainwashed populace, then please explain to me why fifteen states still don’t offer “shall-issue” – ’cause that’s a piss-poor excuse.