Op-ed writer betrays ignorance on why people carry

Op-ed writer betrays ignorance on why people carry
(AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane)

Many of us carry firearms on a day-to-day basis. For some, it may be because they’re in law enforcement and it’s their job, but for most of us, it’s nothing of the sort. We just know stuff can happen and we’d rather be prepared for it if it does.

But an op-ed writer in Montana, of all places, doesn’t seem to get it.

This past summer, I was at a garage sale and saw a person openly carrying a firearm. It struck me as incongruous that such an instrument was needed at an estate sale that also featured an amazingly good assortment of accordions.

I chalked this up to fluke and being in Montana.

The following week, I saw a nearly identical thing, albeit without the accordions.

I respect the right to carry arms and I don’t dispute that the folks who tote their guns to garage sale have every right to do so. It’s the worldview that I question.

However, even as a gun enthusiast, I still gulp when I see firearms at garage sales or grocery stores because I wonder about a person who feels their existence threatened enough to carry, but also feels comfortable enough checking on the price of a used lawnmower.

Now, this is someone who claims to support the Second Amendment and actually like guns, but then they write something like this?

Call me skeptical.

You see, I may go to a garage sale or the grocery store with a firearm on me for a variety of reasons. For one thing, it’s not like we haven’t seen people shot at grocery stores. Stuff happens and as private, law-abiding citizens, we don’t exactly get to pick when it happens.

Most know that statistically, they’re unlikely to ever need a firearm defensively. The problem is that some people will and we have no way of knowing in advance who that will be.

“But what about while looking at the used lawnmower?” someone might ask. Is there a real threat there? Maybe not.

The question is, what do you not know about that person’s day?

Maybe they’re carrying a lot of cash because they plan on buying a lot of stuff at garage sales. Maybe they’re going to take that used lawnmower to someone who needs it but lives in a rough part of town.

Then there’s the concern of carjackings, which happen all over the nation and in various parts of towns.

If the author doesn’t wish to carry a gun, that’s totally within his rights, but he’s wrong to think he understands everything about the people who decide otherwise.

And that’s precisely what he does, because he ascribes a worldview to those that he then tries to puncture.

In other words, while the Second Amendment doesn’t say anything about hunting, it also doesn’t say much about toting your gun(s) wherever you want, including to a bake sale, a garage sale or other gatherings. In fact, I’d argue the Second Amendment is far less mysterious than people think: The purpose is to keep guns for military service, ostensibly in defense of the country. Over time, that meaning has widened expansively to mean guns are allowable for personal use in nearly any setting.

Doesn’t say much about “toting your gun(s) wherever you want, including to a bake sale,” huh?

Let me see if I can find it.

“[T]the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Well, what do you know? Found it.

The problem here is that the author has started with profoundly faulty premises and then works backward, attacking all those who oppose gun control as if we somehow see the world through a warped, distorted lens.

Meanwhile, he’s the one who can’t fathom the people he decries as doing anything at all with their day beyond what he’s physically present for.