The War on Guns: Georgia Gun Owners going for ‘Constitutional carry’
Go and read at the War on Guns. It is about time. I have accepted having a concealed handgun license as an intermediate step. But frankly, from my perspective, no one should have to obtain a license to either purchase a gun, or to bear it. The move to "shall issue" has had a salutary effect on the argument, however, by demonstrating that concealed carriers are a law abiding bunch who don't go around killing people because they looked at them the wrong way. There has been no blood in the streets, or wild west shootouts. But many people hesitate to obtain these licenses for a number of reasons: fears of what a future government may do, fears of being outed in the press. Some want to have the privilege because they have been threatened before, but fear the process for obtaining a license would alert the other party to where to find them. I understand.
A right can not be licensed. You don't require a license to publish a blog, for example, no matter how much you dislike what is said. To do so renders speaking out a privilege, not a right. You can not require a fee to exercise your right to vote. Books can not be banned, no matter how disreputable the content of the book. Then why may the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment be licensed and taxed?
It has been argued that the solution for people who speak reprehensible ideas is more free speech. Don't censor these guys, the free speech advocates say, instead encourage others to offer their reasons why it is reprehensible, and let the public decide. Public opinion will do more to stop such ideas than censoring them. I agree. But then, why doesn't the same hold true for Second Amendment rights. John Lott has argued, and no one to date has made a valid counter argument, that more guns equals fewer crimes. Everyone who can should bear arms freely, so that criminals will not know at any time who is carrying a gun and prepared to use it. This is not vigilante justice, but stopping the crime right there when it happens. If an armed society is a polite society, think how much more civil our society would be if more of us were armed.