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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Your rights are intimidating!

The Journal Gazette is upset that recent state restrictions on local gun control make it "more likely people will be carrying guns when they vote."

Most citizens with gun permits know that the Second Amendment exists to protect a person’s right to self-defense. It’s not intended to encourage people to display guns brazenly in public in a way that will intimidate or frighten innocent people.

Unfortunately, there is the possibility some less civic-minded gun owners may decide to test the law on Nov. 6 by prominently displaying their guns while voting.

This is almost too stilly to respond to. Almost.

In the first place, how does someone displaying a gun while voting "intimidate or frighten innocent people"? Intimidate or frighten to what purpose? Am I supposed to read the gun-toter's mind so I can vote for the candidate he wants me to vote for and thus avoid getting shot? Perhaps he will wear a sign so we don't have to guess.

In the second place, the "was not intended" approach is snotty and churlish. What it means is, "I don't particularly like this right you are asserting, but I guess I have to put up with it, so I'm going to do my best to make you feel awful about it." Making the obvious point that some people might abuse a right as a backdoor way to criticize the existence of a right or the morality of those who might want to exercise that right is sort of sophomoric.

Most civic-minded citizens know that the First Amendment exists to protect a person's right to self-expression. It is not intended to encourage people to display their misguided ignorance in public in a way that will frighten or intimidate innocent people.


Thu, 09/27/2012 - 2:38pm

I remember how evil it use to be to carry a concealed handgun.  Evil enough to motivate newspapers to print the names of handgun carry permit holders.  Now it is evil to carry a handgun openly.

"The people shall have the right to bear arms, for the defense of themselves and the State".  Article 1, Section 32 of The Constitution of Indiana, 1851.

Special thanks to an organization no longer existing.  In the 1970s the Indiana Sportsmen's Council gets the credit for getting the Indiana carry permits available to Indiana citizens and helping to keep this a relatively free state.