Anyone else have second thoughts about "Constitutional Carry?"
I don't take a back seat to anyone on supporting our Second Amendment right to bear arms! I have a Texas License to Carry a Handgun (LTC) and frequently exercise my right to bear arms pretty much everywhere I go. When someone asks how many guns I own, my response is simple: "more than I need, less than I want." I am not interested in any of the gun control measures being pushed by the president and his administration.
Having said that, I do not understand the pressing need for the so-called "Constitutional Carry" legislation (HB 1927) supported by my Republican friends in the Texas Legislature. Do Texans really feel the weight of government oppression so heavily on their right to bear arms that they need to eliminate any and all requirements that individuals carrying loaded handguns have some proper training before doing so?
I don't think so. This seems like a recipe for disaster.
You will get no argument from me that we all have an individual right to bear arms guaranteed by our Constitution. However, I believe that the current LTC rules are quite reasonable and do a good job of ensuring that the folks who choose to carry a firearm daily (yours truly) have some training and respect for the firearm they are carrying. LTC instructors around the state do an excellent job coaching people on safely handling and shooting these firearms. It is great training and it is also eye-opening instruction about how our self-defense laws really work.
To eliminate the need for that training in order to carry a loaded firearm in public strikes me as simply bad policy.
Standing on the other side of this issue from my fellow Second Amendment enthusiasts gives me some pause. So I called a good friend of mine who also happens to have experience as a firearms and ammunition wholesaler. I was curious about his opinion. Surely, he would set me straight!
"That's a bad idea!" he told me when I described the legislation to him. He had once thought of selling firearms on a retail basis and an acquaintance of his had asked for assistance in deciding on her first firearm. He met her at his shop and presented her three different caliber options. Without a moment of hesitancy, she picked up one of the firearms, held it to her eye, and looked straight down the barrel! My friend carefully grabbed the firearm from her hand (it was unloaded of course, not that she knew that) and informed her that he would not be selling her ANY firearms. He also decided he would never sell firearms on a retail basis.
In relating that story, he made the point that the overwhelming majority of people have no idea how to safely handle a firearm. Of course, we allow them to purchase them and THAT IS a Constitutional right. But, it is not an unreasonable burden, nor is it advisable to eliminate the need to have some basic training in firearms BEFORE allowing the carrying of loaded firearm in public. I know many of my Second Amendment advocates will disagree with that.
I would like them to know that at least one of their fellow Second Amendment supporters disagrees. Please urge our Texas Senators to vote AGAINST the so-called "Constitutional Carry" legislation (HB 1927).