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My name is Charles, NYC, 24, Straight. I'm a serious travel junkie and avid Couch Surfer, going to school for Hospitality Management. I have a passion for Traveling, Politics and the NY Mets. I have about 100 favorite bands. My favorite show because it is amazing and so addictive is The West Wing and Doctor Who. This is mostly a travel related blog with some politics, shows and randomness sprinkled in. I'm also one of the sweetest guys you'll ever meet. Seriously ask my followers, if you need to talk, or just someone to make you smile let me know.
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I received this question in response to my post about a new study showing that more guns means more assaults (or, specifically, that carrying concealed weapons doesn’t make us safer, which is what fans of guns have been suggesting with increasing fervor over the past few years).
I linked, in that post, to two earlier posts of mine on the topic. One of the them answers this question pretty directly; it’s a reply to someone who asserted that people had a right to carry a concealed weapon and who argued that there was no evidence that the explosion of right-to-carry laws increased crime. The upshot is that people have a right to own guns if they want them (and, I think, if they’re part of a well-regulated militia) as a result of the Second Amendment and the Supreme Court’s expansive understanding of it. But carrying them around all the time presents a real danger and it’s silly to see how gun enthusiasts want to continually minimize that danger because of their own fears that someone will try take all their guns away from them.
Anyhow, here’s my reply to the original question that also answers this question today:
- Carrying a concealed weapon isn’t a right; it’s a privilege. You might have a right to keep and bear arms, and we might understand that right more and more expansively after the ridiculously bad Heller decision, but the right to own a gun isn’t the same thing as a right to go to the movies with that gun secreted on your person.
- You’re arguing against a straw man. I haven’t anywhere suggested that no one should be allowed to own guns or even carry them. My argument is that my own rights are infringed by the ongoing concern that some maniac vigilante will shoot me or my family members, whether by accident or as a result of some perceived affront. As a result, I argue that concealed carry testing and licensing should be very stringent and recur at very regular intervals. In other words, if you want the privilege of secretly carrying around a gun on your person, you should be required to submit to a range of tests at regular intervals. I believe the same to be true of driver’s licenses, by the way.
Owning and operating a deadly weapon (or simply carrying it around, loaded, at all times just in case you might feel the need to use it) places other members of society at great risk and the owner should have to demonstrate with some frequency that he can and will operate or carry responsibly.
As an atheist, I see nothing “wrong” in believing in a God. I don’t think there is a God, but belief in him does no harm. If it helps you in any way, then that’s fine with me. It’s when belief starts infringing on other people’s rights when it worries me. I would never deny your right to believe in a God. I would just rather you didn’t kill people who believe in a different God, say. Or stone someone to death because your rulebook says their sexuality is immoral. It’s strange that anyone who believes that an all-powerful all-knowing, omniscient power responsible for everything that happens, would also want to judge and punish people for what they are.