News and views from the award-winning author of the Class H Trilogy: AMERICA LIBRE, HOUSE DIVIDED and PANCHO LAND

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Booze and bullets make a bad cocktail

Think the Constitution gives you the right to carry concealed weapons into a bar? Fine. Bring in your flintlock musket next time. 



As more states consider passing laws expanding the venues where people can carry concealed weapons, it's worthwhile examining the consequences of these laws. Will they reduce crime? Or will they create more gunshot victims?

Despite the that fact that many wild west towns had the good sense to require patrons to check their guns at the door before entering a saloon, gun rights advocates are now petitioning for the privilege of taking concealed weapons into places where liquor is served. Forget that driving while intoxicated is illegal. These folks think a drunk with an Uzi in a public place is perfectly okay. Why? Because it's in the Constitution, they argue.

However, it's amazing how far gun rights advocates will torture the English language in order to extract the answer they want. Here is the single sentence in the Second Amendment to the Constitution that references the right to carry weapons:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

The first part of the sentence that refers to a "well regulated militia" is conveniently ignored by gun rights groups. Instead, they chose to take the second part of the sentence out of context and insist "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" gives them the authority to stockpile assault rifles.

Ironically, the gun rights folks consider themselves strict Constitutionalists. So in that spirit, I say: Okay. You think the Constitution gives you the right to carry concealed weapons into a bar? Fine. Bring in your flintlock musket next time.

Raul Ramos y Sanchez