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THE COWBOY STATE JOINS THE CLUB

 

By Larry Pratt
March 26, 2011
NewsWithViews.com

Wyoming residents no longer have to seek permission from state officials to exercise their Second Amendment rights now that Governor Matt Mead signed a constitutional carry bill into law this month.

This comes as welcome news to gun rights activists who treasure our constitutional freedoms.

After all, America has come a long way from its 17th century founding. Massachusetts and Virginia used to have laws requiring travelers to be armed. In Massachusetts, congregants had to be armed.

That all changed, though, over the next couple of centuries when states began imposing massive amounts of gun control. These restrictions turned countless Americans into mandatory victims, and many innocent lives were lost as a result.

But now, we are ever so slowly inching our way back to removing the mountain of prohibitions on being armed in public. Prior to this year, three states had stopped requiring law-abiding citizens to first get a permit to carry firearms concealed in public. And now, legislators in Wyoming have added the Cowboy State to this growing list.

Constitutional carry is the term Gun Owners of America has applied to carrying firearms without getting prior approval from the government. It recognizes that the Second Amendment is serious when it says that our gun rights “shall not be infringed.” We hear statists say that all of our rights are subject to being balanced by the “interests” of the government. Such a view would have us forget that “We the People” are the boss, and the government works for us. We have the “interests;” but the government has only one responsibility -- to do what it is told.

For the people to be the sovereign -- not just in theory, but in fact -- we must be armed. For our employees to tell us how, when and where we might be armed is a role reversal. A disarmed sovereign is a sovereign that has suffered a coup d’état.

Constitutional carry is also a recognition that gun control only restricts the good guys. Criminals are not deterred by gun laws. Criminals are in the business of breaking laws, and breaking a gun law does not result in a crisis of conscience for criminals.

It is a huge mistake to think that any of the gun control measures on our books, or which have been proposed, deter criminals. Consider that in Mexico, in spite of a constitutional declaration of a right to have guns, there is only one gun store in the whole country -- in Mexico City. If you manage to get a permit, it will be for a handgun of a fairly ineffective caliber, or for a limited selection of long guns. Then you can make your appointment and travel to Mexico City to finally get your gun.

Yet what dominates the news coming out of Mexico? Guns. And the ones used by the drug traffickers are not usually the ones available to the American public. But tens of thousands of fully automatic machine guns have gone missing from the Mexican military. And, strange as it may seem (sarcasm), the same planes and boats that are used to smuggle drugs also smuggle firearms.

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More civilians were murdered in Juarez last year than civilians in Afghanistan. Right across the border in El Paso, the murder rate is enormously lower. Texans own guns, and many of them carry concealed.

So, let’s get a grip on reality. Let’s remove the obstacles that impede the sovereign from arming himself where he chooses and when he chooses. It is the constitutional thing to do, after all.

2011 Larry Pratt - All Rights Reserved

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Erich Pratt is the Director of Communications for Gun Owners of America, a national gun lobby with over 300,000 members. GOA is located at 8001 Forbes Place, Springfield, VA 22151.

Either Pratt or another GOA spokesman is available for press interviews.

Larry Pratt has been Executive Director of Gun Owners of America for 27 years. GOA is a national membership organization of 300,000 Americans dedicated to promoting their second amendment freedom to keep and bear arms.

He published a book, Armed People Victorious, in 1990 and was editor of a book, Safeguarding Liberty: The Constitution & Militias, 1995. His latest book, On the Firing Line: Essays in the Defense of Liberty was published in 2001.

The GOA web site is:  gunowners.org. Pratt's weekly talk show Live Fire is archived there at: www.gunowners.org/radio.htm

E-Mail: ldpratt@gunowners.org


 

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Constitutional carry is also a recognition that gun control only restricts the good guys. Criminals are not deterred by gun laws.