5 years, 8 months ago
Dennis A. Henigan, acting President of the Brady Campaign, waxes breathless in his most recent hysterical rant at Huffington Post.
Remember two summers ago when most Americans were appalled by the sight of guns openly carried by protesters at presidential speaking events and town hall forums on the health care issue? Now it’s not just the protesters bringing guns to political events. Now it may be the candidates themselves.
Texas governor and newly-announced presidential candidate Rick Perry has taken the incendiary mixture of guns and politics to a new level. When it comes to carrying concealed weapons, Perry certainly walks the walk. He has a concealed carry permit and proudly says that he carries a gun when he is out jogging.
Briefly commenting at this point, I’ll observe that I don’t ever recall in my entire life being appalled at the sight of weapons being carried by anyone, at any time. But as for the concealed carry of weapons while jogging, I guess I have to weigh in with Henigan on this one. I don’t jog. I do lift weights and engage in open carry while I’m walking my dog. But continuing:
Perry recently was asked if he is armed while campaigning. He didn’t respond by saying the question is ridiculous. He didn’t say that in the close quarters of a rope line, with a multitude of people pulling and tugging at him, a gun could easily drop to the ground or be taken from him. He didn’t say that an armed candidate would be a nightmare for the Secret Service. He didn’t say any of those things. Instead, he smiled and refused to say whether or not he carried while campaigning. He added, “That’s why it’s called concealed.”
Rick Perry apparently doesn’t think the question is ridiculous. In fact, his sarcasm suggests he has no objection to political candidates carrying guns to campaign events; he seems to imply that he may do so himself. One thing is clear. The governor has been so thoroughly marinated in pro-gun ideology that he is unashamed about taking it to its logical extreme. If it is true that more guns in public places make us safer, why shouldn’t political candidates carry guns? Isn’t it the least they can do for their own safety?
Something tells me that Perry wouldn’t be ashamed of taking gun ownership to its logical end, whether Henigan wants to call that “extreme” or not. But Henigan is getting increasingly worked up and hysterical over things, and he eventually drops this bomb.
Yes, it is a good thing that senators can’t carry guns onto the Senate floor because the presence of guns, even carried by well-meaning, law-abiding citizens, increases the risk that arguments and conflicts will escalate to lethal violence. It is the same reason that our national parks are less safe because (due to legislation sponsored by Senator Coburn himself) concealed carry of weapons is now permitted within their borders.
There you have it. There in a nut shell is the Faustian bargain that gun control advocates are willing to make. They don’t really believe that an individual cannot protect him or herself or family with a weapon. They don’t really believe that an individual is less safe with a weapon, regardless of what they might claim. What they believe is that there is a greater good to be served, and that greater good lies in not allowing provocations to escalate into deadly incidents. It’s their solution to original sin. Allow weapons and violence escalates. Remove weapons and utopia flourishes.
But even here, Henigan cannot help but spuriously link an article that does nothing more than report that weapons are now legal in national parks. He claims that our national parks are less safe than they were because of this new latitude. And the article has nothing to do with this claim.
Oh, but he has no evidence. In fact, I do. Several months ago I completed a FOIA request to the national parks service, and they returned to me an Excel spreadsheet with crimes outlined by type and delineated per year in the national parks.
It doesn’t show what Henigan wants it to. In fact, our national parks are not less safe than they were prior to 2010 when firearms were made legal. And I did research most of the homicides (through local news accounts) and they mostly have to do with situation-specific (and sometimes bizarre) incidents involving individuals who had no right to carry a firearms anywhere because they were convicted felons, or prisoners on the run, or other such exigencies. Not one incident that I researched had to do with an otherwise law-abiding citizen who suddenly went berserk because he had a gun in a national park.
Myths die hard. They are usually built on lies, and Henigan and the Brady Campaign freely traffics in them. Something as simple as a FOIA request can usually dispel silly myths like this one, and yet we know of at least one instance in which a man’s life was saved from a bear attack because of the new rule in national parks. He used a .45 handgun to drive the bear away. I’ll side with the new rule and gun ownership any day.