Target has become the latest company to take a “soft” stand on the current “right to carry” controversy that has gripped the nation. (To be blunt, the only reason this is a “controversy” is because some gun owners are fucking morons.) If you are lucky enough not to be familiar with the issue, in a nutshell some gun owners believe that the 2nd Amendment not only gives them ownership rights to firearms, but also the right to carry their non-concealed instruments of death anywhere they so desire because AMERICA! These geniuses defend this “right” by openly carrying their guns into restaurants and other businesses, scaring the living fuck out of employees and customers alike because the Bill of Rights doesn’t provide the right not to fear for your life due to the strangers carrying semi-automatic rifles. In fact, even though it is as American as apple pie and Chevrolet, not even baseball can trump a gun owners right to be a total douche bag. (Click it. You know you want to. It is pure batshit insanity. Clicky clicky!)
Ed Brayton writes about Target’s response to the issue (to paraphrase Target: Please don’t scare the shit out of our customers and employees. Please?) over at Dispatches, and hits the old proverbial nail squarely on the head with his closing.
Anyone who thinks that they have a right to take their AR-15 into a restaurant or a retail outlet shouldn’t be allowed to own one.
I know it is a cliched response, but A-fucking-men.
Seriously. I am not a progressive who believes in completely outlawing firearms. While I am not a hunter, my father was, and hunting is a rather large part of life here in central PA. (Kids get the first day of deer season off of school. I am not kidding.) I am also rather uncomfortable with the government controlling all the guns. And the very idea of banning firearms is incredibly impractical. How is it going to take place, house to house searches? Yeah, good luck with that one. That being said, I’m also not sure the 2nd Amendment intends to grant everyone the right to own their own personal assault rifle. I’m not even sure it intends to grant a right to gun ownership. We require drivers to be licensed by the state, I do not see the problem in requiring gun owners to be licensed, to have to pass a training course, to have to have trigger locks installed, to have to own a gun safe, and/or various other safety regulations. I also think that excepting legitimate reasons, guns should only be carried outside the home while hunting or to and from the range. Gun nuts make the argument that having armed citizens around makes us safer, that if a mad man starts shooting, an armed citizen can save the day. Yet every year we hear stories of questionable shootings committed by the police, people who are trained in the use of firearms to keep the peace. Perhaps I don’t have the proper amount of faith in random gun owners, but the thought of untrained men, high on testosterone, pulling their guns and returning fire scares the shit out of me. For every situation defused by an armed citizen, how many would instead have increased body counts? As terrifying as the Colorado theater shooting must have been, how much worse could it have been if 2 or 3 civilians with Dirty Harry dreams started to add their bullets to the unfolding chaos? Perhaps they could have identified the shooter in the dark and ended his rampage early. Or perhaps they could have taken down a few fleeing patrons with misplaced bullets.
There is no reason to take your assault rifle to Applebee’s, except to rob the store or show off how large you believe your penis to be. Terrorizing parents and children by waving around your handgun, mocking them with cries of “you can’t stop me” is not a right, in my opinion, it is a crime. It is so far past time for rational firearm discussion.