(Op-ed submitted by Carl Grover of Mason City)
One can only imagine the thoughts that ran through Councilman Marsters head after seeing two individuals openly carrying “two huge pistols” at Prairie Playground.
Mr. Marsters is a sensible, soft-spoken person and he called the incident “absolutely inappropriate”. To others of us who may not be quite as refined; it may have simply been more of a wtf moment.
I completely agree that not only was it inappropriate it was irresponsible and perhaps even dangerous.
While people may have the right to openly carry weapons, it doesn’t always make it the right thing to do. It’s true; kids shouldn’t fear guns but adult strangers on a playground packing heat? Yeah, it might freak anyone out a little.
It certainly takes cops and robbers to a whole new level.
The talk of seeking an ordinance to ban weapons from our parks seems to have dissipated and probably for good reason. There would be some question as to the legality of such an ordinance anyway as it would probably be trumped by state laws. The fact is those bans are silly to begin with because only law-abiding citizens would follow them anyway.
There is a sign at Southbridge Mall that reads:
These premises are a weapons-free zone. No concealed weapons are allowed even if you have a license. Violators are subject to removal from these premises. Does not apply to law enforcement officers.
Shoo! I feel better already knowing that some pschyco with a gun might walk up there, take one look at that sign and say, “Oh, I can’t take this in here, I might as well go back home and read Catcher in the Rye”.
This sign must have been meant to make people feel safe but the truth is; bans, like cameras, do absolutely nothing to protect people. They merely create an illusion of safety; feel good measures that risk making us more ignorant to our own vulnerabilities.
If anything, such bans could make these places even more dangerous by alerting a would-be madman to the fact that this is a place that offers no resistance making his victims easy and helpless targets.
Personally, I’m a firm believer that the 2nd Amendment to our Constitution guarantees our individual right to own a gun. However, that right comes with responsibility and some of these modern day gunslingers hurt the very cause they believe in with their reckless behavior.
Anyone who displays their weapon for all to see could also be putting themselves at risk. It’s quite possible that they could be snuck up on and disarmed and find themselves in a situation where the gun that was supposed to protect them is now being used against them.
Even cops have been disarmed and they’ve been trained to protect their weapon.
Personally, if I was to carry a weapon I would feel much more comfortable keeping it hidden until I actually needed it.
Another example of reckless behavior was when Arizona state senator Lori Klein pointed her raspberry pink semi-automatic pistol at a reporter. Supposedly she was just showing him her laser sight and claims that he stepped in front of it. Still, the first thing my dad ever told me about gun safety was to NEVER point it at anyone.
She wasn’t even asked to step down for this irresponsible snafu.
The same certainly couldn’t be said for Anthony Weiner, U.S. Representative for New York’s 9th Congressional District.
He got into way more trouble for displaying his gun in a lewd photo on the internet and we still don’t even know if it was loaded. 🙂
Support your 2nd amendment right, folks. The fact is, if guns were ever outlawed only criminals would have them. Piece out!?